Dr. Lydia Umar is an educationist and development professional with a background in Curriculum Studies (Social Studies). In addition to lecturing for over 30 years, she co-founded Gender Awareness Trust (GAT) in 2000 to promote peace and gender equity. In the areas of conflict management, mediation and peace building, she has worked as practitioner, trainer, researcher and coordinator for government agencies and development partners. Her capacity has been built through numerous trainings which include UPEACE Faculty and Staff Development Seminars in Zambia and UNOWAS Regional Mediation Training. On the regional level, she was a Board Member of WANEP for 8 years, faculty Staff of the West Africa Peace Institute (WAPI) for 6 years and Regional Adviser of the West African Women in Peace building Network.
She has held appointments which include Chairperson, Steering Committee of Global Crisis Preventive Mechanism for West Africa, and is currently representative of UNOWAS Women, Peace and Security working Group in Nigeria. She facilitated its establishment and work, particularly promoting peaceful election and engaging women in Politics in the 2019 general elections in Nigeria. She is also Regional Vice Chairperson and Country President of NOPSWECO. She carried out gender trainings and audits for UN agencies and served as Kaduna State Gender Adviser for Humanitarian Centre on Community Dialogue, Geneva.
She has worked extensively as a technical expert in several peacebuilding initiatives in Kaduna State, Nigeria and internationally. She was part of developing the National Action Plan (NAP) for the implementation of UNSCR 1325. She led the advocacy efforts which resulted in the passage of the Violence against Persons Prohibition Law (VAPP, 2018) in Kaduna State. More recently, she served as a consultant for the development of the 5-year strategic plan for the Kaduna Peace Commission and facilitated dialogues in conflict hot spots in Kaduna, Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states.