African women prepare for a bigger role in peace making

Aliya Bashir
Posted October 7, 2011

African women who bear the brunt of the continent’s conflicts now demand to play a defining role in peacekeeping.

A resolution to foster women’s political participation in the domain of peacekeeping and conflict management was accepted on Friday at the 2011 Women’s Platform for Action in Africa (WPAA).

Under the auspices of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), the WPAA meeting emphasised the urgent need for better female representation at national levels, where women can actively take part in decisions to prevent war and mediate conflict.

The two-day conference in Midrand came ahead of the second session of the Pan-African Parliament in October.

Gender-based sexual violence, which has become a characteristic of armed conflict, is closely linked to gender relations within that culture, said Francoise Labelle of Mauritius who is second vice-president of PAP.

"It is only if women can play a full and equal part in the mediation processes that we will be able to build a foundation of peace," Labelle said.

This year marks the 11th year of United Nations’ resolution 1325, which addresses women’s rights in war conflict, peace negotiation and reconstruction processes.

It also urges increased representation of women at all decision-making levels in conflict resolution and peace processes.

However, there has never been a female UN chief peace negotiator and women constitute less than eight per cent of negotiating delegations in peace processes mediated by the UN, while less than three per cent are peace agreement signatories. .....ENDS..............

Source: Saaleha Bamjee | Africa Review

Comments 3

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Osai
Oct 07, 2011
Oct 07, 2011

Dear Aliyah,

The lack of adequate representation of women in peace & conflict management platforms is a major problem. More so in Africa where several conflicts are brewing. It would be helpful tp see what steps PAP is taking regarding the resolution by the Women's group and the impact it can have on the African Union Peace & Security Architecture.

I enjoyed reading your piece. Thanks for sharing.

Best regards, Osai

Aliya Bashir
Oct 08, 2011
Oct 08, 2011

I truly agree with your observation..There is a need for women representation in peace building with sustainable solutions... Stay In touch

Rumbidzai Dube
Oct 09, 2011
Oct 09, 2011

I did not know that this had happened. I must commend the AU Peace and Security Council and the whole Architecture for the work it has been doing on addressing sexual violence associated with violent conflict. Early this year they had another conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia which they brought together women survivors from various African countries to tell their stories and they presented a Draft Resolution to heads of states to adopt on how to address the problem in the future. Thanks for this.