William Tsuma and Dudziro Nhengu present statistics on women's roles in peacebuilding at the joint UN Women-UNDP policy and practice dialogue held in Harare

Dudziro Nhengu
Posted May 15, 2015 from Zimbabwe
William Tsuma, Dialogue Advisor - UNDP Zimbabwe

Facilitating the policy and practice dialogue on Women’s Roles in Peacebuilding, combined initiative by UN Women and UNDP Zimbabwe that took place in Harare yesterday, William Tsuma, the Dialogue Advisor with UNDP gave the following statistics on women’s roles in peacebuilding and conflict transformation:

Only 4% of peace negotiations were led by women 2.4% of Chief mediators globally were women Of the 3 major peace negotiations done so far only 4% were led by women No woman has been chosen to be Chief negotiator in UN led negotiations In 27 peace keeping missions of the DPKN only 4% were women and only 1% in police missions Within the UN only 6.5% of senior positions are occupied by women For the first time in 2011 the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to 3 women In SADC mediation teams there is less than 10% women representation

In addition to William’s highlights above, I present below some encouraging efforts by the African Union in establishing mechanisms of promoting women’s empowerment in peace and security:

AU Commission

For the first time in 50 years, the AU Commission elected Madame Nkosazana Dhlamini Zuma as Chair (in 2013) Gender is strongly becoming a cross-cutting theme at the AU Commission, Policy of 50-50 parity in AU structures has been effected in the AU Commission, Out of 10 Commissioners, 50% are women

AU Gender Directorate

Women, Gender and Development Directorate (located within then AU Commission) Established in 2000 The Directorate’s goal is to incorporate gender activities of the AU Commission Supporting member states in formulating National Action Plans on Gender / UNSCR 1325 AU Gender Directorate involved in awareness raising

AU Panel of the Wise

AU Panel of the Wise adopted gender parity approach – 8 members: 4 men & 4 – women The Panel is tasked with peace-making and preventive diplomacy efforts in Africa AU/Pan African Parliament: Gender -50/50

AU Pan-African Parliament

AU’s Pan African Parliament also implements the continental body’s policy on empowering women There is Gender balance in Pan African Parliament leadership and governance; AU’s PAP works with Women Parliamentary caucuses in Member states to support gender sensitive legislative processes

The AU Decade for Women

Launched in 2010 (2010-2020) Aim is to advance gender equality by engendering African ownership; The theme for the Decade “Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GEWE): A Bottom-Up Approach” This AU Decade provides a Roadmap towards advancing gender equality in the continent

The AU Women’s Fund

Established 2011 following to support women’s economic empowerment initiatives; Linked with the new Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Fund; NEPAD PCRD Framework identifies gender equality as one of its core pillars of development NEPAD African Women’s Empowerment Plan (2010-2015): funded - € 20 million - in several women’s projects across the continent

The AU Program on Women in Mediation

Capacity building of women in peace-making as well as of women with potential to be mediators; AU works closely with civil society organizations e.g. ACCORD, Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) towards this initiative; Program is tied to concerted efforts to ensure gender parity in AU mediation architecture e.g. Panel of the Wise.

Empowering Women in Peace Processes

AU-appointed mediators have in some cases encouraged to create space for women’s participation in peace processes: Burundi Peace Negotiations in 2000: The mediator, President Nelson Mandela included women’s recommendations Inter Congolese Dialogue in 2001-2002: The mediators Presidents, Ketumile Masire and Thabo Mbeki created space for women; Kenyan National Dialogue and Reconciliation, 2007-2008:The mediators held consultations with women’s groups

Bringing Gender debates to the AU

ECOSOC: Opportunity for civil society to evaluate gender mainstreaming at the pan African level and regional level. Pre-AU Summit Gender meetings: Civil society have the opportunity to discuss gender issues for consideration at the Summit; Gender is my Campaign (GIMAC): Pre-Summit Consultative Meeting on Gender Mainstreaming in the AU, UN ECA are held.

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