Johannesburg – ‘We cannot silence the guns in Africa without involving women in peace processes. This was the opening speech of the Special Envoy of the African Union Bineta Diop at the Virtual Africa Forum on Women, Peace and Security on 10 November.
The forum is organized by the African Union Office of the Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security and seeks to accelerate compliance with the commitments of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda and sharpen actions to silence the guns for a sustainable peace in Africa.
Africa now has 30 countries with national action plans for the implementation of the Peace and Security Agenda for Women, according to the implementation of WPS report presented by Dr Jean-Bosco Butera, Special Adviser and Chief of Staff, Office of the Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security , Commission of the African Union.
Butera says most African national action plans are well written, but very few countries can show how these plans should be put into action. Therefore, the Continental Results Framework for monitoring and reporting on the WPS agenda was created.
There is no doubt that conflict affects women and men differently. Women and children have been shown to suffer the most and are more vulnerable to violent behavior.
“Criminalize rape, and other forms of sexual violence and other forms of sexual exploitation. In the same way that the International Criminal Court recognizes rape as a crime against humanity – why are our national laws not bold enough against GBV and do criminals let the escape responsibility? “said Aya Chebbi.
Chebbi, who is the first special envoy for youths of the African Union, and the latest diplomat at the cabinet chair of the AU commission, says African governments must take a stand on gender-based violent crimes. She says young women and girls feel excluded from peace-building initiatives and has called on those in power to show solidarity and support to young people as they take steps to silence the guns.
Kenya’s foreign secretary Reychelle Omamo agrees, saying political leaders need to understand that gender equality is a component of social justice and that social justice is a prerequisite for sustainable peace. “You can not have peace if you do not have justice, fairness, fairness, not only in the distribution of resources, but also use opportunities to all sectors of society,” says Omamo.
This forum comes a week after the United Nations celebrated the 20th anniversary of Security Council Resolution 1325, which promotes women’s “equal participation and full involvement in all efforts to maintain peace and security”.
It was adopted in 2000 by the UN Security Council, civil society and member states of the United Nations, and seeks to address the policy gap in the exclusion of women in peacebuilding and the long-term impact of armed conflict on women and girls.
Although the continent is facing a number of conflicts, some agree that great progress has been made over the years.
“The continent has made progress in addressing conflict over the past few years, but we as Africa remain deeply afraid of insecurity, local conflicts and a regional crisis that is negatively affecting the lives of women on a daily basis. As a continent there is.” a need for a deep and focused soul-searching for why we continue to have distracting outbreaks of conflict that destroy lives and livelihoods, ‘said Naledi Pandor, South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation.
Most African countries have succeeded in leveling the curve of the pandemic, but violent conflict remains a threat in some countries and still displaces many women and children.
“The arrival of Covid-19 has exacerbated the situation of millions of African women who are exacerbating their deep challenges. Africa has implemented commendable efforts by the AU to combat the pandemic and strengthen the response of our continent and we wish the AU chair and chair “Congratulations to the AU. President AU Cyril Ramaphosa for their excellent efforts, despite their excellent work, women remain displaced, abused without subsistence and shelter in many of our countries,” said Pandor.
The mandates of the UNSCR1325 resolution have four basic pillars: participation, protection, prevention and relief and recovery. One of the four pillars calls for greater participation of women at all levels of decision-making, including in national, regional and international institutions; in conflict prevention, management and resolution mechanisms; in peace negotiations; in peace operations, as soldiers, police and civilians; and as special representatives of the UN Secretary-General. For long-term success, the inclusion of women, girls and young people is crucial.