Napak District Advances Women, Peace, and Security Agenda Through Developing Local Action Plan

In January, 2024, Napak District in Uganda embarked on a transformative journey towards advancing the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda through the localization and drafting of a Local Action Plan (LAP). Spearheaded by key district stakeholders, this initiative aimed to amplify awareness, foster collaboration, and drive meaningful change within the community.

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Moroto District Strengthens Commitment to Women, Peace, and Security with Local Action Plan

From December 18th to 19th, 2023, key district stakeholders of Moroto district underwent intensive training sessions aimed at enhancing their understanding of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Agenda and the Uganda National Action Plan III.

The training sessions served as a catalyst for increasing awareness and building capacity in the development and implementation of a Local Action Plans (LAP) tailored to the district’s unique context. Through interactive workshops and discussions, participants, including representatives from various sectors such as community development, law enforcement, governance, and civil society, gained valuable insights and skills to spearhead the localization process.

Following the training, a dedicated district task force was established to drive the development and implementation of the Moroto LAP . Comprising esteemed members such as the District Community Development Officer, District Police Commander, Senior Community Development Officer, and Religious and Cultural Leaders, the task force was entrusted with the crucial responsibility of translating aspirations into concrete actions.

From December 20th to 22nd, 2023, the district technical task force underwent a 3-day drafting workshop where they were trained on developing the LAP. Guided by the district’s vision for peace and prosperity, task force members diligently delineated the LAP’s goal, defined strategic objectives, and outlined targeted interventions to address pressing issues affecting women, peace, and security in the region.

The drafting process saw task force members immerse themselves in deep discussions, carefully scrutinizing each section of the LAP to ensure alignment with the district’s priorities and aspirations. Through collaborative efforts and shared expertise, the task force developed a comprehensive LAP that encapsulated the collective vision and aspirations of Moroto District.

As the drafting process concluded, the task force members shared progress on the draft LAP, outlined action plans, and delineated next steps for implementation. Their dedication and commitment underscored Moroto District’s unwavering resolve to promote gender equality, peace, and inclusive development.

The localization and drafting process of the Moroto Local Action Plan signify a significant milestone in the district’s journey towards creating a safer, more inclusive, and prosperous community.

Empowering Communities: Transitional Justice Training in Dokolo District

In December 2023, we conducted a transitional justice training in Dokolo District, Uganda. The two-day training session, held at the Dokolo Tourist Hotel, aimed to fortify women’s participation in transitional justice processes, a crucial step towards nurturing a culture of peace and tolerance in the region.

The training sought to equip women and young women with the skills and knowledge necessary to engage meaningfully in transitional justice platforms. With 32 participants in attendance, including community leaders, women councilors, and representatives from various organizations, the event fostered an environment of learning and collaboration.

The training delved into Uganda’s history of conflict, particularly in Northern Uganda, exploring the impact of prolonged strife on communities. Participants examined the importance of transitional justice mechanisms in addressing past abuses and fostering reconciliation.

Other sessions focused on gender justice in development where discussions revolved around the intersection of gender and transitional justice, highlighting the unique challenges faced by women and young women affected by conflict. Participants explored strategies to promote gender-sensitive approaches in peacebuilding and development programs.

Additionally, the training addressed victims’ rights and reparations, emphasizing the importance of upholding victims’ rights and integrating them into reparative processes. Through case studies and group discussions, participants identified practical measures to support victims of war and conflict in accessing justice and rebuilding their lives.

The training culminated in the development of a comprehensive action plan, outlining tangible steps for community engagement and advocacy. From community dialogues to awareness campaigns and the formation of local task forces, participants committed to driving positive change at the grassroots level.

Reflecting on the training, participants expressed gratitude for the opportunity to deepen their understanding of transitional justice and its relevance to their communities.

Embracing Transformation: The Journey of the Care Hub Retreat

In November 2023, a unique gathering unfolded by the serene backdrop of nature, marking a pivotal moment for a diverse group of individuals. The Care Hub Retreat, a meticulously designed experience, was more than an event; it was a transformational journey that delved deep into the realms of personal growth, emotional intelligence, and holistic well-being.

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Communique for the Annual Women’s Conference on Women Peace and Security

In a significant stride towards fostering inclusivity and democracy in South Sudan, the 3rd Annual National Conference on Women, Peace, and Security was recently concluded at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Juba. The conference, held from October 25-26, 2023, brought together South Sudanese women leaders from all ten states and various partners. Under the theme “Building Inclusive Democracy: Women’s Leadership and Political Participation,”

The event yielded a joint communiqué outlining pivotal recommendations and initiatives aimed at empowering women in the political sphere.

Acknowledging Collaborative Efforts: The conference recognized the collaborative efforts of organizations such as Eve Organization, the National Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare, Cordaid, Plan International, Christian Aid, HealthNet TPO,  PAX and the Women’s International Peace Centre. Their successful organization of the event facilitated dialogue among over 200 delegates from South Sudan’s ten states.

Key Recommendations:

  1. Political Participation: Urging for expedited implementation of transitional security arrangements, the communiqué emphasizes the deployment of unified forces and payment of their salaries to ensure a safe environment for elections. Additionally, the reconstitution and operationalization of key bodies like the Political Parties Council and the National Constitutional Review Commission are stressed to ensure women’s inclusion.
  2. Legislative Support: The document highlights the importance of passing key bills, including the Women Enterprise Fund Bill and the Anti Gender Based Violence Bill, to protect women’s rights. It also calls for the Ministry of Interior to facilitate national ID acquisition for women and support their political participation through resources and initiatives.
  3. International Collaboration: Donors, UN agencies, and INGOs are urged to support women’s organizations financially, specifically during the constitution-making and electoral processes. Establishing funds for civic education, monitoring elections, and responding to gender-based violence incidents were emphasized.
  4. Civil Society Initiatives: Civil society organizations are encouraged to intensify civic education, advocate for the passing of crucial bills, organize conferences to reconcile women from different political backgrounds, and bridge the gap between senior and young women leaders through dialogues and mentorship programs.

Looking Ahead: The communiqué reflects a collective commitment to closing the gender gap in South Sudan’s political landscape. By empowering women, fostering inclusivity, and addressing systemic challenges, the nation takes a significant step towards building a democratic society where every voice matters. Through collaborative efforts and targeted initiatives, South Sudanese women are poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the country’s future.

Download Full Communique : Final-Communique-Annual Women’s Conference-Oct-2023

National Conference of Women leaders on Women, Peace and Security – South Sudan

In a resounding display of unity and determination, over 200 South Sudanese women leaders, alongside representatives from diverse sectors, gathered on October 25-26, 2023  in Juba for the 3rd Annual National Conference on Women, Peace, and Security. Against the backdrop of the conference’s theme, “Building Inclusive Democracy: Women’s Leadership and Political Participation,” the women articulated a powerful vision for a more democratic and inclusive South Sudan.

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#CeasefireNow: Open Call for an Immediate Ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and Israel to Prevent a Humanitarian Catastrophe and Further Loss of Innocent Lives

#CeasefireNow: Open Call for an Immediate Ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and Israel to Prevent a Humanitarian Catastrophe and Further Loss of Innocent Lives

We have witnessed unfathomable death and destruction in the Gaza Strip and Israel. Thousands of people have been killed, injured, displaced, and nearly two hundred remain held hostage, including children and elderly.

In Gaza, the UN has said that water, food, fuel, medical supplies, and even body bags, are running out due to the siege. The UN warned that people – particularly young children – will soon start dying of severe dehydration. Neighbourhoods have been destroyed and turned into complete rubble. Palestinians in search of safety have nowhere to go. Many of those who relocated from northern Gaza to the south after the relocation order by the Israeli army were reportedly bombed as they attempted to flee or once they arrived in southern Gaza.

The events of the last week have led us to the precipice of a humanitarian catastrophe and the world can no longer wait to act. It is our collective responsibility.

On Sunday, October 15th, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator to the Occupied Palestinian Territory appealed to all parties to the conflict, and to Member States with influence, to urgently agree to a humanitarian ceasefire.

Today, we put our voices together and call on all Heads of State, the UN Security Council, and actors on the ground, to prioritize the preservation of human life above all else. During this ceasefire, we call on all parties to unconditionally:

  1. Facilitate the delivery of lifesaving assistance, including food, medical supplies, fuel, and the resumption of electricity and internet to Gaza, in addition to safe passage of humanitarian and medical staff
  2. Free all civilian hostages, especially children and elderly
  3. Allow humanitarian convoys to reach UN facilities, schools, hospitals, and health facilities in northern Gaza and commit to protecting them along with the civilians and staff inside them at all times
  4. Rescind orders by the Government of Israel for civilians to depart northern Gaza
  5. Allow patients in critical condition to be medically evacuated for urgent care

The UN Security Council, the UN Secretary General and all world leaders with influence must take immediate action to ensure a ceasefire comes into effect. It remains our only option to avert further loss of civilian life and humanitarian catastrophe. Anything less will forever be a stain on our collective conscience.

Civilians are not bargaining chips. Families need a chance to bury and mourn their dead. The cycle of violence against innocent civilians needs to stop.

Implementing the Maputo Protocol Towards the Women, Peace and Security Agenda

Parallel Session at the Maputo Protocol @20 Anniversary, Nairobi – Kenya Dates: 11 July 2023

Women’s International Peace Centre in collaboration with Oxfam International convened a parallel session at the 20th anniversary commemoration of the ground-breaking AU Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol). The objectives of the event were twofold. First, the session provided a unique platform for civil society organisations (CSOs) to examine the progress, challenges and opportunities in the implementation of the Maputo Protocol, with a particular focus on Article 10 on the Right to Peace and Article 11 on the Protection of Women in Armed Conflict.

Secondly, the session underscored the importance of advancing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda within the SOAWR[1] coalition considering recent crises, such as the Sudan conflict which has vividly demonstrated how women comprise the highest proportion of marginalised individuals exposed to conflict-related sexual violence and various forms of gender-based violence. The session sought to shed light on these pressing issues, reiterating their critical nature and pushing for the inclusion of the WPS Agenda at the top tier of the SOAWR coalition’s agenda.

This report provides a summary of the perspectives and insights shared during the meeting, identifying common trends across Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan and at the regional level and highlights recommendations for collectively advancing women’s peace and security in Africa.

Download : WIPC_Report_Maputo Protocol20 Anniversary Event (1)

Voices from South Kivu: Associations of Victims of Mass Crimes, Conflict Related Sexual Violence and Children born Out of Rape Meet AU Special Envoy on WPS to Advocate for Peace and Justice

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been a land marred by decades of conflict, instability, and the devastating consequences of war. Among the countless stories of resilience and hope emerging from this region, one group stands out – the associations of victims of serious crimes and conflicts, along with the children born of rape, in someites of South Kivu.

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