Call for Papers: Progress of the Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan.

Women’s International Peace Centre invites submission of papers/articles on the progress of the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan. The submissions will track progress of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda and offer key recommendations for policy makers, in the build up to the 25th anniversary of UNSCR 1325 in 2025. The papers/articles will be published as part of the Peace Centre’s campaign on WPS, under the auspices of the Just Future Alliance.  

Background

The year 2022 marks the 22nd anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, which acknowledges the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and in peace building. It also underscores the importance of women’s equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security.

To date, the instrument has had a fundamental impact on the peace and security policies and practices of local communities, national states, as well as regional and international mechanisms. It represents a significant step forward in understanding security issues outside the traditional context of state security and, accordingly, states as major actors in both peace and conflict issues. 

However, there are concerns about the degree to which UNSCR 1325 is actually being translated into programmes and measures on the ground, for example, through the operationalisation of National Action Plans (NAPs) and what tangible impacts this has had on women’s peace and security. There are also implications of the resolution’s focus on armed conflict, as opposed to other forms of structural violence, for peace and security. 

Progress of the WPS Agenda in Burundi, DRC and South Sudan.

We, therefore, seek to critically examine UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, its implementation and its relevance to women’s activism, the protection of women in conflict, conflict resolution and peace building and/or the governance of international peace and security in Burundi, DRC and South Sudan. The publication will review the implementation of resolution 1325 and subsequent resolutions, as well as examine ways to further enhance their impact in the three countries.

We welcome articles presenting new data on single or multiple cases in these countries and (or) theoretical explorations of 1325, from a diversity of disciplinary backgrounds, not only politics. We seek contributions to address the current challenges and country-level perspectives on the UNSCR Resolution 1325 on the following themes:

  • National Implementation (including NAPs)
  • Participation and representation including in political processes
  • Early warning mechanisms
  • Peace-Processes
  • Civil Society Activities and Women Organising for Peace
  • Human Rights including racial and ethnic discrimination and international and regional frameworks
  • Displacement
  • Demobilisation, Disarmament, Repatriation, Resettlement and Reintegration (DDRRR)
  • Small Arms and Light Weapons
  • Violence against women
  • Health (including HIV/AIDS and reproductive health)
  • Humanitarian assistance
  • Climate change 

Submission Guidelines

Prospective authors should submit their articles in English or French to editorialboard@wipc.org by 30th September 2022, clearly stating Call for WPS Papers in their subject lines. Contributions should be below 2500 words. Content can be presented as analysis, critiques, good practice, lessons learnt and case studies. Reflection pieces by activists/practitioners and pedagogical discussions are also welcome. Please supply a biographical note, an abstract and contact information with your submission. 

Contributors will be given a modest honorarium and have an opportunity to present their work at the launch of the publication. 

Call for Contributions to the Feminist Peace Series

The Feminist Peace Series Magazine

The Feminist Peace Series was born out of the continuous inquiry into what Feminist Peace means in practice with the objective to showcase the different transformative approaches to peacebuilding. In the 1st Edition of the Feminist Peace Series, The Peace Centre shared various understandings of Feminist Peace with perspectives from practitioners, partners and colleagues in the field of peacebuilding. The 2nd edition paid attention to how women and, in particular, feminist peace activists responded to the direct and indirect consequences of COVID-19 and elaborated on the practical and theoretical implications for ‘feminist peace’. We hope that with the Feminist Peace Series, we will continue to build a community of diverse contributors and readers who value activism and that understand feminist perspectives in peacebuilding.

The focus of the 3rdEdition

There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives. – Audre Lorde.

Feminist Peace challenges social norms, practices and intersectional power relations as well as gender norms and binaries and acknowledges that toxic masculinity affects the whole of society and not just women. Intersectionality describes the complexity of intertwined connections between identity, socio-economic status, and systems of power that make up how we fit into the world around us. Intersectionality investigates how manifestations of power intersect to influence social relations across diverse societies as well as individual experiences in everyday life. The idea reveals that we do not fit into a single neat box, but rather maintain identities composed of the context that exists within and around us.

Countries and communities around the world are facing multiple, compounding threats. The need for an intersectional approach is apparent in many contexts and is easily identifiable within contexts such as conflict-related displacement and sexual violence.  In conflict-affected societies, intersectionality helps in understanding not only the kinds of violence people might suffer but also the varied interests, needs, agencies, and views toward what constitutes inclusive and sustainable peace. This approach, however, has so far largely been absent in both peace research and peacebuilding practice.

The 3rd edition of the Feminist Peace Series will focus on “How to build Feminist Peace using an intersectional Perspective?”

We invite contributors to submit articles, artwork, photography, poems, illustrations, profiles/features (on individuals or collectives) and more.

GUIDELINES;

  • Articles and anyother form of work should be in line with the theme. “How to build Feminist Peace using an intersectional Perspective?”
  • Deadline for submission of articles and any other form of work is 30 September, 2022
  • Submissions to be made to communications@wipc.org
  • Each Article should not be less than 1500 words.
  • Other forms of art, photography and poems in line with the theme are greatly encouraged.
  • All photos should have a caption and reference owner of the photos.

 

Vacancy Announcement: Communications Officer

Role Summary

We are looking to hire a Communications Officer as part of our Communications Department. The Communications Officer will play a lead role in fulfilling the communications objectives of each one of The Peace Centre’s strategic objectives namely:  Enhanced technical expertise of women to participate in peace processes, Information is available for women to influence decision-making in peace processes, Deliberate attempts to claim spaces for women to participate at all levels of peace processes and Holistic Wellbeing of Women in Peace Processes.

The Communications Officer supports and drives institutional communication for the organization including digital marketing and content creation, and pursues visibility for the organization in a manner consistent with feminist values. The Communications Officer reports to the Strategic Partnerships and Advocacy Manager.

How To Apply

Candidates who meet the above criteria are advised to apply.  To apply, submit a cover letter, CV and writing samples via email with the subject “Application for the Position of Communications Officer” to applications@wipc.org by 31st August 2022

Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

Read the job description: here

The Resilience of Young Urban Refugees in Uganda

In January 2022, The Peace Centre trained 30 young urban refugees living in Uganda from Burundi, DRC, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan on leadership and peacebuilding. The training aimed to promote young urban refugee women and GBV survivors’ leadership in peace-building processes by equipping them with skills and knowledge to fully understand the policy frameworks, design messages, identify opportunities for influencing and plan the next steps in their advocacy.

The following are documented stories of some of the participants of the training and how they have been impacted over time. Here they also share experiences and challenges regarding settling in Uganda. All names used in these stories are pseudonyms.

SALMA

I am the Director of ‘Stand Up and Shine Foundation’, an initiative established to help refugees in my community. As a source of income, I operate a bakery and a tailoring shop. In my community, there have been multiple cases of gender-based violence some of which get to be reported and others that never make it to the light. These to mention but a few include; employers abusing their employees, stepfathers raping their stepdaughters and mothers forcing their children into prostitution in order to secure some income for the family.

On multiple occasions, I have had to intervene in these cases by reporting them to village leaders as well as the Police. However, without much reliance on the police that ‘continues to fail us, I offer counselling and guidance to girls and young women refugees that have been victims of societal vices like gender-based violence. Similarly, I offer training in tailoring and baking skills to these victim girls and young women to help them get their lives back on track.

As a result of the peacebuilding training, I am more informed of my rights as a refugee- what is acceptable and non-acceptable to me, how I can participate in decision-making as a woman and I am more aware of the different ways to defend myself. With this, therefore, I have gone ahead to train other fellow refugees on how to foster peace in their homes and the community at large.

Also, as part of my training lessons, I have mastered the skill of looking for opportunities to better myself in all spheres of life. This has been very instrumental to the growth of my business as I wake every morning with a vision of meeting new people and finding new opportunities.

I hope to see my community change for the better. I desire an establishment of a major training Centre where refugees can be trained in various skills such as English, computer and social skills, baking, cooking and many more that can help them live a decent life even while in a foreign country.

JEANNE

“I had suicidal thoughts at a certain point of my life but that well-being session made me look at life differently thereafter.” Jeanne is a 40 yr old Congolese refugee leader in Kitebi, an area she has been living in for the last 12 yrs since she arrived in Uganda.

Upon learning about mental wellness in the training, I was encouraged to embrace my life as one that is precious and needs to be taken care of. I was also encouraged to stay true to myself, keep positive and be hopeful in all situations.

Today, I am very passionate about mental wellness seeing that many refugees suffer from a lot of stress-related issues but have no knowledge of how to deal with them. I have made it my sole responsibility to sensitize people about taking care of their mental health in my community.

I have since embraced writing as a form of therapy helping me deal with unresolved feelings in my heart rather than bottling them up within. This has helped me remain strong even in the most difficult situations.

Through the writing process, I also encourage my fellow refugees to write down their experiences. ‘This has helped them express their feelings.  Above all, I encourage them to be grateful for having Life because with the life they have hope for a better future.

I have also engaged with refugees in some of the settlements where I was taken to work as a volunteer, at the hospital.

I take a keen interest in interacting with women and girls who are victims of gender-based violence in the community. I help them look at life as an always-changing process with both good and bad things happening but one ought to be open-minded at all times.

In cases of rape or defilement, I mobilize colleagues to help victim girls by seeking medical attention from health centres as well as carrying out check-ups, the survivors are introduced to pep treatment while it’s still early and then we report the cases to the persons responsible especially village leaders and Police.

The latter however hasn’t yielded much success as they are not many refugee cases reported in the community that are taken seriously.

I reported a case of a 16-year-old girl that was defiled and became pregnant. Upon giving birth, she was denied a birth certificate from the hospital because of failure to provide evidence for the identity of the baby’s father. When the case was reported to the Police, no help was rendered to the young lady to date.

According to Jeanne, many refugees’ needs are neglected in the communities they live in which makes it harder for them to heal from the trauma of war they faced in their home countries.

“I want to see that my people can sustain themselves, that they have hope to eat, sleep peacefully, can be able to go to hospital and be attended to.”- Jeanne said, “this is the only way I will be fully content as a leader”.

EBONY

Ebony is a Congolese refugee leader heading a saving group for refugees in Najjanankumbi. According to her, this group was formed with an aim of ‘chasing’ poverty amongst refugees so they can all have a better chance at life.

Through the Peace Centre training, Ebony has since become an effective leader in her community; She has learnt how to deal with people, especially when addressing community problems.

For instance, in cases of domestic violence, she mobilizes committee leaders of the group to collect money to buy foodstuffs, sugar, soap, and other home utilities that they carry to the victims’ homes to help settle the matter. With this, they then go ahead to advise the couple against domestic violence and its dangers.

However, due to COVID-19, there have been spiralled numbers of teenage pregnancies and domestic violence cases in the community. These have unfortunately slowed down  the response rate of individuals in addressing these matters. Ebony associates these escalated problems with the high poverty levels of people to the point where husbands now beat their wives over very small matters.

“Hunger is making people do what they are not supposed to do; people end up fighting when they are hungry and everything annoys them.”

Through her savings program, Ebony was able to open a mini supermarket as a source of income to sustain her family. In return, she was able to help other refugees with relief, especially in form of food for those that were in desperate need of help.

Regrettably, the supermarket has been closed down due to the failure of paying up the accumulated rent dues that were a result of the Covid-19 Lockdown.

‘It hasn’t been easy since,’ She said, as most members of the group don’t attend meetings anymore. ‘There’s nothing in it for them so they would rather go look for food elsewhere to feed their families.’

Among many things, Ebony is grateful for the training session on wellness as she is using the skills acquired to withstand stress and keep sane even in the hardest of times. She maintains strong courage with the hope that things will get better soon.

She continues to encourage girls and young women that are victims of gender-based violence to keep holding on and not give up while assisting them in any way she’s able to.

Ebony believes that with the necessary assistance, refugees can be able to put their skills and creativity to proper use. That is to say; when they are trained, they should be supported a step further with capital to get their businesses running. Otherwise, without support like that, most of them end up failing to even start.

Promoting Peace, Security and Justice: Experiences and Lessons from Civil Society Organisations in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan

This 53rd edition of Women’s World highlights the experiences, good practices, and lessons learned by the Just Future civil society partners in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and South Sudan advancing inclusive peace, people-centred security, and access to justice.

From Burundi, we share the peacebuilding experience of L’association des Femmes Rapatriés du Burundi (AFRABU) a women-led non-governmental organisation focused on strengthening access to justice for women, youth, and vulnerable groups. The DRC write-up presents the experiences, achievements, challenges, and lessons learned in the role played by civil society organizations (CSOs) such as Reseau pour la Réforme du Secteur de Sécurité et Justice (RRSSJ) in the implementation of security sector reform processes. The article also proposes recommendations likely to mitigate the obstacles that undermine the effectiveness of the envisaged reforms. The work of SOS- Information Juridique Multisectorielle (SOS-IJM) and Dynamique Des Femmes Juristes (DFJ) in the implementation of legal clinics in North and South Kivu in the DRC offers key lessons on legal aid services for alternative dispute resolution in a complex conflict-affect context dealing with multiple challenges within the judicial system.

The experience of Eve Organisation for Women Development in South Sudan offers good practices to consider when working with the security sector, to address sexual and gender-based violence and conflict-related sexual violence of the South Sudan Law Society illuminates the critical role of civil society in advocating for transitional justice and their involvement in the implementation.

Womens’ World 53_English

Interrogating Elections in Africa: Are there alternatives?

Elections are a key ingredient of democratic governance and women’s political participation is seen as a prerequisite for any truly democratic process. The discipline of acquiring power through an election is assumed to make governments accountable to citizens and confer legitimacy. However, in the absence of women’s full and equal participation as voters, political candidates, critical actors in the electoral processes and, elected office, governments cannot claim to be fully accountable to citizens. Women’s leadership and participation are expected to not only determine the dynamics and distribution of political power but to be active participants in all activities of political parties thereby shaping the nature of institutions that wield political and economic power.

Read More “Interrogating Elections in Africa: Are there alternatives?”

Women at the Forefront of Conflict Resolution

While powerful gains have been made in the field of Women, Peace and Security at a broader level with an increase in the number of women in politics and governance alongside the national policies and laws, it is still vital to focus on women leaders in religious, cultural and civil society spaces while acknowledging the peacebuilding realities women are navigating through.

Read More “Women at the Forefront of Conflict Resolution”

Maximising Youth Potential in Peacebuilding Processes

In Uganda, more than 78% of the population is below the age of 30. These represent an enormous untapped potential that can significantly contribute to the country’s political and social development if they are actively involved in influencing, shaping, designing and contributing to policy formulation and development processes. That being said, it is critical that youth inclusively participate in peacebuilding processes to ensure sustainable and inclusive peace.

Read More “Maximising Youth Potential in Peacebuilding Processes”

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