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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Joint letter to Emirati women leaders participating in COP28, requesting their public support for Sudanese women bearing the brunt of war, climate change and gender-based violence, ahead of and during the upcoming climate conference.

November 23, 2023

In recognition of your stature as women leaders and climate defenders* seeking to inspire generations to come, we are writing this letter to you to request your solidarity with the women of conflict-ridden Sudan who are bearing the heaviest brunt of the war, including kidnapping, enforced disappearance and subjugation to sexual violence and rape.

Publicly expressing your support for the women and girls in Sudan would send a strong message that this unfathomable violence is not justifiable, nor should be tolerated.

Read More “Joint letter to Emirati women leaders participating in COP28, requesting their public support for Sudanese women bearing the brunt of war, climate change and gender-based violence, ahead of and during the upcoming climate conference.”

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 Protocol@20 Anniversary Event

Call for Expression of Interest to Review the Training Manual on Conflict Prevention, Transformation and Peace Building.

1.0       Background

Women’s International Peace Centre (The Peace Centre) is a feminist organization dedicated to igniting women’s leadership, amplifying their voices, and deepening their activism to (re) create peace. We champion the “Women, Peace and Security” agenda anchored on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR1325), Sustainable Development Goals 5 & 16 and related frameworks.

In 2020, the Peace Centre developed a Training Manual themed “Championing a Culture of Peace.” This manual emerged from the urgent need to structurally prevent conflicts, endorse harmonious democratic interactions, and advance women-driven peace-building measures. This manual was tailored to offer tools and knowledge for early warning, conflict transformation, and fostering a culture of peaceful elections in Uganda.

2.0       The Call for Expression of Interest

 Presently, the Peace Centre is implementing a project, ‘’Nurturing a culture of peace and tolerance in Uganda’’ which is active across multiple districts. The project’s core objective is to amplify women’s involvement, foster social unity, and diminish community conflicts. Additionally, it emphasizes preventing and mitigating both natural and human-induced disasters.

The Peace Centre seeks applications from competent and qualified individuals to refine our training manual.

2.1       Objectives of the assignment

  • Integrate contemporary themes relevant to the current socio-political landscape.
  • Ensure alignment of the manual’s content with the evolving context of peacebuilding.
  • Introduce essential elements that are pivotal to effective peace-building initiatives.

2.2       Scope

The selected individual will:

  • Conduct a comprehensive review of the existing project documents to fully understand the context and demands of the assignment.
  • Critically analyze the current training manual, highlighting areas of improvement and omission.
  • Develop a refined training manual that encapsulates the stipulated objectives, ensuring it is updated, contextual, and actionable for the targeted audience.

The training curriculum will encompass various themes, including:

  1. Gender and its Role in Peace Building.
  2. Comprehensive Peace Building and Conflict Transformation, encompassing mediation, negotiation, conflict monitoring, analysis, reporting, referral pathways, conflict early warning and early response, and safeguarding women human rights defenders.
  3. The intricacies of Transitional Justice Processes.
  4. The “Women Situation Room Mechanism” for proactive intervention and management of election-related violence.
  5. Strategies for Climate Change Resilience, Disaster Prevention, and Reduction.
  6. Empowerment and Gender Sensitivity in Peace Committees.
  7. Prioritizing Wellness and Self-care in the Peace Process.

2.3       Approach and Methodology

The consultant is expected to employ a participatory approach by:

  • Engaging with key stakeholders from the Peace Centre.
  • Conducting focus group discussions or workshops to gather feedback on the manual.
  • Bench-marking against best practices in the field of Conflict Prevention, Transformation, and Peace Building.

3.0       Key Deliverables

  • A comprehensive review report of the current manual detailing strengths, gaps, and recommendations.
  • A refined training manual on Conflict Prevention, Transformation, and Peace Building, incorporating feedback and integrating contemporary themes.
  • A short presentation or workshop session sharing insights and the revised aspects of the manual with The Peace Centre.

4.0       Required Qualifications, Skills and Competencies

  1. A Master’s degree in the fields of law, social sciences, gender and development, mass communication, environment, conflict studies, education, or other relevant disciplines.
  2. Demonstrated experience in peace-building initiatives, particularly in curriculum or manual development.
  3. Exceptional written and oral communication skills.
  4. Adept at critical, innovative, and analytical thinking.
  5. Strong passion for continuous learning and professional development.
  6. Proven time management skills with the ability to meet tight deadlines.

5.0      Guiding Principles and Values

Bidders should elucidate the ethical standards they intend to adhere to. They should demonstrate their commitment to producing work of high quality, relevance, and accuracy. Moreover, bidders should be ready to propose additional performance metrics, ensuring the deliverables not only meet but exceed the Peace Centre’s expectations.

6.0      Time Schedule

The duration of the assignment is (20) working days including all the preparation, reviewing of the manual, developing of the revised manual and submission of the final manual. The assignment is estimated to be undertaken between 30th October 2023 and 24th November 2023.

4.0       Application and Selection Process

The Consultant to carry out the assignment will be selected according to the “Open Tendering” method, following the procedures, templates and instructions of The Peace Centre’s “Standard Request for Proposals for Consultancy Services”.

Applicants will be required to submit a Technical and Financial proposal. Proposals will be evaluated using the principle of Quality and Cost Based Selection, with a weight of 80% given to the Technical Proposal and a weight of 20% given to the Financial Proposal.

Applications should be sent in a PDF document. If it is not possible to save the entry as a PDF document, it may be sent as a Microsoft Word document, with the file name to include the name or initials of the bidder, plus ‘EOI to Review Peace building Manual’.

The subject for submission of soft copy via the email to procurement@wipc.org is Review of the Training Manual on Conflict Prevention, Transformation and Peace Building’’.

Applications can also be physically delivered to Women’s International Peace Centre, Plot 1467 Church Road, Bulindo, Kira, Wakiso.  The closing date for receiving both the Technical and Financial proposals is on 3rd November 2023 at 17:00 – East African Time (EAT). Only shortlisted candidates shall be contacted.

 

International Peace Day – Actions for Women’s Peace: Prioritising Good Governance, Inclusivity and Non-violence

Women’s International Peace Centre joins the rest of the world in commemorating International Peace Day under this year’s theme, “Actions for Peace: Our Ambition for the #GlobalGoals.” The theme is a call to action that underscores our individual and collective roles in fostering a world where the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are not just aspirations but realities—a world where the achievement of these goals paves the way for a culture of peace for all. We recognise that SDG16+[1] on peaceful, just and inclusive societies directly addresses the challenge of fragility and is a vital accelerator of Agenda 2030. However, progress on SDG16+ is poorer[2] than on almost any other SDG. Present global trends are discouraging as violence targeting civilians is becoming increasingly more common and deadly[3].

The Russia-Ukraine war has overshadowed all other conflicts, both in the sheer scale of violence and its deadliness, thus concealing a significant overall deterioration of the security situation in most other regions worldwide. The war, coupled with Russian military influence in Africa including the use of private military contractors like the Wagner Group in Mozambique and the Sahelian States of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger, has exacerbated conflicts in these regions, leading to increased instability on the continent. The proliferation of military bases, weapons and ammunitions as witnessed in Sudan has transformed[4] violent acts into more complex war-like scenarios.

In such conflicts,  women often bear the brunt of violence and insecurity. For instance, as the war in Sudan rages on, gender-based violence (including conflict-related sexual violence) is a major concern, with an estimated 2.7 million women and girls at risk[5] due to the disruption of services and lawlessness as a result of the conflict. In Ethiopia’s Tigray region, 2,204[6] women and girls reported sexual violence to health facilities between November 2020 and June 2021. One of the one-stop centres reported that the victims in over 90% of cases were underage girls and estimated that visits to the centre had quadrupled since the conflict erupted in 2020.

Women in Africa continue to be relegated to the margins and their participation in peace negotiations is starkly hindered by the militarisation of peace processes. During the Luanda and Nairobi peace consultations on the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), women were significantly absent. Likewise, in the Chad peace talks in Doha in 2022, there was only one woman among the over 50 participants[7] present. In the current Sudan crisis, women have been significantly excluded from the formal ceasefire negotiations despite glaring evidence that they are effective in driving political transition and advocating for sustainable peace and stability.

The sobering reality in the DRC and South Sudan as the two countries prepare for elections serves as a stark testament to the persistent and deeply troubling trend of women’s ongoing exclusion from vital political processes. There are reports of rising violence against women, political leaders and activists in the DRC. Women also face barriers to vote, such as the lack of voter documentation required for registration and the general lack of information on electoral procedures, especially in the more isolated rural areas in North Kivu, Ituri and Mai-Ndombe which are currently under the control of armed groups.  Women voters in rural and remote areas in South Sudan still lack access to credible information about the electoral process. Refugees and internally displaced women face challenges of restricted mobility and the lack of necessary identification documents to register and participate in the election process.

As the world celebrates this day of non-violence and cessation of hostilities, we re-echo the ideals envisioned by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.  We emphasize that Actions for Women’s Peace include: advocating for women’s safe, meaningful and effective participation in peace processes as a fundamental component of sustainable peace; supporting efforts that prioritize non-violent conflict resolution and mediation, with a gender-sensitive approach that acknowledges the distinct experiences and needs of women in conflict zones; and standing against all forms of gender-based violence, including conflict-related sexual violence, which often escalates during conflicts, we therefore:

  1. Call for a shift towards promoting credible elections and good governance in Africa, including comprehensive electoral reforms, encompassing transparent voter registration and robust mechanisms to prevent electoral fraud which will strengthen the integrity of elections to increase public trust in democratic process. Strong institutions, the rule of law, and respect for human rights should also be promoted as fundamental components of good governance.
  2. Urge the prioritisation of inclusive and non-violent approaches to peacebuilding, with a central focus on dialogue as a means to achieve stable and sustainable ceasefires. These approaches should also aim to prevent the escalation of conflict and ensure the protection of civilians.
  3. Encourage governments to reduce military expenditures and redirect resources away from excessive military spending towards social services. This reallocation of resources should address the immediate needs of communities, rectify governance deficits, improve quality of life, and contribute to global stability.

[1] “SDG16+” refers here to the targets established under SDG16 as well as 36 targets from 7 other goals that directly measure an aspect of peace, justice or inclusion

[2] https://www.odi.org/sites/odi.org.uk/files/resource-documents/12424.pdf

[3] Global Disorder in 2022

[4]https://onpolicy.org/the-ukraine-russia-war-on-peace-and-security-challenges-in-africa/#:~:text=The%20Russia%2DUkraine%20war%20has,between%20Africa%20and%20the%20West.

[5] Sudan. 2022 HNO: IM Global GBV Country | Gender-Based Violence Area of Responsibility (gbvaor.net)

[6] Assessing the State of SRHR in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Countries in Africa

[7] 2022  Women and peace and security Report of the Secretary-General

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