On 16th May 2018, the Peace and Security Council of the African Union Commission adopted the Continental Results Framework (CRF) that aims to accelerate delivery on commitments made over years by Member States, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and other stakeholders on Women, Peace and Security Agenda. And 18yrs after the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 that anchored the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, and despite the existence of numerous instruments at the Global, Continental and National Levels, women’s role and leadership in peace and security processes on the African continent remains marginal.
Efforts to ensure that the voices of women are heard and taken into consideration in conflict prevention and peacebuilding includes the establishment of Regional Women, Peace and Security Forums in various parts of Africa. Recent efforts to strengthen the leadership of women in Africa include the creation of a Network of African Women Mediators (FemWise) and the establishment of an African Women Leaders Network (AWLN), as vehicles for women leaders in various areas to contribute to the transformation of Africa, in line with Africa Agenda 2063.
Building on these initiatives, the Office of the Special Envoy of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) convened a consultative meeting of Regional Women Peace Forums in Africa, Regional Economic Communities(RECs), Centres of Excellence on Women, Peace and Security and other Networks, in partnership with the Women’s International Peace Centre with the aim to establish an informal platform that provides space to share experiences and explore ways to speak with a united voice, advocating for women leadership in peace processes and delivery on commitments across the continent, using the Continental Results Framework and other adopted regional instruments. The meeting also provided women of Africa with an opportunity to join hands and examine profoundly their role in silencing the guns, as a path to bring lasting peace to the continent. The year 2020 marks also the 20th anniversary of UNSCR1325 that constitutes the bedrock of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. The Forum provided an opportunity to review the implementation of UNSCR1325 in the region and identify priority areas towards 1325 at 20 years.