The work of The Peace Centre is founded on the progressive principles of feminism acknowledging that the feminist movement has been in existence for long.
The Peace Centre subscribes and its work is guided by the Charter of Feminist Principles for African Feminists which ring true to the work of amplifying women voices, and the belief that anyone labelled as a second-class citizen must be protected without labelling.
On the 26th to 27th September, Women’s International Peace Centre, in partnership with Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) and Eve Organization for Women Development convened a two days Think Tank under the theme; “Reclaiming our Space; Women influencing Multiparty Democracy” for Women in Political leadership to reflect on strategies of enhancing the influence and strategic participation of women in multi-party political dispensation and national development. The Think Tank brought together 15 women politicians from 5 political parties, Ministry of Gender, and CSOs.
In August 2015, following almost 2years of on-and-off peace negotiations mediated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), parties to the conflict and other stakeholders signed the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The agreement provided for the formation of a Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) and for national elections after two and a half years. It also envisaged broad security sector reform, transitional justice, and a constitutional development process. In December 2017, the High Level Revitalisation Forum commenced resulting in the signing of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (COHA) in December 2017, the Declaration of Principles in February 2018, the Khartoum Declaration Agreement (KDA) in June 2018 and the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) on the 12 September in Khartoum, Sudan. In all these processes, women played key roles as mobilisers, advocates, mediators and negotiators. Organized under the auspices of the South Sudan Women’s Coalition, women pushed for inclusivity and secured space for the technical team to access the negotiation venues in Addis Ababa and Khartoum. They also influenced the peace agreement to Include a provision to have at least 35% affirmative action /women representation in all committees and for the implementation of the agreement and at all levels of decision making.
Our Key objective was to strengthen debate on women’s participation and influence in post conflict governance and decision making in South Sudan and specifically providing a space for critical dialogue and analysis on women’s engagement and influence in politics and national development for meaningful gender equality and equity and also develop a strategic agenda to strengthen capacity of women in decision making.
Protecting women’s space in politics is especially important in the conflict resolution area. Despite women’s longstanding role in informal dispute resolution, their near absence from peace talks and similar international security processes & mechanisms requires particular attention.
As one of the leading actors on Women, Peace and Security, Women’s International Peace Centre prioritises strengthening and re-igniting women’s leadership potential to build peace because women and girls bear the burden of armed conflict and war. The periods of transition from conflict to peace offer opportunities for women to participate in the rebuilding and reshaping of societies. However, to enable women maintain the momentum required in the different spaces of engagement, they require specialized skills and a support network. The 2019 5-day WIPC Leadership Institute focused on 20 vibrant women leaders from South Sudan, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) including refugee women leaders living in Uganda. These countries assented to the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and have developed National Action Plans for its implementation. Read More “Feminist Leadership Institute on Women Peace and Security; Africa Cohort.”
This year’s Feminist
Leadership Institute under the theme “Socio-cultural
transformation through the transformative leadership” kicked off with 15 Deputy
Chair of the all 13 districts of province 3 and Women Human Rights Defenders in
Nepal. This was an opportunity to embed a feminist approach to
bring social and cultural transformation, clarify transformatory leadership, enhance the knowledge of bodily
integrity, value women work, and identity, develop an understanding on causes
and consequences of violence against women from women’s perspective and build agency for Socio cultural transformation.
Our partner, National
Alliance of the Women Human Rights Defenders (NAWHRD) recently organized the
Feminist Forum in the all 7 provinces of Nepal with the theme “Women’s
bodily integrity, labor and identity is a pre requisite of Federal Republic
democratic Nepal”. This forum has acted as a common ground where the local level women representatives, women human right defenders, social activists,
politicians, journalists and other stakeholders come together to discuss plan
and strategize to create enabling environment to ensure women’s rights for the
five years tenure at local bodies.
The forum enabled women leaders to understand
their role to create enabling environment for every single woman in the country
to enjoy their right to bodily integrity, work and identity curbed by the
century long patriarchal socialization process.
In all these forums, the major difficulty shared by women elected was
not receiving proper cooperation from Mayors on their work. It was realized
that a lot of women elected are not clear on their role and are having
difficulty to assert their rights that are ensured by the constitution. In this
regard, NAWHRD, in partnership with Isis-WICCE is working together to provide
support to strengthen leadership position of these women elected.