The Cape Town, South Africa-based Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR) will host a three-day regional gender and peace-building workshop for female and male decision-makers within key institutions responsible for security and peace-building.
The workshop, which is scheduled to be held July 6-8 in Accra, Ghana, will bring together decision-makers from the institutions that participated in CCR’s gender and peacebuilding workshops in Ghana in November 2013 and Liberia in May 2014.
These institutions from Ghana and Liberia will include ministries of defence; national human rights institutions; non-governmental organisations working on peace and security issues; regional economic communities; the UN; and media houses.
This workshop is part of a continent-wide project that the Centre is undertaking, aimed at bringing about the equal participation of women in institutions and organisations responsible for building peace, security, and gender equality on the African continent, in line with the participation pillar of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 of 2000 on women, peace, and security.
The CCR said the Accra regional workshop will seek to consolidate the work undertaken in the country-level workshops, and to further concretise commitments made towards gender equality in all participating institutions.
It will provide a platform for sharing best practices across institutions, countries, and the sub-region; provide technical support to institutions facing challenges in implementing equality; and promote the creation of enabling environments toward full gender equality within participating institutions.
The Accra workshop will be the final in a series of three workshops undertaken in the West Africa sub-region, with the long-term objective to ensure that more women are meaningfully involved in peace processes, conflict resolution, and peace-building activities across Africa.
According to the CCR, the five objectives of the Accra workshop will be: to consolidate participants’ skills in gender analysis and gender-sensitive peacebuilding as developed during the first set of workshops in the sub-region; to review, consolidate, and concretise work and action plans for gender equality made by participants during the first set of workshops in the sub-region; to secure commitments for a partnership between women and men to work for gender equality in participating institutions; to ensure that decision-makers commit to achieving full gender equality within their institutions; and to share best practices in promoting gender sensitivity, equality, and the meaningful participation of women in building peace in their institutions and local communities.
In a brief context analysis, the CCR said while significant strides have been made in the attainment of women’s socio-economic and political human rights in Africa, women’s human rights, as well as women’s security, are still under threat on the continent.
“Women from West Africa continue to be excluded from decision-making processes across the political, economic, social, governance, and peace-building spheres,” CCR said, noting that “deeply entrenched patriarchal beliefs and cultural practices in the region present serious challenges to women’s full participation in these areas.”
In the Monrovia Seminar held from May 21 to 23 in 2014, participants were drawn from human rights organizations, ECOWAS, Ministry of Defence, women’s groups, the media, including the Liberia Broadcasting System and the Daily Observer newspaper.