The year 2020 marks the 20th Anniversary of the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (WPS). It is also a critical opportunity for the African Continent to reflect on the progress made in implementation of the African Women’s Decade 2010-2020 declared by the African Union for advancing gender equality, acceleration of regional mechanisms, Beijing Platform of Action and AU Assembly Decisions on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GEWE). The AU Member States also undertook to achieve full ratification and enforcements of the Maputo Protocol by 2015 and domestication by 2020. Furthermore, the AU has declared the year 2020 as a year of Silencing the Guns.
The significant of this year is also displayed in the coincidence with the 2020 Peacebuilding Architecture Review mandated by the 2016 Sustaining Peace Resolutions, which underscored the importance of investing in conflict prevention. It also coincides with the 5-year review of the Agenda 2030, and the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action. Thus, it provides an opportunity to reflect on concrete strategies for more integrative, inclusive, and cross-sectoral implementation of the WPS resolutions. However, this global momentum will have minimum impact if there is no meaningful participation of local civil society, in particular local women, in the policy discussions before, during and after the 20th Anniversary of UNSCR 1325.
As part of the project “Amplifying voices, generating ownership: Consultations for the 2020 Peacebuilding Architecture Review with local women and other key national and local stakeholders”, supported by UN Women and the Government of Ireland, Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) supported HURISA to conduct assessment interventions in communities through organized focus group discussions and key informant interview techniques to reach multi-stakeholders working on Women, Peace and Security. The assessment provided the opportunity to stakeholders working in peacebuilding to raise voices from the ground with a view of analyzing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. These ranged from implementation of women, peace and security resolutions, leadership roles played by women in responding to the crisis. As this time of radical uncertainty propelled most in learning new responses such as providing humanitarian aid, food parcels, making face masks as well as hygiene products to women, children, elderly, people with disabilities and refugees. Women also volunteered as essential service providers assisting in ensuring communities comply with the COVID-19 protocols. However, since their altruistic efforts are often undocumented or unvalued in both public and private sphere. It is based on this backdrop that the assessment presents this opportunity of acknowledging their continuous work in attaining sustainable peace regardless of circumstances. Lessons and strategies initiated to prevent conflict and contribute towards building safe societies and planning for post COVID-19 pandemic recoveries are vital on the outcome of the 20th anniversary of UNSCR 1325, the Peacebuilding Architecture Review, and 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action. Read More