ACCORD/TfP supports the launch of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development women and peace forum board
11 Dec 2015
Women, men, girls and boys experience various forms of harm and respond differently in situations of armed conflict. ACCORD provides a platform for learning how to respond to these different needs, interests and approaches to ensure that peace processes are inclusive and sustainable. To this end, on 24-25 October 2015, ACCORD/TfP attended the orientation workshop and launch of the Board of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Women and Peace Forum (IWPF), in Djibouti, Republic of Djibouti. The objective of the launch of the IWPF Board was to further strengthen women's stewardship of the gender agenda in the context of peacebuilding and conflict resolution in the East and the Horn of Africa as well as to appraise relevant stakeholders on the gender, peace and security challenges in the IGAD Region. The launch provided IGAD with a platform for raising awareness on the establishment of the IWPF and building strategic partnerships with key stakeholders for its functionality and effectiveness. The launch was preceded by an orientation workshop for the members of the Board on 24 October 2015. During the workshop, the member state representatives elected office bearers to oversee the execution of the activities of the Forum. The board members elected the Republic of Djibouti as the Chair of the Board, Kenya as the Vice and Ethiopia as the Secretary. The workshop also oriented the members of the IWPF Board on their roles and provided a platform for them to build consensus on priority areas of action. The launch of the IWPF Board therefore galvanized efforts aimed at enhancing the participation of women in conflict prevention, resolution, peacekeeping, peacemaking and peace building in the East and the Horn of Africa region in order to contribute significantly to the realization of the goals of key global, continental, regional and national policy/legal instruments on gender, peace and security. The forum was also tasked with supporting and engendering peace processes such as the South Sudan Peace process and the recently signed (August 2015) Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan. The Forum acknowledges the role of women in decision making with regards to peace and security in the region. It supports the involvement of women and girls in mediation, peacemaking, peacebuilding and conflict resolutions for sustainable peace in the region. The launch was officially presided over by H.E. Mr Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Djibouti and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma. Dr Dlamini Zuma highlighted the fact that women are central to conflict prevention on the continent and therefore they need to be engaged if they are to become real agents for change. "Across the world, the evidence is overwhelming about the impact that the empowerment of women and girls can and will have on the development and stability of their societies. Thus the responsibility for the emancipation of women is not only the task of women, but of democratic-minded men and women alike" said Dr Dlamini Zuma during the Launch. The Forum was attended by high level delegates from the IGAD Member States, including directors from the departments in charge of women or gender issues, female members of parliament, and civil society organisations working on women, peace and security in the region. The Djibouti Minister for the Promotion of Women and Family Planning H.E Ms Hasna Barkat Daoud highlighted the importance of women in the peacemaking processes, social and economic development as well as regional integration noting their role in preventing war through their influence as wives, mothers and daughters. ACCORD, having signed a Memorandum of Understanding with IGAD on strengthening the peace and security agenda in the region, supports the empowerment of women in peacekeeping, peacebuilding and peacemaking in the region. The IGAD Women and Peace Forum joins two other Forums that were created in the Great Lakes region and more recently in the Sahel Region.