Women and Peacebuilding in Africa
The seminar thus set out to focus on reviewing the progress and impact of the resolution from an African perspective. The meeting addressed the complex task of articulating women’s issues in the challenging context of peace and security on the continent. Africa still experiences recurring violent conflicts in communities where wars are sometimes viewed as gendered activities and issues of peace and security are often considered as male preserves. Engendering these structures is challenging and will require a shift in the understanding of women and men of gender roles in the area of peace and conflict. At the policy level, the political will to promote women’ s issues by African governments is often limited. Concerns remain that while African governments tend to lend support to resolutions, conventions and other mechanisms at the international level, their commitment to implementation at regional and national levels is often weak. Five key objectives were therefore identified for the meeting: • First, to provide a platform for key stakeholders in peacekeeping and peace building to examine critically the relevance of UN Resolution 1325 to peace and security debates on the continent; • Second, to assess the extent of women’s participation and involvement in institutions and mechanisms for conflict prevention in Africa; • Third, to examine the relevance of Resolution 1325 to efforts at gender mainstreaming in regional institutions such as the African Union and the Southern African Development Community; • Fourth, to consider how best to bridge the gap between international policy on peace and security and the practical realities faced by women in national and regional conflict situations; and • Fifth, to develop continental advocacy strategies for the inclusion of women in all issues affecting the peace and security of women in Africa not covered in Resolution 1325.