Voters wait outside a polling station in a suburb of Maputo (UN Photo/Pernaca Sudhakaran)
Widening the space, and enhancing the capacities and engagement of women in peace processes in Mozambique.
ACCORD in partnership with the Foundation for Community Development (FDC), and the Institute for Multiparty Democracy (IMD) are implementing a programme that seeks to strengthen the participation of women in peace and reconciliation processes for social cohesion in Mozambique. As part of the programme, the partners organised a consultation in the southern region from 6-7 March 2018 in Inhambane, Mozambique. This forms part of a series of regional consultations that have taken place in the country.
As part of the programme’s inception, the partners conducted a baseline study involving women from all regions, covering a number of selected provinces. The study sought to capture the level and experiences of women’s participation in finding solutions to problems that occur at the community level, as well as to assess the potential for their participation in building peace and national reconciliation in Mozambique. The regional consultation thus provides a platform for sharing and discussing the findings of the baseline study.
The southern region consultations brought together women from the provinces of Maputo, Gaza and Inhambane. The interactive two-day consultation was a platform for the participants to engage and share their experiences on the conflict situations they encounter as well as the ways in which they can mitigate conflict drawing from the lessons shared at the consultation. Thus by means of group work, the participants identified key ways in which to spread the message and promote peace within their communities. For example, encourage peace campaigns at the markets, as well as use sport as a mechanism to promote peace. Participants were also given the opportunity to identify the spaces available in which they can have an influence in contributing to peace. Therefore, schools, markets, hospitals, and churches were identified as significant spaces to engage on peace initiatives and education. Participants also validated the findings of the baseline study that was undertaken, indicating that it was a true reflection of the issues they encounter in their daily lives.
Going forward, other similar consultations will be organised in other regions which will culminate into recommendations for stronger engagement of women in peace efforts across the country and further lead to identifying mechanisms that aim to strengthen women’s active engagement and influence in peace processes in Mozambique.
ACCORD will continue to work with stakeholders in Mozambique in seeking to strengthen local capacities, and especially for women to ensure that peace processes are inclusive and locally owned.