Women, Peace & Security

In the News: Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Africa’s Premier Program for Women Public Leaders is Now Open for Applications

Source: allAfrica

The Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development (EJS Center) is opening applications for women leaders to join its flagship program, the Amujae Initiative. The program is aimed at preparing African women to reach the highest levels of public leadership.

Participants in the program—known as Amujae Leaders—receive world-class mentorship and training from former heads of state, leaders of international organizations, and renowned experts in various fields. It is the only course in the world that is specifically designed to support talented African women leaders through direct coaching from former female heads of state who have forged the path before them. The program also facilitates collaboration, providing the Amujae Leaders with an opportunity to strengthen and grow a multi-generational network of distinguished women leaders.

On International Women’s Day 2020, the EJS Center unveiled the Amujae Initiative with an inaugural cohort of 15 dynamic women with impressive and diverse backgrounds in public leadership and beyond. In this first year, the first cohort of Amujae Leaders has accelerated their leadership journeys, driven COVID-19 responses in their countries, and mobilized action to increase women’s participation in public leadership.

Read more here.

Shaping Peace Together

Source: UN Malawi

In Malawi, the International Peace Day is being commemorated under a localised theme: “Shaping Peace Together for Malawi”, coming at a time the Covid-19 pandemic has already proved to be a threat to peaceful coexistence. Cases of discrimination and unequal access to the right to health have been reported. Implementation of Covid-19 preventive measures has proved challenging as some sections of the society have openly defied them as limiting their human and economic rights.

For Malawi, nurturing dialogue and exchanging ideas come at the right time when the country has just come out of elections and there is a new team in the Government. It is time to nurture dialogue over a culture of confrontation and divisions along cultural, religious or ethnic lines.

Dialogue and exchanging of ideas avail an opportunity to deal with impunity that promotes violence against vulnerable groups such as women and persons with disabilities. They also avail the opportunity to realize that, as a society, we need to support the right to protest while seeking to prevent violence. It is encouraging to note that most protests in Malawi are non-violent.

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South Africa: Praise for Limpopo Learner Who Invented Anti-GBV Tool

Source: allAfrica

Limpopo Education MEC Polly Boshielo has commended a learner who has invented a device to help curb human trafficking and gender-based violence (GBV). Bohlale Mphahlele, a 16-year-old Grade 11 learner from SJ van der Merwe Technical High School in Lebowakgomo Circuit, Capricorn South District, invented the device, which is known as an “Alerting Ear Piece”. It is able to track victims of human trafficking and GBV.

The small device can be inserted in earrings and capture photos of perpetrators, enabling the police to quickly identify them. The device was recently showcased at the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists in the category for Engineering-electronics and embedded systems. Boshielo noted that the past few weeks have been difficult on the provincial education sector, as the province has been experiencing the tormenting pain of gender-based violence on learners.

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The gendered price of peace: women and the economic peace paradigm

Source: LSE WPS Blog

The contention that women should have access to opportunities to participate in the economic life of their communities is a just one. Yet field work experiences in Solomon Islands and Bougainville (discussed more fully here) have prompted me to question the hopeful ways in which the relationship between women’s economic participation and peaceful conflict transition is narrated in this area of conflict transition programming. While I do not dispute the idea that women are frequently marginalised from participation in the cash economy, and devote much of their slim earnings to meeting the needs of family and kin, I am concerned that the gendered logics that shape the terrain of economic exchange in these contexts are too easily downplayed.  Programmes that emphasise the peace dividends of women’s economic integration can fail to address a) the extent to which women’s wealth distribution towards families and dependents is coerced and b) the potential that economically active women are also vulnerable to heightened levels of gendered harm.

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Women’s Participation in Peace Efforts Vital to Sustain Peace in Afghanistan

Source: MENAFN

The Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) and the UN Women- United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, in Afghanistan launched a case study paper titled: Women’s Participation in the Afghan Peace Process, on the occasion of the International Day of Peace, celebrated worldwide on 21 September. 

Representatives from the government, United Nations, human rights and women’s rights movements and activists attended the virtual event.

‘Promoting women’s rights, protecting gains, and incorporating women’s voices is essential for achieving sustainable peace, inclusive development and a just society’, said Ms. Aleta Miller, UN Women Representative in Afghanistan. ‘As this year also marks 20 years since the adoption of Security Council resolution 1325, we have an opportunity now to use the momentum around this anniversary to amplify women’s voices and elevate their participation on peace in Afghanistan’, stated Ms. Miller.

Read more here.