Issue No: 28/2020

COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor – 28 October 2020

Special Edition on Women, Peace and Security

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ACCORD COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
References: AfricaCDC, ACLED and African Arguments

This week we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) on Women, Peace and Security (WPS). A momentous event that linked women, peace and security to international peace and security and set the normative WPS agenda. On the one hand, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our traditional celebrations;  on the other hand, it has posed new challenges for the agenda to grapple with. While it is too early to assess the real impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the WPS agenda, academics, policy makers and practitioners have been analysing trends to make sense of the intersection of WPS dimension, COVID-19 and emerging conflict pathways. The jury is still out on the impact of COVID-19 and the WPS agenda.  In this special edition of the monitor we bring some important current discussions to your attention. 

Our feature article is co-authored by two women who are amongst the distinguished African women leaders of the continent. Speciosa Wandira Kazibwe and Catherine Samba Panza. Speciosa Wandira Kazibwe is the former Vice President of Uganda from 1994 to 2003. She is the first woman in Africa to hold the position of vice-president. Catherine Samba Panza served as the interim President of the Central African Republic from 2014 to 2016. She was the first woman to hold the post of head of state in that country, as well as the eighth woman in Africa to hold such office. They are the inaugural co-chairs of the Network of African Women in Conflict Prevention and Mediation (FemWise-Africa).

In her contribution, Mukondeleli Mpeiwa, coordinator of FemWise-Africa, draws our attention to the role of women in mediation, a topic that has preoccupied the African women’s movement, and the normative agenda on WPS. Women in mediation is at the crux of what UNSCR 1325 has tried to address. COVID-19 has interrupted the women in mediation discourse and directed our attention to how women mediators have been impacted by COVID-19. 

Funmi Olonisakin and Awino Okech  two leading African Scholars and academics who have been interrogating research questions on the WPS agenda reflect on the three pillars of: feminist security studies, civil society activism, and policy decision-making – and how they have influenced the women, peace and security agenda.

Pravina Makan-Lakha rounds off the special edition with a turn towards the African women’s movement, especially on the contribution that civil society has made – both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic – to bring about, implement and safeguard the women’s peace and security agenda.

Special Guest Editor: Special edition on Women, Peace & Security
Managing Editor: COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
Chief Editor: COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor​
Speciosa Wandira Kazibwe
Catherine Samba Panza


COVID-19 and the Anniversary of UNSC Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security

  • Speciosa Wandira Kazibwe
  • Catherine Samba Panza

Women’s meaningful participation in peace processes is a cornerstone of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. As we commemorate the 20th anniversary of this landmark Resolution for WPS, we the Co-Chairs of the Network of African Women in Conflict Prevention and Mediation (FemWise-Africa) want to take the opportunity to highlight the work of Africa’s conflict prevention and mediation networks and their determination to ensure that the next twenty years for WPS will not be the same.

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Photo: UN Women/Susan Markisz
Photo: UN Women/Susan Markisz
Mukondeleli Mpeiwa
Cross-border / Inter-State tensions

Reinforcing The Role of Women in Mediation, amidst COVID-19

  • ‘Mukondeleli Mpeiwa

On 31 October 2000, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) passed the landmark resolution 1325. The resolution represents a victory for women as a global recognition of their legitimate right to protection and participation in peace processes at all levels, and an acknowledgement of the world’s responsibility to prevent and address gender based violence.

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Photo: Albert Gonzalez Farran/UNAMID
Photo: Albert Gonzalez Farran/UNAMID
Funmi Olonisakin
Awino Okech
Trust between Citizens & Institutions

Twenty Years of UNSC Resolution 1325 call for a Frank Forward Look

  • ‘Funmi Olonisakin
  • Awino Okech

Since the United Nations (UN) adopted UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) in 2000, there have been significant shifts in discourse and practice on gender, peace and security. Twenty years later, conscious of the original limitations that shaped UNSCR 1325 in the first place, we must account for these shifts whilst striving to do much more than simply sustain the agenda.

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ACCORD COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
Reference: Peace Women

This year we celebrate two defining milestones in the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, namely the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the 20th anniversary of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 of 2000. 2020 will also be remembered for the COVID-19 pandemic. How the pandemic will redefine the role of women in the peace and security context is still not clear. However, it seems COVID-19 has not been able to disrupt the fortitude and commitment of civil society in Africa. It was civil society that realised UNSCR 1325 in 2000, and it will be civil society that safeguards and implements UNSCR 1325 in 2020 and beyond, through their activism, advocacy, capacity building and conflict resolution practice.

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