On 29 August, ACCORD interviewed Dr Brigalia Bam as part of a partnership with the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC). ACCORD and the IDRC have partnered together to engage with experienced women peacebuilders to capture their wisdom and lessons.
Dr Bam’s career and work as an advocate for justice and women’s rights are at the core of South Africa’s transition from apartheid to its democracy. Dr Bam has a plethora of experience and knowledge as a woman leader at the helm of several local and international ecumenical organisations. In 1997, Dr Bam became the commissioner of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in South Africa. Dr Bam’s leadership at the IEC entrenched the principle of regular ‘Free and Fair’ Elections in that has helped South African’s produced electoral outcomes that are accepted by all political parties and local and international observer missions, a cornerstone of the country’s democracy.
Dr Bam’s extensive work in building peace demonstrates the crucial role women take before, during and after conflicts. Nevertheless, as we stand on the eve of the twentieth anniversary of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, the meaningful inclusion of women continues to fall short of formal peace processes. In the few examples of where women have played meaningful roles, the opportunity to capture their lessons, experiences and practical case studies of their experiences have been left on the table.
The outputs ACCORD’s partnership with the IDRC will capture the engagement with Dr Bam and other experienced women in peacebuilders in several free-to-use publications that will invigorate the literature examining the value-add of women’s meaningful inclusion to sustainable development and durable peace and be practical tools for women involved in similar work across the continent.