The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Mediation Support Unit (MSU) and IGAD Gender Desk in collaboration with ACCORD conducted an assessment on the conflict prevention and resolution capacities of women in Somalia, South Sudan and the Sudan in the context of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325.
Utilizing its expertise and existing networks in the conflict-affected areas, ACCORD held consultations and focus group discussions in November 2017 jointly with IGAD to assess the capacity needs of women in the three countries with the aim of evaluating and documenting the current extent of women’s participation and engagement in peace processes in the region. The assessment teams consulted with representatives from community-based organizations, civil society organisations, academia, international organizations and governments in the three countries.
The assessment was conducted through focus groups and consultations in Juba, South Sudan and Khartoum, the Sudan as well as through email and phone interviews. As part of the assessment, the existing capacities of women on conflict prevention and resolution were documented. Relevant actors and programs currently enhancing women’s capabilities in mediation and negotiation were mapped and critical points of entry for subsequent tailored capacity-building initiatives were identified.
At the end of the consultations, IGAD and ACCORD held a validation workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 22-23 November 2017 to discuss the findings of the assessment and identify more opportunities to strengthen the outcome of the assessment on the capacities, role and impact of women’s participation in peace processes, in Somalia, South Sudan and the Sudan. The three countries were represented at the workshop by members of government, academia and civil society organizations (CSOs). The assessment teams presented the preliminary findings of each country’s assessment, after which the findings were discussed in plenary and break out groups, and further recommendations generated by attendees of the workshop. ACCORD’s facilitation of the workshop reflects the institution’s commitment to supporting gendered solutions to peace and security agenda in Africa.
This initiative is in line with the ACCORD’s strategic goal of enhancing women’s effective participation in the peace process in the context of UNSCR 1325 and affirms ACCORD’s commitment to meaningful participation of women as a necessity for sustainable peace.