Launch of the ECCAS Women Mediator’s Network

Image: Taken by Paidamwoyo Mudzimuirema, ACCORD

Initiating a network of women peacemakers for security and solidarity in the Central African Region

ACCORD in collaboration with the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) launched the ECCAS Women Mediator’s Network in accordance with efforts to contribute to peace and security in the region and to promote women’s participation in decision-making processes. This strategic thinking session and convening of the Steering Committee members took place from 14 to 16 November 2022 in Durban, South Africa. 

Since June 2022, ACCORD has provided substantive support in the conceptualisation of the ECCAS Women Mediator’s Network. By providing a structure for collaboration between women peacemakers at regional, national and local levels, this network aligns with the ECCAS Regional Action Plan for the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) to ensure the equitable involvement of women in peace and security interventions. 

The ECCAS Commissioner for Gender Promotion, Human and Social Development, H.E. Ms. Yvette Ngandu, presided over the sessions. H.E. Ambassador Sébastien Ntahuga and ACCORD’s Advisor on WPS, Ms. Pravina Makan-Lakha, contributed to discussions on an overview of the ECCAS peace and security architecture as well as the efforts undertaken by women in other countries within the region. In addition, the programme included a training component that aimed to provide knowledge resources that guide and situate this network within broader WPS efforts, and to empower women in peacebuilding processes. 

This strategic thinking session allowed the Steering Committee members to share experiences and best practices, to better understand the ECCAS structures that support the network, and to comprehend the national contexts of women within the various countries of the region. In addition, the platform provided the space for deliberations on the governance structure and roadmap for the network. Common expectations on the growing efforts of the network were discussed while touching on the subject of solidarity and member consultations with their respective countries. With ECCAS’s support, this network will continue to communicate over the shared goals and refine their roadmap, reconvening and planning for the next steps in the new year.

The inclusion of women is a key component for lasting peace and security, and this network enables ECCAS to localise this work while strengthening regional cooperation. ACCORD remains committed to supporting the development and operationalisation of the ECCAS Women Mediator’s Network.

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