The South African National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) 2020 – 2025 was launched in 2021, and three years since its adoption, representatives of government and civil society convened to reflect on its implementation and progress thus far. Organised by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), the meeting brought together the Task Team that included DIRCO; the Department of Women Youth and Persons with Disabilities (DWYPD); as well as the Department of Defence (DoD) of the NAPs; and members of the Steering Committee to discuss the first generation action plan.
This meeting was undertaken following the recommendations of the August 2022 Task Team meeting that called for regular meetings and updates amongst the implementing partners to track and coordinate progress. The meeting therefore reflected on South Africa’s role in the WPS Focal Points Network meeting wherein ACCORD was the only civil society organisation represented by government to participate in the meetings. Presentations were made on the baseline study that provided an initial overview of WPS in the country and the status of the implementation of the NAP on WPS. The Task Team and ACCORD also presented and discussed the activities and efforts undertaken in support of the implementation of the NAPs, particularly on the pillars of Prevention and Participation in the last 12 months.
The group work session enabled participants to reflect on each pillar of the NAP to determine the challenges, and they thereafter identified members that will engage internally and externally to address these challenges. A work plan was identified for the coming year. A further element of the discussions included the reporting commitments to both the SADC Secretariat as well as to the African Union’s Continental Results Framework on Women Peace and Security, as part of its deliverables as a member state.
Overall, the meeting helped to increase the understanding and awareness of the challenges and opportunities towards the operationalisation of the NAP, and shared best practices and recommendation for improving its implementation. The working session helped to establish an action plan that will guide the Task Team towards the implementation of the NAP.
ACCORD will continue to provide strategic support and expertise on the NAPs, and continues to support efforts in line with the pillars on Prevention and Participation to ensure the implementation of the NAP.