The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and ACCORD convened a virtual meeting on 01 June 2022 in pursuit of establishing the ECCAS Regional Women Meditator’s Network.
The ECCAS Regional Women Meditator’s Network will be established in line with the objectives of the African Union’s FemWise-Africa, particularly the principle of decentralisation, recognising the differential impact of conflict on women and men, and the need to increase the meaningful participation of women in peace and security structures and processes. While FemWise-Africa has defined the environment for a continental network of women mediators, the ECCAS Regional Women Meditator’s Network seeks to affirm the role of women peacemakers at regional, national and local levels. In so doing, the network will provide the umbrella structure and will share processes to enhance women’s effective inclusion and participation in peace and security interventions.
Presided by the ECCAS Commissioner for Gender, Human and Social Development, Ms. Yvette Ngandu, this meeting allowed for exchange on the architecture of the governance structure of the ECCAS Women Mediator’s Network and provided the platform for the development of a roadmap for the start-up phase. The participants of this meeting included focal points of the ministries of gender and women’s promotion, academics, and the African Union Commission. In terms of the next steps, the participants deliberated and provided recommendations on approaches that need to be undertaken by ECCAS in terms of a steering committee. Participants presented other practicalities of the network, as well as provided feedback on the documentation that was presented to the network. Further recommendations were made on the key documents to be used.
The establishment of this network will strengthen the efforts of ECCAS to build the capacities of critical stakeholders in peace efforts, and particularly to be led by women. ACCORD will continue to provide support to ECCAS in the consultation process towards the establishment of an ECCAS Regional Women Mediator’s Network.