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Tools and Strategies used to Advocate for Gender Equality in

By Louis Gonzales,2014-12-13 09:10
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Tools and Strategies used to Advocate for Gender Equality in

     International Secretariat 8 Rue du Vieux-Billard P.O. Box 5037 1211 Geneva 11 Switzerland Tel: (41 22) 328 80 50 Fax : (41 22) 328 80 52 Email: info@fasngo.org Website: www.fasngo.org

    Tools and Strategies used to Advocate for Gender Equality in Complex Emergencies

     ‘Women, who know the price of conflict so well, are also often better equipped than men to

    prevent or resolve it’.

    October 2000, Kofi Anan, the former Secretary General of the UN, in a statement to the Security Council.

Introduction

    Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) is a women's non-governmental organisation (NGO) working to engender the peace process in Africa. Since its inception in 1996, FAS has worked to foster, strengthen and promote the leading role of women in the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts on the African continent.

    FAS has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and observer status with the African Commission for Human and People's Rights (ACHPR). It is also represented in the African Union Women’s Committee and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), to bring women's voices into the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts in Africa. In addition, FAS chairs the Geneva Working Group on Women, Peace and Security which works to monitor the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325.

    Networks

    The development of strong networking relations with women's civil society organizations is crucial for FAS. Solidarity missions, conferences and other events in support of women's issues are an important means of consolidating and expanding these networks and partnerships. Networking with organizations and institutions which share FAS' goals in furthering the African women's peace movement ensures the most efficient use of resources; avoidance of duplication and overlap; and allows for every opportunity for action to be seized to advocate for women.

    Partnerships with institutions and their programmes involved in peacebuilding, reconstruction and development are also important for FAS to strengthen its agenda for the benefit of women. Strategic partnerships have been fostered with stakeholders, including policy makers, implementers within governments and UN agencies including the Regional Gender Programme of UNDP.

FAS’ Work

    Régional Office International Secretariat Office in New York Immeuble Rose, 8, Rue du Vieux-Billard, Church Center, Stèle Mermoz appt. 31C P.O. Box 5037, 777 United Nations Plaza,5th Floor BP 45077 Fann CH-1211 New York 10017-3521 Dakar, Senegal Geneva, Switzerland New York, USA Tel: (+221) 860 20 48 Tel: (+41) 22 328 80 50 Tel: (+1212)687-1369 Fax: (+221) 860 20 47 Fax: (+41) 22 328 80 52 Fax: (+1212)661-4188 Email: infodk@fasngo.org Email: info@fasngo.org Email : infony@fasngo.org

    FAS has learned from its extensive experience in Africa that women’s potential contribution to durable peace has yet to be fully recognised. The proportion of women involved in negotiations for the prevention or resolution of conflict is extremely low, even though women play a significant role in the reconstruction and transformation of war-torn areas.

FAS works to support women and women’s groups throughout the whole peace process, ensuring that

    they are involved at every level so that their needs and priorities are taken into consideration. Its work focuses for the most part in the Mano River region (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone) and the Great Lakes region (Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda) where it supports grassroots groups and frontline activities.

    FAS’ strategies to promote and support women in complex emergency situations are divided into various stages:

    1. Solidarity missions

    2. Building an agenda

    3. Creation of a platform

    4. Women in peace negotiations

    5. Transitional period

However, this presentation will only focus on solidarity missions and women in peace negotiations.

    These two strategies have been successfully used in the Mano River region, the DRC and Burundi.

    1. Solidarity missions

    FAS recognizes that war is easier to create than it is to end and that achieving sustainable peace takes time and is a far more complex process. Innovative methods must therefore be found to achieve sustainable peace. In the past, FAS has organized solidarity missions in Burundi, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ethiopia and Eritrea with high-level delegations. The aim of Solidarity Missions is to:

    - Support women’s groups by assessing the needs and priorities of women in these areas;

    - Encourage, and give greater visibility to, the efforts of women working to alleviate the suffering

    in their communities;

    - Sensitize the country’s decision-makers to the need to involve women in the decision-making

    process;

    - Share experiences and best practices of African women’s initiatives in conflict management and

    resolution.

Case studies

Great Lakes

    FAS first organised a mission of solidarity in December 1997 in Burundi which was sponsored by the

    Organisation of African Unity (OAU). This first mission allowed FAS to become familiar with the

    political context of the country and to evaluate the real needs of Burundi woman. The delegation was

    Régional Office International Secretariat Office in New York Immeuble Rose, 8, Rue du Vieux-Billard, Church Center, Stèle Mermoz appt. 31C P.O. Box 5037, 777 United Nations Plaza,5th Floor BP 45077 Fann CH-1211 New York 10017-3521 Dakar, Senegal Geneva, Switzerland New York, USA Tel: (+221) 860 20 48 Tel: (+41) 22 328 80 50 Tel: (+1212)687-1369 Fax: (+221) 860 20 47 Fax: (+41) 22 328 80 52 Fax: (+1212)661-4188 Email: infodk@fasngo.org Email: info@fasngo.org Email : infony@fasngo.org