Consultation on Enhancing Women’s Participation in Peace Building

Final Communiqué

Held on 23-25 April 2001 in collaboration with ECA, OAU and the African Women Committee for Peace and Development (AWCPD), the consultation aimed to (a) review current initiatives in relation to women and peace building to identify strengths and weaknesses; (b) identify capacity building needs for women to enhance their contribution to the peace process. A total of 67 participants attended the consultation including (a) delegates from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda; (b) representatives of UN agencies such as UNIFEM, UNDP, DPA, DPKO, UNHCR; (c) non-governmental organisations including Femmes Africa Solidarité, the Mano River Women Peace Network, the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights, the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association; and (d) representatives of bilateral donors such as SIDA as well as the Centre for Conflict Management of the University of Cape Town (South Africa).

Participants agreed upon 5 main priorities including the need to (a) launch and support a women’s peace network in the Great Lakes region; (b) train women in political skills including communication, mediation and negotiation skills; (c) train trainers in conflict resolution and in assisting women in exercising their human rights; (d) build support for alliances with and between grassroots, national, regional and international women’s groups; (e) support training in stress and trauma healing and counselling; (f) train NGOs in early warning methods. The OAU immediately pledged full support for the replication of the Mano River Network in the Great Lakes region while the Conflict Management Centre (University of Cape Town) will provide technical and human resources for the first capacity building workshop in October July 2001. A final Communiqué capturing the recommendations and commitments was endorsed by all participants