SALO’s work respects the various international, regional and national Protocols, Frameworks and Legislation that promote the mainstreaming of gender, children and people with disabilities. SALO further promotes the empowerment of women and respects the promotion of rights for Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Inter-sexed and Trans-people.
SALO mainstreams gender-sensitivity in all its initiatives (following the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, and SA, SADC and AU policy positions on gender equality) but given the centrality of gender-relations and gender-related effects of conflicts, this initiative places a particular focus on women. Gender-related concerns addressed through SALO’s processes include:
- The marginalisation of women in most formal conflict resolution processes in Africa, including their under-representation in the diplomatic sector;
- Gender-based violence as a tool used by armed and political groups within conflicts;
- Masculinity as a normative framework in both conflict and conflict resolution processes, as opposed to more inclusive dialogue approaches;
- The double marginalisation that comes with Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Trans-people Intersex identity.
- The double marginalisation that comes with women with disabilities
SALO uses the following strategies:
- Ensure critical mass of women in our activities;
- Include women in decision-making fora and on our public platforms;
- Highlight issues of gender roles, relations and gender balance in our work; and
- Conscientise around patriarchy in its normative and cultural forms.
- SALO’s work takes into account the impact of conflict and violence on women, as well as women’s contribution to conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction.
- Endeavour to bring women into African peace processes
SALO is committed to increasing the impact of women’s positions and perspectives in political transitions in Africa and thereby increasing the depth of national reconciliation and stability. SALO achieves this through the facilitation of neutral and inclusive spaces for dialogue and the building of consensus on modalities of women’s inclusion and issues of concern to women in the respective country’s transition process. These dialogues take place in informal and formal forums, allowing for the gradual development of positions, networks and mutual knowledge as a basis for sustained debate and reconciliation.
In SALO’s various dialogue forums, we aim for equal representation of both women and men among our participants and, where possible, panellists. One of the aspects of SALO’s dialogue approach is to enable increased access to and exchange between civil society groups and government decision-makers in political transitions and peace processes. SALO ensures that women’s groups and perspectives from civil society are included and brought to the fore in such exchanges.