Women’s Network conduct training on the different mechanisms CSO’s can use to promote gender equality, peace and security. – Report by Lihle Mabuza

Victoria Maloka (trainer), Senior Associate, Centre for Mediation in Africa (CMA),Department of Political Sciences, University of Pretoria

On the 19th and 20th of November 2014, the Women’s Network Working Group conducted training on the different mechanisms CSO’s can use to promote gender equality, peace and security. This Working Group was formed as a consortium to work on a project on, peace and security for women in armed conflict; in the DRC, Sudan and South Sudan.

Corlett Letlojane, Director, HURISA

It was the coming together of different CSO’s working in the region which include Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA), People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA), Albert Luthuli Human Rights Advocacy Centre (ALHRAC), Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA), Southern African Liaison Office (SALO), SONKE GENDER, Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) and Oxfam

The consortium agreed on the overall objective of promoting peace and security in Africa, especially addressing women’s rights in conflict countries. Furthermore, there is a general agreement amongst the members to assist the women in the identified conflict areas by empowering them and deepening their knowledge and capacity in addressing issues affecting women in those areas, as one way of contributing to peace, security and stability in such countries.
The main objective of this training was to strengthen South African CSO’s on international and regional Resolutions concerning women. This was part of an ongoing series to capacitate CSO’s in the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security. Therefore, this training concentrated mostly on the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 of 2000 (UNSRC 1325).

The different CSO’s were able to:
– Strengthen their understanding of UN Security Council Resolution 1325
– Increase awareness and appreciation of linkages between CEDAW and UNSCR 1325
– Enhance capacities for implementation
– Explore possible advocacy strategies for the development and implementation of UNSCR 1325 National Action Plan

The training provided CSO’s with tools to engage at an international level, on ways to promote and protect the rights of women and for them to participate in the peace process. The UNSCR 1325 is very clear about the inclusion of women in decision making and peace processes, as well as the integration of gender perspectives and training in peacekeeping, plus the protection of women. This resolution can therefore be used as a tool to capacitate women and advocate for their participation in bringing solutions in conflict.

Report by Lihle Mabuza