The ECOWAS Gender Development Centre (EGDC), in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme Regional Service for Africa (UNDP-RSCA) and the AU-Office of the Special Envoy on WPS with the support of the Government of Canada has held a three days regional training workshop on Women, Peace and Security on in Accra, Ghana.
The event which attracted over 40 delegates from relevant ECOWAS Institutions, Directorates, Specialized Agencies, Member States and Network of regional CSOs aims at enhancing the knowledge and understanding of participants on the rollout and implementation of the African Union Continental Result Framework (AU-CRF) for Monitoring and Reporting on the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Africa and the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 and other subsequent resolutions on Women, Peace and Security (WPS).
The training equipped participant’s capacity on the development, implementation, monitoring and reporting on Action Plans on UNSCR 1325 on WPS.
The regional training is organized within the framework of a four-year regional project on Advancing Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Africa (2020-2024) funded by the Government of Canada. This project aims to strengthen the capacity of Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and other regional partners (CSOs) to have increased evidence-based knowledge and capacity to advocate for and support their member states to meet their commitments to gender equality and women’s empowerment in the context of achieving Agenda 2063.
Ghana’s Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources and Caretaker Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah in her key note address, reiterated that “ there is need to increase and promote women’s representation and meaningful participation in peace operations, peace processes, post-conflict reconstruction, civilian protection, and military deployments” She added that, “when women participate in peace negotiations, the quality and durability of peace agreements is guaranteed”
Commissioner for Social Affairs and Gender of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Siga Fatima Jagne in her opening statement, said that “the regional training was very timely and relevant in building the foundations for a more robust regional and national response to the challenge of placing women, peace and security high on the development agenda of ECOWAS Member States through the effective implementation of NAPs on 1325 and the roll out of the African Union Continental Results framework on Women, Peace and Security”
The UNDP Resident Representative in Ghana, Dr. Angela Lusigi,emphasized that “we have moved from the adoption of resolutions to the development of action plans. We now need to focus on achieving speed and scale in the implementation and tracking of these action plans so that no one is left behind”.
This she said will not be possible, without the right knowledge, capability and networks; a reason for which the training is both timely and very essential.
A Gender Monitoring Specialist Ms. Catherine Njeru, who represented the AU-Office of the Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security, emphasized that “it is critical that all see the CRF as their own commitment and contribution to the advancement of the rights of women to peace as enshrined in Article 10 of the Maputo protocol. This will truly make a difference and pave the way for an inclusive and peaceful Africa”
The workshop is expected to build the capacity of participants with the required knowledge and skills as key actors in their respective countries to influence the direction and impact of the implementation of Women, Peace and Security (WPS) commitments, including the ECOWAS Regional Action Plan, the CRF as well as support their Member States in developing and implementing their National Action Plans (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security.