African Union Commission Virtual Meeting on The Implementation of The Women Peace and Security Agenda in Africa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 22-23 September 2021

The Office of the Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security hosted a Meeting with Member States and other Stakeholders to launch and disseminate the 2020 Report of the African Union Commission Chairperson on the Implementation of Women, Peace, and Security Agenda in Africa. This is the second report based on progress  reports by Member States and Regional Economic Communities on the WPS developed using the Continental Results Framework (CRF). The meeting also initiated the process of developing the Chairperson’s 2021 report on Women, Peace, and Security. Due to COVID-19, the meeting was held virtually.
The Opening Ceremony was attended by Ms. Ouriatou Danfakha, representing the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, HE Moussa Faki Mahamat; Mme Bineta Diop, the African Union Commission Envoy on Women, Peace and Security, Ms. Letty Chiwara, UN Women Resident Representative to Ethiopia, AUC and Economic Commission for Africa; H.E. Ambassador Jessye Lapenn, U.S. Ambassador to the African Union and the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa; H.E. Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, (represented by Ms. Nadia Roguiai); There was also high-level representation from Member States, Regional Economic Communities/Mechanisms; United Nations, Civil Society Organisations, Centres of Excellence and Gender Networks. The meeting was a follow-up to the meeting held in Dakar, Senegal in December 2019, when Member States met on the 1st Report of the Chairperson on WPS, and made recommendations on how the reporting could be streamlined to avoid duplication.

The USA, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, UN Women, UNDP, GiZ were thanked for their continued support to the WPS agenda in Africa.

The closing remarks were presented by Ms. Odette Kabaya, UNDP Gender Regional Adviser and Team Leader on GEWE; H.E. Ambassador, Bard Hopland, Norway Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the African Union; H.E. Ambassador Fatima Kyari Mohammed, AU Permanent Observer to the United Nations, New York; Mme Bineta DIOP AUC Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security. They all lauded the effort towards the launch of the 2020 WPSA Report and the enormous contribution from Member States and partners for their continuous endeavor and advocacy for the advancement of women and peace in society
Key issues that were raised include, inter alia, the following:
– 80% of Member States that have adopted a NAP on WPS by 31 December 2019 submitted their report using the CRF
– Africa was the leading continent on WPS with robust frameworks for the implementation of the agenda. Presently, 30 Member States  and 6 RECs have adopted an Action Plan.

– The dearth of implementation of the WPSA was discussed at length. To accerelate implementation member states must hold themselves into account using home grown tools such as the CRF.  It was noted that the CRF and the simplified Reporting Guidelines, presented in the meeting will make it easier for Member States to prepare their accountability reports.
– It was noted that COVID-19 has exacerbated challenges with scarce resources being diverted to the pandemic rather than  to address conflict and post-conflict challenges facing women and girls.
– The important role of FEWMWISE, AWLN, RECs and Centres of Excellence, the WPS Forum and the conduct of Solidarity Missions for the WPSA were highlighted.
– It was noted that a lot has been done, yet challenges persist, especially with regards ensuring more positive outcomes for women and girls.
– A key concern that was raised was the need for governments to take leadership and ownership for WPS funding.
– The important role of the Regional Economic Communities/Mechanism in the implementation of the WPS agenda and the need for their capacity to be strengthened in order to continue supporting member states with monitoring and reporting using the CRF.
– The need to support  the civil society initiatives on WPS including initiatives by the young women
An Overview of the Report was made highlighting the findings on the key pillar:
On Participation:
– Women’s participation at higher levels of decision making was still very low in comparison to men in the same rank and that many Governments had not yet achieved the 30% threshold.
On Protection:

-All countries except one have measures to respond to  victims of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) including the establishment of protection centers and economic reintegration of victims of SGBV, however these were still inadequate.
-84% of Member States reported protection initiatives against SGBV
-There was an increase in the number of women serving in police and armed forces  in countries that have sectoral Gender Policies in the ministries of Defence and Police. However, no data was reported by Member States on women’s participation in peace keeping, mediation and peace negotiation. Efforts to track these areas are required.
On Prevention:
– A major concern that was raised was that the gender related components in the Early Warning Systems (EWS) were not being monitored and evaluated.
– Several emerging threats were not given prominence in the CRF, namely : Climate Change, COVID-19, Refugees and Internally Displaced Women and Girls.
AU CRF as the key component of monitoring and evaluation tool for the implementation of the WPS in Africa is a unique tool that will accelerate the implementation of WPSA in Africa. Therefore, lots of effort need to be put in polarizing the CRF across the Member States in order to allow them  to be fully engaged in reporting processes as well as the overall implementation of the agenda; Need to encourage Member States into the adoption of WPS through raising awareness on the WPSA and its monitoring and evaluation tools because when   applied it could further the implementation of the widely accepted Resolution 1325; Need to prioritise the review of national legislation and constitutions that discriminate  and exclude women and girls from  participating in decision making an important avenue for the implementation of the agenda; Various avenues must be mobilized in order to push the agenda forward. Initiatives such as FEMWISE and AWLN are alternatives networks that could contribute to the implementation of WPS; It is mportant to leverage resources under Generation Equality to ensure that investments, policies, and programs meet the needs of, and equally benefit all girls and women The Meeting highly recommended Member States to attain the global recommendation of allocating 15% of peace building budget to Gender equality and women empowerment. The need for robust women financial inclusion mechanisms and livelihoods programmes that uplift the economic status of women as a protection measure

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Way Forward:
1 – Due to the impact of COVID-19 on the reporting cycle, it was agreed that progress reports for the year  2020 and 2021 be combined;
2 – Accordingly the following schedule was proposed:
– 31 March 2022: Member States submit their reports to AUC
– 15 June 2022:    Consultative Meeting of Member States and RECs
– October 2022 (WPS Month):  Launch of the report
3 – Report to include the impact of COVID-19 on WPS;
4 – Strengthen the Role of RECs in supporting Member States ;
Addis Ababa, 23 SEPTEMBER 2021


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Author : African Union

Publish date : 2021-10-01 16:03:39

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