Are Women’s Human Rights Shared Values of the African Union?
an article by Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS)
The 17th Pre-Summit of the Gender is My Agenda Campaign (GIMAC) focused on the three key pillars of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 - Protection, Prevention and Participation of women in peace processes - with a special consideration of women´s situation in Côte d’Ivoire
Participants of the 17th GIMAC Pre-Summit held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
click on photo to enlarge
The 17th Pre-Summit Consultative Meeting on Gender Mainstreaming in the African Union, a shadow event of the AU Summit organized by the GIMAC, a network of more than 40 Civil Society Organizations, took place from the 24 to 26 January 2011 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
This meeting, coordinated by Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) in partnership with the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice), the International Labor Organization, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and UN Women, focused on three current and vital issues that must be considered when discussing and establishing consensus on Shared Values in the African context: Elimination of Violence against Women; Gender and Climate Change/Climate Justice; and Gender and Social Economy.
Also, the GIMAC network discussed the Protection of women in conflict countries as Côte d’Ivoire, through sessions on Violence against Women; and the participation of women in peace processes, through a training in techniques on negotiation, mediation and conflict resolution for women. After three days meeting, a document comprising the most vital recommendations of the 17th GIMAC Pre-Summit was brought to the African Union Summit .
Also, the second report on the Evaluation of the Implementation of the Solemn Declaration in Gender Equality in Africa, commissioned by FAS, which show the progress made by states and governments on gender mainstreaming in their countries, was launched in presence of Ms. Michelle Bachelet, UN Women Executive Director.
Question(s) related to this article:
Do women have a special role to play in the peace movement?,
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The original draft of the UN Culture of Peace resolution, addressed the linkage between women's equality and the culture of peace:
"As recognized by the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing 1995), there is an inextricable linkage of peace with equality between women and men. Only this linkage of equality, development and peace can replace the historical inequality between men and women that has always characterized the culture of war and violence. As pointed out at the Conference, it is necessary to promote women's political and economic empowerment and equal representation at every level of decision-making so that women's experience, talents, visions and potential can make their full contribution to a culture of peace. This analysis is becoming generally accepted in the world today; for example, the Commonwealth states in its proposals for this programme of action that, historically, women themselves have always been anti-war and against violence in view of their roles as mothers and wives, and in times of conflict, women and children have always been the victims."
Looking back over history, as well as prehistory, one can see how it has been the culture of war that has perpetuated male domination. As stated in my study, Why There Are So Few Women Warriors:
"With the advent of internal war, patrilocality, and exogamy, there came a profound shift in male-female relations. The male monopolization of warfare was instituted and extended to hunting (in order to preclude the use of weapons by women) and to the initiation rites of the young (male) warriors. The inequality of power between men and women was institutionalized in a way from which we have never recovered."
I describe the subsequent stages in my book, The History of the Culture of War:
The inequality of power between men and women was further strengthened with the origin of the state, in which war played a decisive role. The rulers of the state were those who had been victorious in war, and as a result, from its origins the state has been dominated by men. . ...more.