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Sahel Conference says women’s full participation essential to conflict resolution and economic recovery
un article par UN Women (abridged)

Some 40 women from the Sahel met in Brussels today (April 9) to underline the crucial contributions women from the region are making to economic recovery, political stability and conflict prevention, and to explore ways to enhance their role in these areas.

conference logo - copyright European Union

click on photo to enlarge

Organized by the European Union, the Office of the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Sahel and UN Women, the Conference on Women’s Leadership in the Sahel gathered women from Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, as well as representatives from the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) today in Brussels.

The Conference is a first step in efforts to ensure that the voices of women from the Sahel are heard and that their perspective is taken into account when addressing the challenges in the sub-region.

“Ultimately, the women of the Sahel will be instrumental in putting the region on a path to stability,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Sahel, Romano Prodi. “I want to tap into the potential of women to accelerate progress in the Sahel. The discussions that took place today and the recommendations by the participants will help us in seeking sustainable solutions for the Sahel” . . .

In looking at ways to create more opportunities for women’s full participation, the participants, both from governmental institutions and civil society organizations, decided to establish an advisory group which will provide information and facilitate consultations with the international community and regional institutions. The conclusions of the Conference will also be presented at the High-Level donor’s conference in support of development in Mali on 15 May, in Brussels, in line with the recognition by the participants of the need to have a comprehensive and regional approach.

“It is well established that for peace to be sustainable – a peace that extends beyond the simple act of signing a peace agreement – it needs to be rooted in justice and inclusion,” said Lakshmi Puri, Acting Head of UN Women and Assistant Secretary-General. “There can be no comprehensive strategy to address the sustained and systemic crisis without women’s full participation. This has been stressed by many UN resolutions, by the international community, as well as by women’s organizations themselves. We hope this Conference will usher in concrete efforts to increase the participation of women and gender experts in conflict resolution and in the transition to peace, economic recovery, democracy and stability,” she added.

Among the recommendations designed to help sustain efforts towards peace, security and development in the Sahel, the participants emphasized the need to ensure that at least 30 per cent of participants in decision-making and politics are women, including through the adoption of positive measures. They also agreed on the need for national governments, regional organizations and the international community to support an increased participation of women in conflict- resolution initiatives and to strengthen their entrepreneurial skills and access to services. Regarding resources, the participants also called for sustained and predictable financing for initiatives dedicated to gender equality.

Resume des conclusions – Sahel (French only)

(Click here for a French version of this article)


Question(s) liée(s) à cet article:

Do women have a special role to play in the peace movement?,

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Commentaire le plus récent:

The 30 articles in CPNN linked to this question make it clear that women indeed have a special role to play in the peace movement.  See the following for an historical explanation of why this is true.

Cet article a été mis en ligne le April 30, 2013.