Promoting Women’s Participation in Peace and Security: The Four Pillars of UNSCR 1325

In a collaborative effort between Eco Africa Network, National Commission on Integration and Cohesion, Amani Kibera and Centre for Innovative community advocacy and development, organized a series of workshops to engage young women, men, the NGAO, and Civil Society Organizations drawn from the grassroots and urban informal settlements. The aim was to address conflict and crime through inclusive participation and community involvement. The National Commission on Integration and Cohesion played a pivotal role as the lead facilitator in these initiatives.

One of the key frameworks guiding these efforts was United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) [S/RES/1325 (2000)], which underscores the importance of women’s participation and the inclusion of gender perspectives in various aspects of peace and security efforts. Women are positive catalysts for peace and harmony and on the other hand, women and girls are the greatest survivors of post-conflict and in some instance, they are perpetrators thus becoming the missing link in conflict resolution, transformation or lack off.  The conflict resolution is built upon four fundamental pillars: Participation, Protection, Prevention, and Relief and Recovery.

Participation is at the core of Resolution 1325, emphasizing the need for women’s active involvement in peace negotiations, humanitarian planning, peacekeeping operations, and post-conflict peace-building and governance. By ensuring women have a seat at the table, their unique perspectives and experiences can contribute to more sustainable and inclusive peace processes.

Protection is another crucial pillar, focusing on the safeguarding of women and girls from gender-based violence and ensuring their safety in conflict and post-conflict settings. This includes measures to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence, as well as addressing the specific needs of women and girls in humanitarian crises.

Prevention is key to addressing the root causes of conflict and violence, with a specific emphasis on addressing gender inequalities and promoting women’s rights. By addressing these underlying issues, it is possible to create more resilient and peaceful societies that are less prone to conflict and instability.

Relief and Recovery highlight the importance of providing support and resources to women and girls affected by conflict, including access to essential services, economic opportunities, and psycho-social support. By prioritizing the needs of women in post-conflict recovery efforts, it is possible to build back better and create more inclusive and sustainable peace.

From the plenary discussion it was noted that women can either help mitigate conflict or they can become catalysis of violence and crime. The participants noted that in  many incidences in the informal settlements women have incited men into participating  in conflicts, they have also been thee hiding or transporting weapons or acting as spice in the time of arms conflicts because they are less suspected and can easily pass through roadblock unnoticed.

Women and children have greatly been affected by armed conflict, they have been victims and survivors in many ways namely; sexual, physical, psychological, economic abuses or all at once.

At the conclusion of the two-day workshop, the participants draw an action plan geared towards engaging the community in various urban informal to identified hot spots for conflicts and Crime with a sole purposing of raising more awareness on the role of young women, men and girls in mitigating conflicts. 

The Center for Innovative Community Advocacy and Development (CICAD Kenya) is calling on partners, well wishes and collaborators to donate in order to support this initiative to make it possible to reach out to the wider community and engage women and youth in a more structured and productive way to mitigate conflict and crime at the urban informal settlement of Kibera, Kawangware, Korokocho, and Mukuru where majority of the participants were drawn from.

In conclusion, the four pillars of UNSCR 1325 provide a comprehensive framework for promoting women’s participation and gender perspectives in peace and security efforts. By prioritizing these pillars, it is possible to create more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable peace processes that benefit all members of society.

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