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Increasing the participation of women in conflict resolution in West Africa

The second session of the Regional Training Series on Mediation for 32 Women Leaders from Civil Society in West Africa ended on Friday. The three-fold training is designed to strengthen the capacities of women Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member countries in techniques of mediation, advocacy, negotiation and implementation of Peace agreements.

"This training aims at sharpening the knowledge and skills of the participants for them to increasingly participate to mediation processes bringing the gender dimension," said Dr. Josephine Odera, Regional Director of the United Nations entity for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (UN Women).
This initiative derives from the Regional Action Plan for the implementation in West Africa in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions 1325 and 1820. One of the aims of the Regional Action Plan is to further empower a number of high-level women mediators from civil society to intervene effectively in conflict resolution in the sub-region.

Dr. Odera stated that UN Women and the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA) will continue to support efforts to ensure that women leaders are adequately skilled to occupy a legitimate place at the negotiating table for peace and stability.” She called for an increased participation of women in the consolidation of peace in the sub-region as they have a key role to play.

Said Djinnit, Special Representative of the Secretary General for West Africa echoed the message of the United Nations Secretary General (SG) on Security Council resolutions 1325 and 1820 stating that “sustainable peace is possible only with women’s full participation. Their perspectives, their leadership, and their daily, equal presence wherever we seek to make and keep the peace." He reiterated the determination of the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA) to remain mobilized for women participation in support to the efforts of regional organizations in favor of peace and security.

Participants from 16 ECOWAS member countries gathered with experts from the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA), the West African Network on Peace (WANEP), the Peace Network and Security for Women in the ECOWAS (REPSFECO), Swisspeace and the UN Entity for Gender equality and Women’s Empowerment (UN Women).


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