President Says Women’s Global Participation in Peace Processes Very Low Despite their Effectiveness

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Addis Ababa (ENA) December 14/2022 Women’s participation in peace processes is way too low despite the compelling evidence that their participation in peace negotiations increases the probability of a peace agreement by up to 35 percent more than if they were out of the process, President Sahle-Work Zewde said.

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The 3rd Africa Forum on Women Peace and Security under the theme “leveraging on women peace and security to enhance women’s participation and leadership in peace process in Africa” kicked off in Addis Ababa this morning.

Women are seen as victims and victims they are, President Sahle-Work noted, adding that they are not, however, lamenting at what happens to them. They are agents of peace, mediators, and negotiators.

Citing the UN Women’s Global Study on the Implantation of UNSC 1325, she said that women constituted only 13 percent of negotiators, of those 3 percent were involved in mediation and just 4 percent were signatories in major peace processes.  

“This is way too low,” she noted.

The world is experiencing a reversal of generational gain in women’s right while violence,  conflict, coup d’etat, displacement, and hunger continue to increase. “This is a sad reality.”

Sahle-Work stressed that “our demands and actions are for women to have their places in the peace processes, mediations, negotiations, and implementations. Without their perspective, we cannot expect a lasting peace.”

AUC Special Envoy on Women Peace and Security, Bineta Diop said on her part that women play an important role in preventing and de-escalating conflict, brokering local ceasefire, promoting culture of peace and coexistence as well as recruitment of children as combatant.

“Yet the numbers show us that investment in women and girl, and willingness to ensure the involvement in these peace building effort is desperately low.”

The special envoy added that women represent tiny segment of peace negotiators, envoy, mediators and peacekeeping.

“We need to look into the role of women in post-conflict economic revitalization that brings us more equitable recovery.”  

The two-day forum is expected to deliberate on the role of mediators in promoting women’s meaningful participation in peace processes, promoting women’s leadership in humanitarian action, and promoting women’s rights through electoral mediation.

African women leaders, women peace builders, national and regional focal points on women peace and security and other stakeholders in the implementation of WPS (Women, Peace, and Security) Agenda in Africa are in attendance of the forum.

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