A research fellow at the Legon Centre of International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD), Dr. Linda Akua Darkwa has recommended the integration of Women in Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda in the curriculum of schools in West Africa and the Sahel. She argued that one of the major factors for women’s low participation in peace processes is the lack of available resources and low capacity building. She has therefore urged West African governments to integrate the WPS Agenda in the school curriculum and platforms to among other things increase community-level capacity building to ensure that no woman is left behind.
Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in West Africa and the Sahel, Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas reiterated the United Nation’s goal for women participation in peace and security processes in the sub-region to ensure the implementation of Women in Peace and Security Agenda of the United Nations Security Council Resolution.
“This does not just mean increasing numbers of women representatives. It also means ensuring a rights-based, gender equality lens and pursuing gender justice in all peace and political processes” he said.
Dr Ibn Chambas was speaking at a conference at the Kofi Annan Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) to commemorate 20 years of the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325.
Although women have been appointed in political and national positions, they do not reflect the true representation of women in the region. Research published by the Council on Foreign Relations shows that only 15 percent of women worldwide have been cumulatively engaged in major peace processes from1990 to 2019.
Dr. Ibn Chambas, who served as Chairman of the event noted that West Africa and the Sahel Region has largely contributed in the implementation of the United Nations Resolution on women in peace and security, but women participation is still limited. He stressed the need for governments and other stakeholders to put in more efforts to ensure gender equality and parity in promoting peace and security.
Commandant of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) Major General Francis Ofori, said the Centre remained committed to the full realization of women, peace and security agenda in the continent and beyond.
He encouraged stakeholders to work together to help accelerate the implementation of the women in peace and security agenda on the continent to ensure sustainable peace and security in Africa.
On his part, the Chargé d’Affaires of the German Embassy, Hans-Helge Sander, also reiterated the importance of more women participation in global peace and security. That is why the German government through the GIZ has supported various institutions like the Kofi Annan Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in women capacity building.
“We strive for a gender balance in all peacekeeping courses we support at the KAIPTC and we are on a good way. In 2019, 31 percent of KAIPTC`s course participants were female. In West Africa and the Sahel region, Germany has aided UN Women to support WPS-related activities” he said.
By Fauzeeya Jamal-deen || ghananewsonline.com.gh