Women Leaders call for concerted efforts to ensure sustainable peace in Africa
Incheon, September 20, 2023 (FBC) – The International Women Peace Group (IWPG) organized African Women Peace Conversation in Incheon, Republic of Korea on Tuesday.
Women at ministerial levels of public institutions and civil society organizations in Uganda, Egypt, Ethiopia and Tanzania participated in the meeting which was aimed at strengthening women’s participation in bringing an end to wars and violences in Africa.
They participants identified the major problem women are facing while implementing peace initiatives and discussed possible solutions to address these challenges.
Lilian Msaki, a leading public health specialist and Director of Equality for All (EFA), said that women bear the brunt of economic and social impacts being inflicted by conflicts in many parts of Africa, calling all women in the continent to work together to enhance their role in ensure sustainable peace in the continent.
Minister of Gender and Culture of Uganda, Mutuuzo Peace Regis, stated that Africa is currently experiencing the biggest number of armed conflicts in the world, stressing the need to prop up women’s role in peace efforts.
Women are heads of families and have natural gifts enabling them to accommodate different interests under the same roof, she said, adding that African women must stand together to address the bottlenecks that hinder the participation in peace efforts.
Displacements and poor living conditions have become a common trend in the continent because of wars, indicating that her country Uganda alone has sheltered more than 1.3 million Africans fleeing conflicts in their respective countries.
She announced a plan to bring heads of state and government of the continent together during the next women’s peace summit to push for peaceful solutions to conflicts and urests in the continent.
She further mentioned proper representation of women at higher positions of African countries and peace education from the grassroot levels as mechanisms to reinforce peace initiatives in Africa.
She further underscored that international laws that can empower women to pursue the leading positions in social development and peace must be ratified and put into effect by countries.
Executive Director of Network of Ethiopian Ethiopian Women’s Associations, Saba Gebremedhin, noted that women, children and the elderly are the major victims of the ongoing conflicts and related consequences in the continent.
Saba added that the problems caused by insecurity that are facing women in Ethiopia and Africa at large are almost the same, adding that women have a possibility to consolidate their immense potentials in promoting peace through collaborative manner.
Dr. Hanan Yousef, Chairman of the Arab Organization For International Cooperation, representing Egypt at the meeting, underscored the need to intensify peace education and lectures at all institutions to get peace cherished by all across the world.
The women leaders agreed to intensify peace education at schools, maintain regular communication, build women peace networks across the continent, hold youth oriented peace festivals, increase engagement of religious and community leaders in peace activities, put in place affecting monitoring and follow up mechanisms and utilize the support from IWPG to enhance their efforts to ensure peace in Africa.
By Wondesen Aregahegn