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Gender Equality and Development

Women's rights for peace and security in post conflict democracies in Africa
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Policy oriented research project to promote women’s full participation in and contribution to peace and security
Within the framework of UNESCO’s actions in favor of women living in post conflict situations, and building on its central objective of promoting research that supports evidence-based decision-making, the Social and Human Sciences Sector (SHS) in collaboration with partners from South Africa and the University of Hull, U.K. initiated a program of research on women's rights for peace and security in post conflict democracies in Africa.

Through a Call for papers researchers from countries in the Great Lakes Region, as well as from Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe were invited to submit papers on the relationship between women’s human rights and issues such as peace and security, and violence against women, and presenting towards the end recommendations for the way forward which may be addressed to policy- and decision-makers. The first drafts of these papers were discussed with peer reviewers at a meeting held 29-30 August 2007, Pretoria, South Africa, and the final papers were submitted to UNESCO in December 2007. These papers are currently being edited for publication and some of the recommendations will be discussed at a meeting planned for September 2008.

The aim of the program of research was to develop policy recommendations that would promote women’s full participation in and contribution to peace and security in post conflict countries in Africa, as is called for in international and regional documents such as the United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 1325, the Dar-es-Salaam Declaration on Peace, Security, Democracy and Development in the Great Lakes, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

It was developed in response to needs expressed during a UNESCO organized consultation on “Empowering Women in the Great Lakes Region: Violence, Peace and Women’s Leadership”, (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, June 2005). The Addis Ababa Consultation brought together policy and decision makers, academics and other specialists on women and gender issues, and representatives of women’s NGOs from the Great Lakes Region to discuss their priorities and needs in the social and human sciences, and to agree on the main lines of a plan of action for gender equality and development. Three main avenues for UNESCO’s intervention were proposed including a call for research on key issues such as culture and women’s rights.

Additionally a concern was raised at the Addis Ababa Consultation on the need to build capacity among young African women and gender researchers and to provide an outlet for them to publish their research work. This project also contributes to meeting those expectations raised at the Addis Consultation.

Start Date 22-03-2007
End Date 22-12-2007
Project Document Call for papers - EN.pdf
Lead Organization / Sector / Office UNESCO/SHS/RSP/HR-GED
Contact First Name Eunice
Contact Last Name Smith

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