ECOWAS moves to increase Women participation in Peace and Political processes in the region

26 May, 2019
L-R Dr. Sintiki Ugbe, Dr. Siga Fatima Jagne Mrs. Onyinye Onwuka

Abuja, 24th May, 2019. The Human Security and Civil Society Division of the Humanitarian and Social Affairs Directorate of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has moved to further increase the participation of women in peace and political processes by developing mechanisms aimed at increasing female leadership and engagement in national and regional institutions for the prevention and management of conflict in West Africa.

This was done through ECOWAS’ two-day maiden Annual Policy Dialogue on Women Participation in Peace and Political Processes which ended on 24th May 2019 at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria.

The meeting which comprised of representatives of Civil Society Organizations and regional institutions responsible for women rights and welfare developed a methodology for the collection and reporting of gender disaggregated data, gender mainstreaming parameters and a checklist on women participation in ECOWAS political processes and interventions.

In addition a draft template for an integrated database of women stakeholders in the region was developed to promote partnerships and synergies which will produce concerted efforts and results that are required to transform conflict prevention and peace-making in ECOWAS.

The ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner for Social Affairs and Gender, Dr. Siga Fatima Jagne stated that the gender policy dialogue had become necessary increase the participation of women in peace and security initiatives as stipulated by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325.

Group Photographs of the participants.

Commissioner Jagne stressed that in order to achieve this, the ECOWAS Commission’s newly created Women, Peace and security unit under the Human Security and Civil Society Division will work closely with the Women, Peace and security Advisory Committee of the department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security.
Representing the Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mrs Onyinye Onwuka cited the creation of the Women, Peace and security Advisory Committee as evidence of the priority placed on increasing women’s participation in Peace and Political Processes by the Commission.

Also speaking during the dialogue session, the ECOWAS Commission’s Director for Humanitarian and Social Affairs, Dr.Sintiki Ugbe stated that security challenges in the region have evolved hence it has become necessary for the Commission to be strategic in its approach moving forward.
Participants of the Gender Policy Dialogue meeting were familiarized with the ECOWAS Commission’s Peace and Security architecture and Early Warning mechanisms through detailed presentations.

The Annual Policy Dialogue was introduced in recognition that more needs to be done in the ECOWAS region to develop effective strategies for the mainstreaming of women and gender concerns into peace and security interventions and actions.
It aims to improve the communication and partnerships between ECOWAS institutions, national and regional peace and security institutions, the African Union, United Nations and women Civil Society Organizations amongst others.

Member States