As part of its efforts to mainstream gender into its activities, the African Union Commission Peace and Security Department (PSD) formulated and commissioned a Gender, Peace and Security Programme (GPSP) under the Peace and Security Department. The GPSP is a flagship programme for the integration of gender into the continental peace and security agenda as well as support to the implementation of global and continental framework for women's increased participation in peace and security.
The Programme (2015-2020) is designed to serve as a framework for the development of effective strategies and mechanisms for women's increased participation in peace and security and enhanced protection in conflict and post-conflict situations in Africa. The GPSP aligns its objectives with the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and other international and regional frameworks that address issues on gender, peace and security.
ACCORD honoured an invitation by the AU to participate in the two day launching and implementation workshop that brought together actors working in the field of gender, peace and security in Africa as well as all relevant AU departments. The workshop was attended by UN Agencies like UNWomen and UN liaison office in the AU; Non-governmental organisations like ICRC, ACCORD, REPSFECO and GIZ; the donor community including the United states, United Kingdom, Spain, Sweden, Mexico, Finland, EU Delegation and the Netherlands; Regional organisations like ECOWAS, CEN-SAD, COMESA and IGAD.
The Programme Launching and Implementation Workshop was held from 2 - 3 June, 2014 in Addis Ababa, at the AU Headquarters. ACCORD was represented by Ms Irene Limo, the Senior Programme Officer, Peacekeeping Unit.
The workshop provided a platform for developing synergies and partnership with regional organizations, women's regional networks, civil society regional networks, Member States, Development partners, the UN and other relevant stakeholders for effective programme implementation. It further sought to promote participation among the direct beneficiaries and their partners at the onset of programme implementation. Emphasis was placed on clarity on the roles and responsibilities of all relevant actors to avoid duplication of efforts.
Specifically, workshop sought to address the following issues: Reviewing the components and elements of the programme in the light of planned and on-going related initiatives of UN participating agencies and development partners to increase their level of awareness on, and appreciation of, the programme; Analyse the draft logical framework and annual work plan derived from the AUC-CSOs-RECs/RMs retreat held in Accra from 7-9 May 2014 and suggest where the intended outputs and indicative activities could be strengthened so as to yield optimum impact; Identify, from the work plans, areas where greater collaboration can be forged between partners and the GPSP; and Map out a strategy, a plan of action and a monitoring process suitable for establishing and sustaining effective partnership, programme support and collaboration during the implementation of the Programme.
The workshop interrogated the programme and partners provided recommendations for strengthening the programme. The partners were invited to make indicative expression of interest in the areas in which they would like to support in the programme implementation. By participating in the GPSP, ACCORD contributed to further strengthening the programme to respond to the new challenges in gender, peace and security. This was in line with the overall organisational objective of supporting the AU Gender Policy, other AU and Regional frameworks on gender, peace and security as well as UN Security Council Resolution 1325 as tools for galvanizing the participation of women in peace processes, the protection of women and girls from sexual violence in conflict, and promoting the leadership role of women in the prevention of conflicts.