BY MARISHA RAMDEEN
Enhancing women’s participation in the national agenda on peace and reconciliation in Mozambique.
ACCORD in partnership with the Foundation for Community Development (FDC), and the Institute for Multiparty Democracy (IMD) are implementing a programme that seeks to strengthen the participation of women in peace and reconciliation processes for social cohesion in Mozambique. As part of the programme, the partners organised a national conference from 21-23 August 2018 in Beira, Mozambique. This national conference with the theme “Women and Peace Movement: Women in Building Peace and National Reconciliation” brought together around 200 women from all the provinces in Mozambique.
The conference is part of a series of consultations that have taken place in the country in 2017 and 2018. The other consultations undertaken thus far, include at in the North, South and Central regions. The recommendations from the baseline study conducted in 2017 and from the consultative meetings held at the regional level on stronger engagement of women in peace efforts across the Mozambique contributed to the national agenda developed during the conference.
The conference provided a platform for sharing Mozambique specific experiences and lessons learned during and after regional consultations. The conference also benefited from presentation of the various experiences on women’s engagement in peace and reconciliation efforts by other stakeholders in the country including UN Women, government representatives, religious community and women groups and organisations working at the community level. Further, the conference benefited from the experiences of the Swedish Team on United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 and the Women’s Movement of Colombia.
The conference discussed the priority areas that eventually constituted the national Agenda of the ‘Women and Peace Movement’. Another outcome for the conference was a Declaration on women’s commitment to peace and reconciliation in Mozambique. The conference ended with a formal Launch of the Women and Peace Movement, which was attended by the women who were part of the conference and other women in Maputo, Mozambique.
This initiative forms one of ACCORD’s key areas of work and it contributes to implementation of ACCORD’s pillars on national capacities for peace and to the pillar on women, peace and security. ACCORD therefore will continue its commitment and engagements with its partners and stakeholders in Mozambique in strengthening local capacities, and especially for women towards peace processes that are inclusive and locally owned.