ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, March 8, 2019/ — In marking this year's International Women's Day, the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) organized a briefing session titled 'The Role of Women in Peacemaking and Peacebuilding in Africa'.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of UNOAU, Ms. Hanna Tetteh, delivered a keynote address to set the tone for the interactive discussion that followed. In her remarks, SRSG Tetteh noted that while every year the International Women's Day is one of celebrating achievements, it is critical to ask ‘why are we not there yet’? She further underscored the need to ‘hold everyone by similar standards’ when it comes to positions of leadership and decision-making, particularly considering that women are often regarded as incapable because of their gender.
Dr. Speciosa Wandira, a member of the Panel of the Wise and Co-Chair of FemWise joined in the discussions and probed on the issue of ‘trust’ in political leadership and the social make-up on African societies whereby women are ascribed to roles that limit participation and inclusion.
Ambassador Hadiza Mustapha, Advisor of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission on Peace, Security and Governance, reiterated the need to ‘change the narrative for women’ at grassroots level, and to help them learn about local governance systems so they too can partake in ‘ownership’ of such processes.
The African Union Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security, Ms. Bineta Diop called for a ‘stop’ in ‘putting women in boxes’ and for the need to adopt wholistic approaches that are inclusive to women.