MenEngage Africa’s workshop with regional partners and the faith communities on The Role of faith-based organisations (FBOs) in Conflict and Post-Conflict Interventions, ended yesterday (19th April 2016) with participants having a sense of purpose and direction on what their contribution should be in addressing the social ills that afflict communities during and after conflict situations, particularly women and girls.
The meeting noted with concern that in most instances those who start the conflict do it for self-interests and cause a huge social upheaval that displaces people and leaves a trail of death in their wake. Invariably, rape is used in many instances as a weapon of war. Women and children are forced to participate in wars that they did not start.
The meeting also decried the fact that when peace is negotiated, often, women are not included as participants. The meeting called for the meaningful implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, which describes the process of facilitating peace-building negotiations, and calls for the inclusion of all stakeholders meaningfully. This should be done through the development of National Action Plans (NAPs) with clear budgets and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) frameworks.
Over the next two days, starting today (20th April 2016), we will be working with MenEngage Africa Africa partners across our 17 networks in a thematic campaigns workshop intended to bring them up to speed with the latest work on the three thematic campaigns – ending early and forced child marriages, female genital mutilation (FGM) and the need for access to HIV prevention and treatment services for men and boys – that form our advocacy focus work areas. The three campaign areas were discussed and agreed to at the annual MenEngage Africa meeting, which was held in Zimbabwe, in November 2015.
The meeting will also involve practical training on the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) tools that will be used to track the campaigns and the development of a three-year work plan for MenEngage Africa. It is envisaged that by the end of this workshop the network will have clear implementation strategies that will take the work in the region to the next level.
The workshop will be concluded on Friday, the 22nd of April 2016, with a high level meeting in partnership with the Rwandan government with UN agencies and international partners focusing on the need for governments in the Great Lakes region to fast-track engagement on implementation of UNSCR 1325. This includes focus on situations of conflict and post-conflict and prevention of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).