Gender issues are a key focus for UNOWAS, particularly gender mainstreaming in conflict prevention, management and peace building processes as well as within all UNOWAS programs and activities.
Gender, women, peace and security in West Africa and the Sahel issues are carried out by UNOWAS through two key actions:
- Gender Mainstreaming within UNOWAS and CNMC mandate implementation by:
- The integration of gender issues in good offices and early warning missions;
- The adoption of UNOWAS Gender Focal Points priority areas; and
- The designation of Heads of Sections as Gender focal points, in November 2011;
- Promoting the implementation of UNSCR 1325 (2000) and the subsequent resolutions on women, peace and security in West Africa and the Sahel by:
- The support of ECOWAS in developing a sub-regional and integrated plan of action for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) and the subsequent resolutions on Women, Peace and Security. The ECOWAS first Plan of Action for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and 1820 was adopted in Dakar-Senegal in September 2010, during the celebration of 10th Anniversary of the resolution 1325 (2000).
- The joint coordination with UNWOMEN of the Working Group on Women, Peace and Security in West Africa (WGWPS-WA) established on 29 April 2009 in Dakar.
- The training of women mediators at sub-regional, national and community levels, in partnership with UN Women and/or Crisis Management Initiative. 32 (2 from each West African and the Sahel country) women mediators were trained in 2011, 60 Malian women in 2012, 16 men and women members of the Working Group trained on “Conflict analysis for mediation program design” in 2014.
- The launch in February 2014 of an online database on Gender, Women, Peace and Security in West Africa and the Sahel (www.womencount4peace.org).
- The support of the establishment and management of Women’s Situation Rooms and the coordination of the Working Group solidarity missions in countries.
- The Annual Exchange between the SRSG and the sub-region women leaders: Open Day.
- The development of tools, information, knowledge, best practices and lessons learned collection and sharing with all stakeholders in the sub region.