Women in the Sahel work for Peace and Security
As part of the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel (UNISS), UN Women has implemented the women’s peace and security agenda. 1,542 women mediators have been trained to conflict prevention and peacebuilding.
The participation of women in conflict prevention and peacebuilding is also conducted through raising awareness among the security forces.
In view of many challenges that are facing the Sahel region, the challenge of security is obviously the most decisive. It was necessary to engage the different categories of the population of the Sahel in order to play a role in conflict prevention and peacebuilding.
Women and youth, in particular, represent an important category in the Sahel countries, and their intervention in the political and economic spaces among others, is no longer a mere option, it is a strategic priority which is now increasingly integrated into the development programs of the countries in the region.
In order to promote this approach, UN Women, in close coordination with the Sahel countries and regional organizations, has launched a "Program to accelerate the implementation of the women peace and security agenda for better conflict prevention and peacebuilding in the Sahel region”.
Beyond its ambition to invest in peace and prevention, the program aims to enhance the intervention of women in the peace process through partnerships with governments, and regional organizations such as the G5 Sahel, the Liptako Gourma Authority, the Lake Chad Basin Commission and ECOWAS.
1,542 women mediators have been trained in several countries of the Sahel. They are already involved in the prevention of community conflicts and contribute actively to the rapprochement and reconciliation of communities. They also contribute to raising awareness on peace among beneficiaries of other United Nations agencies programs.
The women peace and security agenda program provides technical and institutional support to the main regional organizations, including the G5 Sahel Women's Platform, the Peace and Security Network for Women in the ECOWAS region, which have initiated ambitious actions, particularly in the cross-border regions between Mali and Niger and in the Lake Chad region. Similar initiatives will be carried out in the Liptako-Gourma region this year, where women will play an active role in the management of community conflicts from "the perspective of local peace to global peace".
The participation of women in conflict prevention and peacebuilding is also conducted through raising awareness among the security forces. Meetings between women and security actors including the defense forces, administrative and judicial officials have been regularly organized by UN Women in the border regions between Mali (in Gao and Ménaka) and Niger (Diffa) as part of a project funded by the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF). These initiatives based on a cross-border approach will continue in 2020 and will also touch on the management of conflicts related to access to natural resources.