FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dr. Cheryl Hendricks
Senior Research Fellow
Security Sector Governance Programme
Institute for Security Studies, Pretoria
Tel: 012 346 9500
ISS signs a memorandum of understanding to lead a cluster on peacebuilding and conflict resolution of the Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance
Pretoria 15 October 2010 - The Institute for Security Studies is pleased to announce that it has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to lead the coordination of the work of the Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance cluster on peacebuilding and conflict resolution.
The SADC Gender Protocol Alliance seeks to advance gender equality in Southern Africa by advocating for the implementation of the substantive time-bound targets outlined in the SADC Gender and Development Protocol, adopted on the 17 August 2008. The signing of the Protocol was a victory for women of the region, but it represented only the beginning of a more intensive process of ensuring the ratification and implementation thereof.
The Southern African Gender Protocol Alliance, a collective of over 40 national and regional NGOs, is one of the critical drivers and contributors tracking the ratification and implementation of the Protocol. In this regard it has formed thematic clusters, namely, gender and economic justice, gender based violence, gender and governance, gender and media, health sexual and reproductive rights and constitutional and legal rights. The thematic clusters and national focal points form a Steering Committee that guide the work of the Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance. As part of the initiative, the SADC Gender Protocol Alliance is engaged in developing baseline data on these thematic areas for all SADC countries that would serve as an important monitoring tool for charting progress on gender equality in the region.
Article 28 of the Gender and Development Protocol deals with peacebuilding and conflict resolution. In particular it notes that:
1. State Parties shall endeavour to put in place measures to ensure that women have equal representation and participation in key decision-making positions in conflict resolution and peace building processes by 2015 in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security
2. State Parties shall, during times of armed and other forms of conflict take such steps as are necessary to prevent and eliminate incidences of human rights abuses, especially of women and children, and ensure that the perpetrators of such abuses are brought to justice before a court of competent jurisdiction.
The security sector is a relatively closed, under researched sector where very little information on women is available. Conflict resolution and peacebuilding is broad, encompassing both security providers and other state and non-state actors in activities ranging from peace making (negotiations and mediation at international, national and local levels), peace keeping and post-conflict reconstruction. It includes ensuring effective and efficient security provision, equitable representation and democratic oversight of the security sector in all countries.
The Institute for Security Studies shares the Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance`s vision of a region characterised by gender equality, underpinned by the desire to make every voice count and guided by the principles of democracy, ethnic and religious diversity, equality, fairness, transparency, accountability, as well as linguistic and geographical representation.
About the ISS:
The Institute for Security of Studies (ISS) is a pan-African applied policy research institute headquartered in Pretoria, South Africa with offices in Cape Town, South Africa, Nairobi, Kenya and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The ISS is a think tank working in the area of African human security. It seeks to mainstream human security perspectives into public policy processes and to influence decision makers within Africa and beyond. The objective of the Institute is to add critical balance and objectivity by providing timely, empirical research and contextual analysis of relevant human security issues to policy makers, area specialists, advocacy groups, and the media.