[Stockholm, 21 April 2022]. Following a webinar held on 19 April 2022 with government officials and civil society representatives from, among others – Kenya, South Sudan, Uganda, Somalia, Eritrea, Guinea, Sudan, the African Women’s Lobby endorsed its statement calling on the African Union (AU), AU Member States and the international community to include women at every step of the process to strive for peace, stability and security in Africa.
On this ground, AWL calls on the AU and the Member States to set up an inter-institutional task force and include women’s civil society organizations to ensure that the grassroots voices are included and consulted during an ongoing and post-conflict conversation. AWL also calls on the AU Member States to immediately set up an action to prevent and combat the illegal spread of weapons, which constantly fuels numerous conflicts, fosters inter-tribal conflict, organized crime and encourages terrorism. It also calls for disarmament, demilitarisation and rehabilitation (DDR) and end the culture of gender-based discrimination, inter-tribal clashes which are also fueled by intense corrupt competition for resources and political power and transnational terrorism. AWL calls on the international community to fully implement UN Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security and finance and facilitate women to prepare and include them at the earliest step.
AWL is ready to offer leadership and assistance competencies. In its capacity, this webinar was organized to provide a safe space for women in Africa. The raw reality of decades of civil war and instability was echoed. This webinar also provided practical steps that can be taken now. These include sharing experiences to ensure a supply of Diaspora skills and networks of solidarity with women within and between African countries and the world.
It is expected that millions of people will be displaced inside Africa and flee their homeland, the majority of whom are women and children. Worse enough, the climate crisis is making the situation difficult for valuable people. It was expressed that flooding and displacement in South Sudan are expected to worsen and countries like Sudan, Somalia, and Eritrea, where many women and children walk long miles each day to get water. Covid-19 makes things extremely difficult for children, women and girls who are facing endless challenges.
It is urgent that all measures be taken to prove all challenges children, girls and women face, including intimidation, harassment, child marriage, sexual exploitation, trafficking in human beings, and harmful practices and crimes. Stop civil war, inter-tribal conflicts and suffering of women and children now.
We have seen the AU:s and the Member States’ written documents and their cooperation with the world and decades of talks in the UN and Europe including the Khartoum process, but very little has been implemented. Peace, security, stability, development, including equality between women and men, are at the core of this, and therefore, we will keep the pressure up.
The civil wars, inequality in the membership of the UN Security Council, and inequality between women and men have adverse effects; they are also a major destabilizing factor that keep Africa underdeveloped. And with the war throughout the world is the numerous elevated manifestation of patriarchy and harmful practices of neglecting the experiences and wisdom of African women in favour of focusing entirely on the struggles of white Western women are being elevated, and an expression and calls for a new world order to be echoed with African women, not as followers but as leaders in the driving veto seat.
We stand in solidarity with women, girls and children in Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, Kenya, Uganda, Guinea, all African countries, and all women, girls and children around the world.
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