Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, (KAIPTAC) has held a symposium in Accra, to exchange and share knowledge on progress made in implementing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in West Africa.
Participants highlighted their success stories, their lessons and what to do next.
The Women, Peace and Security Agenda works towards building the African capacity to fully implement the AU protocols on the rights of women and follow up on resolutions on women, peace and security in the context of Africa.
Since the UNSC Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security was adopted twenty years ago, continental and regional organizations have adopted various frameworks to fully implement the women, peace and security agenda.
This is evident in integrating women and their perspectives in peace and security issues to increasing participation and women representation at all levels of decision making.
The inclusion of women in efforts at preventing or countering violent extremism is being championed.
Women and children continue to bear the brunt of conflicts resulting in internal displacements, poverty and diseases.
At least fourteen countries in West Africa have been rocked with violence and armed conflict. However, across the region, there have been some success stories.
This, the Director for the Centre for democracy and development believes must be scaled up.
Key findings on a research in the involvement of women in violence extremism, show among others, women being used as negotiation tools in insurgencies and providing economic support to extremist groups.
At a panel discussion, stakeholders called for more sensitization on gender issues, a scale up on budgetary allocation, and a documentation of all successes chalked up by women in peace and security. The conference was themed: Our Stories, Lessons and Marching Forward.