AFRICAN LEADERS CALL FOR WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP IN BUILDING PEACE
ABIDJAN, COTE D’IVOIRE – Global leaders called for women’s leadership in resolving conflicts and building peace at the African Development Bank Annual Meeting on May 24, 2010. The assembled leaders included Dr. Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank; Ms. Ingrid Fiskaa, Norwegian State Secretary; Mr. Sheku Sesay, Governor, Bank of Sierra Leone and Dr. Saran Daraba Kaba, President, Mano River Women’s Peace-building Network.
The leaders discussed concrete steps to carry out UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1889, which promote women’s participation in peace and security. During conflict, 70 percent of casualties are civilians, most of whom are women and children. Despite their active roles in wars and at home, women remain marginalized, not only in conflict situations but also in peace-building after the wars are over. The resolutions are an international acknowledgement that peace, democracy, and development can only be sustained if the experience and resources of all men and women are brought to bear.
2010 marks the 10-year anniversary of resolution 1325. This groundbreaking resolution was the first ever passed by the Security Council that specifically recognizes the impact of war on women and women’s contributions to building peace.
The African Development Bank’s Gender Plan of Action focuses on the economic empowerment of women as a means to reduce poverty as well as reintegrate women into the economy in post-crisis situations. The Plan lays out a clear approach to addressing gender-based violence and governance mechanisms that improve security for women and children. The Bank has also committed itself to strengthening the capacity of all regional member countries to achieve gender equality and empower women.
Through its gender-focused development aid, Norway seeks to enable actors at the grassroots level and other agents of change to follow up national and international commitments to eliminate gender-based violence. From 2005 to 2008 the percentage of Norway’s total development aid that is gender-focused rose from 20 to 30 percent.
The African Development Group is a regional multilateral development finance institution established to contribute to the economic development and social progress of African countries that are the Bank’s regional member countries.