Christine //Hoebes, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, has appealed to private and public sector to intensifier conscious efforts in pushing for women participation and gender representation on issues of negotiation and peace process.
She was speaking at the third edition of the Meeting of the Women, Peace and Security Focal Point Network where she was a guest speaker.
Focal Points Network, is a place where the initial discussions for the Women Peace and Security Agenda took place some 19 years ago and this years’ choice of the theme was “Women, Peace and Security: Towards full participation” and sub-theme “Mainstreaming the Women, Peace and Security agenda in Regional Economic Community”.
//Hoebes said that the role regional and sub-regional organisation play in ensuring women’s meaningful participation in peace process should not be overlooked but however should be noted that they should strengthen efforts in fostering implementations and accountability of the Women, Peace and Security agenda.
“Such organisations should strengthen efforts in fostering implementation and accountability of the agenda through building monitoring systems and regular tracking and evaluation of the implementation progress,” she said.
She also stated that gone are the days when women were forbidden from tables when negotiations would take ad that the time is now for women to be allowed to be agents of change.
“We should be cognizant that women’s participation in peace processes goes beyond just representation and quotas. Meaningful participation means that women are at the table when negotiations are taking place, women’s interests and lived experiences are fully reflected in peace processes, and that women are equally considered in recovery efforts in the aftermath in conflict. Therefore, we should recognize the important role women play in fostering peace and security, and allow them to be engaged as agents of change., “she alluded.
She said that, women should take opportunity of such platforms to learn from best practices on how to address and overcome operational coordination challenges between government institutions and other relevant stakeholders to ensure seamless and effective implementation of national action plans.
“We should it also continue to advocate for sufficient resources allocation to Women, Peace and Security agenda through our national budgets.,” she said.