Launch of Women’s leadership initiative for peace and stability in Africa

Date: 16 December 2016

UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri, the Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations, Harald Braun and the Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations, Téte António, launch a new initiative to promote women's leadership in Africa. Photo: UN Women
UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri, the Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations, Harald Braun and the Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations, Téte António, launch a new initiative to promote women's leadership in Africa. Photo: UN Women

UN Women Deputy Executive Director, Lakshmi Puri, together with the Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations, Harald Braun and the Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations, Téte António, launched the “Women’s Leadership Initiative for Stability in Africa” on 14 December at an event in New York. 

The two-year initiative, starting in 2017 and generously funded by the Government of Germany, aims to strengthen African women leaders’ capacity to build sustainable peace in the continent. It will establish a network of African women leaders, facilitate their participation in major international and regional events and invest in increasing African women’s participation in national electoral processes, among other measures. 

“Advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment across the world, including the meaningful participation and leadership of women in peace and security initiatives in Africa has been a priority for UN Women,” said Ms. Puri. “I thank the government of Germany for its resolute support to this cause and in particular, for funding this new initiative that seeks to strengthen the leadership of African women for their improved contributions to sustainable peace on the continent. I commend the African Union for its commitment to gender equality and women’s rights, and reaffirm UN Women’s support as we embark on this new project.”

As noted by the Global Study on implementation of the UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 1325, for peace to be sustainable and lasting, women must be included in all stages of the peace process—from prevention to negotiations, dialogue, peacebuilding and recovery. Africa not only subscribes to the provisions of UNSCR 1325, but has also developed other continental instruments, such as the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women, commonly referred to as the Maputo Protocol and the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa. To date, 19 African Union Members States have developed National Action Plans on its implementation.  

Targeting women in leadership positions in politics, the public sector, business, and civil society and the media, the new initiative will support women in conflict and post-conflict countries in Africa, those involved in building and supporting infrastructures for peace and conflict prevention, as well as those engaged in reconciliation, reconstruction and stabilization processes.