In line with Aspiration 6 of Agenda 2063, the Peace and Security Council of the African Union integrated the advancement of women and girls’ rights and meaningful participation in peace and development processes on the continent. In this regard, on the 22nd of March 2021, the African Union Peace and Security Council convened its 987th session at the ministerial level. The Peace and Security Council convened at the ministerial level with an agenda to discuss the Women Peace Culture and Gender Inclusivity in Africa and the theme of the session: Women Peace Culture and Gender Inclusivity.
The session was convened in line with its annual sessions that hold on the Women Peace and Security Agenda in March every year and the overall objective of the session was to provide an open platform to discuss the importance of building a gender-inclusive culture of peace in Africa. The framing of the session agenda was inspired by the African Union theme of the year – ‘’Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building Africa We Want. The event also recognized that social and cultural views in Africa as a major course of the challenges women and girls face on the continent.
HE Bineta Diop, AU Special Envoy on Women Peace and Security presented to the Peace and Security Council and anchored her points changing mindsets and the lack of gender inclusivity in building a culture of peace exposes women and girls to dominion even in times of peace and in turn makes them vulnerable. She further called on the creative industries to filter messages communicated in order not to glorify violence and gender-based violence. HE spoke on measures that can create a lasting culture of peace in Africa considering that women are disproportionately affected by conflict. The Special Envoy anchored her intervention on the need to sensitize minds and build a culture of nonviolent coexistence in communities and governments having the willingness to listen which can build a lasting bond. These approaches advance the WPS agenda in building sustainable peace and rest on all pillars of the WPS agenda specifically the prevention pillar which deals with the prevention of conflict and all forms of violence against women and girls.
The Open Session provided a platform for member states to engage and examine the intersection between Women’s Peace and Security, Culture, and Gender Inclusivity. Experience sharing and linkages between culture and the rights of women and girls in bringing about peace and development, as well as the various measures Member States have taken in their countries further highlighted efforts taken to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment.