Weekly Highlight of WPS on the African Continent from August 31st to 4th September 2020

UN Security Council Adopts Resolution 2538

The UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2538 on the 28th of August 2020. Resolution 2538  calls for the full and meaningful participation of women – uniformed and civilian – in peacekeeping. This resolution calls for the UN member states, the UN Secretariat and regional organizations to promote effective and meaningful participation of women in peacekeeping operations and in senior leadership positions. This will require making the conditions right for women’s participation including enabling gender-sensitive working environment and promoting zero toelrance for sexual harrassment. The resolution also calls for enhanced partnership for targeted training and capacity building for uniformed women participating in peacekeeping mission.

Further Context: The current UN Peacekeeping force has only about 7% women participation. The Security Council resolution is aimed at achieving the UN System Wide Gender Parity Strategy 2018-2028.

Further Details Available Here: https://www.un.org/press/en/2020/sc14288.doc.htm

Civilians Accuse Military of Brutality in Cameroon’s Anglophone Regions

Within the context of the ongoing altercation between the Cameroonian military and the separatist movement of Cameroon, a policeman on duty was killed. This led to a reprisal attack by the military this week in Southern Cameroon. The reprisal attack targeted civilians, mostly women who were brutalized and treated in an inhumane manner by the military. 80 women were reported detained by the military for 3 days for no reason.

Further Details Available Here:https://www.voanews.com/africa/civilians-accuse-military-brutality-cameroons-anglophone-regions

Renewed Violence in DRC’s Kasai Region

The Kasai region is yet again experiencing another wave of violence which is yet again disrupting the lives of its indigenes. The newly displaced reported cases of rape, killings, torture, and burring of their homes in resent weeks. Amongst the newly displaced people are women. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee has called for calm as the new wave of violence will spark a new wave of displacement. 

Further Context: Violence erupted and peaked in the Kasai Region of Congo in 2016 and 2017 following a dispute between a local chief and the national government. This violence led to the displacement of an estimated 1.4million people internally and thousands moving to Angola.

Further Details Available Herehttps://www.voanews.com/africa/renewed-violence-drcs-kasai-region-could-trigger-mass-displacement-un-says

Investment in Media Can Help drive Positive Behaviour Towards Women

A study by Tsima Program in South Africa has shown the positive impact that internet and television can have in bringing about positive change in intimate partner violence. This study was done in a small Tsima community and young women reported that there were lower levels of violence from partners attributable  to the influence from television shows on Gender Based Violence and dangers associated to it. Participants of the study shared that it was skills such as conflict resolution and communication skills and television programs they had learnt had helped them adopt new behaviours. While the study was conducted within a small sample population, it points to the power of media to drive people to imbibe positive attitudes and change social behaviour including with Women, Peace and Security.

Further Details Available Here: https://www.avert.org/news/changing-gender-attitudes-south-africa-linked-increased-access-tv-and smartphones?__cf_chl_captcha_tk__=657a4f190d4034af106340b96ea3a7d0392fcd0a-1599257506-0-

Environmental Challenges Deepening IDP Crisis in the Lake Chad Basin

The International Organization for Migration has reported that while over 360000 people have been forcefully displaced from their homes because of security attacks from armed groups in the Lake Chad region, environmental challenge is currently increasing the number of internally displaced persons in the region. The region is currently experiencing the highest rainfall in 30 years leading to flash flooding and displacements.   This is a precarious situation as more than half of the displaced persons are women and displacement increases the risk of poverty, sexual violence and the risk of early marriage for girls.

Further Details Available Here:https://www.voanews.com/africa/forcibly-displaced-chad-facing-twin-security-and-environmental-crises


Reshuffle in Mali’s Transitional Establishment

Few weeks after the coup by the Mali military, the new Chief of Staff has appointed new people to key positions in the military. What comes to attention is that no woman was appointed to any of these key roles. This is because even though Mali does not discriminate in recruitment like some African countries, there are fewer women in the military. This is both cultural and a testament to the fact that equal chances does not necessarily translate to equal conditions.  

Further Details Available Here:https://north-africa.com/2020/09/mali-reshuffle-in-malis-defense-and-security-establishment/

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