Women and Security Governance in Africa
The ills suffered by women during war and conflict is now a discourse that international bodies like the UN, UN Women and various women campaign groups around the globe take seriously. From the Liberia to Sierra Leone to DR Congo, some of Africa’s most recent wars, women have found themselves sandwiched between multiple warring factions and often times, become victims of heinous violence acts and rape. At a time when the role of the African woman is continuously being redefined, from that of a housewife to a state minister to a president, Women and Security Governance in Africa examines the strategic positioning of women during peace negations in conflict times. Funmi Olanisakin, Awino Okech and a team of writers, including Eka Ikpe, bring diverse viewpoints about the corporate participation and visibility of women at crucial negotiation points because without them, it would be impossible to achieve a peaceful and harmonious society.
When the United Nations Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security was adopted in 2000, it was heralded by policy analysts, women’s groups and international observers as a turning point in the protection of women during conflict times. After years of women’s security and their well-being during conflict times being relegated to the margins with more focus, this was the first time that the security concerns of women in situations of armed conflict and their role in peace building were placed on the agenda of the UN Security Council.
Now that we have UN Women, Olanisakin, Okech and contributing writers incisively bring it to our attention with the salient point that “Real change towards ending violence against women requires a coordinated and sustained effort at many levels, focusing on legal and institutional reforms, with particular attention paid to the repeal of all discriminatory laws and amending ones contradictory to the spirit of the TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Committee.)” Women and Security Governance in Africa is a text women campaigners, policy makers and government officials including those at the UN must read in order to gain academic, practical and insight into a problem that continues to grow with few and far changes in-between.