By Raphael Oni
The ECOWAS Commission In collaboration with its partner, Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA) the Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security of the ECOWAS Commission will launch its Guidelines on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) on the 23rd of April, 2021 in Abuja, Nigeria.
The virtual/in-person hybrid launch, is in furtherance of the drive to enhance greater gender mainstreaming and bring to the front burner, the importance of women in peace building efforts within the ECOWAS region, while highlighting their role in the sustenance of the regional peace and security architecture.
Among others, the Guidelines are expected to strengthen the implementation of the WPS agenda thereby contributing to the enhancement of gender-responsive operational capacity of the ECOWAS Commission.
In deference to the contributions of women in building peaceful, stable societies, ECOWAS had over the years, developed legal frameworks to safeguard the role of women in governance, electoral processes, conflict prevention and resolution as well as peacebuilding.
These include among others, the Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance (2001), the ECOWAS Gender Policy (2005), the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework (2008) and the Gender and Elections Strategic Framework, (2016).
Through these legal frameworks and mechanisms, ECOWAS has continued to work towards inclusive and participatory governance processes, including the rights and roles of women in peace processes, while adhering to international frameworks on WPS, such as the the UNSCR Resolution 1325 (2000) and subsequent resolutions, in addition to Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995) .
The participating partners and stakeholders for the launch include top management staff of the ECOWAS Commission, the African Union, UNOWAS, the ministry of Gender and Social Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the UN Women to Nigeria and ECOWAS, members of the Diplomatic Corps, Civil Society Organizations and the media.