Africa: Dismantling Barriers to Women's Participation in Peace Processes

15 January 2021

Women's Peace and Humanitarian Fund launches new rapid financing tool

Originally published by the Women's Peace and Humanitarian Fund

The Women's Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF) - together with UN, government and civil society partners - launched on Thursday a new financing mechanism to urgently accelerate women's influence and participation in peace processes across the globe.

Dismantling Barriers to Women's Participation in Peace Processes, @WPHFund Launches New Rapid Financing Tool | Women's Peace and Humanitarian Fund #RapidResponse | #SheBuildsPeace | #WPS | #WPHFund

- Women's Peace & Humanitarian Fund (@wphfund) January 15, 2021

The new WPHF Rapid Response Window (RRW) on Women's Participation in Peace Processes and the Implementation of Peace Agreements addresses the countless technical and logistical barriers that women and local civil society organizations often face to participate meaningfully in peace processes at all levels - such as travel, childcare, translation, advocacy, and capacity building support.

"The Rapid Response Window of the Women's Peace and Humanitarian Fund will make a real difference in the lives of women peacebuilders - and through them - their communities and societies. This tool will deliver flexible funding to civil society organizations so that women can take their rightful place at the peace table." said UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed at yesterday's official launch event.

A recommendation of the UN Secretary General in his 2019 annual report on Women, Peace and Security, this critical new financing mechanism was designed in consultation with women peacebuilders and a wide range of UN and civil society stakeholders to support more women to effectively access and shape peace processes around the world.

The Rapid Response Window (RRW) is currently supporting three pilot initiatives led by women's civil society organizations on two continents. In Afghanistan, Rapid Response Window support is raising awareness of the essential roles of women in formal conflict resolution processes and facilitating the direct participation of diverse women's civil society organizations in a track 2 peace process. In Mali, the Rapid Response Window is supporting local consultations to strengthen advocacy initiatives for women's participation in the implementation of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation.

"Reinforcing women's leadership is key to achieving sustainable peace in Africa. We need to invest in the training of women and the financing of women-led peacebuilding programs, which is crucial to the peace and stability of our region," said Massaran Bibi Traore, Director of Mali's Alliance for Research and Integreated Development, and a WPHF RRW partner.

Made possible with the generous initial investment by the Governments of Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Malta, Norway and Sweden, the Rapid Response Window - powered by the flexible and rapid financing of the Women's Peace and Humanitarian Fund - will help position women and their organizations as essential actors on the road to lasting peace.

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