Celebrating Young women in Peace and Security and Launching “The Role and Contribution of Young Women in Peace Processes in Africa” paper


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Youth participants of the policy dialogue commemorate Young Women in Peace and Security (YWPS), On Africa Youth Day, African Union Commission. Photo: UN Women

On Africa Youth Day, UN Women and the African Union Commission in Collaboration with the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights organized a policy dialogue to commemorate young women in Peace and security.   

The international community of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace, and security, acknowledged that women are not only the targets of mass violence in situations of armed conflict whose protection needs to be enhanced, but also that their participation in peacebuilding has a strategic and positive impact on the stabilization and reconstruction of post-crisis countries.  

It is to mark this global advancement, that UN Women Liaison office and its partners established a dialogue on Africa’s Youth Day, after having a month-long campaign on Women Peace and Security (WPS), to celebrate the youth in Africa particularly, young women’s contribution in peace and security.   

The observations of Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) and Africa’s Youth Day also included the official launch of the UN Women study on the ‘Role and Contribution of Young Women in Peace Processes in Africa’. 

The event was in a hybrid format, attended online and in presence by the African Union Commission (AUC) Women, Gender and Youth Division, the AUC Office of the Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security, AUC Political Affairs, Peace and Security, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the United Kingdom embassy, Representatives of Civil Society Organizations , Women peacebuilders, youth advocates, and AUC youth ambassadors. The dialogue garnered multi-stakeholder commitments for the implementation of key priorities to advance Young Women’s participation in Peace Processes in Africa. 

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The opening ceremony of the dialogue was done by the UN Women Liaison office Special representative, Mme Awa Ndiaye-Seck who emphasized, "We can no longer look back as young women are left out of important peace processes.”

Hanna Lemma, a youth advocate in peace building, in Ethiopia, Challenges such as not being represented in spaces such as tody is harmful because youth need to be presented in all spheres that discuss social economy development and political decision-making, and not only so-called youth issue, for there to be a difference "We are here, because we deserve to be here. We need to discuss why we haven't been represented in the past."

The dialogue forum further be underpinned in the 3rd E of the AU 1 million by 2021 initiative focusing on the ‘Engagement’ of women youth, particularly in leadership and forums which discuss conflict prevention and resolution as well as political and security decisions.  

The event took place at the African Union and was attended by AUC-Women, Gender and Youth Division, AUC-Office of the Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security, AUC-Political Affairs, Peace and Security, UN Agencies, Representatives of CSOs, Women peacebuilders, youth advocates, Development Partners.