April 5-10, 2013
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
The violence between the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the rebel group M23 that escalated last November - the latest in a series of armed conflicts and wars that have affected the country since 1998 - has finally subsided. Peace negotiations between the DRC government and M23 are under way. A Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework, drafted by the United Nations, has been signed by eight African states including Rwanda and Uganda, two countries implicated in the conflict. Yet, despite numerous efforts and resources spent on securing peace and stability in DRC and the region, the incidence of violence against women continues to be on the rise. If the DRC really is becoming more stable and secure, the question is: for whom? It is urgent that women activists gather and examine the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework, in particular as it relates to violence against women and girls.
To contribute to the attainment of genuine and lasting peace throughout the whole of the DRC and the Great Lakes Region, women leaders from DRC, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Liberia, Sierra Leone and South Sudan will convene for a Women's Peace Dialogue in DRC's capital, Kinshasa, April 5-10, 2013.
Together, they will discuss the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework and formulate concrete recommendations for its full and effective implementation. These recommendations will be taken to policy and decision makers at national, regional and international levels, to hasten concrete actions to end the violence in the DRC and the region, and to protect women and girls from rampant sexual and gender-based violence.
The Women's Peace Dialogue and Women's Peace Delegation is an initiative of the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) and its member organizations Cadre Permanent de Concertation de la Femme Congolaise (CAFCO), African Women's Active Nonviolence Initiatives for Social Change (AWANICh)-DRC, RÃ©seau Femme et DÃ©veloppement (REFED), WILPF-DRC, and other civil society partners. This initiative is supported by Cordaid and UN Women Central Africa Sub-Regional Office.
Civil society actors in the DRC will be joined by the GNWP International Coordinating team and prominent women from other African countries, to generate concrete response from the individual governments involved in the discussions on the incidences of violence in the DRC including but not limited to those that are related to the actions of M23, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, the African Union and the UN Security Council.
- Ms. Betty Ogwaro, Minister of Agriculture; former mediator in the peace negotiation between the Ugandan government and the LRA (South Sudan)
- Ms. Miria Matembe, former Vice President and former Member of Parliament (Uganda)
- Hon. Constance Mukayuhi Rwaka, Speaker of Chamber of Deputies, Rwanda Parliament
- Ms. Catherine Mabobori, former Member of Parliament (Burundi)
- Ms. Nana Pratt, President, National Organization of Women (Sierra Leone)
- Ms. Yvette Chesson-Wureh, Establishment Coordinator, Angie Brooks International Centre (ABIC) for Women's Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security (Liberia)
- Ms. Robinah Rubimbwa, CEWIGO Executive Director (Uganda)