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|Dialogue on Gender and the African Union’s SSR Framework|
7 October 2011
ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA
The African Security Sector Network (ASSN) and Fahamu-Networks for Social Justice co-convened a two-day dialogue to undertake a critical review of methodologies currently utilised to mainstream gender in ongoing peace and security processes in Africa.
The dialogue, which took place on 6-7 October 2011 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Addis Ababa was timely in its objective to assess and sharpen engagement around these methodologies as transformative instructional tools for the operationalization of the African Union Security Sector Reform Policy Framework, once adopted in 2012.
Overall, it also assessed how these can be systematically and structurally embedded into Africa's Peace and Security agenda in order to transform gendered hierarchies in our societies. As underscored in the keynote speech delivered by Ambassador Monica Juma, “Security is the centrepiece of social justice”.
The methodologies assessed included: a) Policy advocacy, reviews and development; b) Design of modules and delivery of gender training to security personnel; c) Establishment of gender structures within security institutions including through offices, units and/or appointment of gender focal points; d) Institutionalisation of quotas for recruitment of women; and e) Collaboration with women's groups and institutions. Think pieces on each of these methodologies fed into plenary discussions and working groups, which generated key recommendations at the end of the meeting.
Other representatives from the African Union who spoke at the dialogue included Dr. Tarek Sharif, Head of the Defence and Security Division of the AUC Peace and Security Department; Ms. Yetunde Teriba, Deputy Director AU-WGDD; and Dr. Norman Mlambo from the AU-SSR Unit. Also represented were the UN Women-AU Liaison office, NEPAD, the AU SSR Office, the African Leadership Centre (ALC), the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), FEMNET, Urgent Action Fund-Africa, Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS), and Equality Now.