Malawi Commemorates the 17th Anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women peace and security

Nov 9, 2017

On the 31st October 2017, Malawi joined the rest of the world in commemorating the 17th anniversary of the United National Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security at the Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe.

Gracing the occasion as the Guest of Honor, Chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission, Justice Dr. Jane Ansah stressed that the commemoration is an opportunity for all stakeholders to evaluate previous activities implemented and to help scale up interventions aimed at empowering women and girls in the country.

“The resolution recognizes that although women are mostly victims of conflicts, they are sidelined in negotiations and mediations for peace and their issues are often ignored during such peace processes…Women therefore do need special initiatives to create a conducive environment that allows them to participate freely on an equal basis without being subjected to gender stereotypes,” said Justice Ansah.

She further called on all stakeholders to implement measures that support women’s peace initiatives and to ensure the protection of women and girls as they relate to the electoral system.

In her remarks, the UNDP Deputy Representative, Claire Medina described how the commemoration’s theme on the role of women in peaceful elections was timely and highly pertinent as Malawi prepares for the 2019 elections.

“Women in Malawi have a pivotal role to play in preventing, managing and resolving conflicts in preparation for the upcoming election. As the UN, we will continue to encourage women’s involvement, both in politics and in initiatives which aim to prevent conflict in Malawi,” said Ms. Medina.

The Chief Director from the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Chimwemwe Banda, also reiterated the commitment of the Malawi Government in supporting the implementation of the Resolution.

“The importance of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security cannot be overemphasized. and as a ministry, we are therefore optimistic to see a scaled-up implementation of the Resolution which will eventually facilitate the achievement of gender equality and women empowerment in the country,” she said.

According to the 2016 Malawi Country Progress Report on the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 presented during the commemoration event, women’s participation in decision making positions in Malawi remains low, despite the provisions of enabling policies, frameworks and strategies aimed at promoting gender equality. The report therefore recommended increased provision of financial, technical and political support on activities aimed at women empowerment; the identification and training of women with existing technical capacity to fill high-level decision-making positions in peace processes; and for international agencies to provide funding specifically for initiatives that implement the women, peace and security agenda

The event, which was attended by representatives from peacebuilding forums, women in faith groups, traditional leaders, the media, academia, women farmers and other representatives, was organized by the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, with support from UNDP and the UN Women.

The commemoration, whose theme “The role of Women in Peaceful Elections,” was organized to celebrate on the important role that women play in ensuring peaceful elections and to condemn the exploitation of women by political parties in the country.

The United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security is an international law unanimously adopted on 31 October 2000 by the UN Security Council. It provides for four pillars that calls for increased participation of women in all levels of decision making roles; protection of women and girls from all forms of violence including in emergency and humanitarian situations; improved interventions in the prevention of violence against women; and for the advancement of relief and recovery measures through the adoption of gender perspective  

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