The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) has held its first African Peace Forum in Accra with the aim of mobilising women to aid the fight for peace in Africa.
The Forum, which was held as part of WILPF’s two-day 32nd Bi-Annual Congress at the University of Ghana, Legon, was also to create awareness and to inspire women in Africa to aid in the fight against violence and to strive for a more peaceful environment.
It had the theme, “Building Feminist Peace Movement in Africa,” and was attended by delegates from institutions and groups across Africa.
Mrs Joana Adjoa Opare, a renowned gender consultant and Executive Director of Gender Planning Consults Limited, who was the guest of honour, indicated that it was taking African women too long to actively play a leading lead role in peace building in Africa.
“It has been long overdue for African women to rise and turn their situations around for a more peaceful region where they can enjoy all the wealth granted by the creator.
“When will we rise as the real gallant African women to say enough of the ineffective peace pendulum; enough of the paper work; we must rise and march for the time has come for African women to be seen and heard as the flagbearer of peace,” she said.
She lauded the objective of the Feminist Peace Movement in Africa, and expressed optimism that it would help to examine the historical and current realities of women working for peace across Africa, especially within conflict-affected communities, and explore the root causes of violence and feminist work for social transformation, economic justice and peace.
Madeleine Rees, Secretary General of WILPF, in her remarks, noted that WILPF has achieved a lot over the years in supporting peace development in conflict zones.
“The League would continue to do more by identifying the problems in the society and finding peaceful solutions to them,” she stressed.
According to her the root cause of challenges were attributable to structures power within the society, adding that the best way to resolve these issues is through a bottom-up development approach.
“Violence against females and conflicts would not be resolved by challenging the structures of power but by educating those at the grass root through mediation efforts,” she said.
She indicated that the feminism peace movement is not limited to women but is inclusive of men and children fighting for women’s rights and peace.
In that regard, she praised the men who were actively involved in the movement “for standing together to bring an end to conflicts and violence against women.”
The forum was attended by numerous peace activists across Africa and other continents to critically discuss the root causes of violence and women’s role in social transformation, economic justice and peace.
They also discussed ways of strengthening feminist solidarity for an innovative and non-violent work environment for women in Africa.
By: Fred Gadese-Mensah/adrdaily.com