The Horn of African conferences have since its inception focused on issues related to peace, security and development. So far, none of the conferences has yet had an explicit focus on the linkages between gender, peace and development. This time the focus of the conference is set on these linkages. We know that the violence has had disproportionate effects on the lives of women. Often as targets of extreme forms of violence, women in the Horn of Africa experience the full impact of violent conflict in the region as civilians and combatants, but are generally excluded from the decision-making processes that ignite wars or put an end to hostilities.
In a joint effort between United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and Club de Madrid to promote women's leadership for peace and security in the Greater Horn of Africa, they described the situation for women in the region:
“Priority is rarely given to developing women's individual and
collective capacity to address these conflicts and to build stable,
peaceful and democratic institutions in the Horn of Africa. Women
generally remain absent from policy dialogue with government on
critical issues for peace and security that have fundamental
gender dimensions and implications for sustainable stability.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325)
was adopted in 2000 for the empowerment of women as peace
builders in conflict and post conflict settings, yet most of its
commitments have not been implemented.”
Women are important agents for creating stability in the lives of their families and to promote reconciliation and peace even under very difficult and traumatic situations. However, women's peace building potential have had no significant impact on policies and decision relating to conflicts because of their absence from the decision making processes and bodies in the region.
The conference aims at raising awareness about the importance of implementation of these resolutions in the Horn of Africa, especially in countries emerging from conflict. The rational behind the conference is to give attention to the situation for women and their concern over peace and development, and to strengthen their role in the promotion of peace and development in the Horn of Africa.
The objective of the conference is to:
• Raise awareness of women's needs and situation in the Horn of Africa.
• Raise awareness of Horn of African governments' social service expenditures.
• Raise awareness of UNSCR 1325 and 1820 in a Horn of African context.
• Promote the inclusion of Horn of African women in the decision-making positions in their respective governments, as well as in regional and international organizations.
• Promote women's memberships in governmental decision-making institutions.
• Promote the participation of Horn of African women in conflict prevention and resolution processes.
• Promote networking between Horn of African women peace organizations, and other stakeholders.
• Promote maintenance and protection of due process of law and constitutionalism in Horn of African countries
There are special invitations to political scientists, sociologists, historians, economists, practitioners, lawyers, civics, institutions, and policy-makers to conference as presenters. Your inputs and perspectives bring vital insights into peaceful solutions to women's issues in the Horn of Africa.
Below follows proposed topics:
- Women's experience of armed conflict in the Horn of Africa, e.g. separation, loss of relatives, physical and economic insecurity, an increased risk of sexual violence, wounding, detention, deprivation and even death.
- Women's needs in the Horn of Africa (be they combatants, persons deprived of their freedom, refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), mothers and/or members of the civilian population).
- Women's needs for safety and security in the Horn of Africa.
- Women's vulnerabilities and coping mechanisms in the Horn of Africa (vulnerability facing pregnant women, nursing mothers, mothers of small children, female heads-of-household and young girls). It is important to consider when assessing vulnerability facing women is whether their community is urban or rural. Sensitivity to local context and culture is crucial to understanding and responding to the effects of conflict.
- Natural resources and gender imbalances.
- Female members of the regular armed forces, armed groups or their support services in the Horn of Africa.
- Female politicians, leaders of NGOs and active campaigners for peace.
- The status and review of the progress or lack thereof of the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 in the Horn of Africa.
- Negotiation and Post-conflict reconstruction: Increasing women's participation
- The status of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1820 in the Horn of Africa.
- The Gendered Impact of Prolific Small Arms.
- Women as peacemakers, peacekeepers and peace builders.
- Women's participation in governance and the process of decentralization and democratization in the Horn of Africa.
- Women's contribution to reconciliation and long-term conflict prevention.
- Legislation and gender.
- Women's participation in the political processes and democratization.
You are invited to send a one page abstract which should include a working title, the author's discipline and field, address, institutional affiliation and e-mail address to either of the conference coordinators written below before 30th March 2011. Deadline for the complete paper is 30th June 2011. Papers are expected to be of high quality and follow the time limitations. All guest speakers are requested to take an inter-sectional approach to their papers. We look forward to receiving your abstract.
For more information please contact:
Abdillahi Jama, Conference Coordinator
Somalia International Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC)
220 09 Lund, Sweden,
Tel/fax: +46 46-2114502,
Mobil: +4673-989 75 33,
Former Ambassador to UN, Count Pietersen,
Somalia International Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC)
220 09 Lund, Sweden
Tel: +46 46-2115269