By Vuga Innocent
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Women, Peace and Security Forum (IWPSF) on Friday completed a three day board meeting in Entebbe city, Uganda with an objective to discuss the full operationalization of the forum.
The 3-day board technical meeting attended by participants from all the 8 member countries discussed major developments in the operationalization of the Forum, adoption of the planned 2021 activities and the Terms of Reference and Rules of Procedure among others.
Delegates from Sudan, South Sudan and other conflict affected countries narrated the importance of inclusion of women on the table of discussing peace and security since women are always the most affected.
The IGAD Program Manager, Mubarak Mabuya said it is the high time women are brought on the table of discussing and implementing peace and security.
“A good percentage of the 240 million people in the IGAD region have undergone through conflicts and women are impacted more but unfortunately they rarely sit on decision making tables. We need them now,” said Mubarak.
Adding: “There are 8 million internally displaced people in IGAD and 4 million refugees. Violent
extremism, proliferation of small arms, human trafficking and others need to be addressed inclusively.”
The IGAD Women, Peace and Security Forum (IWPSF) was launched in 2013 and it was agreed that a Women and Peace Forum Board that comprises of three members from each IGAD Member State represent the Executive, the Legislature and the Civil Society. The IGAD Secretariat was also tasked to develop a strategic plan and financing plan for the operationalization of the IWPSF.
The IWPSF board in cooperation with the IGAD Secretariat, IGAD Member States, the AUC and UN Agencies, wherever practicable, taps available resources and abilities in developing ways and means through which to affirm the role of intercultural cooperation in attaining a just and sustainable peace.
IGAD has for nearly two decades consistently promoted Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GEWE) in the region. There has been significant progresses especially in the women in Peace and Security area since IGAD focused on implementing Regional, Continental and Global instruments to this end.
The meeting is funded by the European Union through the IPPSHAR Programme.