Accra, 18-29 November, 2019: The year 2020 is landmark for the global community as we celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations. Coincidentally, it also marks the 25th and 20th Anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995) and the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security (WPS). These two international documents have shaped gender issues over the past two decades, empowering and protecting the interest of women and girls to achieve an inclusive global effort at ensuring sustainable peace and development.
The Millennium Development Goals saw increased participation and opportunities for women, an achievement the Sustainable Development Goals seeks to enhance. Despite the gains made, there has been an increasing call for ensuring “meaningful” participation for women, and an increased representation of women in leadership.
In line with this, the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) through its Women Peace and Security Institute (WPSI) in collaboration with the GIZ Support Office to the KAIPTC established the KAIPTC Women Support Scheme – focused on promoting meaningful participation and leadership of women in the peace and security sectors. In November 2019, the KAIPTC rolled out the first programme under the Women Support Scheme, a leadership training programme dubbed, the Inspiring African Women Leaders in Peace and Security.
The course was organized by the WPSI-KAIPTC in partnership with GIZ and the Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP). It brought together 16 mid-level women from the police, military, government departments and grassroots civil society organizations from 11 African countries – Cameroon, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Over the first week, participants explored their individual purpose, value and identity which they used to shape their understanding of leadership as a social process and consequently, design their personal leadership development plans within the WPS sphere. Participants enhanced their capacity to communicate to achieve impact, enhanced their emotional intelligence, and practiced developing and pitching and strategic message and building resilience in leadership and life balance. In the second week, participants focused on building capacities in one of the thematic areas, namely, Advocacy; Public Policy and Good Governance; and Conflict Analysis, Mediation and Negotiation. Participants also designed their individual projects.
The course marked the first phase of the leadership programme. Participants would be further engaged in the coming months and provided support as they work on their individual projects.