Women, Peace and Security in the SADC Region: Progress, Prospects and Challenges

Women, Peace and Security in the SADC Region: Progress, Prospects and Challenges

Jeffrey Kurebwa (Bindura University of Science, Bindura, Zimbabwe)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/IJCESC.2018070104

Abstract

The Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda is a key part of the international, continental and regional programme for attaining sustainable and durable peace. Conflict and post-conflict situations have a different impact on women, men, boys and girls. During conflicts, women and children are more vulnerable to sexual violence and exploitation, displacement, a change to household relations and poverty. There have been concerted efforts to identify and address the impact of conflict on women and children and to provide for more responsive, representative and inclusive peace and security structures and processes. SADC countries have made great strides in enacting gender sensitive legislations, representation of women in cabinet, parliament, local government, and security sector institutions. Women have not adequately been represented in mediation and peace-building efforts and most peace agreements lack gender sensitivity. Peace agreements do not include reference to specific needs or interests of women.
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2. Literature Review

Current conflicts are characterised by upsurges of violence in which human rights and humanitarian law are violated – often at the hands of a growing number of non-state armed actors as well as illicit groups operating on the periphery of armed conflicts without qualifying as parties to them (Hellesveit, 2015). Conflicts often have multiple complex drivers and are influenced by cross-border and transnational developments. Among other factors, geopolitical complexity, extreme violence and the use and reach of new technologies have triggered a need for new approaches to conflict resolution. Several reviews and studies conducted in 2015 highlight the need for more attention to prevention and peace maintenance and a focus on the root causes of conflict in order to avoid relapse, escalation and protracted crises. This means understanding root causes like societal and cultural inequalities and gender norms and altering the dynamics of conflict-prone societies (Global Study, 2015).

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