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The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency supports FAS core Programme

SIDA has committed to support the 2013/2015 core programme of FAS on “Women, Peace and Security” aimed at mobilising the power of women to forge peace and drive prosperity in Africa. This three year programme is based on two strategic pillars:
1) Empower African women to assume a leadership role in building peace;
2) Promote gender parity and mainstreaming in Africa.
FAS programme will put particular emphasis on building the capacity of women and the youth to strengthen their role and involvement in conflict resolution, prevention of conflict and post conflict reconstruction. FAS is particularly grateful to SIDA for this generous support that will help us to assess the effectiveness, relevance, efficiency, sustainability, and impact of our programme.

28th UN Human Rights Council: FAS delivers statements in the interactive dialogues with the Independent Experts of Central African Republic and Mali

Geneva, 24 March 2015 - In the context of the ongoing 28th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, FAS delivered two statements in the interactive dialogue sessions with the independent experts on the Human Rights Situation in the Central African Republic, Ms. Marie-Thérèse Keita Bocoum, and on the Human Rights Situation in Mali, Mr. Suliman Baldo.
Read more>>

Read FAS statement on CAR FR | EN.
Read FAS statement on Mali FR | EN.
Watch the Interactive Dialogue on CAR here.
Watch the Interactive Dialogue on Mali here.
Read the UN Geneva report summary on CAR here.
Read the UN Geneva report summary on Mali here.

CSW59/Beijing+20 - Femmes Africa Solidarité co-organizes high level side events to discuss formulation and implementation of African women’s priorities for Agenda 2063 and post-2015 development agenda.

New York, 20 March 2015 – Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) collaborated with the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA) and the Office of the Special Envoy of the African Union Commission Chairperson on Women, Peace and Security to organize two high-level side events during the CSW 59 at the UN Headquarters in New York. These events aimed at identifying concerns and priorities towards the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda, and the empowerment of young women and girls to enable them to achieve the concrete targets set by development frameworks such as the Beijing+20 review, the African Union agenda 2063 and the post-2015 agenda. FAS also chaired the CSW/NGO briefing with the African Women’s Caucus, which reiterates the importance of the participation of civil society organizations in shaping the current global policy framework on women’s empowerment and gender equality. The Caucus prepared a statement on the lack of inclusion of civil society organizations recommendations in the CSW59 political declaration.
Read more>>

Watch the webcast of the High Level Dialogue: “Towards a Continental Results Framework on Women, Peace and Security” here.
Read the recommendations here.
Watch the webcast of the Panel "Ensuring the Emerging Leadership of Africa’s Young Women & Girls Towards 2063" here.
Read the recommendations here.

2015 International Women's Day

2015 is the year of women's empowerment. Celebrate International Women's Day with Femmes Africa Solidarité and the Gender is My agenda Campaign (GIMAC). Spread the word and join the movement! View the pictures.

25th African Union Pre-Summit Consultative Meeting: What African Women Demand for the Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development

Addis Ababa, January 26th, 2015 - This week in Addis Ababa marked the end of the four day Gender is my Agenda Campaign (GIMAC) Pre-Summit Consultative Meeting on Mainstreaming Gender in the African Union (AU) and Member States. This 25th session of the GIMAC was special on many accounts. The year 2015 has been designated by the AU as the Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development Towards Africa’s Agenda 2063. The year also marks the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (Beijing+20) and the 15th anniversary of United Nations Security Council resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325). We are also into the 5th year of the African Women’s Decade (2010-2020) and the finalization of a new post-2015 development framework. The meeting marked the bi-annual consultation between GIMAC members on the one hand, and with the African Union Commission Chairperson, AU ministers of Gender and Women Affairs, gender focal points of Regional Economic Communities and United Nations partners on the other. This follows a key decision adopted during the 24th GIMAC Pre-Summit Meeting, which took place in June 2014 in Malabo for civil society representatives and policy makers to deliberate together before the African Union Summit of Heads of State and Government. Read more >>.

Read the GIMAC’s outcome document EN | FR.
Read the Stakeholder’s Consultation Joint Communiqué EN | FR.
What African Women Want: View the banners illustrating some of the recommendations of the joint consultation.
Read the outcomes of the 24th African Union Summit of Heads of State and Government EN | FR.
Read the media Advisory for the GIMAC Consultation EN.
Read the Press Release for the press conference held at the African Union: EN | FR.

For more information:
GIMAC Agenda EN.
Concept Note EN | FR.
Short Concept Note EN | FR.
AU Work Programme EN | FR.
GIMAC’s photo gallery here.
Popular version of the Agenda 2063 here.
Report of the Commission on the African Union Agenda 2063 here.
Listen to what African women have to say for the Africa We Want in 2063 here.

FAS calls for an end to gender-based violence during Solidarity Mission to Nigeria

Abuja, 13th December 2014 - Following up with one of the outcomes of the 24th summit of last GIMAC in June 2014, Harriette Williams Bright, FAS’ acting Executive Director, took part in a Solidarity Mission in Nigeria, on behalf of the Gender is my Agenda Campaign. The mission was conducted by Mrs Bineta Diop, Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission.
FAS, supported by Women's International League for Peace & Freedom (WILPF)-Nigeria, facilitated access of Nigerian women's groups and civil society organizations to meet with the AU Women, Peace and Security delegation. Interactive sessions with government members and discussions with CSOs were held to galvanize the support of civil society organizations that have undertaken a series of activities through working with victims of terrorism. The Bring Back Our Girls initiative was part of the Nigerian civil society organizations the delegation engaged with.
Avenues were explored with women of Nigeria for concrete and meaningful solidarity actions that will support and enhance the role of women in all aspects of public life

The following recommendations were made to create awareness on issues on Women Peace and Security:
- The need to break the culture of silence usually associated with impunity, violence against women and gender inequality through the domestication of resolution 1325,
- The need for civil society organizations, including women groups, and especially those in peace and conflict resolution, to commit to the full implementation of Abuja declaration,
- The need for the African Union to ensure and support the full implementation of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa,
- The need for civil society organizations, and especially women groups, to engage as one united, indivisible group, committed to gender equality, women’s empowerment, and peace and security,
- The need to encourage Nigerian government to implement the small arms and ammunition treaty ratified by the country to control the proliferation of small arms used by insurgents and perpetrators of violence against women in Nigeria,
- The need to address the lack of women representation in the three regional security meetings of the Africa Union and the urgent need for women's inclusion in all aspects of peace and security discussions, plans and policies.

See the pictures of the solidarity mission here.
Read the article “Protect Our girls” here.
Watch the video here.

Ms Harriette Williams Bright, FAS’ acting Executive Director, echoes the voices of Civil Society Organizations at the Open session of the African Union Peace and Security Council

Addis Ababa, 16th December 2014 - Ms Harriette Williams Bright delivered an oral statement on behalf of the Women, Peace and Security African Civil Society Organizations on the subject of “Sources of instability in Africa: root causes and responses” at the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC).
Reviewing the situation of women, peace and security agenda in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and the Great Lakes region, the CSOs seized the opportunity to call on African Union, governments and AUPSC to undertake concrete actions to improve the lives of African women in difficult situations, facing conflicts, abuses and outbreaks.
The CSOs engaged to highlight, support and follow-up the specific concerns of women raised during the missions of solidarity from Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and the Great Lakes region.
They also reiterated their commitment along with the AU to promote and move forward the implementation of the UNSCR 1325.Council and Participants welcomed the presentations made by the representatives of the CSOs and women’s organizations and emphasized the important role these organizations and other non-state actors play in advancing the agenda on women, peace and security in Africa.

Read the consolidated civil society statement here.
Read the statement of the AU Special Envoy on WPS” here.
Read the press communique here.
See the pictures here.

FAS attends meeting with the Malian Delegation of Spiritual Leaders and of the Platform of Civil Society Organizations of Mali

The Archbishop of Bamako, Monseigneur Jean Zerbo and Mahmoud Dicko, Chair of the High Islamic Council of Mali

Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) attended a panel discussion with the Malian delegation of spiritual leaders and the platform of civil society organizations of Mali, organized by Her Excellency Ms. Aya Thiam Diallo, Ambassador of Mali in Geneva, and the Permanent Mission of Mali to the UN and other international organizations in Geneva, on Wednesday, 4th of February.
Having previously met with political and religious counterparts in Paris and Bruxelles, the delegation arrived in Geneva to share a message of peace and national unity.
Ahead of the 5th round of inter-Malian peace talks in Algiers, the members of the delegation started a European tour, “an initiative of multiple beliefs”, to reject violence, embrace inter-community and inter-ethnic unity, and promote constructive and inclusive solutions for the ongoing conflict that has been paralysing the North of Mali since 2012, with effects on the entire country.
The diversity of the members of the delegation speaks for itself, with representatives of the civil society, like the Chair of the Women’s Organizations of Mali, the Chair of the National Union of Malian Workers, and representatives of youth associations, as well as distinguished representatives of the different religions and beliefs of Mali: Mahmoud Dicko, Chair of the High Islamic Council of Mali, one of the most influent preachers of Mali, Mr. Chérif Ousmane Madani Haïdara, the Archbishop of Bamako, Monseigneur Jean Zerbo, and the Former Prime Minister Malian Tuareg, Mohamed Ag Hamani.
The Ambassadors to Geneva of the African Union, Tchad and the Organization of the Islamic Conference present in the audience, saluted the strong symbol represented by the delegation from Mali, noting that in this moment when the world thinks that Mali is an internally divided country, the delegation, through its diversity, is a living proof of its unity.
The delegation was invited to return to Geneva in March 2015, on the occasion of the 28th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, to reiterate their advocacy message. An interactive dialogue with the Independent Expert on the Situation in Mali, Mr. Suliman Baldo, is scheduled on the agenda of this upcoming session of the Council.

Read the French version, here.

FAS calls on African citizens and stakeholders to comment on Africa’s Agenda 2063

Agenda 2063, which was developed by the African Union, seeks to embody Africa’s vision for a continent that is integrated, peaceful, prosperous, people-centered, and representing a dynamic force in the global arena. The Agenda’s strategic aspirations and goals emphasize the importance of a peaceful and secure Africa, relying particularly on the important contributions of women and youth in the actualization of THE AFRICA WE WANT. Agenda 2063 presents an opportunity to further substantiate Africa’s position on gender equality and women’s empowerment.
FAS has been working with the African Union Commission (AUC) on engendering Agenda 2063 and supports the efforts of the AUC to popularize and simplify the Agenda to make it accessible to all African citizens. Kindly access the popular version of Agenda 2063 here and please send your feedback to the following email address:agenda2063@africa-union.org by November 30, 2014.

FAS delivers a statement on the gender aspect of conflict prevention at the African Union Peace and Security Council

Addis Ababa, 27 October 2014 - Bitania Tadesse, who works on FAS advocacy in Addis Ababa, delivers a statement at the African Union Peace and Security Council’s open session on “Structural Prevention of Conflict: Reinvigorating States in Fragile Situations in Africa”. She stresses the importance of increasing women’s participation in conflict-related early warning systems.

Read FAS’ statement here.
Read the final AU outcome document here.

The Women’s Situation Room recommended as a best practice to be replicated for upcoming elections in Burundi and Nigeria

From left to right : Professor Oumar Ndongo, Scientific Director of the Master’s Programme –Dr Khabele Matlosa, Director for Political Affairs of the African Union- John Mugisa, PAC Programme Officer and Madame Safiatou Diop, Member of the Women’s Platform for Peaceful Elections in Senegal

Dakar, 31st October 2014 - Femmes Africa Solidarité, and its PanAfrican Centre for Gender, Peace and Development (FASPAC)participated to the dialogue focused on how democratic developmental governance can be leveraged to end all conflicts in Africa at the Third Level Dialogue on Democratic Governance in Africa on “Silencing the Guns: Strengthening Governance to Resolve Conflicts in Africa” convened by the African Union Commission (AUC), in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Africa Governance Institute (AGI), the Government of the Republic of Senegal and supported by Germany, via the “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH”, from the 30 to 31st October 2014 (http://bit.ly/11T7cTI).
FAS presented the Women’s Situation Room as a best practice for women to participate and monitor the electoral processes as a case study, and explained the effectiveness of the Women Situation Room to curb electoral violence both in the plenary and group discussions. Attendees agreed that the Women Situation Room is one of the best practices in preventing electoral violence and suggested that it should be replicated in every African country organizing elections.
This recommendation was supported by Dr. Khabele Matlosa, Director for Political Affairs of the African Union, who mentioned that, in the framework of the deployment of a long observation mission in Nigeria and Burundi, his department would be ready to work with FAS on the establishment of a Women’s Situation Room in these countries.
In the same vein, Madam Catherine Mabobori from the Collectif des Associations Féminines et Organisations du Burundi (CAFOB) expressed the wish that FAS provides technical expertise to establish a Women’s Situation Room ahead of Burundian presidential elections.

Bineta Diop calls on Parliamentarians to work more with the African Union and civil society to fight violence against women

Geneva, 14 October 2014 - Bineta Diop, Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and President of Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS), spoke at the 131th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly in Geneva during the Open Session of the Committee to Promote Respect for International Humanitarian Law on “Ensuring respect for women’s rights in situations of conflicts”. She called Parliaments to increase work with civil society to combat gender-based violence and promote a culture of peace. She presented the Women’s Situation Room implemented by FAS as a good practice to monitor and ensure transparent and conflict-free elections in Africa and emphasized the importance for countries to build National and Regional Action Plans to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325 at all levels.

Read her talking points here.

Bineta Diop, on behalf of H.E. Mrs. Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, delivered a statement during the General debate on “Achieving gender equality, ending violence against women” to reiterate the will of the African Union Commission to strengthen relationships with the two institutions. During her declaration, Mrs Diop highlighted the good relationships between the Inter-Parliamentary Union and African Parliaments and commended this year’s main theme, which reflects the priorities of the AUC to place women at the heart of human development in Africa. She presented instruments promoting gender equality in the AU, emphasizing in particular the adoption of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa. But despite these promising evolutions, women still face violence, poverty and inequality and it is now more than necessary to take urgent action to eradicate gender inequality and violence to build healthy and prosperous societies in Africa.

Read the speech here.

FAS joins MARWOPNET to advocate for the inclusion of a gender dimension in the efforts to fight Ebola

FAS mobilizes women organizations networks to call for the lifting of travel bans to Ebola affected countries, and supports Marwopnet’s call on UN member States “to recognise that the Ebola virus disease has a clear gender dimension that must be incorporated in interventions to ensure that the spread of this deadly disease is halted”. “At present, women make up 55 to 60 % of those who have died from the disease, with Liberia reporting up to 75 % of women among the victims”. In addition, border closures and transport restrictions due to the Ebola outbreak have negatively affected market trading and subsistence farming, the main livelihood sources through which women provide for their families and communities.

Finally, FAS joins the call for
- Gender disaggregated data at all levels, including numbers of the sick and dead, access to medical treatment as well as other social support services and dissemination to the population;
- A citizen-centered approach, prioritising gendered social and cultural dimensions, to complement the military- style initiatives that currently dominate;
- Emphasis on the long-term sustainability of interventions to be achieved via training of a new generation of health care workers and authorities.

Read UNSCR 2177 here.
Read the Open Letter to the UN Security Council Special Meeting on the Ebola Crisis here.

Women, peace and security in Africa: FAS influenced the 27th Human Rights Council agenda

FAS President speaks at the annual discussion on the integration of a gender perspective in the work of the Human Rights Council, 15 September 2014, Palais des Nations, Geneva

Femmes Africa Solidarité engaged successfully with the Human Rights Council (HRC) which concluded its 27th session by adopting 32 texts on a wide range of issues. FAS influenced the HRC resolutions on Central African Republic, and participated in the debates on the situation in South Sudan and on how to better integrate a gender perspective in the Council’s work.
As part of its strategy to protect African women’s rights and to facilitate their access to international decision-making bodies on human rights, peace and security, FAS together with the World YWCA invited two women of civil society in South Sudan to support their participation in the peace process. The South Sudanese women had the opportunity to exchange with a dozen of Member States during a private briefing organised by FAS and addressed the Council with a joint statement to call for the inclusion of South Sudanese women as rightful stakeholders in peace talks. Read more.

FAS’ interventions at the 27th session of the Human Rights Council

Panel discussion on the integration of a gender perspective with country mandate holders, video.
FAS’ President Statement, here.

Interactive dialogue with the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic (Please see chapter 28 for FAS intervention), video.
FAS Statement, here.

Panel on Human rights in South Sudan, 24 September 2014, video.
Joint Statement, here.

Harriette Williams Bright, FAS Advocacy Director, presents the report on "Mitigating Vulnerabilities of Women and Children in Armed Conflicts” to the 14th meeting of the Panel of the Wise.

Addis Ababa, 17 September 2014 - Harriette Williams Bright, FAS’ Director of Advocacy, presented the expert report on “Eliminating Vulnerabilities of Women and Children in Armed Conflict,” which was commissioned by the Panel of the Wise. The presentation focused on recommendations to the African Union, the Commission, and the Panel of the Wise, to address challenges faced in the implementation of the AU Gender Policy and Children’s Policy frameworks.
This meeting was also the occasion for staff of the African Union Commission and experts to review the achievements and challenges of the Panel of the Wise since its launch in 2007; to hold a comprehensive presentation and discussion on the African Peace and Security Architecture; and to have a reflection on how to enhance the Panel’s interaction with the Peace and Security Council.
Read the communiqué here.

FAS’ advocacy program on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in DRC met the beneficiaries’ expectations

Goma (DRC), 16 September 2014 - Advocacy project on Human Rights and fundamental freedoms is funded by the EUROPEAN UNION, implemented by FAS/PAC and its local Women's network Femmes Solidaires pour la Paix et le Développement (FSPD). This project aims to strengthen the capacity of women to effectively advocate for their rights and fundamental freedoms at the local, national, sub-regional, regional and international levels, thus to improve their living conditions and have an impact on the situation of women in the DRC area, the Great Lakes region and throughout Africa.
This project reached 865 beneficiaries who received trainings on human rights, on UNSCR 1325, advocacy and Good Governance.
FAS team interviewed the primary and secondary beneficiaries to assess the capacity building outcomes and find out the way those beneficiaries used their trainings in their daily lives.
FAS launched a series of articles called "Voices from the Grassroots".
Read the first article: the story of Edwige..
Read the second article: Lack of access to safe drinking water is a gender based violence in North Kivu.

FAS engages with children to build a culture of peace

Dakar, 9 September 2014 - FAS’ PanAfrican Centre for Peace, Gender and Development (PAC) supported this year and for the second time the Festival Panafricain au Royaume des Enfants (FARE), organised by Sukaabé Media Services. About a hundred children, aged 9-13, from Senegal, Ivory Coast, Lebanon, Ethiopia and Cape Verde gathered in Dakar to call for peace and gender equality, and request quality education for all children in Africa.
Involving the youth to build a culture of peace and gender equality is an important aspect of FAS’ mission. Hence FAS engaged with the children to help them craft messages, poems, and speeches aiming at promoting an equal access for boys and girls to quality education, mutual respect and peace as conditions for a brighter future.
Read the speech here.
Read the poem here.

Coumba Fall Venn, Administrator of the PAC, and member of FARE jury to elect this year’s queen and king amongst the children represented Bineta Diop, Chair of FAS Board and last year’s sponsor. She delivered a message to the children, emphasizing that education and dedication to learning are key for a brighter future.
Watch the Video (at 7:45) here.

FAS stands in solidarity with Ebola victims and their families and calls for lifting of embargoes against entire countries

The Ebola virus is becoming an overwhelming human catastrophe affecting public health, social institutions and economic well-being in Africa (...). However, strict measures are creating a de facto quarantine of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia against the recommendations of the World health Organizations (WHO) and many humanitarian groups (including the International Federation of Red Cross & Medecins Sans Frontieres). We acknowledge and applaud the decision of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) health ministers to call for the lifting of travel bans to Ebola affected countries, which are hampering the fight against Ebola and restricting the arrival of essential expertise and equipment, as well as fuel to provide electricity, medications to treat other deadly diseases such as malaria and food to prevent famine.

Like Bineta Diop, Chair of the Board or Harriette Williams Bright, Advocacy Director, join this citizens' call by signing the petition here.
Read more on the petition here.
Read: "How Africa is Losing the Ebola Battle" by Amadou Mahtar Ba, Executive Chair, co-Founder and former President of AllAfrica Global Media.


GIMAC Recommendations Are Reflected in Decisions Taken at 23rd African Union Summit

Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) is pleased to share important outcomes of the advocacy undertaken by the Gender is my Agenda Campaign (GIMAC) during the African Union (AU) Summit of Heads and Government held in June 2014 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. A network of more than 55 organizations from African civil society, the GIMAC meets twice a year ahead of AU Summits to advocate for gender equality and women’s empowerment in Africa, and to hold African Union member states accountable to their commitments on these issues. Read More >>

FAS shared expertise on Women’s Situation Room at SDSN Expert Roundtable in London

London, 15 July 2014 – Mrs. Bineta Diop, Co-Chair of the SDSN Thematic Group on Social Inclusion and Founder and President of Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS), attended the London expert roundtable hosted by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), in partnership with Middlesex University, to examine the treatment of gender, inequality and human rights within Draft Sustainable Development Goals. The discussions covered a range of questions including the extent to which gender discrimination and other forms of group-based inequality are prioritized within the Goals.
Mrs. Bineta Diop shared the Women’s Situation Room best practices as part of the replicable solutions to be shared by the group.
Mrs. Diop was invited by Jeffrey Sachs, Special Advisor to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the MDGs and Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) to join the Leadership Council of the SDSN as Chair of the thematic group on “Challenges of Social Inclusion: Gender, Inequalities, and Human Rights” in August 2012.

More information on the Women’s Situation Room, here >>
More information on SDSN’s TG on Social Inclusion, here >>

Best Practice Guide - Senegalese Women's Platform for Peaceful Elections.

This document is an extract from the Senegalese Women's Platform for Peaceful Elections Best Practice Guide. It aims to promote peace and democracy in Africa, and is destined to all working in these circles in order to promote a replication of these best practices.

Read the document in French / Pour lire des extraits des bonnes pratiques de la Plateforme de Veille des Femmes pour des élections apaisées au Senegal, cliquer ici >>

The 24th GIMAC Pre-Summit Consultative Meeting on Gender Mainstreaming in the AU, Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, 19-20 June 2014

Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) organized, with the support of Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF), the 24th Gender is My Agenda Campaign (GIMAC) consultative meeting which took place from the 19-20 June 2014 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, ahead of the bi-annual African Union (AU) Summit on agriculture and food security.
The event gathered more than 70 African women from diverse backgrounds, representing the GIMAC network’s 55 member organizations.
H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Ms. Bineta Diop, the AUC Chairperson’s Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security, African Ministers of Gender, and Gender focal points from continental and regional organizations (NEPAD, Regional Economic Communities, African Development Bank, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, among others), participated in the discussions.
Women shared stories, good practices and challenges on issues ranging from agriculture and food security, to violence against women in current emerging conflicts, the post-2015 agenda, Agenda 2063, and the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1325. Participants adopted a set of recommendations to be shared with AU Heads of States and governments to urge them to take action on prevailing and emerging issues affecting women and girls in Africa.

For more information, please visit the GIMAC website, here >>

Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) hosts a working lunch in its regional office in Dakar with H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission.

Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) hosted a working lunch with H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlaimini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, at its regional office in Dakar to discuss how to further support Dr. Zuma’s contributions to gender equality on the continent, and to provide a space for exchange with the Senegalese Women’s Platform for Peaceful Elections. Notable members of the platform from various women’s organisations took part in the working lunch.
They congratulated Dr. Zuma and her recently appointed Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security, Mme. Bineta Dop, for their successes and continued efforts to include women at all levels of political decision making processes. Dr. Zuma took the opportunity to thank the women for welcoming her to Senegal, and shared her common vision for the Africa we want - an Africa which is secure, united, prosperous and peaceful. She encouraged all African women, youths and men to actively participate in the process to frame the Africa we all want to live in in 2063.

Pictures , here >>
Media and partner coverage , here >>
Watch the Video of the event , here >>
Article from the Newspaper "Le Soleil ", Senegal, here >>

FAS advocates for women’s rights at the 26th Human Rights Council

During the 26th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC), Femmes Africa Solidarité intervened in four panel discussions including an interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on violence against women (VAW), its causes and consequences; an interactive dialogue with the independent expert on the situation of human rights in Central African Republic; a general debate on the technical assistance in the field of Human Rights in South Sudan and a panel on women’s human rights and the sustainable development agenda which took place during the annual full day discussion on women’s rights. Read more>>

FAS’ interventions at the 26th session of the Human Rights Council
11 June 2014 - Interactive Dialogue on Violence Against Women
Read Statement , here >>
Watch the video of intervention (Chapter 51) , here >>
17 June 2014 - Annual full day discussion on Women’s Rights
Read Statement , here >>
Watch the video(at 2h32) , here >>
24 June 2014 - Interactive Dialogue on Central African Republic
Read Statement , here >>
Watch the video(Chapter 35) , here >>
26 June 2014 - General debate on South Sudan
Read Statement , here >>
Watch the video(Chapter 28) , here >>

AU/UN Joint Solidarity Mission to the Central African Republic

FAS co-organised and took part of a joint solidarity mission to the Central African Republic (CAR) of the African Union (AU), the United Nations (UN) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) who visited Bangui from 24-26 May 2014.
The mission, co-led by Ms. Bineta Diop, AU Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security and FAS President, and Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, aimed to draw international attention on the plight of women and girls particularly affected by the conflict, to increase international support, and to strengthen the role of women in peacebuilding, reconciliation and recovery.
The joint mission hold a series of meetings in Bangui, with the CAR transitional authorities, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, religious leaders, as well as civil society organizations, especially women leaders and human rights organizations. The objective of these meetings was to support the national women’s movement in resolving the crisis and to build a sustainable peace in the country and the region. The mission also met with the victims of the conflict, particularly displaced women and girls who are subject to high rates of physical and sexual violence and used by political-military groups as combatants and sex slaves.
The AU and ECCAS delegations benefited from the capacity support and the expertise of ACCORD, CMI and FAS, three renowned civil society organisations in women, peace and security.

Click here to view the photos of the mission
More info , here >> and here >>

Mrs Bineta Diop on CNN African Voices

On CNN African Voices, a “one of a kind” in-depth interview show that highlights Africa’s most engaging personalities and covers a broad social spectrum – from newsmakers in politics and business to the pioneers of music, arts, and sport, Mrs Bineta Diop addressed in 20mn subjects that are very dear to her.

Part 1: How women are transforming Africa

Part 2: Giving a voice to the women of Africa, Watch >>
Part 3: Campaigning for women, peace and security, Watch >>

The Executive Board, network members and staff of Femmes Africa Solidarité condemn in the strongest possible terms, the continued abduction since April 14, 2014 of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls by Islamic extremists.
We stand in solidarity with the kidnapped girls and demand their safety and immediate return to their families. We call on the Nigerian government, neighboring countries, the international community and regional institutions for coordinated and swift action to bring back the girls. We support and commend the efforts of local Nigerian civil society groups, including women’s organizations and local communities, to provide information on the missing girls and raise international awareness of the fragile security situation in northern Nigeria.
The clock continues to tick. Support FAS in our efforts towards sustainable peace in Africa where women and girls are protected and play a central role in Africa’s development. Bring Back Our Girls Now!
Read the complete statement, Here >>

Statement by Bineta Diop, Special Envoy of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission on Women, Peace and Security at the UN Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security
25 April 2014, New York

A statement was delivered on Mrs Diop’s behalf at the UNSC Open Debate on conflict-related sexual violence in response to the issues raised in the Secretary-General’s 13 March 2014 report on conflict-related sexual violence.

Ms. Bineta Diop

I am pleased to deliver this statement on behalf of the African Union Commission Chairperson’s Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security, Ms. Bineta Diop, to the Security Council at the Open Debate on women, peace and security.

Ms. Diop would like to thank the Nigerian Presidency for the invitation extended to her, and sends her regrets from South Sudan. Ms. Diop is in South Sudan as a member of the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan. She and her colleagues have embarked on their first visit to investigate human rights violations and other abuses in South Sudan, and to make recommendations to ensure accountability, reconciliation and healing.
I would like to thank the Secretary-General for his report and leadership, and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Ms. Zainab Hawa Bangura, for her commitment to prevent conflict-related sexual violence and to the protection of women,men and children around the world from this scourge. I also thank the Executive Director of UN women for her full support to the women, peace and security agenda in Africa. Read more >>

Upcoming events!
FAS President to co-chair the World Economic Forum on Africa
7-9 May 2014, Abuja, Nigeria

Photo credits: WEF

Mrs. Bineta Diop will be Co-chair for the upcoming World Economic Forum on Africa (WEFA), organized in Abuja, Nigeria, 7-9 May 2014. Under the theme, “Forging Inclusive Growth, Creating Jobs”, the 24th WEFA will bring together regional and global leaders from business, politics and civil society to discuss ways to integrate and reform the African continent, in a manner that is beneficial to all its citizens. The main issues to be addressed during the different discussion panels, workshops and meetings featured in the programme of this year’s WEFA, include: Ways of redesigning growth models and of transforming high growth into inclusive and sustainable growth; Deepening and diversifying investment partnerships; and Accelerating society’s transformation through resilience and innovation..

Read the full article , here >>

African Union establishes a Commission of Inquiry in South Sudan

Mrs. Bineta Diop, FAS Founder and President and Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, has been appointed Member of the South Sudan Commission of Inquiry, established following a decision of the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC). The nomination was announced by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, on the 7th of March 2014, at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa.
The five-member Commission of Inquiry, chaired by H.E. former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, has the mandate to “investigate the human rights violations and other abuses committed during the armed conflict in South Sudan, and make recommendations on the best way and means to ensure accountability, reconciliation and healing among all South Sudanese communities.”
Together with the other members of the South Sudan Commission of Inquiry, namely H.E. President Obasanjo, Lady Justice Sophia A.B. Akuffo, Professor Mahmood Mamdani and Professor Pacifique Manirakiza, Mrs Bineta Diop will thus contribute to the efforts for bringing sustainable solutions for peace and reconciliation in the South Sudan.

AU press release, here >>

FAS attending the 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women

The 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will be held in New York from 10 to 21 March under the priority theme of “Challenges and Achievements in the Implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for Women and Girls.” As an ECOSOC-accredited non-governmental organization, FAS engages with the CSW in order to impact the agreed conclusions as well as raise awareness of FAS’ work. Thus FAS will continue to make its contributions to shape the global agenda in the different post-2015 development processes and the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action. FAS will also engage with the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, on the African Union’s Agenda 2063, and on the Common African Position for the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Full article, here >>

Opinion Editorial - Celebrating African Women on International Women’s Day
Oley Dibba-Wadda, Executive Director – Femmes Africa Solidarite

International Women’s Day, though initially motivated by European and North American labor movements, has become central to women in Africa, as a global advocacy tool to voice their various concerns and reach a wider audience. This year’s theme, “Equality for women is progress for all”, speaks directly to the core challenge faced by women in peace processes across the continent. While we have made significant progress in accessing the peace negotiating tables, there is a need to revisit the issue and highlight ways in which we are succeeding in getting closer to equality, and thus progress for all. Read the full article >>

Presentation of condolences to Graca Machel and the Mandela Family

On 2nd February 2014, 35 women drawn from across Africa travelled to the home of His Excellency Nelson Mandela, to meet and condole with Mama Graca Machel and the family of Nelson Mandela. This visit, which coincided with the historic unbanning of all political movements in South Africa on 2nd February 1990, also brought more than 20 South African women, representing various institutions and formations, to this occasion. The delegation, led by Madame Bineta Diop, the AU special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security together with Mama Getrude Mongella and Ma Phoebe Asiyo expressed their deepest condolences on the passing of the great African icon; reaffirmed the commitment of the African women to emulate and nurture the legacy of Nelson Mandela in general, and as it relates to the women agenda in particular.

Read the full communique, here >>
List of participants, here >>

FAS President appointed “Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission”

Mrs. Bineta Diop

Mrs Bineta Diop, FAS Founder and President has been appointed “Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission”. This appointment has been officially announced by H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, during her opening statement at the 22nd Ordinary Session of the Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa, on 30 January 2014. “I am pleased to announce the appointment of a Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security, Mrs Bineta Diop, to ensure that the voices of women and the vulnerable are heard much more clearly in peace building and in conflict resolution", Dr. Dlamini Zuma said. “It is with great honor and humility that I accept this appointment” Mrs Diop said. “I pledge to work closely with and for the women of the continent and I am fully committed to contributing to an integrated, prosperous, and peaceful Africa that ensures that women play their rightful role in ensuring peace and security on the continent” she added. FAS members and team warmly congratulate Mrs Bineta Diop for her appointment, wishing her full success with her new mandate as a Special Envoy.

Statement by the Chairperson of the AUC to the 22nd Ordinary Session of the Heads of State and Government, Here >>

Mme. Diop’s interview with CCTV, Here >>
Article in seneweb.com, Here >>

Please find Ms Diop's interview for the Guardian, here >>

23rd GIMAC(Gender is My Agenda Campaign)

The 23rd GIMAC Pre-summit Consultative Meeting on Gender Mainstreaming in the African Union (AU) was held from 23rd to 24th January 2014, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The 23rd GIMAC focused on “Women in Agriculture and Food Security” and addressed other crucial issues including Climate Change and Justice, Reproductive health, Emerging Conflicts on the Continent, including South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Central African Republic (CAR). A press conference was organized, providing the opportunity for several GIMAC members to sensitize the media on what African Women want from the African Union Head of States Summit and to invite them to amplify women voices to the AU summit, on the continent and internationally.

23rd GIMAC Recommendations, English >> / French >>
South Sudanese Women Statement, English >> / French >>
Conference Report, Here >>

Graduation Ceremony – Masters in Gender and Peacebuilding

The professional-oriented bilingual Master’s programme on Gender and Peacebuilding was initiated by Femme Africa Solidarité and its PanAfrican Centre for Gender, Peace and Development to address the shortage of skills among Africans to meet the need for protection of women’s rights during armed conflicts. To achieve such goal this programme embarked on training highly qualified African specialists in gender, conflict resolution and peacebuilding by enabling them to be aware of the rapport between the issues related to gender, peacebuilding and conflict prevention. This Master’s programme is a result of an innovative partnership between the University of Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar (UCAD), the United Nations, mandated University for Peace (UPEACE) of Costa Rica, and Femmes Africa Solidarité’s PanAfrican Centre for Gender, Peace and Development (FAS/PAC). Read full article

Please read the Press Release, English >> / French >>
View the gallery photos, here >>

Regional Action Plan on the implementation of UNSCR 1325 in the Great Lakes Region. Training on Advocacy and Gender budgeting

Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS), in partnership with the Pan African Centre for Genre, Peace and Development (PAC), and the support of the Governments of Finland and Sweden, organized a four-day-training session on gender budgeting and advocacy, which took place from the 16th to the 19th of December in Gisenyi, Rwanda. This event comes as a follow-up to the Regional Conference on Women, Peace, Security and Development, organized by FAS in Bujumbura, Burundi, in July 2013. The training was attended by 20 members of the Regional Steering Committee, coming from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, who are in charge of the implementation of the Regional Action Plan for the United Nations Security Council 1325 in the Great Lakes Region.

Solidarity Mission to Casamance, 10th to 13th December 2013

Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) led a solidarity mission in Casamance, Senegal, from the 10th to the 13th of December to promote dialogue among women leaders and encourage civil society and community based women organizations in their mobilization efforts for peaceful resolution of the conflict.
Casamance is a region that has been devastated by an ongoing conflict since 1982. Opposing the rebel group MFDC (Mouvement des Forces Démocratiques de Casamance) to the Senegalese national army, the violence has had a significant impact on the security of the region. Read full article

Please read the Press Release(fr), here >>
View the gallery photos, here >>
Articles in Agence de presse Sénégalaise (APS), here >>
Articles in Diasporas.fr, here >>
Article in le Soleil, here >>

A Fond Farewell to Nelson Mandela

Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) salutes and celebrates the life of Nelson Rolihlahla "Madiba" Mandela, anti-apartheid freedom fighter and former president of South Africa who passed away on December 5, 2013. His rich legacy will continue to live on through his actions and words in support of democratic and free societies with equal opportunities for all. We extend our deepest sympathy to his wife, Madame Graça Machel and his family.
Madiba will always be remembered as a hero, an icon and a genuine leader who took a firm stance against racism, poverty, corruption, sexism and violence against women. The FAS network will always remember his commitment to gender equality and his actions to include women in peace processes in Africa, as was the case in Burundi when as lead mediator, Mandela ensured that women were part of the peace negotiations process.
Madiba’s words from 1996 offer lessons for our world today: “As long as women are bound by poverty and as long as they are looked down upon, human rights will lack substance. As long as outmoded ways of thinking prevent women from making a meaningful contribution to society, progress will be slow. As long as the nation refuses to acknowledge the equal role of more than half of itself, it is doomed to failure.”
Commenting on his legacy, FAS Executive Director, Oley Dibba-Wadda notes that Madiba “set the stage and set the pace so we can continue from where he stopped. Africa is going places and we as actors on this stage have a collective responsibility to equally make our own humble contribution and navigate Africa so it can become – “a prosperous Africa at peace with itself.”
Farewell to Nelson Mandela and may his soul rest in peace.

FAS awarded the Chirac Foundation Special Prize of the Jury for Conflict Prevention

Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) was awarded the Special Prize of the Jury for Conflict Prevention by the Chirac Foundation, to recognize the organization’s remarkable contributions to the promotion of the role of women in conflict prevention and resolution in Africa. This year’s ceremony for the Chirac Foundation Conflict Prevention Prize, which was created by former French President Jacques Chirac took place at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris, on Thursday, 21November. The event was attended by Mr. Chirac, President François Hollande and first lady,Valérie Trierweiler, as well as numerous French political figures, diplomats, representatives of international organizations and civil society. Read more

For more information, please see the official website of the Chirac Foundation, here >>
A short film on the conference, here >>
FAS President’s speech, here >>
An article in French newspaper Le JDD, here >>
More pictures here, here >>

FAS Executive Director receives the Africa Woman Leadership Award

On the margins of the Africa-India Partnership Summit organized on the 27th of November 2013 in Mauritius, Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) Executive Director, Mrs. Oley Dibba-Wadda received the “Africa Woman Leadership Award”, a distinction conferred to outstanding women professionals who have the vision, acumen and professionalism, and demonstrate excellent leadership and management skills in an organization.

The Africa-India Partnership Summit was organized by the World Federation of Marketing Professionals, Stars of the Industry Group, and the World Federation of CSR Professionals, and approached economic issues such as Africa’s need in human capital. The event was followed by the ceremony of the “Africa Leadership Awards”, which recognizes the contributions of individuals who have made a difference in the society, and have proven the qualities of a responsible citizen.
In recognition of her award, Mrs. Oley Dibba-Wadda praised “the engine” of the African continent: ‘Africa’s greatest resource is its ‘human resource’. I strongly believe that as human beings, our aim should be to cultivate and nurture this resource. Our energy should focus on building ‘dream teams’. To do this we must first and foremost be human; have the ability to communicate effectively, recognize potential, acknowledge and praise, use positive motivation. These are qualities I try to embrace as part of my journey and it has helped me build “dream teams” in my professional career”.

High Level Dialogue on the Initiative to Empower Women in Agriculture (EWA) at the sidelines of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation Governance Weekend

Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) – as Gender Is My Agenda Campaign (GIMAC) Network Coordinator – will hold a High Level Dialogue on “the Initiative to Empower Women in Agriculture (EWA)”, in partnership with the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), Africa 2.0 and African Media Initiative (AMI). The initiative aims at empowering the African young women to become the engine of growth in the agriculture sector in order to contribute to economic growth. As part of the Mo Ibrahim Governance weekend (Nov. 7th -11th, 2013), the High Level Dialogue will be held on November 8th, 2013 from h. 8:00 am to 9:30 am at the Plenary Hall of the African Union.
In addition to the GIMAC Steering Committee meeting scheduled at African Union Commission on Thursday, Nov. 7th from h. 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, FAS along with GIMAC Network will lead in the coordination and facilitation of the Africa 2.0 working group on November 7th from h. 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on the following theme: “Market Enhancement and Segmentation of our target market” – Session n. 4 on Women. Furthermore, AMI will organize the 6th edition of the African Media Leaders Forum (AMLF), the only continent’s annual gathering of media owners and managers. AMLF 2013 will take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Conference Hall on November 7th – 8th. The theme for this year’s Forum is: “Media and African Renaissance”.Read more

FAS celebrated the 50 Years Anniversary of the African Union in Geneva

Ms. N. Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of African Union Commission - photo by AU

The 50th Anniversary of the African Union (AU) was celebrated at the United Nations (UN) in Geneva on the 14th and 16th of October 2013, under the coordination of the Permanent Delegation of the AU. The event provided the opportunity to look back at the main achievements of the organization, to take into consideration the upcoming challenges, and to restate the faith in Pan African unity and the vision of the AU Commission Chairperson of “a prosperous continent at peace with itself.
Along with H.E. Mr. Olusengu Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria, and H.E. Miss Navanethem Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, FAS President, Ms. Bineta Diop, was speaker on a panel focused on good governance, peace and security in Africa and under the auspices of H.E. Ms. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission.
In its closing statements, FAS President urged those present to focus their efforts in achieving, in 10 years’ time, an African continent free from sexual violence against women and child soldiers, where land is equitably distributed to rural populations and particularly, women.
Both days of celebrations ended on a cultural note, with the inauguration of an African Art Craft Exhibition, samples of African music and dance, and a gastronomic voyage into Africa, featuring traditional dishes from various African countries.Read more

FAS President’s intervention can be watched, here

FAS advocates for women’s protection and participation in the Central African Republic peace process at the 24th Session of the Human Rights Council

During the 24th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC), Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) continued its advocacy on the Central African Republic (CAR) for women's protection from violence and their participation in the peace process. FAS welcomes the interim report on CAR submitted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), which highlights the gravity of the human rights situation and recommends that the transitional government “adopt legal reforms to combat sexual and gender-based violence [...] and expand the scope of protection of and support for victims of sexual and gender-based violence.” FAS engaged in advocacy during the 23rd session of the HRC towards the adoption of a resolution (A/HRC/23/L.3) to request this interim report.Read more here...

Resolution A/HRC/24/L.39 on CAR, French >> / English >>
FAS oral statement delivered at the interactive dialogue on CAR (French), Here >>
Video (chapter 38), Here >>

Appointment of Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka as UN Women Executive Director, August 19th 2013

Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) and its Pan African Centre for Gender, Peace and Development (FAS-PAC) as well as the members of the Gender is My Agenda Campaign (GIMAC) welcome the United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s appointment of Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka as the new Director General of UN WOMEN.
Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka a South African national succeeds Ms. Bachelet as the second Executive Director of UN Women; the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women established in July 2010.

The appointment of Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka, former Deputy President of South Africa, was announced by the UN Secretary General on 10 July 2013.
Mr. Ban declared that Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka brings to her new position a wealth of experience in advocating for women’s issues “with a combination of strategic leadership, consensus building and hands-on management experience.” Read more >> .

FAS welcomes new Executive Director!

Ms Oley Dibba-Wadda

The Executive and Advisory Board and members of Femmes Africa Solidarité are pleased and honored to welcome Ms Oley Dibba-Wadda as the new Executive Director of Femmes Africa Solidarité. Ms Dibba-Wadda has already assumed office and is based at the FAS regional Office in Dakar. Oley combines expertise on gender equality in international policy and programming and leadership and management within the international development sector across multicultural and multidisciplinary environments.

The position is key for the development of FAS and we wish Oley a great success in her new assignment.
Says Ms. Dibba-Wadda on her position as Executive Director of FAS; “I am honored to assume this noble role at FAS; at an opportune time when there is a realization and acknowledgment of the meaningful contribution of women and the youth in peace negotiations, reconciliations and consultation processes for Africa’s progression. I have no doubt that come 2063, History will speak for itself”.

FAS President participated to the Rockefeller Foundation Google Hangout

The Rockefeller Foundation hosted a Google Hangout on Wednesday, 14 August 2013, as a follow-up to the Foundation’s recent summit in Abuja, Nigeria on “Realizing the Potential of African Agriculture.” During the Hangout, FAS President, Bineta Diop discussed and debated some of the key issues and themes facing the agriculture sector in Africa with fellow panelists Anne Mbaabu, Director, Market Access Program of the Alliance for a Green Revolution and Kola Masha, Managing Director of Doreo Partners. The Hangout was moderated by Mamadou Biteye, Managing Director of Rockefeller Africa Regional Office. Participants included leaders from finance and agriculture in both the non-profit and private sectors.
Bineta Diop highlighted four key areas for women in agriculture who form 70% of agriculture workers in Africa: access to land, access to credit, the need for capacity building, and the role of civil society organizations in monitoring the implementation of commitments made by Governments to strengthen the agriculture sector. She urged Governments to allocate 70% of their agriculture budgets to support women in agriculture.
Watch the conversation, here >>

Restitution and Capitalization Workshop of Women’s Platform on peaceful elections Terrou-bi Hotel, Dakar Senegal 18-19 July 2013

On 18th and 19th July 2013 a restitution workshop was held at the "Terrou-Bi" hotel in order to capitalize the experience of the Women’s Platform for Peaceful Elections in Senegal. The workshop was chaired by a representative of the Ministry of Women, Children and Women's Entrepreneurship, and attended by special guests, such as, representatives from the Senegalese Economic, Social and Environmental Council, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Autonomous National Electoral Commission (CENA), women's organizations from the Republic of Guinea and the Republic of Mali, as well as other representatives from civil society.
This workshop represented an opportunity to review all the platform’s activities and it was followed by discussions held with delegations from Guinea and Mali. The participants shared lessons learnt and good practices identified in the electoral process that could be disseminated and replicated in Africa.
For more information, Clic Here:

The first regional conference on women, peace, security and development in the Great Lakes region
was held from 9 to 11 July 2013 in Bujumbura.

Aiming to develop a road map for women's engagement in efforts to bring peace to Africa's long-trouble Great Lakes countries, Mrs. Mary Robinson the United Nations Special envoy for the region, with the support of Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) and the International Conference on the Great lakes Region (ICGLR) has gathered more than 100 women for a three-day meeting from 9 to 11 July in the Burundian capital of Bujumbura. “We are showing that women's leadership matters and must be at the heart of the Framework of Hope,” Mary Robinson said in her opening remarks. It’s a “moment of great hope and expectation” she added. The Conference was a full success as the three days discussion closed by the adoption of the “Bujumbura Declaration” which aims to strengthen partnerships for increased collaboration to support the full and successful implementation of the Framework of Hope, and to strengthen solidarity between women’s civil society groups in the Great Lakes region and governments, regional and international institutions.

For more information, please see FAS Communiqué >>
The Bujumbura Declaration: English >> / French >>
The Framework of hope, English >>
The PSC Framework for DRC and the region English and French, Here >>
The Presidential Statement of the UNSC on the GL: English >> / French >>
A Press release , English >> / French >>
Some pictures of the Regional Conference in Bujumbura, please see here >>
Editorial de Mary Robinson dans Jeune Afrique, please see here >>
Op Ed of Mary Robinson in the Guardian, please see here >>

Workshop on Gender and Peacebuilding

The PanAfrican Centre of FAS in charge of the Master II Degree in Gender and Peacebuilding, organized with professors from Cheikh Anta Diop University a workshop on "Gender and Peacebuilding." This workshop took place in Saly from 7 to 10 July 2013

Agenda Atelier, here >>
Aide Memoire atelier, Here >>

for more information, clic here:

FAS holds an expert discussion on the post-2015 agenda.

On July 2, Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) hosted an expert meeting for the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)’s Thematic Group on Gender, Inequalities, and Human Rights (TG3) to address gender and human rights issues in the post-2015 development framework, finalize the report to be submitted to SDSN’s Leadership Council in September and highlight good practices and practical solutions the report should promote. Participants included Bineta Diop (Founder and President of Femmes Africa Solidarité, co-Chair of the TG3); Joshua Castellino (Dean, School of Law at Middlesex University and co-Chair of the TG3), H.E. Amina J. Mohammed, (Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning), Magdalena Sépulveda Carmona (United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights), Sophie Bussman-Kemdjo (Senior Regional Manager for Africa, World Economic Forum).

Experts were grateful for the participation of H.E. Mrs Amina J. Mohammed, the Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning, who addressed some of these issues. She declared: “The reduction of poverty should not be the main goal for the post-2015 agenda. We need to consider the economic, social and environmental aspects too”. She also mentioned: “the challenge is to speak to universality and not leave anyone behind. We need to look at things globally as well as locally”. H.E. Amina Mohammed warned that the post-2015 agenda should not be too ambitious otherwise it might run the risk of being dropped and she committed to work towards State members consensus: “I will make sure that governments leave the door open to dialogue as it is ultimately up to them to enforce compelling goals”. She finally emphasized that accountability will be key to the implementation of the future goals.
Ultimately, FAS presented one of their landmark initiatives to monitor elections: the Situation Room implemented during the Presidential elections in Senegal allowed mobilized Senegalese women, the youth and other actors including the media to encourage citizen to vote and to monitor violence outbreaks, lack of transparence and other incidents. This initiative will be documented as one of the practical solutions which should be replicated in different contexts.
Read more, here >>

FAS Participation to the 23rd HRC

In June 2013, Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) invited Ms Brigitte Balipou, member of the Constitutional Court of the Central African Republic and member of FAS Executive Board to take part in the 23rd session of the Human Rights Council (HRC). Ms Balipou’s presence in Geneva reinforced FAS efforts to promote the leadership of women and facilitate their participation in peace building and conflict resolution in Africa. For two weeks, Ms Balipou liaised with government representatives and international organizations in Geneva to inform them of the critical situation in the Central African Republic. She strongly advocated the need to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325 so that Central African women can actively participate in conflict resolution and the restoration of peace and security. Ms Balipou’s influenced the resolution, “Action on Technical assistance to the Central African Republic in the field of human rights”, which was initiated by the African Group. This resolution was eventually adopted by consensus on the final day of the 23rd session of the HRC. Ms Balipou also had the honor of participating in a high level panel on democracy, rule of law and human rights. She addressed the HRC on behalf of FAS during the full-day annual discussion on women’s rights and participated in a debate on forgotten conflicts, co-organized by FAS, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), and the World Young Women Christian Association (YWCA). Moreover, FAS Founder and President participate to a high level panel on Vienna +20 entitled “Women’s rights are human rights”. Ms Diop stressed that despite effective progress, implementation of women’s rights remains a challenge especially in Africa where women are still facing barriers to leadership positions, gender-based violence and a wide range of other forms of discrimination. She explained that this create a situation where they have to rely on men all the time and makes them very vulnerable.
Read more, here >>
Resolution , English >> / French >>
Ms Balipou’s intervention during the high level panel on democracy, rule of law and human rights, here >>
Ms Balipou’s intervention (from 1:12 min) during the full-day annual discussion on women’s rights, here >>
Video of the adoption of Resolution A/HRC/23/L.3, here >>
Photos of the debate on forgotten conflicts, here >>

World Economic Forum: Greater Mobility in Africa Will Aid Development

Source photo: World Economic Forum

The panel emphasized the importance of investing in people, highlighted as a key resource for Africa. Bineta Diop, Chair of the Executive Board, Femmes Africa Solidarité, Switzerland, said that investment in people is not just about investing in the youth, but also in women, who make up more than half of Africa’s population. Although 80% of Africa’s farmers are women, they still lack title to land in most of the continent, she said. “We need to put women as well as youth at the centre of transformation in Africa.”

High numbers of young people are a challenge for future policy-makers, but also a major opportunity as they provide innovation and creativity that can drive the creation of successful businesses across the continent. Read more >>

FAS organizes its 3rd Advisory Board and Partners Meeting in Geneva

Ms Bineta Diop, Chair of the Executive Board and Hon. Elisabeth Rehn, Chair of the Advisory Board

As part of its Governance and Fundraising strategy, FAS has recently convened its third Partners Meeting in Geneva on 3 May 2013, at the margins of the FAS’ Advisory Board meeting held on the 2nd of May 2013.
Nearly 30 representatives from government officials, intergovernmental organisations and the United Nations shared updates on FAS’ work and exchanged on FAS' action plan for the years to come. At this year's meeting, FAS initiated round table discussions on women, peace and security in the Great Lakes, in the Mano River and in the Sahel regions and within the African Union. The discussions identified opportunities and recommendations in order to enhance efforts to empower women’s leadership as a driving force of political stability, peace and recovery in Africa.
On the other hand, the Advisory Board gave concrete directions to enrich FAS’ action plan and the outcomes of the discussions were shared at the partners meeting the following day.

The round table discussion on the Mano River region

FAS' traditional partners reiterated their support and encouraged new organizations to engage with FAS. The support and recommendations from all participating partners were highly valuable and will guide FAS in the implementation of its recently adopted action plan aligned on its strategic framework 2013-2017.

EU Conference: Women of the Sahel in consultation on women's leadership in their region

A High-Level Conference on Women's Leadership in the Sahel Region was held today in Brussels. The event brought together 40 women, civil society leaders of several generations, peace and security experts, peace activists, government officials and gender equality advocates from the Sahel region.

Members of the European Parliament, African and European Ambassadors, senior officials from the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the European Union and the United Nations participated in the event. They heard directly from the crisis-affected women from the Sahel region their views and recommendations on women's economic empowerment and political participation, and their role in peace and recovery.
Following the conference, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission, Catherine Ashton, said:
"All over the world where women prosper, societies prosper; where women suffer, so do the societies they live in. This is also true for the Sahel and this is why we met today to listen to women leaders from this region, where both African and international efforts are crucial to bring a solution to the crisis" .Read more >>

Read the french version: here >>

You will find pictures from the event on the following link: here >>

PRESS RELEASE: Appointment of Mary ROBINSON as Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region of Africa, March 19, 2013

H.E Mary Robinson

Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) and the members of the Gender is My Agenda Campaign (GIMAC) welcome the United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s appointment of Mary Robinson as the new Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region of Africa.
Her Excellency Mary Robinson is a longtime partner of FAS, and actively supports our initiatives. In March 2010, she co-chaired the High-Level Consultation of Civil Society Advisory Group on the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 with Ms Bineta Diop, Founder and President of FAS.

She is also a member of the GIMAC network, which includes more than 50 civil society organizations. As the Current President of the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice, which advocates for victims of climate change, Ms Robinson enabled GIMAC to incorporate the concepts of climate change and climate justice at the heart of its priorities.
Ms Robinson also supports the Initiative to Empower Women in Agriculture (EWA) which was initiated by GIMAC in 2012, convinced that "food and nutrition are at the heart of development".Read more >>

Read the french version: here >>

FAS Participation in the 22nd Human Rights Council

For the 22nd session of the Human Rights Council, Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) invited on 11th and 12th March 2013 in Geneva Mrs Haidara, a Member of Parliament (MP) from Mali to take part in the advocacy for the participation of Malian women in the peace process.
Her presence reflects FAS’ objectives of promoting African women’s leadership and facilitating their participation in conflict prevention and resolution, as well as peace-building on the African continent.

Mrs. Haidara with the Mali delegation

Mrs Haidara, MP of the Gao region in northern Mali, was able to meet with the Mali delegation and its Minister of Justice, the Ambassador of the International Organization of La Francophonie, the Ambassador of the European Union, the Deputy Permanent Representative of France, Human Rights advisers to the various diplomatic missions and several Human Rights defenders.
She particularly insisted that the draft resolution « Assistance to Mali in the area of Human Rights » initiated by the African Group explicitly mentions the participation of Malian women in the peace process.
In her address to the Human Rights Council, Mrs. Haidara condemned the severe acts of violence against civilians, especially women and children, and highlighted that the interethnic tensions in the Sahel region constituted a serious threat to the national, regional and international peace and security.

Discussing with Mr. Pellet, Deputy Permanent Representative of France

With Mrs Zappia, Ambassador of the European Union

The Member of Parliament deplored the fact that, since the beginning of the crisis, Malian women have been left out of the discussions for peace mediation and she called for the implementation of the United Nations Resolution 1325 in order for Malian women to be fully integrated in the inter-community dialogue to resolve the crisis and establish long lasting peace.

Press release in French, here >>
Oral statement on Mali in French, here >>
Draft_ resolution - Assistance to the Republic of Mali - French, here >>

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