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Femmes Africa Solidarite(FAS) | REGIONAL

FAS Study on the Women's Peace Movement in Africa
After working for ten years to advance the women's peace movement in Africa, FAS has launched "The Women's Peace Movement in Africa: A study on 10 years of practice towards peace and security-building" that assesses the impact of its work within the movement. The findings of the study were launched at the Conference on Gender, Peace and Security in Africa: Capitalizing on 10 years of women's experience organized by FAS in Bamako, June 2006. The event was attended by women's organizations from all over Africa, by H.E. Amadou Toumani Touré, H.E. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Hon. Nkosazana Dalamini Zuma and Hon. Elisabeth Rehn. A summary of the findings of this study is available on FAS Website. The last version of the study will be published and widely disseminated before the end of 2008???

Creation and organization of bi-annual African Union Pre-Summit Women's Consultative Meetings
FAS has been playing an increasing role in the women's movement for peace in Africa since its creation in 1996, and since 2002 FAS has initiated and has been organizing Women's Pre-Summit Consultative Meetings, just before each African Union summit, to give a stronger voice to women interested in advancing African women's agenda. These meetings represent a core strategic component of FAS overall regional programme on mainstreaming gender in the African Union (AU), organized so far in partnership with the AU Gender Directorate (AUGD), AWDF, UN/ECA, OSIWA, ACTIONAID, DFID, the Governments of Finland and the Netherlands, GTZ, and UN agencies. Women's mobilization during these meetings resulted in the adoption of the gender parity by the AU in 2002, and the adoption of the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (SDGEA) by African Heads of State in July 2004: Two milestones for the women's movement for peace in Africa.

Coordination of Pan-African campaign "Gender is my agenda"
One year after the adoption of the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (SDGEA) by African Heads of State in July 2004, and after several consultations on how to best use the SDGEA to advance the African women's agenda, the African women's movement decided to create the campaign "Gender is my agenda" (GIMAC) during the 6th Women's Pre-Summit Consultative meeting held in Tripoli (Libya) in order to collectively advocate, on one side, for the implementation of the SDGEA by the Heads of State, and on the other side, to inform and mobilize the civil society around the SDGEA. In June 2006, the Campaign was officially launched at the 8th Women's Pre-Summit held in Banjul, Gambia. FAS was asked by the African Union and the civil society to be the Coordinator of the Campaign from its creation in 2006, and again at the last Women's Pre-Summit in July 2008. Since the launch of the Gender is my Agenda Campaign, African Union Pre-Summit Women's Consultative Meetings organized by FAS, have allowed the women's movement to progress significantly on the monitoring and the implementation of the SDGEA, adopting new relevant lobbying instruments for submission to the AU summit such as Civil Society Shadow Reports. More on GIMAC Website

Creation and running of Pan-African Centre for Gender, Peace and Development (PAC) in Dakar, Senegal
FAS Regional Office team in Dakar established and launched the Pan-African Centre for Gender, Peace and Development in 2004 in Dakar, Senegal. This project responds to the urgent need for a localised gender training facility in Africa. The Centre prepares African women to take on leadership roles at the national, sub-regional, regional, continental and international levels so that they become full and equal participants in decision making processes. Building on its successful work at the sub-regional and regional levels, FAS wishes, with this project, to commit itself towards strengthening the indigenous capacity of Africans on the continent to build peace. The laying of the Centre's foundational stone took place on the occasion of the first African Gender Forum in May 2005, and already two courses were held in collaboration with the University of Peace (UPEACE, Costa Rica) respectively on "Gender and Peacebuilding" and "Gender and Conflict: Human Rights and Transitional Justice", and a "Training and Mentoring Programme for Women-Led Businesses Project" with the Madrid-based Instituto de Empresa. In 2007, several women from Sudan were trained to strengthen their capacity in participating in the peace process in their country. It is foreseen that, in addition to conducting up to fourteen programmes a year, the Centre will also organize seminars and workshops.

Creation and organization of the African Gender Forum & Award (AGFA)
In 2005, FAS and its Pan-African Centre for Gender, Peace and Development (Dakar, Senegal) organized the 1st edition of the African Gender Forum and Award. The first event is a platform for the exchange of ideas and experiences between women from Africa and other regions of the world, that also proposes strategies and measures for maximizing the effective implementation of women's instruments including the SDGEA. On the other hand, the African Gender Award seeks to celebrate African leaders or government representatives, who have demonstrated outstanding achievements in gender mainstreaming and social and cultural impediments to women's advancement. While the first Forum brought together African and Arab actors to discuss issues of gender, politics, economics and culture, the 2nd edition (2007) featured on "African Women for Africa's Development: Building partnerships with the Diaspora". The 1st Edition of the Gender Award granted President Wade of Senegal and President Mbeki of South Africa in celebration of their work towards gender equality and mainstreaming in the African Union (AU). President Paul Kagame of Rwanda received the 2007 African Gender Award for his exceptional achievements in integrating women into Rwanda's policy making institutions. The 3rd Edition of AGFA is due to take place end of 2009.
More on AGFA Website

Vice-Presidency of the AU Women's Committee
FAS played an important role in the creation of the African Women's Committee on Peace and Development (AWCPD), which became later the African Union Women's Committee (AUWC) and was integrated to the African Union. FAS was asked to become the Vice-President of AUWC, and in this capacity FAS is attending every year several sessions of the committee in Addis Ababa.

Participation as member of African-based groups
Throughout the year, FAS must as well attend many meetings in Africa either a board member of the African Policy Institute or as member of the African Union ECOSOCC, NEPAD Gender Task Force, the AU Gender Directorate/UNDP Steering Committee of the Network on Gender, Peacebuilding and Governance or the African Women's Foresight Group.