Women leaders of the Great Lakes region are advocating for greater participation in democratic and development processes
Nairobi, 11 June 2019 – A consortium of women leaders of the Great Lakes region, known as the Women's Platform for the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region, has just completed two back-to-back missions in the region, the first in Bujumbura, Burundi, on 7 June, and the second on 10 and 11 June in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The main objective of the missions was to raise awareness among the two countries’ political leaders of the issue of effective participation by women in democratic and socioeconomic development processes in the region, as well as of issues relating to gender and to sexual violence against women.
The mission was led by Catherine Samba-Panza, the former transitional head of state of the Central African Republic and the co-chair of FemWise-Africa, accompanied by Ambassador Liberata Mulamula, former executive secretary of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR). Both are members of the Advisory Committee of the Women's Platform of the Framework.
In accordance with the instructions of Heads of State and Government at the eighth high-level meeting of the Regional Oversight Mechanism in Brazzaville in 2017 and the meeting of the expanded Advisory Committee in February 2018, missions were undertaken in three countries in the Great Lakes region, namely Burundi, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to advocate for an increase in women's participation in decision-making and political and peace processes to 30 per cent. A joint visit was also undertaken in South Sudan with a view to advancing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.