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UNFPA Supports Training of Women in Peacebuilding Network Committees on Early Warning, Conflict Prevention and Mitigation

The role of women in peacebuilding, cannot be underestimated. In times of conflict, they are part of the most vulnerable and highly affected. During such times, their enjoyment of fundamental human rights, especially their rights to sexual and reproductive health, human dignity and security of person, are not protected and fulfilled.

As such, they must be actively engaged in the sustenance of peace, prevention of and mitigation of conflict and used as an engine to promote and preach peace within their communities, because it is only through peace that societies can progress and sustainable development is possible.

On 13 June 2019, with support from UNFPA The Gambia through our UN Peacebuilding project on Increased Women and Youth Participation in Decision Making and as Agents of Community Conflict Prevention, the Women's Bureau commenced a training of 15 representatives of the Women in Peacebuilding Network (WIPNET) Committees within the Greater Banjul Area. The training is aimed at equipping women with the requisite knowledge and skills to detect early warning signs and participate in devising conflict mitigation/prevention strategies, while safeguarding the rights of women and girls during and after conflict.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Neneh Bojang, Assistant Director of Information, Education and Communication at the Women's Bureau, highlighted that, from the traditional conflict resolution procedures, women play a key role as mediators to promote reconciliation. These roles must be strengthened and women must be provided the platforms to actively engage in decision making, including on matters of conflict prevention and mitigation, as well as in other spheres.

A recent UN Gambia supported Conflict and Development Analysis reflected that, Gambian women’s roles and participation, are key to moving the country forward and navigating difficulties, as women’s social clubs, have been strong engines of peace, evidenced through their social interactions and application of localised mediation and conflict management systems.

Speaking on behalf of the UNFPA The Gambia Representative, Mr Alieu Jammeh, Programme Analyst, Reproductive Health Commodity Security and Focal Person for the Peacebuilding Project at UNFPA, reiterated the agency’s commit to support women engage in decision making and peacebuilding processes and to contribute towards conflict prevention, because, the enjoyment of their fundamental human rights, depend on the existence of a peaceful environment and the adequate representation of their views in all leadership and decision making processes.