UN Women have urged the government to increase the engagement of women in peace negotiations in conflict areas.
Anna Mutavati, the deputy representative UN Women in Uganda said that increased engagement of women in security and peace negotiations will help to deliver women’s perspective which has not been prioritised besides being most affected.
“During conflicts and insurgencies, women and children are the most affected with sexual abuse, caring for children sanitation and hygiene, yet they continue to be excluded in solving these conflicts,” Mutavati said.
“For many decades, we have associated peacebuilding processes to men, putting women at the back spot, yet they have a role to do to keep peaceful societies, they have no role to play in conflict prevention, resolution, war proportionally affects women and children,” Mutavati said.
She noted that during conflicts, issues of gender inequalities compounds too many obstacles of access to food, water, sanitation, hygiene health care, education and housing which affect women more than men, yet continue to exclude them in resolving these conflicts.
Speaking at Women Peace and Security Programme workshop organised by UN women and the Norwegian embassy in Uganda at Protea Hotel in Kampala, last week, Beatrice Eyong, the country representative UN Women in Mali noted that the knowledge, capacity and approach to conflict prevention and resolution by women are different from men’s approach and instrumental.
“Women play major roles in these conflicts, as actors, victims and accomplices, and so if we walk on these roles, we shall be able to bring peace, because they have female relatives, if we bring them on the table they will be able to negotiate for peace,” Eyong noted.
Peter Mancha, women, peace and security at UN Women in Nigeria advised that Uganda should prioritise economic empowerment of women and youths, saying poverty has been one of the challenges faced by Nigeria in curbing Boko Haram terrorists that focus on poor and unemployed youths and women.
The women, peace and security programme is focused on moving the women peace and security agenda in Uganda forward with its priority on creating an enabling environment for women to participate in peace and security processes, conflict prevention, conflict resolution and peacebuilding and recovery aligned to Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 5 and 16 and United Nations Security Council resolution 1325.
Col Agnes Musoke, the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) director of women affairs however said Uganda’s patriarchal society limits the inclusion of women on security forces, adding that military and security forces have been perceived as males’ roles, hence registering a low turn up of females whenever there is a call for recruitment.