News

Women, Peace and Security Institute Established in Ghana

1 June 2011
Author: UNFPA
Women have a role to play in the uniformed forces and in other aspects of building peace and security Photo : Marcus Bleasdale/VII

Discussions on conflict and peacekeeping in Africa have often ignored the role of women. But this reality is gradually changing, as a growing body of activists, academics and policymakers bring women to the forefront of security agendas. As part of this movement, the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra, Ghana has established a Women, Peace and Security Institute to train students and leaders across the continent on gender and security issues.

The institute will offer training courses based on the five programme pillars of UN Security Council resolution 1325 – a landmark resolution that affirms the critical role that women play in preventing and resolving conflicts. The State of World Population 2010 report, published 10 years after the resolution was adopted, highlights the need for more work to address the role women in conflict and post-conflict situations—as well as in emergencies or protracted crises.

The new institute will help turn the aspirations of resolution 1325 into reality. Supported by UNFPA, UN Women, UNDP and the Japanese and Dutch governments, it aims to increase women’s leadership and capacities in peace negotiations, peacekeeping activities and preventive diplomacy efforts in Africa while expanding research and documentation on these topics. Training programs will be available for grassroots activists and high-level government officials alike.

The trend is catching on in other parts of the world as well. Across the Atlantic, a similar effort is underway in Chile, where the government intends to create an institute on women and peace for Latin America and the Caribbean. Seizing the opportunity for South-South collaboration, UNFPA has connected Chilean leaders with staff from the Kofi Annan training centre. Chilean representatives are traveling to Accra this month to learn from their Ghanaian colleagues and to adapt the curriculum to their region.

“It’s exciting to see that the UN’s support of the Women, Peace and Security Institute is spinning off in many positive ways,” says Upala Devi, UNFPA Gender-based Violence Technical Adviser.

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