Sub-Saharan Africa: Ensuring Accountability

Women marching to welcome the Global Fund for Women
Courtesy WOCEGAR
It is a hot June day in Freeport, Sierra Leone. The country’s president and chief judge, along with representatives of civil society, have gathered to inaugurate Sierra Leone’s strategic plan for UN Security Council Resolution 1325, the first UN resolution on women and peace. Although the civil war in Sierra Leone ended in 2002, many challenges persist, including a 65 percent illiteracy rate and rising gender violence. On that summer day, 600 women and men join hands and sing, “We shall overcome one day.

Raising their voices in this call for peace are members of the Mano River Women’s Peace Network, a Global Fund grantee that represents 100 mostly women’s NGOs in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. Across these countries, women’s groups are leading efforts in conflict prevention, economic development and responsible governance.

Ensuring women’s central role in peacemaking is at the heart of our work in the region. Our recent publication Funding a Women’s Rights Movement in the Democratic Republic of Congo documents grantees’ efforts to create peace networks, bring perpetrators of rape to court, and train women to use their numbers to vote for accountable leaders.

The Women’s Center for Good Governance and Human Rights in Sierra Leone, is one grantee among a powerful choir in post-conflict African countries asserting no more will women’s bodies be used as battlefields. No more will armed militia and government soldiers leave women to deal with the wreckage of war. No more will women accept to remain silent. Women shall overcome, today.

Next in the Annual Report: Asia & Oceania: Building Solidarity »

 
 
 

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