Women, Peace and Security in the Greater Horn of Africa: Looking Back, Going Forward

Entitled ‘Women Peace and Security in the Horn of Africa: Looking Back, Going Forward’, the roundtable will discuss crucial issues relating to peace and security in the region, presenting opinions from a wide diversity of women from grassroots to the level of political leadership. Mixing presentations with open dialogue, the content will focus on the following topics: gender strategies being employed by regional entities including the African Union & Intergovernmental Agency (IGAD), the advancement of UNSCR 1325 and 1802, and the mechanisms needed to ensure that women are active participants in decision-making processes that both ignite wars and put an end to conflict.

The roundtable is the result of a three year project (2009-2012) launched by Club de Madrid and its partners Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and Isis-WICCE. Since its inception, over ten high-level missions have taken place across the region, including Ethiopia, Uganda, Djibouti, Kenya, Somaliland (Somalia) and South Sudan. The missions were carried out under the leadership of Club de Madrid members, former Prime Ministers & Presidents including Valdis Birkavs (Latvia), Kjell Magne Bondevik (Norway), Kim Campbell (Canada), Mary Robinson (Ireland) and Benjamin Mkapa (Tanzania). These missions have engaged top leadership at sub-regional and national levels on pressing issues of peace and security, whilst also providing the support for women leaders and civil society groups to continue their hard work lobbying for change on the ground. The project has resulted in positive changes in relationships between targeted women leaders and stakeholders at different decision-making levels across national government and multilateral institutions that affect peace and security in the Greater Horn of Africa.

Returning to the city of Addis Ababa where the first mission took place in 2009, the roundtable will provide a unique opportunity to understand the invaluable and vital role played by women in resolving conflicts and bringing about stability, and the mechanisms needed to ensure that they are equal partners in all decisions regarding peace and security across the Greater Horn of Africa.