Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has called for the inclusion of women in active conflict resolution, especially in Africa.
Kadaga who was speaking on Wednesday at the Ninth Conference of Parliamentary Muslim Women held on the side-lines of the Parliamentary Union of Islamic Conference (PUIC) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, said that the international bodies and governments should consult and involve women in mitigating conflicts around the world.
The 15th PUIC kicked off on 27th January and concludes today under the theme “Youth, the future of PUIC”. PUIC is composed of 54 member states that are under the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation founded in Iran in 1999.
“It is a matter of grave concern that we have very few women who lead peace missions; the former United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon advised that women be appointed as special envoys but that has not been realized,” said Kadaga.
She said that the African continent has many conflicts necessitating more women as special envoys to conflict resolution missions so that they lead instead of being advisors.
“On these missions, women are taken as gender advisors with no guarantee of their advice being seriously adopted,” Kadaga added.
The Speaker said that attention should be given to the peace agreements and their gender sensitivity adding that they should account for the women and children as well as address their needs as victims of conflict.
“We want post-conflict management programs that are tailored for women because they face challenges unique to gender during and after conflicts; this can only be realized with more women inclusion,” she said.
According to Kadaga, while men have the authority to start wars, women tend to look for alternative means to deal with conflict for the sake of safe-keeping their families. She says that women are more democratic and able to work together to mobilize their children and societies towards recovery from conflict.
Meanwhile, she acknowledged the response of the member states of PUIC to the cry for more involvement of women in key political positions citing the United Arab Emirates(UAE) appointing the first female leader of the National Assembly, Amal Al Qubaisi and Bahrain first female Speaker of the Council of Representatives, Fawzia Abdulla Yusuf Zainal.