“The training has boosted my confidence, given me a positive attitude to lead and get engaged in leadership. Big thanks to FemWise-Africa and UNITAR.”  
A custodian for peace member

Did you know that when women participate in peace processes, the resulting agreement is 35% more likely to last 15 years? But did you also know that between 1992 and 2019, women represented only 13% of negotiators, 3% of mediators, and 4% of signatories in major peace processes? To combat the disconnect between these statistics, UNITAR has codeveloped with FemWise-Africa the Custodians for Peace project which empowers women with the skills and confidence to directly participate in peace processes. This project has been made possible through the generous support from the Kingdom of Belgium.

Given that the negotiation and mediation field has long been largely dominated by men, the Custodians of Peace project represents an ambitious attempt to change this pattern and achieve gender equality in the field. Designed to enhance the capacities of women on a wide range of thematic areas through the lens of women's empowerment, the project directly contributes the core mandate of the FemWise-Africa Network as well as the goal of creating more sustainable and inclusive peace on the African continent. Through the discovery or reinforcement of knowledge and skills on conflict prevention and mediation, FemWise-Africa members working in various socio-political contexts had the opportunity to improve the quality of the work promoting social inclusion, the empowerment of women, and peace in their respective communities.

Let's all have the courage to Act Now.”  
A custodian for peace member

In light of the above, UNITAR and the FemWise Africa Secretariat joined forces to deliver a wide range of capacity building activities, serving the members of the FemWise Africa network. These trailblazing women are already leading transformational change within their direct environments – reaching from community peacebuilding work to national reconciliation processes. The trainings offered by UNITAR were designed to offer the FemWise members additional tools within thematic areas such as Sensitization and Prevention of Trafficking and Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons; Understanding and Preventing Inter-Ethnic and Inter-Communal Conflicts; Understanding and Preventing Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (including conflict-related SGBV), Enhancing Women’s Political Participation; Sensitization and Advocacy on Psycho-Social and Mental Health Issues (within the context of peace and security). In light of the ongoing COVID19 pandemic, UNITAR and partners underwent a process of rapid innovation and delivered all trainings in a digital format.

While the thematic work yielded incredible results, the FemWise members also truly appreciated the opportunity to connect, discuss and learn from a network of peers, addressing important questions such as: “What is the place of women in conflict prevention and mediation? What does it mean for women to work in this particular domain? And what first steps can be taken to change the current status quo?”

“I think the training has done me a lot of good because I’ve never been trained as a trainer myself - but I’ve been training. I’ve been training, maybe with error and all that. This course has actually improved my training skills. It has also improved how I can plan and how I can get through to participants. I think it has been good for me thank you.” 
A custodian for peace member

“This training has inspired me to take leadership and build my capacity for advocacy related to women.” 
A custodian for peace member

To offer a continuous opportunity for learning, UNITAR has also created several self-paced training modules in line with the broader thematic priorities for the FemWise Network. The courses will specifically equip the members with tools in different thematic areas including Prevention of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (including conflict-related SGBV) and Sensitization and advocacy around psycho-social and mental health issues (within the context of peace and security). The great success of the virtual courses developed for the FemWise Network members has led UNITAR to further its commitment to women’s empowerment by opening similar self-paced courses to a wider audience in the near future for open enrollment #staytuned.

Share with