UNITAR partners with FemWise-Africa to empower African Women as ambassadors for peace and security


Traduction en français

In conformity with its capacity building mandate, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) will launch the Custodians of Peace virtual thematic training series in support of the Network of African Women in Conflict Prevention and Mediation known as FemWise-Africa on the 5th of October 2021. With the gracious and generous support of The Kingdom of Belgium, UNITAR has developed this series aimed at further strengthening the knowledge and technical capacity of FemWise-Africa members through experiential and tailored-made capacity building offers.

Since the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding in 2015, UNITAR and the African Union Peace and Security Commission (AUPSC) have closely collaborated to promote peace and security on the African continent. Capitalising on the creation and activation of FemWise-Africa in 2017 and at the request of the Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union, UNITAR conceptualised the project Custodians of Peace to systematically develop the capacities of FemWise-Africa members to effectively take part in mediation and conflict prevention efforts from grassroots levels upward across the African continent. This project will further strengthen the strong working relationship between UNITAR and FemWise-Africa, adding to the history of fruitful collaboration between the two organisations.

As emphasised in the groundbreaking UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325), positive peace is more likely to be achieved and sustained when women participate equally in all aspects of peace and security processes. Further, the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on women empowerment coupled with the need to build back better makes it crucial to strengthen commitments to advance UNSCR 1325 at regional, national and grassroots levels. The Custodians of Peace project is an ambitious attempt to achieve this goal by supporting African women’s good mediation and conflict prevention practices and creating entry points for female community leaders and peacemakers to take part in peace processes more effectively.   

Developed as one of the key pillars of this project, the Custodians of Peace virtual thematic training series is designed to cover a wide range of thematic areas, based on the understanding that these are essential for delivering on the core mandate of the FemWise-Africa Network. The Custodians of Peace virtual thematic training series proposes to convene specialised trainings on:

  • Enhancing women’s political participation 
  • Understanding and prevention of inter-ethnic and inter-communal conflicts 
  • Prevention of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (including conflict-related SGBV) 
  • Sensitisation and prevention of trafficking and proliferation of small arms and light weapons 
  • Sensitisation and advocacy around psycho-social and mental health issues (within the context of peace and security). 

In order to ensure the best possible reach to FemWise-Africa members, the thematic training series will be delivered in a digital format. Through e-learning, the trainings will adopt an approach that focuses on the learning needs, interests and styles of participants to ensure the relevance and retention of content. Also, a particular emphasis will be made on the active participation of learners through practice-oriented online learning environments.

To complement the virtual thematic training series, UNITAR will further leverage its innovative learning solutions to roll out four online self-paced training modules in line with the broader thematic priorities of the project. To further ensure the sustainability of the Custodians of Peace project, UNITAR will convene four virtual Training of Trainers (ToT) on conflict prevention and mediation and inter-ethnic and inter-communal violence - two thematic priority areas identified by the FemWise-Africa network. 

Bringing Custodians of Peace into full development will contribute to the advancement of FemWise-Africa’s core mandate, which will, in turn, play a key role in bringing African women’s peacebuilding and mediation efforts to the next level. UNITAR is grateful to contribute to this milestone and looks at the journey ahead with great expectation. In the meantime, stay tuned and follow our newsletters and social media for more updates on how this groundbreaking project unfolds.

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