There is need for more female experts in the peace and security domain, because of the special role they play in restoring peace in conflict torn areas, according to an activist.
Jeanne d’Arc Kanakuze, the chairperson of Pro-Femmes Twese Hamwe, an umbrella of Rwandan organisations working on the promotion of women, peace and development, said this during a meeting in Kigali, yesterday, to discuss how to involve women better in peace-keeping efforts, as prescribed in the UN Security Council Resolution 1325.
The discussions were aimed at sharing experiences on the implementation of the resolution, which stresses the importance of women’s equal and full participation in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace-building and peacekeeping.
The resolution compels countries to increase to at least 20 per cent women’s participation in their police forces and for peace keeping troop contributing countries, ensure that more women are sent on peacekeeping missions.
The Minister for Gender and Family Promotion, Oda Gasinzigwa, said the resolution is one of the conventions that Rwanda has ratified and has strived to live up to.
“This is a very important resolution because the issue of peace and security has been one of the pillars of the development of our country. We didn’t start involving women in peace and security after the resolution; they have always been involved in peace building and the liberation of our country,” Gasinzigwa said.
Rwanda has surpassed the 20 per cent threshold in police peacekeepers of them.
She added that women participation should not be limited tp peace and security but also be seen in other key aspects like poverty reduction and participation in leadership. ‘‘Looking at this in a more comprehensive way, women should be there in all the developmental aspects of our country because it’s not all about peace but rather about women being part and parcel of the development of our country.’’
Damas Gatare, the Commissioner for Community Policing at Rwanda National Police, said that promotion of women involvement in peacekeeping is vital because male peace keepers have managed to achieve what they have due to their female counterparts.
“We believe we cannot do this alone, that’s why we have put up mechanisms to make sure that women are involved more on the path of peace building.
‘‘Right now there are over twenty per cent of women in police and we must applaud their efforts,” Gatare added.
The representative of the Swedish Mission in Rwanda, Hanna Jansson, said that processes need to be reviewed so that a level field is created to ensure more woman participation.
“This resolution is mostly for women on the ground to make sure they participate. This is very important and we need to use it as a tool to ensure peace and security.”
The UN Women representative, Diana Ofwona, said that friendly policies are in place but more needs to be done.
Rwanda is the fifth largest contributor of peacekeepers worldwide.