Food for Thought: Which values can you draw from your faith tradition to prevent gender-based violence in your community?
A youth advocacy training was held in Addis Ababa from 3rd to 7th October, 2016. The training gathered fifty-three youths from Burundi, DRC, Ethiopia, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan. The objectives of the training were to; equip participants to advocate for their rights and the rights of African youth in general, develop a regional advocacy campaign, adapted to each specific context and establish a youth advocacy network. As a result of the training youth participating from the different countries formed a network by the name REJADH/YCNR.
This is a regional network of Children and youth above the age of 15 years and coming from Mali, Somalia, DRC, Burundi and South Sudan. The network was created after the Addis Ababa Youth Advocacy Training in October 2016. It is the network that will develop and implement a campaign “The Myth of Maputo” as part of the Regional Advocacy Strategy supported by Arigatou International, in partnership with the Norwegian Church Aid. Arigatou International aims to end GBV and its negative impacts on young people and children in conflict and post conflict countries.
GBV remains a major issue all around the world exacerbated in conflict and post-conflict settings where sexual violence is used as a war weapon and where banalised violence encourages the perpetration of GBV within all components of the society, including homes, schools, workplace, etc.
Did you know?
In countries where armed conflict is rife, there have been reports of rape being used as a ‘tool of war’.
The Regional Advocacy Strategy (RAS)
The Regional Advocacy Strategy (RAS) aims at bringing faith-based actors and other secular actors together to join efforts in advocating towards the implementation of UNSCR 1325. However, rather than addressing UNSCR 1325 directly, the RAS adopts a contextual and innovative approach. The strategy identifies African systems, institutions and policies related to UNSCR 1325 principles and addresses them to create an African solution to prevent and protect children and youth from sexual violence and GBV and to guarantee effective women’s and girl’s participation.
It is of utmost importance to bring faith-based actors with positive voices together to advocate specifically for the agenda of Women, Peace and Security and in general for the achievement of women’s rights in order to counterweight an important international faith-basedlobby slowing down any progress on women’s rights. Faith-based actors are essential stakeholders to overcome GBV because of their strategic position in societies so their capacities need to be built to speak out and ask for sustainable change in societal, economic and political systems.
What is the Maputo Protocol?
The Maputo Protocol was originally adopted by the “Assembly of the African Union” in Maputo, Mozambique on July 11, 2003. The official document is titled “Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa.” The Maputo Protocol is a treaty instrument that is binding on all countries that ratify it. It went into effect in November 2005, after the minimum 15 of the 53 African Union member countries ratified it. The Protocol covers a broad range of women’s rights, including the elimination of discrimination against women, the right to dignity, the right to life, the integrity and security of the person, the protection of women in armed conflicts, the right to education and training, economic and social welfare rights and health and reproductive rights.
REJADH and Maputo Protocal
Despite its progressive nature towards the realization of women rights in Conflict and Post conflict situations, in the continent more the Maputo Protocol remains a myth, it is not well known. Many countries have not ratified and for those that have, there is little accountability and implementation. The Social and Political will is lacking.REJADH and Maputo Protocal Despite its progressive nature towards the realization of women rights in Conflict and Post conflict situations, in the continent more the Maputo Protocol remains a myth, it is not well known. Many countries have not ratified and for those that have, there is little accountability and implementation. The Social and Political will is lacking.
It is for this reason that when the African Youth and Children Network for Human Rights (YCNR) /REJADH chose “RAPE IS NOT A WEAPON” as a theme and the Maputo protocol was the instrument that would guide all the elements of their campaign.