Early Warning Workshop WANEP: Women participation in prevention and against violent extremism in the Sahel region

From the 15th until 17th of February GPPAC member WANEP and UN Women organised the 'Regional Workshop on Early Warning: Women participation in prevention and the fight against violent extremism in the Sahel region'. Read more about the workshop below:

[OUAGADOUGOU, 15 February 2017] "Peace and Stability provide the foundation for social and economic development in Africa. … peace, security and development are inseparable.... In 2015, G5 Sahel countries explicitly recognized women's crucial role in efforts to prevent the spread of violent extremism. " These words were part of the statement made by H.E. Mr. Masato Futaishi, Ambassador of Japan in Burkina Faso at the opening ceremony of a three-day training workshop hosted by UN Women and the G5 Sahel Secretariat, in partnership with the West African Network for Peace Building (WANEP). 

In light of the critical importance of women's role in preventing violent extremism, their leadership needs to be recognized and promoted in a way that allows them to own the process working in coordination with governmental institutions and civil society organizations alike, especially at grassroots level. " Due to their geographic positions and particular occupations, women from border communities are more exposed to violent extremism and are therefore best suited to detect warning signs", further stated H.E. Futaishi in recognition of his country's support to the UN Women's Peace and Security Programme for the Sahel Region.

This Japan funded UN Women Programme seeks to situate women's leadership at the center of all interventions of the G5 Sahel efforts to prevent violent extremism and foster peace and stability in the region. The Programme has various components, which includes the early warning training workshop for women, being implemented in partnership with WANEP given their "well established expertise on early warning" as highlighted by Ms. Khady Ba Faye, Programme Manager of the UN Women Regional Sahel Programme on Peace and Security during her speech.

It is in this context that UN Women and WANEP are hosting the training workshop for Sahelian women's to reflect, inform, train, and share experiences as contributions to peace building, and for fostering effective early warning mechanisms to prevent violent extremism a both national and regional levels.  The main expected outcome of the workshop is a Regional Triennial Sahelian Action Plan for early warning and women's participation in preventing violent extremism in the Sahel.

In her opening statement, Mrs. Ouedrago Aina Koné, Representing the Burkina Faso Minister of Women's Affairs, National Solidarity and Family, recalled that they were looking forward to such an action plan: "I can already assure you that the recommendations and strategies which will be proposed as an outcome to this meeting will not remain vain at our level". She then concluded on an advocacy note calling for additional UN Women support: "I hope that UN Women will also assist us in implementing such interventions and making the recommendations from this workshop a reality on the ground".

Over 50 participants mainly women are attending the training. They are from grassroots community-based organizations, governments, parliamentarians and representatives of the G5 Women national platforms of the G5 Sahel countries including Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger, Mali and Mauritania.

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