W for WIPNET (Women in peace building network, Liberia)

WIPNET (Women in peace building network, Liberia)

Concept: Citizen Control.

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WHERE:

West Africa [Liberia, Sierra Leon, Nigeria]

WHAT?

WIPNET aims to mobilize women, build their capacity and encourage collaboration to build lasting peace and promote human security in West Africa.

Integration of women’s concerns and their participation in policy formulation and the implementation of policy related to peace and security issues in the sub-region.

 WHO?

  • Civil society and women networks.
  • International and regional organizations.
  • Advocacy and training institutions.
  • More at:  http://www.gnwp.org/members 

 

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HOW?

Liberian Women Initiative (LWI) is the first organization to try influencing peace talks amid the first Liberian civil war (1989- 1996)

During the second civil war (1999 – 2003) WIPNET led the Women of Liberia Mass Action for PeaceCampaign to confront and engage the different fighting rebel groups and government directly.

Through;w4

  • Mobilizing women especially in refugee camps.
  • The women as objective moderators.
  • Street demonstrations, mobilizing local and international media, demonstrations in front of embassies, government buildings, and UN organizations.
  • Barricading the peace-talks:

‘If you don’t reach an agreement, you will not leave’

  • Sit-ins and strikes as a pressuretool to achieve demands during peace negotiations in 2003.
  • Mobilizing for monitoring and implementing the peace agreement, assisting the UN mission to promote disarmament, demobilization and repatriation.
  • Campaign for citizen’s registration and participate in elections in 2005.
  • First female president elected in Africa [Ellen Johnson Sirleaf].
  • 2006, women as peace watchers.
  • Action plan to encourage gender equality among its citizens in Liberia in 2009.
  • Leymah Gbowee & Ellen Johnson Sirleaf awarded The Nobel Peace Prize 2011.

Methods used:

  • Mediation and networking.
  • Lobbying &Negotiation.
  • Capacity building & training.
  • Inclusive outreach programmes.
  • Focus groups.
  • Monitoring and evaluation.

More?

The main critics to these initiatives is that such ambitious movements still have not succeeded in overcoming the gender gap and fully engage women in participating in political life.

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Resources

Official website:

Book: Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War by Gbowee, Leymah.

Movie:

Pray the devil back to hell, 2008:

Further readings:

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