Projects in 2013
Gender and Security Sector Governance and Reform
Since 2008, WIPSEN-Africa has been working with various security sector institutions in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Ghana to enhance the capacities of security sector actors and institutions to promote gender-sensitive security reform and governance. WIPSEN-Africa's work with these security sector actors has shown that given adequate capacity building and support, female security sector personnel can drive transformative change from within. However this can only happen when all security sector actors are sensitized and supportive of integrating gender and women's issues in security reform processes. WIPSEN-Africa's work in this area is guided by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) which specifically calls for; increased representation of women at all decision-making levels in national mechanisms for the prevention, management and resolution of conflict; and training on gender issues for military and civilian police personnel in member states.
From 2010 to 2011, WIPSEN-Africa held a series of roundtable discussions with 8 security sector institutions and civil society organisations in Ghana. The objective of the series was to identify gender gaps and entry-points for supporting the implementation of UNSCR 1325. The findings of the series higlighted that more than 10 years after the adoption of UNSCR 1325, the security sector in Ghana remains a male dominated institution which discriminates against female security sector personnel. Moreover, women's organisations are not able to play an oversight role due to lack of technical expertise and collaboration between female security personnel and women Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). Therefore, in 2013 WIPSEN-Africa, with support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will implement a programme that seeks to address these gaps in 4 security sector instituion in 4 regions of Ghana through enhancing gender mainstreaming and gender responsiveness. It is expected that through the project all security sector institutions will develop institutional cultures, policies and practices more conducive to supporting women's equal participation in security provision and enhacing the security of all citizens
Youth and Security
Since its inception, WIPSEN-Africa has used the Young Girls Transformative Leadership Project to work with young girls throughout West Africa to build their leadership capacities and facilitate their contribution to peacebuilding and community decision making. The West African sub-region has been subject to a series of violent conflicts over the past several decades including civil wars in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali and Cote d'Ivoire, and internalised local conflicts in Nigeria and Ghana. Across these conflicts, young girls have been systematically subject to various forms of violence and discrimination, and are also subject to continuing forms of structural and direct violence including gender based violence, teenage pregnancy, prostitution and child marriage. From working within adolescent and young girls throughout West Africa, WIPSEN-Africa has learned that given the appropriate training and mentorship, young girls are able to overcome their experiences of violence and discrimination and develop the confidence to affect positive change within their communities. In Liberia alone, the project has impacted over 500 direct beneficiaries in 12 counties and over 10,000 indirect beneficiaries. The girls involved in the project have gone on to become active in decision making and community peacebuilding processes. Building on these achievements, in 2013, the project will be implemented in two more communities in Liberia and will also be piloted in two districts in the Volta Region of Ghana.
Liberia's fourteen-year civil conflict shattered the economy and created an entire generation of young people who lack proper education and marketable job skills to meet the demands of the labour market. In response to this, WIPSEN–Africa with the support of Chevron will be implementing the Youth Readiness and Job Placement Programme in 2013. Through this programme, 50 young women between the ages of 17 – 25 will receive ICT training and workforce development support. This innovative programme which takes a holistic approach to skills training will contribute to the development of a new generation of employable, empowered and socially-conscious young women in Liberia.
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