Rhetoric and real progress on the Women, Peace and Security agenda in Africa
This paper looks at how the European Union and the African Union promote the Women, Peace and Security agenda in Africa.
The Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda enjoys high visibility among African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) member states. Despite regional variations, many countries have adopted national action plans to promote UN Security Council resolution 1325.
In both regions, efforts and policies to promote gender and women’s empowerment and the WPS agenda are not fully linked up. Although they are conceptually similar, implementation has taken place in parallel tracks, by different actors and institutions.
In the EU, for instance, the WPS agenda largely remains in the remit of the European External Action Service, while gender equality and women’s empowerment fall under the European Commission’s scope of action. Some recent initiatives such as the new EU Strategic Approach to Women, Peace, Security and joint reporting may remedy this disconnect.
The African Union Commission does not have a clear strategy on how to implement the WPS agenda, despite the laudable efforts of the AU Special Envoy on women, peace and security. The recently launched AU Strategy on Gender and Women’s Empowerment could complement efforts to promote the WPS agenda and eventually improve the implementation across the AU.