“Our Politics is NOW!: Moving Beyond the Rhetoric of Women’s Political Participation”
The West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) and Women Peace and Security Network, Africa (WIPSEN-Africa) conveyed the 2nd Annual West African Women’s Policy Forum themed “Our Politics is NOW: Moving Beyond the Rhetoric of Women’s Political Participation” from November 1213 2009 in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire with support from the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), the International Women’s Programme of the Open Society Institute (IWP-OSI), the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), Daphne Foundation and with local support from the Forum International des Femmes pour la Paix l’Egalité et le Développent (FIFEM).
The 2-days forum was organised with the overarching goal to review women’s participation in politics in post independence West Africa and assess the gains thus far in terms of women’s involvement in political parties; active participation in political processes; and ascension to appointed or elected positions. The gathering also examined amongst others, the contributions and support of civil society towards women seeking political careers and how this has bolster or falter women’s opportunities in different instances.
1st Annual West Africa Women's Policy Forum - Assessing the Gains, Advancing the Agenda", Accra, Ghana
West African women have gained relative visibility through their activism in the civil society sector on issues of governance, democracy, development, peace and security. However, the extent to which this activism influences or shapes policies across the region has not been measured and therefore difficult to ascertain. Furthermore, in comparison to their share of the population, women remain underrepresented in political spaces and very little is known about the causal effect of those women who enter into political spaces. There is also an evident disconnect between women in civil society and women in government further diminishing the potential collective leverage women can bring to policy processes. This situation led the West Africa Civil Society Institute and the Women Peace and Security Network to initiate the establishment of the West Africa Women’s Forum in December 2008, as an annual space for women working in different sectors in the region to deliberate and design strategies for enhancing women’s influence on policy processes and provide a conduit for improved collaboration among women’s groups.
The 1st Forum titled “Assessing the gains, Advancing the Agenda” brought together over 50 women from three distinct sectors; women in civil society, women in government and women from the donor community. Participants were drawn primarily from West Africa, with representation from other parts of Africa and the world. Participants reflected on women’s roles and participation in governance, development, peace and security in the region and to design concrete strategies for influencing and informing policy processes.
TABLES RONDES CONSULTATIVES GLOBALES SUR LA RESPONSABILITÉ DE PROTÉGER: Les Perspectives Ouest Africaine "La Consultation d' Accra"
L’Institut ouest africain de la société civile (WASCI), en collaboration avec World Federalist Movement- Institute for Global Policy (WFM-IGP) et avec l’appui de l’Initiative de la Société Libre de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (OSIWA) et de Fredrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) a tenu une table ronde pour la société civile intitulé « Les tables rondes de consultation sur la responsabilité de protéger : les perspectives ouest africaines » les 30 et 31 juillet 2008.
Cette table ronde est la septième d’une série de consultations destinées à établir un réseau des ONG sur la norme de la responsabilité de protéger. La table ronde a regroupé environ 46 participants venant des ONG, des organisations communautaires à la base et des réseaux sous régionaux de la société civile. Les représentants des gouvernements et des agences intergouvernementales ont également participé à cette consultation. L’objectif de la table ronde est de discuter et de délibérer sur les progrès réalisés au niveau de la mise de la norme de la responsabilité de protéger et les enjeux en Afrique de l’Ouest.
GLOBAL CONSULTATIVE ROUNDTABLES ON THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT: West African Perspectives "The Accra Consultation" (July 2008)
The West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) in collaboration with the World Federalist Movement- the Institute for Global Policy (WFM-IGP) with the support of the Open Society Initiative of West Africa (OSIWA) and Fredrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) hosted a regional policy roundtable for civil society titled “Global Consultative Roundtables on the Responsibility to Protect: West African Perspectives” in Accra, Ghana, from 30-31 July, 2008.
The roundtable was the seventh in a series of consultations organised to build a global Non- Governmental Organisation (NGO) network on the responsibility to protect (R2P) norm. The roundtable group comprised about 46 participants from NGOs, Community Based Organisations (CBOs), and sub- regional civil society networks. Representatives from national governments and intergovernmental agencies also participated in the consultation. The goal of the roundtable was to discuss and deliberate on the progress of implementing R2P and its implications in West Africa.
Regional Seminar: ‘Reflecting on Civil Society’s Evolution in Ghana over the Last 50 Years’ (November, 2007)
The West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) established by the Open Society for West Africa (OSIWA) and the United Nations Development Programme’s Civil Society Resource Centre in Ghana in collaboration with the Ghana Association of Private Voluntary Organisations in Development (GAPVOD) organised a two day Regional Seminar on the theme “Reflecting on Civil Society’s Evolution in Ghana over the Last 50 Years” in Accra, Ghana from the 8-9 November, 2007.
The objective of the seminar was to provide a platform for a cross-section of over 100 civil- society actors to reflect on the progress, challenges and future of civil society in Ghana. Participants at the seminar were drawn from Ghana and across the West African sub-region and included government representatives, donor agencies and organisations, UN agencies, international non-governmental organisations and the private sector.