Empowering Female Leadership in Peace and Security: A Women in Peace and Security Mentoring Course

The Women in Peace and Security Mentoring Course, under the framework of the Inspiring African Women in Peace and Security Programme, an initiative designed to equip female leaders with the skills and knowledge necessary to champion increased female leadership in peace and security, was recently held at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC).

Under the auspices of the Women, Youth, Peace and Security Institute of KAIPTC and funded by the German government through its regional implementing agency GIZ-EPSAO, the program aimed to enhance the abilities of mid-level female leaders to identify and leverage opportunities for promoting female leadership in peace and security efforts.

Eighteen female participants from ten African countries, each playing a crucial role in their communities and organizations to advance the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda, attended the weeklong course, contributing a wealth of experience and insight.

The Deputy Ambassador of Germany to Ghana, Sivine Jansen, emphasized during the opening of the course that women’s participation in peacebuilding and community reconstruction is both a fundamental right and a pathway to more effective outcomes. She highlighted that peace processes involving women tend to be more inclusive, representing a broader range of views and interests, ultimately leading to more democratic outcomes.

Ms. Jansen also drew attention to the staggering number of women and girls currently living in conflict zones, which exceeds 614 million according to the United Nations Security Council’s 2023 report. She noted that this number is likely to rise due to recent conflicts in Sudan, increased terrorism and coups in the Sahel region, ongoing violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and other global conflicts.

“Despite the undeniable contributions of women in peace and security efforts, leading to more effective solutions for today’s complex crises, their crucial role often goes unrecognized,” said Ms. Jansen. She stressed the need for persistent investments in women’s organizations, promoting gender parity in political and electoral processes, and utilizing accountability tools to strengthen the protection of women in conflict zones. She underscored that Germany’s Feminist Foreign Policy prioritizes equal rights, equitable representation, and equal access to resources for women and girls.

Ms. Jansen suggested that the Inspiring African Women Leadership in Peace and Security Programme directly aligns with these goals. “By participating in this program, these women leaders will strengthen their representation in the peace and security field, develop project management skills, and become mentors, empowering future generations of women to advocate for equal rights,” she emphasized.

She commended KAIPTC’s collaboration with GIZ and the ECOWAS Peace and Security Architecture and Operations (EPSAO) for their innovative approach to addressing women’s underrepresentation in the peace and security sector. She encouraged participants to fully engage in the course to maximize their learning experience.

In his welcome address, Air Commodore David Akrong, Deputy Commandant of KAIPTC, emphasized the critical importance of women’s involvement in peace processes. He highlighted the need for equal representation of women in governance, politics, advocacy, and activism to achieve a fully inclusive democratic system and maintain international peace and security.

Air Commodore Akrong acknowledged the persistent underrepresentation of women in leadership positions, particularly in male-dominated fields like peace and security. To address this gap, he noted that KAIPTC’s new strategic plan for 2024-2028 prioritizes enhancing gender equity and social inclusion, with a focus on women and youth in fostering peace, stability, and development in Africa.