August 16, 2023 (Machakos, Kenya): The recently concluded IGAD Women, Peace and Security Forum (IWPSF) Conference has left a tremendousmark on the landscape of gender mainstreaming and women’s empowerment, particularly in the area of peace and security. This gathering convergence of representatives from Member states’ Executive, Legislative, Civil Society, and IGAD Secretariat with the aim of operationalizing the Forum. The conference provided the participants with a platform for active participation, panel discussions and dialogue.
The conference was officially opened by the IGAD Executive Secretary, H.E. Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu who stated, “Today’s inauguration of the IGAD Women, Peace & Security Forum (IWPSF) is an important step to collaborate with distinguished women peacemakers & supportive allies, reinforcing our dedication to enhancing women’s influence in resolving conflicts in Republic of Sudan and in our entire region.”
IGAD has been a steadfast advocate for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment within its member states. The IWPSF, was inaugurated in 2013 with a vision to amplify women’s roles in Conflict Prevention, Mitigation and Resoution (CPMR )processes.The journey towards the IWPSF Conference was marked by collaborative dedication. It was born from the outcome of an IGAD Women and Peace Conference in 2011.The subsequent establishment of the IWPSF Board, composed of representatives from Executive, Legislative, Civil Society of the forum and IGAD acting as its Secretariat, helped the move towards operationalizing the forum’s aspirations.
The conference’s objectives, ranging from the official launch of the IWPSF Conference and the presentation of the Strategic Plan to engaging forum members in discussions on women’s participation in peace processes, were successfully achieved with resounding success.
In conclusion of the workshop, the IWPSF Members issued a powerful statement of solidarity touching on the devastating war facing Sudan; a genuine act of sisterhood and regional integration. They also issued acommunique, of great importance and nobility, proving that the conference’s deliberations were fruitful.
In his closing remarks, the Honorable Director Siraj Fegessa lauded the forum stating that “Our IWPSF Conference was not merely an event; but a testament to our dedication to promoting, achieving, andsustaining good governance, peace, security, and stability within our region.”
The workshop was funded by the European Union (EU) through the IPPSHAR Programme being implemented in partnership with the Austrian Development Agency (ADA)