UNSCR1325 at Grassroots: CAGEAD builds conflict resolution competences of Communuty Peace Ambassadors
By Bakah Derick
A two day refresher workshop for Community Peace Ambassadors (CPAs) on the localisation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 has ended in Bamenda. Organised by the Center for Advocacy in Gender Equality and Action for Development (CAGEAD) from April 8-9, 2022, the workshop assembled the CPAs from Bamenda I and III being the project area to reflect on better ways of conflict resolution in their communities.
According to the Executive Director of CAGEAD, the UNSCR1325 which aims at supporting women's participation at all levels of peace building in their communities is a global concept that needs to be broken down for local understanding and implementation.
"The first-year we just simplified the resolution in a manual and then organised a number of workshops to let them understand the resolution then help themselves to be able to talk to other women in their communities. This year, we are strengthening their capacities and diving deeper into the four pillars of the resolution." Andiensa Clotilda said
With the help of Tamon Olivia, Barriater at Law from the Association of Female Lawyers, Nyuyinwi Mary from the regional office of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Awah Ndikum from the UNFPA and CAGEAD personnel, the CPAs reflected on several topics amongst them: International and National normative framework; Women Peace and Conflict, UNSCR1325 and it's pillars, Relief and recovery pillar, Gender based violence, trauma healing, psychological first aid, leadership, communication and advocacy, conflict resolution...
To better localised the UNSCR1325, CAGEAD created space during the workshop for an understanding of local peace instruments like peace plants, colanuts, religious books like the Bible and Qur'an, gong, calabash, palm Wine etc.
"UNSCR1325 may not not be implemented in the same way in Cameroon as in Nigeria, Uganda...because it goes with the situation on the ground. We are living in a conflict situation and if we really want to come out of this situation, we need to be able to explore all avenues... We use to have conflicts and we use to solve them. This is a bigger conflict that has caused other smaller conflicts even in homes, amongst friends... so why not go back to our culture to look at what we need and how we use to solve our problems... this is a way of localising UNSCR1325. Let women of our grassroot communities not look at it as a foreign idea but see it as what they have been doing and make it better." CAGEAD Executive Director explained.
With over 30 community peace clubs created in 2021 reaching out to over 1000members, CAGEAD and her partner; the International Civil Society Action Network ICAN and the She builds peace campaign hopes to have more members admitted into the clubs hence increase social cohesion and women's participation in decision making.
Workshop participants commit to peace building
"We are also looking at many more women being integrated into local and traditional councils as well as local development associations. We are also expecting them to develop an advocacy plan that will be used to get the councils to buy community peace clubs idea and have it as a recognised arm in the council area." Andiensa said.