On September 21 - International Day of Peace - the Biennale of Luanda reflected on the nexus between women and peace through the Women's Forum.
The Women's Forum provided an opportunity to share best practices focused on reducing girls and women's vulnerability to violence in all its forms, as well as highlighted the role of women as agents of peace and development in Africa.
1. Vulnerability of Girls and Women to Violence / Women as Agents of Peace
Moderator: Ms Georja Calvin-Smith, Journalist at France 24
- Ms Loise Danladi Musa, Executive Secretary of the Bauchi State Agency for Mass Education, (Nigeria);
- Ms Askah Buraci Otao, Educator for the Gionseri Girls Highschool, and beneficiary of the “UNESCO Mentorship Programme for unlocking the potential of Girls in STEM”, (Kenya);
- Dr Carmel Matoko, Director of Bacongo Base Hospital, (Republic of Congo);
- Dr Iqbal El-Samaloty, Secretary-General of the Arab Network for Literacy and Adult Education, (Egypt);
- Ms Elisa Ravengai, National Coordinator of Federation of Organization of Disabled People, (Zimbabwe);
- Ms Júlia Quitócua, National Director of Women's Rights and Gender Equality of the Ministry of Social Action, the Family and the Advancement of Women, (Angola).
This session focused on UNESCO and African Union's projects and initiatives in the African continent, on how to counter gender-based violence, and empower women and girls to be active and become key players in the decision-making process, and efforts to shape their society to the best. It also focused on the efforts of notable women and organizations that are involved in promoting gender equality, and their contributions to mainstreaming the culture of peace in Africa.
2. Women’s networks for the Culture of Peace in Africa
Moderator: Ms Ana Elisa Santana Afonso, Director of the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa UNESCO Liaison Office and UNESCO Representative to Ethiopia
- H.E. Ms Specioza Naigaga Wandira-Kazibwe, Former Vice-President of Uganda, Member and Representative of the Pan-African Network of African Women in Conflict Prevention and Mediation (Fem-Wise Africa);
- Ms Awa Ndiaye Seck, Coordinator Women Leaders Network UN-Women Representative in the Democratic Republic of Congo ;
- Ms Victoire Lasseni-Duboze, President of the Pan-African Women’s Network for the Culture of Peace, Gabon ;
- Ms Jeanne d'Arc Kanakuze, Executive Secretary of the Pro-Femmes/Twese-Hamwe Collective ;
- Ms Coumba Fall Venn, Administrator of the Pan-African Centre for Gender, Peace and Development - FAS ;
- Dr Yemisi Akinbobola, Co-founder, African Women in the Media Network (AWIM).
Aware of the need to bring together to act in favour of equal rights as a basis for peace and development on the continent, African women activists and their organizations are increasingly forming national or transnational federating entities. This session was an opportunity for the panelists to present their respective organizations.