Peacebuilding Among Women in Addis Ababa
In December 2013, outbursts of unspeakable violence began to destroy the homes and lives of 850,000 Ethiopians. Following this state of disorder, multiple negotiations and agreements were addressed in the hopes of ending the violence. Women were notoriously absent for these negotiations; therefore, South Sudanese women began to take on leadership roles to make a strong presence. They issued a statement calling for peace, protection of women and children, and to include women in the peacebuilding process. This inaugural movement led to an increase of women delegates present within negotiation teams and the negotiation process for peace.
Since 2012, Cordaid has partnered with the Eve Organization for Women Development, with the goal of empowering women to promote their participation among society. This project is a follow up on the earlier initiative the Role of Women in Peace Negotiations in South Sudan, with the regional Isis-Women’s International Cross Cultural Exchange organization in Uganda. Cordaid is actively sponsoring the current actions of the South Sudanese women as well as to encouraging them to include gender inequality issues in the negotiation discussions. They have budgeted approximately $26,930 towards the project to create a significant impact among the region.
Throughout the mission, South Sudanese women will be traveling to Addis Ababa for six weeks. Prior to travel, they will meet with the Civil Society Organization to discuss advocacy and ensure their support from women in the United States. In Addis Ababa, they will convene with female delegates of two negotiating parties and establish reliable contacts to continue the process. This will in turn strengthen relations and create a synergy among other Sudanese women groups.
The major goal of the project is for the South Sudan women’s voice to be heard and respected moving forward in the peace negotiation. For future success, it is crucial that gender inequality issues are acknowledged in the negotiation agenda. Cordaid is striving to increase advocacy for the negotiation and international parties that influence the negotiation process. For more information please visit Cordaid’s website, www.cordaid.org and check for updates on Voice Ethiopia’s Twitter and Facebook pages.