GENDER MAINSTREAMING: FIGHT AGAINST THE ILLICIT PROLIFERATION OF SMALL ARMS AND LIGHT WEAPONS

CAMYOSFOP in its unending campaigns against the illicit proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons in partnership with the Government of Cameroon and the United Nation’s Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) through its Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNERC) have successfully ended a national workshop which ran from the 31st of May to 2nd of June 2021, at the Yaoundé Hilton Hotel under the theme: INTEGRATING MEN / WOMEN DIMENSION IN THE FIGHT AGAINST THE ILLICIT PROLIFERATION OF SMALL ARMS AND LIGHT WEAPONS IN CAMEROON.

Family photo of participants of the 3day workshop on gender mainstreaming in policies, programmes and actions to combat the proliferation of SALWs posing for family picture

This initiative is initially part of UNREC’s implementation project to support policies, programs and actions geared towards mainstreaming gender in the fight against the trafficking and diversion of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALWs) and in accordance with the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. Equally, it sought to contribute to regional peace, security, gender equality and sustainable development by improving the effectiveness of small arms control through the promotion of a gender-sensitive framework and by promoting the equitable and meaningful participation of women in arms control decisions.

After holding some working sessions on brainstorming and analyzing the previous National Action Plan on UN Resolution 1325 on Women Peace and Security, some opportunities were identified. These include: An active and knowledgeable civil society who are working on ground, existing national institutions backed by law, Training and capacity building sessions of different stakeholders in gender mainstreaming and SALW amongst others. Challenges such as the absence of a National Commission on the control of SALW, Limited gender disaggregated data and no existence of a specific analysis of SALW were identified and based on these, some recommendations to be taken into consideration in developing the new National Action Plan on UN Resolution 1325 (2021 – 2023) in Cameroon. These recommendations, they believe will guarantee a better involvement and participation of Women in peace processes in Cameroon.

Following the three days of learning, questions and discussions, over 40 participants from diverse Civil Society Organizations, government agencies and international organizations left the Yaoundé Hilton Hotel with impact and satisfied with the fountain of knowledge acquired. They pledged to use the knowledge acquired to intensify the fight against armed violence while ensuring gender mainstreaming in all initiatives.

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