The WPHF will empower CSOs to contribute significantly to the restoration of peace in Mali through tangible results in the prevention of violence, protection and the rehabilitation of survivors of conflict.

The Added Value of the WPHF

In Mali, the WPHF aims to reinforce and create an enabling environment for the greater implementation of the country’s women, peace and security (WPS) commitments.

Background

After failed efforts to negotiate a peaceful settlement between the government and various armed groups, the security situation in Mali continues to unravel. Despite the signing of the country’s peace accord in May 2015, it has proved difficult to set up effective mechanisms for the agreement’s implementation.

The Issue

Massive violations of the rights of women and girls in Mali was commonplace during the conflict and continues today. Forced marriage was reported in all areas under occupation, and victims were coerced into unions with members of armed groups to cover up incidents of kidnapping and rape. Women and girls were flogged and publicly stoned whenever they were falsely accused of breaking the law, and many women had to single-handedly assume responsibility for the wellbeing of their families during the crisis.

Despite the various attempts made by women’s groups to contribute to the peace process, women were marginalized and excluded during negotiations. Women in Mali constitute effective potential actors for community reconciliation and untapped resources to help improve local prevention efforts against radicalization and the spread of extremism.

Complementarities & Partnerships

Women leaders in Mali have established local organizations addressing specific issues around gender equality and women’s rights, including combating violence against women and peace consolidation. Due to political instability and insecurity in the north, CSOs have greater access to those remote areas and are the key actors implementing operational activities in the field.

However, there is often a disconnect between civil society leaders and their base. Organizations that have influence at national levels are not always aware of the reality on the ground, while grassroots organizations have practically no voice at higher political levels to advocate or propose policy alternatives.

In Mali, the WPHF will specifically focus on:

  1. Supporting a sustainable socio-economic reintegration of women affected by conflict, including women survivors of sexual violence, the internally displaced, returnees and ex-combatants. This will include building the advocacy capacity of women as key stakeholders in the peace process in order to influence the integration of women’s priorities in peace agreement implementation.
  2. Specific methodological approaches such as using IT and social media, as well as funding of targeted sociological studies in the WPS program area to reinforce women’s leadership in peacebuilding, reconciliation and combating radicalization.

Funding Needs

$2,000,000 over 2 years

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