Civil society organizations play important roles in the Central African Republic as basic service providers, addressing humanitarian needs and conducting social cohesion activities.
The Added Value of the WPHF
In the Central African Republic, the WPHF aims to empower CSOs to promote gender inclusion in local peacebuilding initiatives, help accelerate economic recovery, and contribute to women and girls’ resilience and leadership in order to help facilitate the country’s social cohesion and political stability.
Although the Central African Republic is experiencing a period of relative calm after three years of political instability, widespread violence, and systemic human rights violations, communities across the country remain under the active control of armed groups that threaten the safety and security of civilians. The grave humanitarian crisis in CAR has resulted in approximately 2.3 million people in dire need of aid and half the population vulnerable to food insecurity.
Each cycle of violence in the country has had disastrous effects on the experiences of women and girls, heightening their vulnerability to forced displacement, loss of property, forfeit of livelihood and sexual violence. The realization of women’s empowerment and gender equality is a major challenge in CAR, as women and girls continue to bear the brunt of taboo and traditional practices, while continuing to suffer from poverty, illiteracy, forced marriage, and female genital mutilation.
CSOs in CAR range from active networks of individuals that influence public debate to NGO platforms and religious leaders who proved instrumental in facilitating peace during the 2013 – 2015 crisis. Although civil society remains relatively weak in the Central African Republic, CSOs play important roles as basic service providers, addressing humanitarian needs and conducting social cohesion activities in the domestic context of failing public institutions.
In the Central African Republic, the WPHF will specifically focus on:
- Improving the quality of service provision to women and girls in conflict-affected communities, with a particularly emphasis on facilitating women’s access to official complaints mechanisms and legal prosecutions. These efforts will help to curb the proliferation of gender-based violence and sexual abuse by holding perpetrators accountable for their crimes.
- Addressing aid fragmentation and promoting aid effectiveness in the wider coordination of local CSO efforts to combat women and girls’ further marginalization.