First SA Baseline Study on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Published
News15 August 2023
The first baseline study on the implementation of South Africa's National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) has been released. The study, co-funded by Ireland, Sweden, and the The Netherlands in partnership with the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR), provides an important initial overview of WPS in the country, and in particular, the status of the implementation of the NAP on WPS.
'The mission of the NAP is ‘to create a safer and peaceful South Africa, Africa and world for women, girls, and gender non-conforming persons; enable meaningful participation for women in peace processes; and prioritise their needs, experiences and agency in all conflict and non-conflict contexts’.
South Africa has been a key driver of the WPS agenda on the international stage, particularly in multilateral forums such as the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the African Union (AU) and SADC, and this baseline study forms part of the implementation initiatives of the NAP on WPS framework adopted by the Cabinet in August 2020.
Fionnuala Gilsenan, Former Ireland Ambassador to South Africa, writing the preface, said the study can be used to inform future monitoring and evaluation of the NAP and give direction to the areas which require attention.
"To be truly accountable for change, we need to be able to accurately identify and describe the reality that we wish to change. When we achieve this clarity, we can then measure progress."
Ambassador Gilsenan, pictured above centre, said Ireland is proud to support the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) in the production of this first baseline study on Women, Peace and Security in South Africa, but pointed out that a fifth pillar needed to be considered in addition to the four pillars of the WPS agenda: participation, protection, prevention, and relief and recovery. "All too often, however, the agenda gets lost in the theory and implementation suffers. A fifth pillar of accountability is needed in order to ensure that theory is matched with actions."
She reaffirmed Ireland's committment to supporting South Africa’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security through partnerships with government, civil society and the UN system.