By Danish Refugee Council (DRC)
Around the world, women too often remain excluded from decision-making structures and processes, particularly in the male-dominated realm of security. This affects not only the women who are excluded, but also society at large which misses out on the opportunity to benefit from their experiences and perspectives. This trend is particularly acute in the Sahel region of West Africa, where women are traditionally excluded from the security sector, stifling their ability to contribute and depriving society at large of the acknowledged benefits of inclusive security governance.
Therefore, the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and Danish Demining Group (DDG) are proud to support the Women’s Leadership Program for Inclusive Security Governance in the Sahel (WLP; Programme de Leadership Féminin pour une Gouvernance Inclusive de la Sécurité dans le Sahel). This initiative, developed in partnership with the West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), works to amplify the voices and boost the participation of civil society women in security governance in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger. As Secretary General, it brings me great pride to lead an organization dedicated to elevating the voices of women and other marginalized groups — in the Sahel and globally.
Signed 20 years ago, UN Security Council Resolution 1325 recognizes the indispensable role of women in conflict resolution and peacebuilding, and the WLP works explicitly towards implementing the aims of this resolution and the relevant Sustainable Development Goals, including goals 5 (Gender Equality) and 16 (Peace, Justice, and Effective Institutions). The WFP is strongly committed to the above principles, and affirms that when women have equal access to decision-making within effective, accountable, and transparent institutions, the effect on society is transformative.
Through these efforts to ensure women’s meaningful participation in, and influence on, security governance, we hope to highlight and engage with the risks, vulnerabilities, and concerns that often go unseen and unaddressed within the male-dominated…