Enhancing the role of faith women in Conflict Early Warning and Early Response towards the prevention of election-related conflicts; - FELLOWSHIP OF CHRISTIAN COUNCILS AND CHURCHES IN THE GREAT LAKES AND HORN OF AFRICA (FECCLAHA)

Enhancing the role of faith women in Conflict Early Warning and Early Response towards the prevention of election-related conflicts;

Regional Faith Women Mediators’ Network (REFWOMEN) forum 16th- 18th April 2024;

Electoral processes in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa region, as well as other parts of the continent , tend to increase the fragility of peace and security in the region owing to the cyclic, political, competitive and confrontational nature of the processes. This not only calls for the proper management of election related disputes by governments and CSOs alike but also on their need to keep up with the electoral dynamics and trends for timely and appropriate interventions.

    In preparation for the seven anticipated national elections in the region between the years 2024 to 2027, FECCLAHA in partnership with the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) undertook training for women on Conflict Early Warning and Early Response (CEWER) in the prevention of election-related conflict.

    The faith women were drawn from the FECCLAHA Regional Faith Women Mediation Network (REFWOMEN) membership from Tanzania South Sudan, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi and Kenya who were capacity built on the electoral cycle, sources of electoral conflicts and their role as faith women in electoral CEWER. They were equipped with knowledge on the different aspects of an election cycle beginning with the Legal framework which is the country’s constitution providing for and guiding the election, the legislation electoral body and  code of conduct; and the Verification of results which marks the end of the cycle. As such, they were equipped with knowledge on what strategy to employ at what point in the cycle.

    The REFWOMEN was established in 2017 as a network through which the voice of faith women for sustainable peace in the region will be amplified through consolidation and coordination. The network has nine country chapters established over the years in the following countries: Burundi Faith Women Mediation Network; the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus ( EECMY) Women Peace Building Network; Uganda Women Mediators Network; Young Women Mediators’ Network in Eastern DRC; Network of Women Mediators of Religious Confessions for Peace; Faith Women Network in Sudan; Rwanda Faith Women Peace Mediators Network; the Faith Women Mediators Network in Kenya; and the National Women’s Link for Peace in South Sudan.

    FECCLAHA has in the recent past engaged women from the network as election observers and seeks to empower them further through such trainings for their sustained capacity building and mentorship to enhance their participation in building coordinated and strategic peace processes at different levels.