Rebuilding trust after traumatic experiences of civil war and devastating violent conflicts in the region, the idea of the ‘Women’s Situation Room’ (WSR) was born out of urgent necessity in preparation for peaceful presidential elections in Liberia in 2011. A women- and youth-led approach to mitigating, reducing and managing violence during the electoral cycle, including conflict management in the post-election period, a WSR contributes to peaceful, secure and more inclusive elections through real-time interventions at all social, political and security sector levels in the respective country where the WSR is implemented.
Presenting the findings of an ongoing applied research project on Women’s Situation Rooms, the session will focus on the discussion of femininity as conflict prevention and the gender-specific way of building trust as used in the WSRs. The session will showcase why and how women have taken the lead to mitigate electoral violence and stabilize peace and security in Africa, and bring out the specific importance of trust and trust building after violent disruption through conflicts and civil wars in African countries.
From the perspectives of local level leaders, of academia, and of the international community, the session will bring out what is special about WOMEN’s leadership for peace and security, and discuss the importance of LOCAL ownership. From the perspectives of an African, an Asian, a European and a Latin American woman, the session will take a look at women’s leadership for peace and security in different environments, and explore differences and similarities of a feminine way to rebuild trust.