In a historic moment on 29th July 2021, the date of Africa Women’s Day, Cameroon’s first ever Women’s National Convention for Peace got underway in the country’s capital, Yaoundé. For three days over 1000 women from all corners of the country came together at the Palais des Congrès, Yaoundé to raise their voices in unison, demanding an end to violence and calling for peace.
“We have come together as mothers and grandmothers, wives and companions, sisters and daughters – together, we build an alliance of good will that is stronger, louder and in greater numbers than those people who profit from war and conflicts.” – Women’s Call for Peace
Marie-Joëlle Zahar has been an ICAN Board Member since 2019. In this interview, she reflects on her early experiences during the war in Lebanon and how they shaped her journey in the world of conflict resolution, peacekeeping, post-conflict reconstruction, and gendered work. Marie-Joëlle shares stories of her time as a Senior Expert on the Standby Team of Mediation Experts at the UNDPPA, what it was like being one of the few women in international mediation spaces, and her advice for the next generation of women peacebuilders and WPS practitioners. Read more to view the full conversation.
After 18 months of virtual meetings, on July 14th the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) in partnership with the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the missions of South Africa and Mexico to the UN, hosted the first hybrid event on the margins of the 2021 UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development.
Germany’s Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, shared the stage with ICAN Founder and CEO, Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, together with South Africa’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Mathu Joyini, Mexico’s PR, Ambassador Juan Ramón de la Fuente Ramírez, and UN Women’s Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director, Anita Bhatia. Onscreen zooming in from Tripoli, Libya and Khartoum, Sudan were Dr. Rida Altubuly, Director of Together We Build it and member of the Mediterranean Women’s Mediators’ Network and Enass Muzamel, Executive Director of Madanyia and member of the global Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL).
Germany, Mexico, South Africa and the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) will host a hybrid event on Re-designing Peacebuilding for the 21st Century: Peace, Power, and Sharing Responsibility, on July 14 from 10 – 11.30 am EST at the German House in New York.
The IPF is the first and only independent, multi-donor, global grant making mechanism wholly dedicated to providing financial support and technical assistance to women-led peacebuilding organizations in countries affected by violent conflict, extremism and militarism. Through the IPF, ICAN offers a solution to donors who have the resources but lack the capacity to manage small– and medium-sized grants.
Watch our short introductory video to the IPF.