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IGAD Gender Ministers Resolve to Protect Women from Internet Harassment

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Ministers responsible for Women/Gender Affairs and Peace and Security have resolved to induce Member States to protect women from internet and electoral related crimes.

The Ministers held a meeting at Entebbe on Friday chaired by Mutuuzo Peace Regis, Uganda’s Minister of State for Gender and Culture Affairs.

The meeting deliberated on the main theme: Women in Peace and Security and discussed issues of the overall Peace and Security trends in the Horn of Africa region; the results of the assessment of the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and 1820 in the IGAD region; on strategies for enhancing Member States’ engagements in the realization of IWPSF objectives; and the commitments of the 7th Ministerial meeting held in Khartoum in December 2018.

The Ministers came up with resolutions including on National Action Plan to advance the issues of women in the region and also to protect them from various gender based violence.

“We called upon Member States to identify, promote, and document Gender sensitive traditional conflict resolution mechanisms and peace building initiatives; strengthen implementation of national legislations on Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and Conflict Related Sexual Violence (CRSV),” said part of the resolution.

Internet harassment was identified as one of the challenges women are currently facing.

“We urged Member States to promote the protection of Women against internet related crime and to also support advocacy campaigns using Social Media to highlight Women’s Peace and Security.”

They also induced member states to put in place mechanisms that protect women from electoral related violence.

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“We encouraged stakeholders to develop programmes that prevent and protect Women from election related Gender violence.”

Other resolutions included calling up on Member States to strengthening of Monitoring and Reporting (including systems of data collection) on WPS agendas at National and Regional levels in line with the Continental Results Framework; to promote Knowledge management and lesson learning among Member States.

They also appealed to IGAD to ensure that Conflict Early Warning and Response Mechanisms identify and address Gender related risks and encouraged Member States to ensure the participation of Women in early warning, conflict resolution, peace building and peace keeping efforts at all levels.

The meeting was attended by Semegne Wube Haile, State Minister for Women, Children and Youth of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; Samra Ibrahim Omar, Deputy Minister of Women and Human Rights Development of the Federal Republic of Somalia; Amb. Bukhari Ghanim M. Afandi, Ambassador of the Republic of Sudan in Uganda, Mr. Hassan Ali Robahé, Technical Advisor to the Minister of Women and Family Affairs of the Republic of Djibouti, Ms. Halima Abdi, Deputy Director of the State Department for Gender of the Republic of Kenya, Mrs. Regina Ossa Lullo Director of Gender, Child and Social Welfare of the Republic of South Sudan.

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