The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) has initiated the African Women in Crisis (AFWIC) program, which has developed the African Women for Conflict Resolution and Peace (AWCRP) project. The project helps African women take a more pro-active role in reconciliation and peace-making processes, and links grassroots groups with regional or international organizations working on the same issues. The program has organized expert consultations on issues such as "Reproductive and mental health issues of women and girls under situations of war and conflict in Africa".
UNIFEM/AFWIC organized a Peace Tent during the African regional meeting to prepare for the UN's Fourth World Conference on Women, in Dakar, Senegal, in November 1994. Hundreds of women from groups like Comité National des Femmes pour la Paix (Congo), Liberian Women's Initiative, Women for Peace/South Africa and the Association of Women for Peace in Mozambique met to exchange ideas. The report of the UNIFEM/AWIC women's peace mission to Rwanda and Burundi (November 1994) was presented. Over 360 participants signed a petition to the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity which stated that the women of Africa reject the notion of ethnic, tribal or clan affinity as inherently conflictual and therefore a legitimate basis for conflict. Noting that political and economic greed underlie conflict in Africa, the women calls on leaders to mobilize all means to bring about reconciliation, healing and peace.
For more information about the African Women in Conflict Resolution and Peace Project, contact: The Senior Manager, UNIFEM/AFWIC, P.O. Box 30218, Nairobi, Kenya. Tel. +254 2 228776/9/218332; fax +254 2 215102.