Her participation on the side-lines of activities within the forum will help in bringing solutions to some problems women face when there is unrest.
After the first Paris Peace Forum in November 2018, Cameroon’s First Couple are currently in attendance at the second Paris Peace Forum which runs from today 12 and 13 November 2019, at the Grande Halle de La Villette, Paris, France. President Paul Biya is accompanied by the First Lady, Chantal Biya, who is also UNESCO’s Goodwill Ambassador for Education and Social Inclusion. The First Lady’s presence in Paris is not just to accompany the President in official ceremonies within the Peace Forum but to also actively take part on the side-lines of activities organized within the Forum.
Today November 12, 2019, at the invitation of the First Lady of France, Brigitte Macron, the First Lady of Cameroon is expected to attend a luncheon at the Elysée Palace, Paris. The event is expected to group other first Ladies accompanying their husbands for the Paris Peace Forum. Although the topic of discussion during the working lunch has not been disclosed, it will not be surprising for the First Ladies to talk about the role women hold in a peace process especially at this time when most countries are faced with different problems, with women being the most vulnerable in the face of conflict.
Much is known about the victimization of women through rape, trafficking and early marriages, but much is yet to be discovered about how women can be empowered in conflict settings to bridge the gap towards peace. The question many people might be asking is, if women hold the key to a peaceful society. There is research analysis on “female peace-making” which indicates that women do hold a significant role in the peace process. The needs of women however, have not always been a focal point in conflict management and post-conflict reconstruction, although they are the group of people greatly affected by any battle. It was not until 2000 when the UN passed Security Council Resolution 1325 detailing specific risks women face in conflict and determined to tackle the issue. From this resolution, activists, academics, and policymakers began to address the specific ‘burden of war’ women carry and how the international community could protect and empower them.
While First Ladies meet at Elysée Palace, they might also talk about the ‘burden of war’ women carry and how they as First Ladies can help in contributing to peace thereby eradicating the consequences of war amongst women and children. The First Ladies might also discuss how local women from a conflict zone are vital in creating a lasting peace agreement rather that women from outside the conflict who might not have felt the real impact of the conflict.
The Paris Peace Forum is also an occasion for the First Ladies to reflect on global issues relating to peace, climate change, human and social development, etc. in view of identifying solutions that can foster harmonious development strategies.
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