The two organisations are advocating for the implementation of the 2003 Accra Peace Agreement and the recommendations of the Liberia Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in 2009, particularly regarding the central role of women in the national reconciliation process.
“Even with the silence of guns, women and girls still live in fear of violation,” says Esther Davis Yango, Executive Director of WONGOSOL. “We will not rest until the government of Liberia ensures that the full and timely implementation of the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission become a national priority owned and led by all Liberians.”
WONGOSOL is a membership organisation which consists of over 150 civil society organisations which are women-led or working on issues directly affecting Liberian women. It coordinates and amplifies the voices and activities of its members for the promotion of women’s empowerment, sustainable peace and security.
As part of its Rapid Response Window partnership, Conciliation Resources is working with WONGOSOL on the project, Enhancing Women’s Meaningful Participation in National Advocacy for Accountability for War Crimes in Liberia.
This project builds on current momentum to increase women’s voices, representation and meaningful participation in ongoing advocacy aimed at generating political will for the implementation of the TRC recommendations related to women’s rights, protection and empowerment. Another vital objective of this advocacy has been to address the knowledge gap among women and girls around the establishment of truth and reconciliation processes and mechanisms.
LiFT, on the other hand, is a youth-led civil society organisation with a history of community engagement to raise awareness on issues such as public health, conflict resolution and mediation, and civic education. It works with women’s rights and women-led organisations across Liberia.
As part of its Rapid Response Window project, Action to address barriers to women’s participation in the implementation of peace agreement in Liberia, activities in the rural areas of Montserrado and Nimba counties have provided an opportunity to identify and address the obstacles impeding the implementation of the TRC’s report recommendations.
Based on the identification of these barriers to participation, LiFT has developed advocacy actions in order to raise awareness of this issue among women’s rights organisations and decision-makers, as well as garnering support to ensure that women have a role in monitoring the implementation of the commitments made in the peace agreement. Central to LiFT’s objective is the generation of political will for the establishment of a specific Judiciary Committee to monitor the implementation of the TRC’s recommendations.
“For Liberia to ensure it is on the path of peace, reconciliation and development, we must address barriers that have kept women at the periphery of all processes.” says Pabai M. Massaquoi, Executive Director of LiFT. “Women have long played a pivotal role in restoring peace in Liberia; therefore, their full involvement in the implementation of the TRC recommendations will ensure that women’s voices are heard and included in decision-making processes.”
WONGOSOL and LiFT have also been working together, alongside other Liberian civil society organisations, to strengthen their call for women’s inclusion in processes dealing with Liberia’s legacy of violence and an end to impunity.
They are advocating for the gender-sensitive implementation of the TRC’s recommendations so as to specifically address gendered issues still emerging as part of national reconciliation process, and successful implementation of the peace agreement provisions, including supporting victims of gender-based and sexual violence through access to justice mechanisms.
Both organisations are also working together and emphasising the need for the creation of a judicial body, a specific Judiciary Committee responsible for monitoring the implementation of the TRC’s recommendations. This collaboration allows for engagement with a greater number and range of key actors across the country, as well as bolstering the movement which calls for women to be at the centre of all efforts towards dealing with the past and building a sustainable peace in Liberia.
Conciliation Resources works in partnership with the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF) Rapid Response Window. The WPHF Rapid Response Window is a funding mechanism that addresses urgent funding gaps with targeted, short-term support to increase women’s participation in peace processes and the implementation of peace agreements. WPHF is a flexible financing tool supporting quality interventions to enhance the capacity of local women to prevent conflict, respond to crises and emergencies, and seize key peacebuilding opportunities.
As an INGO partner, Conciliation Resources provides technical and operational support to grant recipients, as well as the provision of services to individuals or civil society organisations seeking direct financial support to access formal peace spaces and address specific barriers to women's participation, such as logistical support. Conciliation Resources also sits on the Technical Committee for the Rapid Response Window, reviewing and making recommendations on applications to be approved. Find out more about the Rapid Response Window here and Conciliation Resources’ work in the Mano River Region of West Africa, including Liberia, here.
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