Naples, 21 January 2022 (TDI): In collaboration with FemWise Africa, the Southhub of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) conducted a workshop regarding conflict-related acts of sexual violence (CRVS).

This workshop was held in order to brains storm and discuss response strategies along with preventative measures. There are already many workers within FemWise in Africa, working across the region fighting against CRSV.

The issue of CRVS is quite fatal to any society and duly the state as it can lead to devastating effects within communities and families, disrupting and destroying the social framework within a society.

What is CRVS

According to the UN (United Nations), CRVS is a term that encompasses any grave acts of sexual violence against men, women, boys, or girls. Such an act must be indirectly or directly related to a conflict of some sort.

Examples of CRVS include forced pregnancy, forced abortion, rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced marriage, or forced sterilization.

According to Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, sexual violence acts as a violation of any individual’s right to dignity and life and furthermore threatens humanity’s shared security and peace.

The workshop conducted by NATO

The workshop was conducted on November 16th in Italy. This workshop gave an opportunity to exchange and discuss the most successful practices along with lessons learned from various cases of CRVS across different regions across the world such as Morocco, Burkina Faso, South Sudan, Nigeria, Tunisia, DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo), Zimbabwe and Eswatini.

Furthermore, it was led by various SME’s (Subject Matter Experts), all of whom were from 5 different regions within Africa. What was discussed within the workshop were key areas where cooperation was essential, response measures, and preventative strategies.

Initiatives such as the building of special courts for CRVS, safe houses, peace clubs, single-stop centers, and special training for security workers were also discussed. The organization of FemWise Africa is a body of the Panel of the Wise (PoW), this consultative body of the African Union acts as being a significant pillar for the architecture of peace and security within the region.

They consistently stand for women’s rights, peace, diplomacy, and mediation and NATO realizes the importance their goals hold, the importance of gender equality, and the role of women to build a peaceful and progressive society.

This is one of the main goals within the NATO WPS Action Plan, which was set by the organization to take flight between the years 2021-2025. WPS in this regard stands for Women, Peace, and Security. Hence, why NATO Southern Hub has collaborated with FemWise-Africa so those collective efforts can be made to further the agenda of WPS.