Harare -27 July 2014 The Church and Civil society Forum (CCSF) today convened a - high level policy dialogue to disseminate the findings of a study on the “Gender dynamics of National Healing” in post independence Zimbabwe. The dialogue participants included the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development, Parliamentary Thematic Committee on Peace and Security, Women’s Organizations, Church leadership, academic community and international development partners supporting gender and women’s empowerment.
The policy dialogue is premised on a study that captured mostly women’s experiences of conflict and their conceptualization of healing at personal and community level. The objectives of the study whose findings were disseminated were to:
- Examine through the review of literature the gender dynamics of national healing as a transitional justice framework using gender oriented human rights lenses.
- Document and recognize the different experiences of women and men during conflict and recommend the pursuit of justice and psychosocial support for survivors of violence.
- Analyze the views and perspectives of different communities and stakeholders in Zimbabwe in relation to national healing.
- Recommend the implementation of strategies and policy frameworks to achieve gender equality and gender justice.
The study revealed that historically post conflict policies did not adequately address the healing of wounds an d the trauma that resulted from conflict. The research recommends that due to the gendered nature of violence post conflict transitional processes should take into account existing gender disparities and guarantee women access to justice and increased representation in decision making. The absence of a clearly coordinated gender approach in national healing has perpetuated inequality and led to the exclusion of women in post conflict processes.
Taking into account the findings of the study the CCSF urges government to;
- engage experts in gender and transitional justice in planning, implementation and evaluation of national gender frameworks
- create platforms and forums for women specific to them and sensitive to their needs in order to capture their voices broadly about the formulation, scale and process of national healing in order to adequately capture gender specific needs of justice and healing.
- Explore further the traditional mechanisms of conflict resolution and management as possible methods of reconciling societies however caution should be exercised to avoid practices that undermine women’s rights.
- practice gender responsive budgeting to ensure that funding is available for the mainstreaming of gender in all national healing, reconciliation and integration programs
CCSF, whose Secretariat is the National Association of NGOs (NANGO), is a collaborative platform of the Church and Civil Society Organizations that was formed in 2009 to advocate and support efforts for the development of a national policy and legal framework informing and supporting the efforts of different stakeholders working in the area of peace and reconciliation. Lack of such a coordinated mechanism was deemed to contribute to the failure by the country to constructively address past conflicts.
The Church and Civil Society Forum affirm its commitment to gender justice in all processes of reconciliation, national healing and reconciliation in Zimbabwe.
For further details about the work of CSOs and the Church on peace building, healing and reconciliation in Zimbabwe please contact:
The CCSF Secretariat
c/o National Association of NGOs (NANGO)
5 Meredith Road, Eastlea, Harare
Tel: +263 4 708761/732612/703579