The Elsie Initiative Fund (EIF) has approved funding for Senegal as a new recipient in support of the country’s barrier assessment to the participation of women military in United Nations peace operations.
Established by the United Nations and Canada in 2019, the EIF is an innovative, multilateral fund that aims to accelerate progress towards the United Nation’s gender targets in line with Security Council resolutions and the United Nations
The Uniformed Gender Parity Strategy, 2019-2028 is funded by contributions from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom, the EIF supports the sustainable deployment and meaningful participation of uniformed women peacekeepers by providing financial assistance and incentives.
A statement on Tuesday read that: “Senegal ranks as the 16th largest troop contributing country (TCC) to United Nations peace operations, deploying 987 military personnel as of February 2022. Among those deployed, 38 (3.8 per cent) are women.
“In line with the Senegal Armed Forces’ Sectoral Strategy on gender for 2012 to 2022, this project is a major step forward towards achieving gender equality in the military. One of the main objectives of the sectoral strategy is to strengthen the increased and meaningful participation of female personnel in the armed forces, including in leadership positions.”
The statement quoted General Cheikh Wade, the Joint Chief of Staff to have said, “the Elsie Initiative Fund provides timely support to reinforce priority activities to mainstream gender in the Senegalese Armed Forces.”
According to the statement, the assessment’s findings and recommendations will guide the Senegalese Armed Forces’ efforts to develop tailored interventions to address obstacles to women’s meaningful participation in United Nations peace operations and to support the increased recruitment of women in armed forces. These findings will also guide the evaluation of the Senegalese Armed Forces Sectoral Strategy on gender and the development of the updated strategy for 2022 to 2032.
The statement revealed that Senegal was one of the first African countries that adopted a National Action Plan (NAP) to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) in 2011. Senegal’s current NAP for 2020 to 2024 defines five priority areas, including crisis prevention and protection of women and girls, especially through improved judicial, police and services; promotion of women’s participation in conflict prevention and peacekeeping mechanisms; and coordination of NAP implementation.
The statement revealed that the Centre des Haules de Defense et de Securite (CHEDS) will conduct this barrier assessment study with the technical support of the Agence Nationale de Statistique et de Démographie (ANSD), using the Measuring Opportunities for Women in Peace Operations (MOWIP) methodology developed by DCAF —Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance.
The statement further disclosed that the National Police and Gendarmerie of Senegal have previously concluded a similar barrier assessment, with the knowledge learned and good practices observed will be used to facilitate the conduct of this project.