Women’s Election Mechanism for Peace and Launch of a Peace Charter for South Africa

By Published On: 21st May 2024

Pretoria, May 17, 2024 – The Women’s Election Mechanism for Peace (WEMP) announced its comprehensive efforts to promote peaceful and inclusive elections in South Africa. As part of the implementation of the South African National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, WEMP seeks to enhance women’s participation in both the electoral process and conflict prevention.

WEMP also recognises that women are under-represented in leadership, especially in politics and its processes. Empowering women in communities to participate as monitors and advocates is an opportunity to be involved and a springboard to future leadership roles.

WEMP has successfully trained 300 Peace Monitors with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). These monitors will be deployed across five provinces: Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Limpopo, and KwaZulu-Natal.

Press Briefing Highlights

Addressing the media at a press briefing in Pretoria, Prof. Cheryl Hendricks, Executive Director of the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, provided an overview of WEMP and introduced the Peace Charter. The South African National Action Plan on Women Peace and Security calls for a Peace Charter to promote a culture of peace. This will be in fulfilment of the aspiration, that will also teach peace, create institutions for peace, and support peaceful relations between states and communities.

“Over the past two years, civil society organizations have been developing this charter to build a consciousness of, and culture of, peace within South African society,” Prof Hendricks said.

Prof. Hendricks also introduced the five WEMP Envoys for Peace: Ms. Mmabatho Ramagoshi, Ms. Thoko Nandisile Mpumlwana, Ms. Nomabelu Mvambo Dandala, Ms. Janet Jobson, and Ms. Nana Nxumalo. These envoys will work directly with coordinators across the five provinces where Peace Rooms have been established. The Peace Rooms will deploy monitors and respond to incident reports via a specially set up hotline (067 382 863) and email wemp@ijr.org.za, and will be open to media and stakeholders wishing to visit.

Mr. Naphtaly Sekamogeng, Programme Officer at the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa, emphasized the need for greater participation of women and marginalized groups in electoral processes.

Ms. Ramagoshi highlighted the importance of women’s involvement in conflict prevention and election participation, while Ms. Mpumlwana read the WEMP Envoys’ Statement on Peace. The statement emphasized promoting peace and inclusivity in the May 2024 elections, empowering women, and upholding democratic values.


Support from the IEC

Speaking on the readiness of the IEC to support peaceful elections, Mr. Moses Pitso, Outreach and Communication Manager for Gauteng, informed the media that the IEC has implemented several measures for conflict mediation across the country. “Part of the readiness includes ensuring that police are prepared and visible in all potential hotspot areas,” Mr. Pitso stated.

Through the Women’s Election Mechanism for Peace and the launch of the Peace Charter, South Africa is making significant strides toward ensuring peaceful and inclusive elections. WEMP remains committed to empowering women, promoting peace, and safeguarding democracy in the upcoming May 2024 elections and beyond.

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