Founder and President of Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS), and Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission.
BACKGROUND /Academic and professional background.
Bineta Diop has been a human rights activist for 35 years. She is the Founder and Chair of the Executive Board of Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS), a global NGO which seeks to foster, strengthen and promote the leadership role of women in conflict prevention, management and resolution on the African continent.
In addition to her role at FAS, Ms. Diop is Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission.
Ms. Diop has led numerous peace-building programmes. She has taken election-observing teams into post-conflict countries such as Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). She has also led several peace missions into crisis zones, and has facilitated peace negotiations amongst women, including in Burundi and the DRC.
Ms. Diop contributed to achieving gender parity within the African Union Commission in 2003, and in the adoption of the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (2004), as well as the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, (2003) by the African Union.
In 2011, Time Magazine named Ms. Diop one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
ACHIEVEMENT/ what is the project/initiative/startup/company you will be presenting at the Positive Economy Forum all about?
Ms. Diop founded Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS), a non-profit, international NGO in 1996 to promote women’s leadership in peace processes in Africa. Its main area of intervention is Women, Peace and Security.FAS has a consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and at the African Union’s Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC).
FAS’ main goals are to:
- Build networks among women to strengthen their voice and capacities;
- Coordinate and reinforce coalitions of women to increase their influence on policies and practices in Africa;
- Highlight women’s initiatives to participate equally in efforts to establish and maintain peace in their countries;
- Advocate for women’s equal access, equal responsibility, and equal opportunity to participate in decision-making processes;
- Train women to understand, take ownership in using national, regional and international tools and mechanisms to promote gender equality, women’s empowerment and sustainable peace;
- Document and share lessons learnt by women in conflict resolution and peace building.
LOCATION/ In which city, country, part of the world do you conduct your activities?
From Senegal where its headquarters are located, FAS conducts field activities in various parts of the continent: in the Sahel, the Mano River Region (Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire), the Great Lakes Region (Rwanda, Burundi and DRC), the Central African region and the Horn of Africa. FAS also has offices in Geneva, Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia and New York, where it conducts its advocacy work at the United Nations and the African Union.
IMPACT/what is the positive economic, social, political, environmental…of the activity, project, initiative, start up, company?
FAS’ work over the years has been guided by UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR1325). The organization has registered great successes in Africa in the implementation of the resolution, particularly in the areas of the participation of women in conflict prevention, in their protection as well as in peace negotiations and peacebuilding processes. FAS mobilized CSOs and women’s organizations and led a movement that resulted in the adoption of National Action Plans (NAPs) by some governments in the Mano River Region and the Great lakes Region, as well as a Regional Action Plan (RAP) between the three countries of Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
FAS mobilized women’s organizations working on Human Rights, women’s empowerment as well as gender equality and created one of the largest networks of CSOs in Africa: The Gender is my Agenda Campaign (GIMAC). The goal of this network is to ensure that African states implement regional and international instruments and frameworks. It also monitors and reports on progress made. The organization regularly contributes to the adoption and implementation of regional laws and policies that support gender equality and women’s empowerment at all levels. Some of the instruments used are the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa, the parity principle, the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, adopted by the African Union Member States, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, CEDAW etc. FAS facilitates the access of women civil society representatives to the highest international decision-making bodies on Human Rights, peace, security, and development and engages with civil society, including women’s groups, governments, regional bodies, the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN).
Finally, FAS trains African women to understand, take ownership and adapt national, regional and international tools and mechanisms to their environment and establish sustainable peace and gender equality in their respective countries.
QUOTE/ A saying, quote or reference phrase that tells something about you
“In conflicts, women are often affected disproportionately. However, we cannot continue to see them as victims only. We must see them as agents for change. My role is to amplify my sisters’ voices and provide them with access to high level decision making to get heard. Africa is rising thanks to the driving force of our women!”
Africa is rising thanks to the driving force of our women!