MAPUTO– The Mozambican Minister of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, Cidalia Chauque, has lunched a National Plan of Action on Women, Peace and Security, for the 2018-2022 period, aimed at strengthening the government’s actions in promoting human rights and gender equality.

Chauque said at the launche here Monday that the plan was being implemented following a resolution of the United Nations Security Council which urged UN member States to take measures to strengthen the participation of women in peace promotion mechanisms.

According to Chauque, this resolution is in line with the desire of the State and the Mozambican people to build a society of peace and harmony, which are indispensable conditions for the well-being of citizens and for the country’s development.

The plan was drawn up by the Mozambican government in partnership with the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women ) and with the governments of Iceland and Norway. Such plans are already being implemented by 74 countries, including 22 in Africa.

The plan, Chauque said, included priority actions to be implemented by State institutions, civil society and co-operation partners in the context of women’s participation in conflict management and resolution, assistance for displaced and refugee women, the prevention of violence and sexual abuse, and post-conflict reconstruction.

Armed conflicts have devastating consequences in various countries, and women and girls are the main victims. Hence their involvement in peace negotiations is indispensable,” Chauque declared.

The government is committed to promoting gender equality, she added, because it believes that men and women have the same rights and capacities, and their active participation in the political, economic, social and cultural spheres is a condition for sustainable development.

That was why, she continued, the government had drawn up such legal instruments as the Family Law and the Law against Domestic Violence, and why it had signed international treaties such as the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, and the African Union protocol on women’s rights.

Norwegian Ambassador Anne Lene Dale said women’s participation increases the likelihood of reaching a lasting peace, hence the importance of always including the perspective of gender equality in the government’s work.