Monique Kande

3 October 2005
Although more than three million people have died since the five-year conflict in their country began, Congolese women have designed innovative ways to contribute to peace-building efforts. A founding member and president of the International Foundation of African Women for Development, a pan-African organization for women’s capacity building, I have long been active in the fields of peace and development. I am a founding member and executive secretary of the Congolese Women’s Caucus. One of the Caucus’ major achievements is the inclusion of an article banning discrimination against women in the DRC’s transitional constitution.

Currently I serve as an expert for UNIFEM and All Africa Women for Peace, developing strategies for the integration of women at all levels of society and promoting the inclusion of gender aspects in all national policies and programs. As a consultant and technical adviser to the president of the National Union of Djibouti Women, I  worked to support  and strengthen women’s small enterprises. I have been an adviser to my country’s ministries of defense and interior, responsible for organizing and following up on administrative and financial issues within the cabinet and related institutions.

My peace-building activities have included: planning, coordinating, and supervising all OXFAM America field projects in the Horn of Africa; participating in training workshops in mediation and negotiation to prepare for the spring 2003 Inter-Congolese Dialogues; helping draft the Congolese Women’s Caucus Plan of Action, which argues why women need to be fully included in the Congolese peace process given their important role to date; conducting a study on the establishment of a Congolese Women’s Center for the UNDP; being an observer of the May 2003 general elections in Togo for the Organization of African Unity; and bringing together Congolese and South African women to share experiences and participate in exercises on nonviolence.
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