Association of 
Nigerian Scholars 
for Dialogue

Dakar, Senegal
13 December, 1998

We, the participants of the West African Workshop on Women in the Aftermath of Civil War held in Dakar, Senegal from 11-13 December, 1998, with support from the Ford Foundation,


*The objectives and principles of the United Nations Charter;

*The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the central concern of which is human beings and the defense of their human rights, as well as the African Charter on nation's rights and human rights;

*The constitutive acts of UNESCO and the World Health Organization;

*The recommendations of the World Conference on Human Rights (held at Vienna, June 1993), of the World Summit on Sustainable Social Development (Copenhagen, March, 1994), of the International Conference on Population and Development (Cairo, September, 1994), of the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, September, 1995);

*The International Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW);

*The resolution on the cultures of violence and peace adopted by the 28th session of the UNESCO general conference held in November 1995, and the resolutions adopted during the 49th and 50th sessions of the World Health Assembly in 1996 and 1997 which recognized violence as a public health issue;


*The rapid spread of conflicts throughout Africa which have severe consequences for populations in general and for women and children in particular;

*the increase in violence, particularly against women and children, and the specific nature of the violence against women;

*the inadequate and insufficient commitment and political will on the part of governments and international agencies to defend and protect women's human rights during conflicts and in theIR aftermath;

*the lack of appropriate government-supported mechanisms to address the consequences of violence against women and ongoing violence in their aftermath;

*the persistent gender inequalities in African societies which continue to deny women access to resources and to redress of wrongs;


*the responsibility of the state to protect all citizens, especially the most vulnerable, in this case women and children;

*that an understanding of violence against women and action to end this violence should begin with local and regional initiatives;

*that reconciliation and the alleviation of poverty are not enough to facilitate healing in the aftermath;

*that there is a need to be proactive during peacetime to sensitize and educate women, children and the general population including the armed forces to the consequences of warfare.

We, the participants, therefore recommend:

To all governments:

*that they make a firm commitment to end conflicts worldwide and particularly in Africa

*that they take full responsibility for the facilitation of holistic reconstruction (social, psychological, physical and economic) of society, taking particular note of women's needs for special reparations

*that they recognize and enforce national, regional and international laws and treaties pertaining to the protection of women and children

To international agencies and Northern industrial governments:

*that they acknowledge the roles they play in creating or supporting political conflict for their own interests;

*that they compensate victims, particularly women and children; and

*that they work towards the prevention of conflict in the future.

We, the participants, have therefore resolved to:

1. Establish this network of African women opposed to war, which we have named the African Women's Anti-War Coalition.

2. Support the Declaration of Algiers adopted at the International Colloquium on All Forms of Contemporary Violence and the Culture of Peace on 22 September 1997 and all other such declarations and initiatives.

3. Use the African Women's Anti-War Coalition to:

a) Put pressure on states, through solidarity with other national and international agencies, to end present conflicts and to prevent future conflicts;

b) Lobby for support for women in the country that is in conflict;

c) Assist with training and sensitization programs for human rights, healing and education;

d) Popularize rights and the gendered nature of problems that women face during and after conflict;

e) Receive and disseminate information regionally and internationally.


For information on further activities of the AFRICAN WOMEN'S ANTI-WAR COALITION, contact:

Meredeth Turshen, Ph.D.
Department of Urban Studies and Community Health
School of Planning and Public Policy
Rutgers University
New Brunswick, NJ 08903
Telephone: 732 932 4101 X681
Fax: 732 932 0934

Ousseina Alidou
Dept. of African-American and African Studies
The Ohio State University
486 University Hall
Columbus, Ohio

The Aftermath  Conference Office
P O Box 72147
Parkview 2122
South Africa
Tel 27 11 788 2736  Tel/Fax 011 788 3299

ANSD gratefully acknowledges permission from Ousseina Alidou ( of the AFRICAN WOMEN'S ANTI-WAR COALITION to publish this document at this Web site.

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