• Women Activists Fight against Extractive Industries in Congo

    The scramble for resources by energy and mining companies in particular is well-documented by AJP. According to the WATSHA Gold Mining Group, "[DRC] is estimated to have $24 trillion (equivalent to the combined Gross Domestic Product of Europe and the United States) worth of untapped deposits of raw mineral ores, including the world’s largest reserves of cobalt and significant quantities of the world’s diamonds, gold and copper. Most of the resource extraction is done in small operations, known as Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM), which are unregulated.” There are 8 million men and women engaged in artisanal mining across the continent, a dangerous and unregulated field, governments and international actors pay little attention to them. Women make up a majority of artisanal miners in many mines and countries, but women miners often lack access to technical education, formal mining claims, and decision-making power in the mines. And given the role of conflict minerals in fueling rebel groups and contributing to instability, how can women artisanal miners be enabled to be economically empowered to improve their lives and contribute to development? With little to no safeguards, ASM companies aim to maximize profits and extract resources at the lowest possible cost without regard for its impact on the on the lives and the environment. This strategy is increasing inequality, fueling violence and destroying natural resources.

  • Building Women's Collective Power

    AJP's education and training builds the leadership and organizing capacity of women, equipping them with analytical tools and strategies to strengthen and support their work within their communities.
    Feminist education has at its core the creation of a “safe space” for women to share experiences and unpack the forces of power at play in their lives. This is critical in a context where the space for women to share their experiences, challenge the layers of inequality and have their voices heard is shrinking.
    AJP's power analysis resonates deeply with women across the eastern region as a way to understand and analyze how power manifests in their personal lives and communities, and how they can bring about positive change. Taking ownership of the language of ‘power with’ and ‘power within’, women in Congo have transformed their lives in small and big ways.

    The power framework got us thinking; there are a lot of pressures we face, decisions we make without thinking about what influences us – it was an eye opener.

  • Women and disputes settlement.

    To deepen analytical skills, AJP trains partners, allies and community-based facilitators. Women situated in formal and informal networks and NGOs form a broad base for AJP work within the region. The regional training processes build skills and create supportive relationships to enhance the work they do in-country, thereby creating a ripple effect.
    AJP builds the capacity of facilitators within partner and other strategic organisations to enhance their ability to pursue a gender justice agenda in order to peacefully settle disputes. By working with women already active in organizations, AJP, through its special unit, is able to support and sustain women’s movements. AJP engages a broad spectrum of women and organisations with networks spanning thousands to organise and mobilize for change through campaigns and strategic engagement with those in power especially with Lawyers experts.
    AJP uses a long-term strategy of working closely with women activists to support and sustain them within communities through political education and training as well as strategic planning for local to regional action. In some cases, this strategy has led to women activists forming new organisations to take forward movement.

    One example is dynamic groups of feminists focusing on mining co-ops in the Provinces of Kivus and Ituri in view of settling mining disputes and claim compensation.

Involving Women in settling mining disputes

Apart from the initiative taken by AJP to raise the awareness of student and university groups at three pilot universities selected under the Land and Mining Litigation Arbitration Act, AJP has been dedicated to working with mining co-ops with the aim of building strong female leadership and fighting the exclusion of women from business law as governed by OHADA Law.

The initiative of early training young students and academics in arbitration and settlement of community conflicts had given birth to a lack of a consistent institutional framework as recommended by AJP to the country's rulers in an ad hoc memorandum.

Although land and mining governance still suffers from an appropriate framework, especially at the institutional level, AJP has succeeded in setting up a system of collective rights claims based on ad hoc supervision of lawyers, lawyers and businessmen, most of whom are professionals. women, for an effective integration of women's leadership in the process of arbitration and mediation of mining disputes, the culmination of which has often been the expropriation and dispossession of the communities of which the most concerned are women by the legislation previously discriminatory.

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Who we are?
 
Absolutely Justice and Peace (AJP) is a platform that aims to consolidate sustainable peace and reconciliation at all levels, gives emphasis to advocacy and creates spaces for inclusive dialogue. With a regional vocation and scope, it lays groundwork for participatory research and monitoring in order to make effective and sustainable policy recommendations aiming to enable societies at all levels to make informed decisions, based on the values of participation, leadership, inclusivity, accountability and good governance.
 
How did we come to the day ?:
The 90s saw a spate of wars and layering attacks on each of the countries members of the African Great Lakes Region sometimes involving members of the Economic Community of Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL), sometimes highlighting economic issues of the crisis at the community level especially for reasons of leadership and land, most of these lands teeming untold natural resources, sometimes each of these countries trying to promote its own economic interests in the moribund CEPGL taking advantage of the crisis.
Other crises were born from the desire to achieve regional leadership and to combat unwanted political powers, creating armed groups and militias at the price of the lives of civilians. This has jeopardized the economic issues that has set the Economic Community of Great Lakes Countries that gradually collapsed.
Over time, there has been growing intolerance, division, discrimination, rejection, mistrust, hatred, with the direct result of increased activism of armed groups and milictias some of them unnamed, heavy traffic of weapons and ammunition of war and then a manhunt for control of the land.
In this context, all institutions including those of Justice began to face enormous difficulties in functioning, lowering the confidence of man vis-à-vis the institutions yet to protect civilians. Land robbed by armed men have created other types of conflicts from endangering customary powers to conflicts between local and neighboring communities formerly cohesive yet. All claims now result in a machete, knife or bullet wounds in the head. Justice hardly ever existing and alternative dispute resolution system does not exist or is ignored. In most cases, the victims are innocent people killed for belonging to a different community of armed men or given armed group.
 
Through its practical approaches to participatory research and assessment, and effective inclusion of the definition of dialogue and mutual tolerance policies, AJP has managed to capitalize some confidence vis-à-vis the various stakeholders, mainly those then working for the effectiveness of respect for human rights, peace, reconciliation through the formulation of reforms. His motto is stylized on Justice and Peace for all.
Through the Mechanism of Alternative Disputes Resolution and formulation reforms which result from participatory and inclusive assessments and research, AJP plans progressively to have a distributive Justice in support of the institutional systems that collapse and constantly malfunction.
 
 

Think about this.

Poor governance, state failure, disorderly exploitation of mineral and energy resources, poor land governance and lack of institutional reforms, collapse and dependency of Justice, weak administrative system, lack of basic social services, lack of adequate security sector reform, weakening of the army by systematic integration of militias-armed groups, lack of adequate mechanisms for conflict resolution, increased tensions between communities, remarkable failure of public institutions, ...

Attention is not always paid, the most deadly conflict in modern times has been the DRC's one, with a lot of internal and external ramifications that perpetuate a state of standing suspicion between the members of the Great Lakes subregion and beyond. The conflict in the DRC can never be tackled without the regional and international dimension associated with the internal dimension that makes it more and more complex.

Developing approaches to peace implies taking into account all these dimensions and it is in this context of permanent suspicion, increased tensions, failed-state actors, absence of institutions worthy of trust vis -to-vis the population, poor governance of land and natural resources, lack of confidence in the security sector, ... that AJP contributes to the unconditional reconciliation of actors and individuals through a lobby and large-scale advocacy.

Many mechanisms have been developed by AJP including ADR to approach conflict and crisis in the region.