Women claim to be sufficiently represented in dialogue process

The Women’s Group requests the facilitator in the Burundi conflict to increase the number of women who will participate in the inter-Burundi dialogue process due to take place from 14 to at least 30 women.

Leaders of women’ associations

Leaders of women’ associations

The Women’s Group, which brings together women’s organizations namely Women’s National Forum (FNF), Women’s Platform for Peace and Security (PFPS), Women in Action for Peace (WAP), Women’s Initiative for Development and the Association of Burundian Returnees, calls for the effective and equitable representation of women in the inter-Burundi dialogue process.

“Since the beginning of the inter-Burundi dialogue, women’s participation has been unsatisfactory. Only 14 women have been invited to the previously held dialogue sessions. Among them include members of civil society organizations”, said Mpfayuguhora Jeanne, Executive Secretary of the Women’s National Forum.

She says she worries that women’s views on the current situation in the country are not taken into consideration and that their priorities are not dealt with in the dialogue.

Members of the Women’s Group ask the facilitator in the Burundian conflict to invite women’s associations as an entity representing women.

“Women support the proposal to amend the Constitution”

According to Mpfayuguhora, women are in favor of the amendment of the Constitution to improve women’s conditions. “The amendment of the constitution will be an opening door for women to express their wishes and defend their rights,” said Mpfayuguhora.

Nina Christine Niyonsavye says Burundians are free to amend their constitution. She says she is surprised by the fact that when Burundians decide to amend the constitution, international institutions stand up to oppose the project. “We will not have to wait for foreigners to change our constitution,” she says. For her, the current constitution is very old and does not favor all Burundians.

Carine Kaneza, the spokesperson for the Women and Girls Movement for Peace and Security, believes that the government of Burundi does not have the right to amend the constitution as long as more than 400,000 Burundians who fled the country are not consulted. “Articles 21, 22 and 23 of the Constitution speak of the equality and dignity of the Burundian people,” she says. She accuses the Women’s Group of defending the government for a well-defined purpose.

On 15 March, the Burundian president signed a decree on the mandate, the composition, and the functioning of the National Commission in charge of proposing the amendment to the Burundian Constitution.