Gabon adopted its first National Action Plan (NAP) in March 2020 for the period 2020-2023. Prior to this NAP, Gabon had adopted a project entitled “The Future in Confidence” (L’Avenir en Confiance) in 2009 under President Ali Bongo Ondimba for the implementation period of 2011-2022, and Gabon’s Decade of Women 2015-2025. These projects worked toward gender equality, including Women, Peace and Security (WPS) principles, within the country.
Gabon’s NAP includes six national priorities, called axes, encompassing the four pillars of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (Prevention, Participation, Protection and Relief & Recovery) as well as climate change, women’s economic empowerment, and monitoring. The NAP is divided into two frameworks: the logistical framework which outlines the products allocated to each of the six priority axes, with accompanying indicators, sources of verification, and hypotheses & risks; and the operational framework which allocates actions for each product, with accompanying indicators, sources of verification, the actors responsible for implementation and timeframe. Implementation will be coordinated by the Ministry for the Promotion and Integration of Women in Development, and supported by different actors at the central, provincial, municipal and local levels including various ministries, parliament, civil society organizations (CSOs), the private sector, political parties, and technical & financial partners.
At the multilateral level, Gabon has served as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council three times, in 1978–1979, 1998–1999, and most recently in 2010–2011. Gabon will take its seat as a non-permanent member of the Security Council again for the period of 2022-2023.
National Action Plan (2020-2023)
Global Gender Gap Index 2020
Arms Trade Treaty Signed 2013
Military expenditure (2019)
Explore Gabon's National Action Plan
The development stages of the NAP took place over the period of 2015-2020, headed by the Ministry for the Promotion and Integration of Women in Development, with inputs from actors in public institutions and communities, civil society, media and technical and financial partners. Actors in civil society and the security sector, traditional chiefs, and partners were also participants in general consultations (p. 11). The key steps for NAP development outlined in the guide for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 published by West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) were followed.
The Ministry for the Promotion and Integration of Women in Development is responsible for coordination, including formalizing governmental bodies such the Interministerial Committee on WPS, defining the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders, and mechanisms for the involvement and participation of representatives of ministries, parliament, civil society organizations (CSOs), the private sector, political parties, governmental programmes, the UN system and technical & financial partners (p. 16).
Implementation will be based on a system that collects, analyzes and distributes data in close coordination with the Director General of Statistics (p. 22). At the institutional level, it will involve the creation of a set of procedures to allow communication between different actors at the central, provincial, municipal and local levels. These actors fall under the groups including parliament, magistrate/judicial institutions, ministries, central and local administration institutions, political parties, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), CSOs, the academic and scientific community, media/press, communities and families, and international partners (p. 16).
NAP monitoring and evaluation
The National Monitoring Committee will meet, under the direction of the supervising ministry, in order to share achievements, evaluate progress and challenges, and formulate recommendations. The data collected by the WPS focal points of different institutions will contribute to an annual national report, under the coordination of the supervising ministry. Civil society will also carry out a mid-term independent evaluation. The four year operational plan for the NAP will be updated in light of the results, challenges raised and recommendations formulated by this reporting (p. 22).
Gabon’s NAP states that it recognizes the essential role that CSOs play in the advancement and implementation of the WPS Agenda, essential service provision, and providing crucial support for women in post-conflict contests. A continuous dialogue maintained in a framework of exchange and learning called called «Communauté de pratiques» (‘Community of Practice’) will help to institutionalize the participation of CSOs and women’s groups in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the NAP and the WPS Agenda. A network of organizations and movements defending the rights of women in different areas of the country will be consolidated in order to implement innovative actions on WPS (p. 23).
The NAP will be implemented for the period 2020-2023.
There are two overarching objectives that Gabon’s NAP aims to address: firstly, increasing the participation of women in decision-making processes and their full participation in all peace and security efforts; secondly, eradicating women’s human rights violations including sexual violence against women and girls and the trafficking of women and children (p. 13).
The NAP focuses on six priorities, called axes (p. 3 and p. 13):
- Prevention, management and transformation of conflicts at the national and sub-regional levels, and the fight against gender-based violence.
- The protection and respect for the human rights of women and girls, and taking into account issues related to gender equality in politics and programmes of relief and recovery in conflict and post-conflict situations
- The equal participations and representation of women in decision-making institutions and peacebuilding mechanisms at the national, sub-regional, regional and international levels
- Women, girls and the management of the environment and climate change
- The economic empowerment and inclusion of women
- The coordination, promotion and implementation of UNSCR 1325, mobilization of resources, sustainable partnerships, and monitoring & evaluation of the NAP.
The NAP focuses on these axes through six objectives (p. 13-14)
- The prevention, management and transformation of conflicts at the national and sub-regional levels, and the integration of gender mainstreaming in all conflict prevention strategies and activities, the creation of mechanisms and institutions which take into account the needs of women and redoubling efforts to prevent violence against women, in particular diverse forms of sexual violence.
- Assure the protection and defence of the human rights of women and girls, taking into account issues of gender equality, increasing efforts on matters of protection and physical & mental health, as well as the dignity of women and girls, and integrating gender mainstreaming in legal and institutional reforms.
- a) Promote and support the active and meaningful participation of women in all peace processes as well as their equal representation in official and informal decision-making bodies, and peacebuilding mechanisms at the national, sub-regional, regional and international levels; b) Improve the work in partnership and in network with associations and organizations defending the rights of women at the local, national, sub-regional and international levels, and to support the appointment of women in key positions in the military and civilian defence and law enforcement forces.
- Promote the concepts of gender and climate involving women and girls, and in reinforcing their resilience and capacity for adaptation in the face of climate hazards, natural risks and catastrophes, and climate management.
- Reinforce the efforts for women’s economic security, increase the production potential, and significantly increase the economic and social development of the country, and women’s emancipation through their empowerment and economic inclusion.
- Ensure the coordination, promotion of ownership and implementation of resolution 1325, mobilization of resources, establishment of strategic, sustainable partnerships and the monitoring & evaluation of a NAP and associated programmes and projects.
In Gabon’s NAP, a logistical framework allocates each of the six axes a set of products. Under the operational framework, each of those products are assigned a subset of actions, each with an associated responsible body and timeframe.
For example, under axis 2 of "protection and respect for the human rights of women and girls, and taking into account issues related to gender equality in politics and programmes of relief and recovery in conflict and post-conflict situations", there are four products such as (p. 42):
Project 2.2 "Joint projects on the integration of Resolution 1325 in programmes fighting against national and regional threats to peace are realized (terrorism, violent extremism, martime piracy, transnational crime, small arms and light weapons". This project has actions including: Implement regional projects on planning and budgeting methods according to gender; and Initiate studies and publish regular reports with gender disaggregated data on all sectors.
The 2020 Roadmap, which outlines actions and priorities for the first year of implementation, contains eleven axes of intervention and forty-eight priority actions (p. 16), each action with an associated responsible body, budget and timeframe. For example, under Axis 7 "Reinforce the capacities of stakeholder parties" (p. 72) there are seven associated actions, such as:
- Organize a training workshop on project identification and formulation, and the development of a resource mobilization strategy. Responsible bodies: the Ministry in charge of the Promotion of Women and other stakeholder parties. Timeframe: June 2020.
Each product in the logistical framework and each action in the operational framework of Gabon’s NAP is given a set of indicators, as well as sources of verification.
For example, under axis 4, action 4.2.1 "Contribute to the development of a strategy for emissions reduction related to deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) in connection with the benefits of adaptation taking gender-sensitivity into account in the forestry sector" includes the indicator: "The existence of a emissions reduction strategy related to deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+)"
The logistical framework of Gabon’s NAP contains not only indicators but also includes hypotheses and risks predicted for each product (p. 28-27). A toolbox, including a framework of risk mitigation, will be developed. The National Monitoring Committee will meet, under the direction of the supervising ministry, in order to share achievements, evaluate progress and challenges, and formulate recommendations. Other platforms for these activities will be developed as necessary over the course of implementation. The data collected by the WPS Focal Points of different institutions will contribute to an annual national report, under the coordination of the supervising ministry. Civil society will also carry out a mid-term independent evaluation. The four year operational plan for the NAP will be updated based on the results, challenges raised and recommendations formulated in this report (p. 22-23).
The total amount budgeted to Gabon’s NAP is 3,033,950 000 F.CFA (Central African CFA Franc) or $5,056,583 USD, across the six national priorities. Priority 1 is budgeted the most at 1,187,500,000 F.CFA ($1,979,167 USD), and Priority 5 budgeted the least at 116,500,000 F.CFA ($194,167 USD). The 2020 Roadmap is budgeted 527,000,000 F.CFA ($876,334 USD) across its eleven axes of intervention, bringing the total budget to 3,560,950,000 F.CFA ($5,932,917 USD) (p. 17-20).
Each action in both the NAP Axis and 2020 Roadmap are allocated a cost, with the former having an allocation for each of the four years of implementation.
Disarmament is discussed in axis 1, which focuses on conflict prevention. Action 1.2.3 makes direct references to disarmament and small arms and light weapons (SALW): Develop and implement disarmament plans, and fight against the proliferation of SALW. Product 2.2 also identifies SALW among the threats to national and regional peace.
The NAP also identities women in post-conflict and relief & recovery projects, with specific references to disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR). For example Product 2.4 makes specific references to women’s specific needs and interests in post-conflict projects such as DDR, as well as post-conflict justice, and repatriation, rehabilitation and reintegration of victims of armed conflict (p. 30), with its Action 2.4.2 making direct reference to the capacities of women in matters of security sector reform, DDR, the fight against SALW, and reconciliation (p. 43).