Republic of Congo
According to the background and rationale of the Republic of Congo’s National Action Plan, the country adopted its first WPS NAP in 2018 for the period 2018-2022. However, after two years of experience, problems with its implementation rose, particularly financial difficulties and lack of coordination (pg. 8). Therefore, the second NAP (2021-2023) was modified based on this experience, to overcome these challenges and ensure implementation.
As a result, the NAP outlines a framework based on 4 pillars: 1) Coordination, financing, monitoring-evaluation, and popularization of 1325: a mechanism for more effective implementation; 2) Prevention and protection of girls and women: to prevent all forms of violence against women of all ages; 3) Participation: to ensure the participation and representation of women in politics, fight political violence and preserve the gains in favor of women and girls; 4) Recovery and reconstruction: promote economic empowerment of women as a contributor to peace and stability, considering the needs of women and girls, particularly those from vulnerable groups.
There were significant changes from the first NAP to the most recent, including:
- Creation of mechanisms to fight sexual and gender-based violence against women, including prevention, protection, reparations, and comprehensive care in urban and rural areas.
- The mechanisms for the coordination and monitoring of the NAP include key ministries, development partners, civil society, new and specific executive bodies, a communication unit, and an M&E committee.
- A clearer system that assigns responsibilities and monitoring actions for the operation of the NAP, including a capacity-building program for actors at all levels.
- A strengthened commitment of civil society to organize and advocate for actions in favor of the defense of women’s rights.
National Action Plan (2021-2023)
Global Gender Gap Index 2020
Arms Trade Treaty
NOT RATIFIED, signed 2013
Military expenditure (2019)
$294 million USD
Explore the Republic of Congo's National Action Plan
As the primary government entity focused on women, The Ministry for the Promotion of Women and the Integration of Women in Development plays a critical role; it is in charge of the coordination among all the actors involved in the NAP and must ensure the implementation of the plan.
For the development of the Republic of Congo’s NAP, participatory consultations were organized, and more than 40 people in public administration, civil society, political parties, and religious denominations worked together to discuss the strategic axes of the NAP and all its related activities.
In addition, an updating workshop was held to critically analyze the current situation of women with regards to political representation and participation in decision-making positions. This workshop was attended by 70 people who represented national institutions, key ministries, civil society organizations working with women and youth, religious denominations, and United Nations personnel.
Different actors are responsible for the implementation of the NAP at the national, regional, and local levels. The implementation process is led by the Steering Committee, which is the coordination and decision-making body chaired by the Prime Minister. The Steering Committee is composed of representatives of the ministries related to human rights and gender-based violence in particular, including education, health, defense, finance, social affairs, and women. It is responsible for the mobilization of the resources, the examination and validation of the reports, and the half-yearly and annual work plans.
The National Coordinating Committee is led by the Ministry for the Promotion of Women and the Integration of Women to Development and is an executive body within the Steering Committee. It is responsible for ensuring that a gender perspective is considered in all national policies. It includes representatives of CSOs who support the implementation of the NAP, and is assisted by a Technical Secretariat and experts on data collection, information, education and communication, communication for behavior change, support and decision making, and survivors and perpetrators of violence.
Departmental Coordination is ensured by the Prefect, and assisted by the Departmental Director for the Advancement of Women; it has the same attributes as the National Coordinating Committee at a reduced level and meets three times per year. It is composed of the Mayor of the urban community, the Departmental directors of the ministries, members of the Steering Committee, CSOs representatives in the Department, and technical and financial partners.
There are also UNSCR1325 Units, which are chaired by the Heads of Districts and the Administrators and Mayors of the arrondissements and are in charge of the NAP implementation at the district and commune level. They have the same attributes and composition as the Departmental Coordination mechanism at a more reduced level, and meet every month.
Monitoring and Evaluation
The National Coordinating Committee’s Technical Secretariat, headed by a Gender Focal Point, is responsible for monitoring and evaluation of the NAP. This process will include assessment of the annual workplans at the national, sectoraal, departmental, municipal, and district levels, and is designed to ensure that further adjustments can be made if necessary to ensure implementation.
According to the text of the Republic of Congo’s NAP, the participation of civil society organizations at all levels is promoted, and the NAP reports that civil society was part of the participatory consultations and the updating workshop. In addition, the NAP recognizes the need to empower women and girls to participate in civil society and public life and advocates for the creation of CSOs working on women and girls' rights, particularly regarding the WPS agenda. Therefore, in line with axis no. 1, the NAP outlines an activity for the creation of a permanent Executive Secretariat from CSOs to work with the Ministry for the Promotion of Women and the Integration of Women in Development in the monitoring of the implementation of the NAP and UNSCR 1325 (2000) in the Republic of Congo. In addition, this Executive Secretariat will help enable information exchange and collaboration between CSOs, as well as training on WPS.
The Republic of Congo’s NAP is organized through five strategic axes, under which different actions are outlined. These axes have secondary objectives to ensure a holistic and focused implementation of the WPS agenda throughout the country.
Coordination, financing, monitoring, and evaluation of the implementation of the NAP
- Set up coordination, monitoring, and evaluation mechanisms for the implementation of the NAP, considering a gender perspective.
- Effectively coordinate, monitor, and evaluate the NAP.
Promotion of resolution 1325 and other legal texts protecting the fundamental rights of women and girls
- Popularize and promote resolution 1325 and other texts protecting the rights of women and girls
Promotion of the participation, representation, and involvement of women in prevention, conflict resolution, and peace negotiations.
- Increase the participation and representation of women and girls in decision-making spheres
- Promote the involvement of women and girls in mechanisms and processes for conflict prevention, resolution, and peacekeeping
Strengthening the protection of women, men, girls, and boys against gender-based violence in times of peace, conflict, and post-conflict
- Ensure the protection of women and girls against gender-based violence
- Promote better care for women and girls who are victims of GBV
Taking gender into account in humanitarian action, recovery, and DDR
- Increase the involvement of women in decision-making bodies, humanitarian action, recovery, and DDR
- Mainstream gender in the protection of refugees, and internally displaced persons and in humanitarian response efforts
- Promote within security sector reform programs DDR programs that address the particular needs of women security officers, former combatants, and women and girls associated with armed groups.
The NAP structures activities according to the strategic axes and expected objectives. Some examples of these include:
- Axis 1) train members of gender units and focal points on mainstreaming gender and UNSCR 1325
- Axis 2) train decision-makers and stakeholders, political and community leaders, civil society leaders, and populations on UNSCR 1325 and other legal instruments for the protection of the fundamental rights of women and girls and on the role of women in maintaining and peacebuilding.
- Axis 3) train women in negotiation and mediation, create and support a network of women mediators
- Axis 4) create one-stop rehabilitation centers for women and girl survivors of SGBV, and set up and implement an operational system to ensure access to justice for survivors (including free access to medical certificates, protection of witnesses, and access to legal assistance)
- Axis 5) organize campaigns on the importance of the participation and representation of women in humanitarian action, recovery, and DDR efforts, and advocate with decision-makers to take gender into account in the development and budgeting of management mechanisms for humanitarian action
Due to the diversity of activities proposed, there are multiple indicators to measure the effectiveness of implementation efforts. Some of these include:
- Amounts pledged for the financing of the NAP, as a result of the fundraising strategy to finance the implementation of NAP
- The number and types of trainings provided
- The number of policies and laws revised, initiated, passed, and promulgated, as a result of the actions focused on including the gender perspective in the Republic of Congo legal system.
- The number of recommendations followed by the Government, the result of studies and analysis focused on the situation of women and girls in the Republic of Congo
- The number of activity reports produced, as the written result of the M&E process
- The number of awareness campaigns on the UNSCR 1325
The National Coordinating Committee and the Technical Secretariat are in charge of developing and implementing an M&E plan to evaluate the expected results of each secondary objective.
The monitoring comprises two components: administrative monitoring and the programmatic and technical monitoring. The administrative monitoring is done at the coordination level (national and departmental) and tracks the administrative coordination of the actions of the NAP, the execution of actions by the sectoral technical directorates of the ministries that are members of the Steering Committee, and produces quarterly reports and proposes adjustments and improvements. The programmatic and technical monitoring tracks the execution of actions planned, undertaken and the resources allocated for this purpose, and the impact assessment. The UNSCR 1325 Focal Point oversees the production and publication of progress reports or quarterly supervisions, and a technical and financial report is to be transmitted to the Coordination.
There will be an annual assessment, mid-term evaluations, and also a final evaluation of the NAP. In addition, the evaluators will hold regular meetings with key stakeholders to feed into these assessments.
The Ministry for the Promotion of Women and the Integration of Women in Development, as the main actor responsible for the NAP, has a state operating budget.
The Executive Secretariat is funded through subsidies and/or donations from public and private entities, national or international bodies, and aid funds granted by partners.
The NAP estimates that the total budget between October 2021 and December 2023 will be XOF 3,100,000,000 for all activities, with the breakdown as follows:
- Pillar 1: XOF 640,000,000
- Pillar 2: XOF 1,600,000,000
- Pillar 3: XOF 495,000,000
- Pillar 4: XOF 305,000,000
The fourth pillar and the fifth axis of the NAP are focused on demobilization, disarmament and reintegration (DDR) and they seek to include the gender perspective on such programs, promote and increase the participation of women and girls as agents of change in DDR efforts, and include their needs and experiences in security sector reform at all levels, particularly the perspectives of women officers, former combatants, and women and girls associated with armed groups.
Actions in this regard include: awareness campaigns on the importance of participation and representation of women in humanitarian action, recovery and DDR, advocating to include a gender perspective in the development and budgeting of mechanisms for humanitarian action, create a mechanism to improve the physical security and protection of displaced girls and women, involve CSOs in the development of policies and strategies for humanitarian interventions, and promote DDR programs with a gender perspective.