The Women’s Situation Room (WSR) is a women-led early warning and rapid response mechanism to curb violence before, during and after elections in African countries. The WSR provides a non-political platform for women and youth to mitigate election-related conflict, de-escalate tensions, facilitate real-time response to violent incidents, and ensure peaceful elections.
The Women’s Situation Room initiative was established in Liberia (2011) by the Angie Brooks International Centre (ABIC) and has since been replicated in Guinea-Bissau (2014), Kenya (2013), Mali (2013), Nigeria (2015), Senegal (2012), Sierra Leone (2012) and recently in Uganda (2016). The African Union in 2012 and, the UN Security Council in 2016 recognised the WSR as a best practice to be replicated across Africa for preventing the eruption of violence through constructive dialogue with stakeholders in and peace advocacy. Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was designated the WSR Champion.
Women and Youth Peace Advocates promote peace and de-escalate tensions among their peers and within their communities/ Women and Youth Election Peace Monitors observe elections and report threats or violence in real-time using the WSR toll-free line or the WSR election-violence reporting app. Eminent Women receive, analyse and forward election-violence reports to the relevant authorities for immediate action. Physical Situation Rooms located in Northern, Central, Eastern and Western regions host the 24 hour WSR call centre receiving incident reports; the Youth and the Eminent Women’s rooms to coordinate responses with the advice of Political, Legal, Gender and Security Analysts; Special Desks for the Electoral Commission, Uganda Police Force and Uganda People’s Defence Force to resolve issues; and a Peace Cloth for pledges of peace by key election actors.