Greetings to our friends and colleagues

A friendly and warm welcome to all our readers to the final edition of the Drums of Change for the year 2014. With the year coming to an end, we would firstly like to thank all our loyal readers who have been part of the Drums of Change community over the years. We appreciate your support and hope that we will keep on delivering interesting and thought provoking articles with each and every issue.

From November 25th (International End Violence Against Women Day) through December 10th (International Human Rights Day) the entire international community will join hands in commemorating 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. This campaign aims to create and raise awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, regional and international level while promoting positive change to increasing the safety of women. In this issue of the Drums of Change, we seek to explore Transformational Leadership with a particular focus on gendered perspectives and women in leadership.

In this issue we discuss various subject matters from different gendered perspectives. One of the articles by Zeenat Adam, takes a look at the effects of war on women and children in conflict- affected and war-torn countries. The article calls for collective efforts from women to become their own agents of change while promoting sustainable funding which should be dedicated to women’s development. In another thought provoking article by LGBTI activist Miles Rutendo Tanhira, we give voice to the LGBTI community which is usually silenced or ignored. This piece proposes adopting a gendered perspective in peacebuilding work and keeping in mind that violence takes various forms that exist within unequal power relations, of which gender is one of them. The article emphases that this should be reflected in the enacting of legislation which should be inclusive of all persons as well as the creation of safe spaces where LGBTI persons are not marginalized or feel suppressed by patriarchy and other power structures.

In this issue we also discuss the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 in an article by Jasmin Nario-Galace, Executive Director of the Centre for Peace Education. Resolution 1325 calls for the adoption of a gendered perspective that calls for the adoption of a gender perspective that includes the special needs of women and girls during repatriation and resettlement, rehabilitation, reintegration and post-conflict reconstruction. This is the first formal and legal document from the United Nations Security Council that required parties in a conflict to respect women’s rights and support their participation in peace negotiations and in post-conflict reconstruction.

In an article titled “African Queens and Empresses: Uncovering a forgotten history to pave the way to a bold future”, Janah Ncube looks at how patriarchal systems within our communities have silenced the important role African women have played in contributing to the freedom and development of many societies. This article also gives outstanding examples of great heroic African women who were fierce warriors, diplomats, scientists and business people in pre-colonial Africa. In this issue we also share some famous quotes and insights by some of the most inspirational leaders of all times.

The transformative role played by women leadership within societies usually goes unnoticed. Over the years, women led and facilitated many campaigns that have resulted in legal policy commitments on Gender Equality, Women’s Rights and ensuring successful peace processes. In an article by a remarkable woman and community leader – Rosalba Oywa of the People’s Voice for Peace in Uganda, we unpack the pivotal role women have played and still continue to play toward that transition towards peace that Uganda is currently undergoing. This article speaks volumes of the work being done and shares some lessons for all leaders.

It is clear that transformational leadership can take place within different spaces and be driven by any person despite their race, colour, age or gender. This issue showed us that it is all about the mindset and a collective effort from all persons within the different contexts in which transformation is taking place. We at the ACTION Support Centre hope that the stories shared within this issue will inspire you as well as your community to become agents of change that will promote a peaceful society for all. We trust that you enjoy reading this issue and will share it with all your friends, family and colleagues.

The views expressed in this issue do not necessarily reflect the views of the ACTION Support Centre or the ACTION for Conflict Transformation network movement.

The Drums of Change welcomes your thoughts and contribution, so please feel free to send your thoughts and feedback to info@asc.org.za, and we encourage the discussion and debate to continue through our Facebook page.

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