Ms. Bineta Diop of Senegal is the Executive Director and founder of Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS). She began her international career in human rights 27 years ago as Programme Coordinator of the International Commission of Jurists, where she obtained extensive experience in human rights issues not only in Africa but also in Asia and Latin America. Ms. Diop has led Femmes Africa Solidarité in numerous peace-building programmes, including the creation of a strong West African women’s movement, the Mano River Women’s Peace Network (MARWOPNET). In December 2003, the United Nations General Assembly awarded MARWOPNET the UN Prize in the field of Human Rights.
Diop has observed elections in post-conflict areas such as Liberia and facilitated peace talks, particularly for Burundian and Congolese women. As a member of the African Union Women Committee for Peace and Development (AWCPD), Ms. Diop played an instrumental role in achieving gender parity within the African Union Commission in 2003. These efforts culminated in July of 2004 as the AU took ownership of the gender-mainstreaming programme at the highest level, adopting the “Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa.”
To strengthen these programmes, Ms. Diop is mobilizing all her efforts in building a Pan African Centre for Gender, Peace and Development in Dakar, Senegal. This centre of excellence will serve as a hub for building African leadership with a focus on gender and peaceful resolution of conflicts. The centre’s first program was launched in May 2005 with an African Gender Forum followed by the first African Gender Awards presented to President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal and President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa. Diop has received many awards from women groups such as Mano River Women Peace Network, the West African Women Association Award in 2005 as well as the Leadership and Good Governance Award from the International Women Federation for World Peace.
Ms. Diop has been elected as Vice-President of the African Union Women’s Committee, and chairs the United Nations Working Group on Peace in Geneva, which is part of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women monitoring the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. She also serves as a member of the Group of International Advisors to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).(—source)