The Role of Women in the Peace & Security Agenda : UNSCR 1325
The Journalists and Writers Foundation, Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, Global Justice Centre, Global Network of Women Peacebuilders
Women in power and decision-making
SDG16 – Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Building Peace through Women’s Education (2019)
The session looked at the role of women and the peace agenda. The advocacy focus of our CFUW-Ottawa University Women Helping Afghan Women group is the perilous significance of the current Afghanistan peace negotiations for women in Afghanistan. We have connected with members across the country and linked up with GWI-NL in an NFA2NFA project partnership. With our webinar in April we hope too reach out to NFAs around the world. The situation is dire for the women in Afghanistan who have made such progress in the last 20 years. Women of the world and our governments cannot stand idly by.
Women's role in peace negotiations is low. They may be present at local levels but they disappear at teh formal sessions. Women must are protected against abuse in armed conflict. 1325 includes 3 P's – Participation, Protection and Prevention and 2 R's Relief and Recovery. It is civil society that has kept this resolution alive for the last 20 years. Civil society cannot assist member states. Member states must serve and protect their citizens. Women call from local to global. 96 states have developed NAPs. They must be localised in the communities, not just national. In addition to local, civil society needs to focus on young women and create spaces for them. The primary responsibility of the state (RTP) is to protect its people from the 4 crimes of genocide, genetic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Failing that the international community must take timely action in line with the Charter. RTP is a humanitarian tool yet it is also prevention. What steps can be taken to prevent atrocities from being perpetrated? Women are stakeholders for peace. How can they prevent atrocities? Who is vulnerable , why, how will it emerge? Women can be perpetrators too. We need to highlight women's experiences from abuses that have taken place. Different crimes effect different genders differently. RTP & 1325 have a lot of overlap. Prevention can really start at the time of peace. The international community should step in when necessary.There needs to be training on gender sensitivity. What do the survivors need? Gender reflects the social role of victims and those who commit crimes. Responses to atrocities need gender perspective. All atrocity crimes are genderised. ie men and boys are shot, women and girls may be herded into a barn and burned. Gender is sometimes the primary motivating factor for a crime to be committed. Gender based violence is not only sexual violence. Nonetheless a lot of progress in 30 years. Best Examples: The movement in Liberia proved that grass roots women's voices were essential.
They were recognised as the drivers of peace. They were occupying the space by the consensus of society. The women were not invited to the peace table but they managed to be heard. Columbia is another example of a successful process but sadly no-one had any answer for Afghanistan. We need to re-shape the table. To date the premium is on those who are waging war and not those who are engaging in peace.
Sadly it just confirms how challenging the situations are but much has been learned. Care needs to be taken to learn what has worked from the past to ensure the peace will be lasting and just.

Much preparation and then collaboration with other NFAs and our governments to lead.

Author: Hally Siddons

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