WOMEN, PEACE, SECURITY AND DEVELOPMENT: WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP IN PEACE BUILDING
Conflicts have devastating consequences, including in widening gaps between women and men. Women often have fewer resources to protect themselves and, with children, frequently make up the majority of displaced and refugee populations. War tactics such as sexual violence specifically target them. Though women have led peace movements and driven community recovery after conflict, they are almost completely missing from peace negotiations. Exclusion from reconstruction limits access to opportunities to recover, to gain justice for human rights abuses, and to participate in shaping reformed laws and public institutions.
These were only some of the themes discussed in the panel Women, Peace, Security and Development: Women’s Leadership in Peace Building. Ms. S. Gülser Corat, Director for the Division for Gender Equality, Office of the Director-General, UNESCO moderated the panel composed by International Organizations’ officials of like Ms. Dubravka Simonovic, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Ms. Xiaoqiao Zou, Member of the CEDAW Committee and Ms. Carmen Moreno, Executive Secretary, Inter-American Commission for Women. The NGO sector was very well represented by Ms. Elisabeth Decrey Warner, President and Co-Founder of Geneva Call who shared with the audience her personal experience on the field. The panel was also attended by a very professional in the field of security Ms. Nevena Miteva, Lieutenant Colonel, Chief Expert, Bilateral cooperation and Regional Initiatives Department Defence Policy Directorate Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Bulgaria
The international community has recognized that women’s participation is vital to achieving and sustaining peace. Women are proven agents of change—and should be able to do even more. In 2000, the UN Security Council passed the historic resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. It calls for women to participate in peacebuilding, be better protected from human rights violations, and have access to justice and services to eliminate discrimination.
Despite the existence of international and regional norms and standards on violence against women, including the CEDAW Convention, the Beijing Plan of Action (BPA), the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (DEVAW), the United Nations Security resolution 1325 and its following resolutions, the Belem do Para Convention, the Maputo Protocol and the Istanbul Convention there is a general lack of holistic and comprehensive approach to combat and prevent violence against women, the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women said.
Women are greatly concerned about war and violence. Across the globe, women actively work to find and create peaceful solutions to violent conflict. History clearly demonstrates that real peace and security are only possible when women are involved in peace processes, bringing their experiences and needs to the table.