Reaffirming women peace builders, 20th Anniversary of UNSCR1325
“I came to (the Wi’am human rights) session to fulfil a requirement for my law professor. I always thought that women’s issues were important, but I thought we had to decide between these issues and Palestine’s sovereignty. I did not believe we could struggle for both at the same time. After this training, I realized that they are so connected and that we must work towards both together. Strengthening and enhancing women’s role in society can be most effectively done through protecting and affording them their rights. Core international human rights instruments such as CEDAW and more importantly in UNSCR 1325, are avenues that can be used to fight against systematic injustice and for gender justice. Through this, we are able to fight to strengthen our community by making sure that all its members, women and men have a place within it and can participate effectively, and this is the only way forward towards a just and sovereign country.”Naila, a 23-year-old law student from Bethlehem, participant in Wi’am: Palestinian Conflict Transformation Centre human rights training
Twenty years ago, on October 31st, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, reaffirming the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction. The resolution also stresses the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security.
Since then, despite important progress, women continue to face gender-based violence, are largely excluded from peace and security structures, their expertise ignored, and their needs overlooked. Conflict, coupled with global security threats such as climate change, have a disproportionate effect on women and girls, impacting them more than men. In this landscape, women and girls face multiple forms of violence, including rape being used as a weapon of war in conflict and post-conflict situations.
These are issues that KAIROS Women of Courage partners continue to face as they work to build inclusive, just and sustainable peace in communities in Colombia, DRC, Palestine, South Sudan and the Philippines.
We hear from partners that throughout the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated gender inequality in conflict-affected settings, post-conflict and humanitarian crises contexts. The pandemic threatens to reverse some of the hard-fought gains of women peacemakers and gender equality advocates by marginalising them from engaging in the peace and security dimensions of the pandemic. Despite growing evidence that peace processes are more durable as well as more just and equitable with women’s participation, there remains a serious funding shortfall for women’s peacebuilding and human rights which mirrors the enormous global funding gap for gender equality more generally. Resolution 1325 urges States to increase their voluntary financial, technical and logistical support for gender equality efforts, yet failure to allocate sufficient resources and funds has been a persistent obstacle to the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda over the past 20 years.
The anniversary of UNSCR1325 is an opportunity to highlight the work that partners are doing everyday. On November 24-27, 2020, KAIROS Women of Courage: Women, Peace and Security partners will gather virtually at the second South-South Gathering of the project. The event will provide a critical opportunity for partners to reflect on their work with women at a grassroots level in conflict prevention, peacebuilding and recovery after crises, especially now in the context of COVID-19. The pandemic has shone a spotlight on the importance of commitments, at national, regional and international levels, to gender-responsive and conflict-sensitive response and recovery. Partners will have the opportunity to exchanges experiences and strategies on how they are responding to the pandemic and to strengthen collective advocacy and solidarity.
Part of the South-South gathering on November 26 at 10am-12.00noon (ET) will be a public event in which partners and beneficiaries will share stories of change and reflect on each others’ work. We invite you to register early.