Forum addresses roles of women in conflict, peace-building

By Staff on October 29, 2015

After trekking for a month across east Africa, two Somali women wait with their children on July 21 to be registered in the Dadaab refugee camp in northeastern Kenya. Tens of thousands of newly arrived Somalis have swelled the population of what was already the world's largest refugee camp. Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance.

A three-day forum at the U.N. Church Center in New York marks the 15th anniversary of a U.N. resolution on women’s roles in war and peace-building and will highlight such issues as religious extremism and media coverage.

The Peace Forum, which runs from Oct. 28 to Oct. 30, commemorates the unanimous adoption of UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, along with six follow-up resolutions. The forum is organized by the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) and co-hosted by GNWP and the International Peace Bureau, United Methodist Women, World Council of Churches, WILPF Peacewomen, the National Council of Negro Women and Baha'i International Community.

WACC’s Sarah Macharia, program manager for gender and communication, will present a workshop Oct. 30 on “How do Women Make the News on Peace and Security?” The topic builds on the work of the Global Media Monitoring Project, which every five years analyzes gender bias in the world’s media. The latest GMMP was in 2015.

In addition, WACC is supporting the participation of Abida Pehlic, who is representing Association Novi Put, a not-for profit organization that works on gender equality, violence and human trafficking in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).

Association Novi Put has received funding support from WACC for gender equality-related projects and serves as the national coordinating organization of the GMMP in BiH. This year, Association Novi Put implemented gender-focussed media monitoring in BiH for a project funded by U.N. Women and globally coordinated by WACC in preparation for the 15th anniversary of UNSCR 1325.

UNSCR 1325 was a resolution by which the U.N. Security Council acknowledged “the changing nature of warfare, in which civilians are increasingly targeted, and women continue to be excluded from participation in peace processes. UNSCR 1325 addresses not only the inordinate impact of war on women, but also the pivotal role women should and do play in conflict management, conflict resolution, and sustainable peace,” according to an analysis by the United States Institute of Peace.

The Peace Forum, while celebrating the resolution, also means that “we must effectively move from commitment to implementation,” according to a statement by GNWP.

“We have invited civil society to come together … to commemorate achievements and to strategize on strengthening and mobilizing women and men for effective implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda,” said GNWP.

The Peace Forum’s opening panel on Oct. 28, Men on the Stand, will discuss men’s roles in the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and its supporting resolutions. It will examine how to ensure men’s full participation in peacebuilding and decision-making at all levels, how men and women can work together in preventing violent conflicts and identify ways in which men can help promote and protect women and girls’ rights, according to the panel description.

Harriett Jane Olson, CEO and General Secretary of United Methodist Women, will give the opening address. The moderator is Cora Weiss, U.N. representative and former president, International Peace

Bureau. Participants include Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of U.N. Women, Representing the Secretary-General; María Emma Mejía Vélez, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations; and Ann-Sofie Stude, Ambassador, Women, Peace and Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland. Closing remarks will be given by Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, Former Under-Secretary-General and High Representative of the U.N. and the initiator of UNSCR 1325.

Panel topics during the Peace Forum include: “Women Countering Violent Extremism,” “Peace IS the Path: Dialoguing Between the Women of Ukraine and of the Russian Federation,” “Theater for Women’s Rights and Peace Building” and “On the Frontlines Against Militarism and Extremism.” 

By Staff| October 29, 2015
Categories:  News

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