AFRICA: Global Consultation to Advance a Transformative Women, Peace and Security Agenda

Wednesday, July 2, 2014
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
General Women, Peace and Security

With the 15th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 around the corner, the Women Peacemakers Program (WPP) will hold its Global Consultation on "Gender & Militarism: Analyzing the Links to Strategize for Peace" from July 2-4, in the Town Hall of Cape Town, South Africa. The Consultation will bring together more than 55 activists and academics from all over the world to discuss and analyze the links between gender & militarism in the framework of broadening the current Women, Peace and Security agenda, including UN Security Council Resolution 1325, and strengthening its transformative components.

Despite the adoption of multiple resolutions on Women, Peace & Security, actual implementation of this agenda remains a challenge. One gap that WPP has identified is that the Women, Peace & Security agenda mainly focuses on including women and women's realities within the existing peace and security framework. Though of utmost importance, WPP considers it important that the Women, Peace & Security agenda also analyzes the current peace and security framework through a critical gender lens, incorporating also a masculinities perspective, and developing inclusive conflict resolution alternatives accordingly. The Global Consultation will focus on building bridges between different groups working on militarism & gender – from academic to grassroots level - as to come up with a comprehensive strategy to take the transformative elements of the Women, Peace & Security agenda forward.

The Global Consultation will consist of several panel and group discussions on topics such as militarism and feminism; applying a masculinities lens to violence and armed conflict; and developing nonviolent conflict resolution alternatives. Speakers include academics such as Åsa Ekvall and Rahel Kunz, as well as women peace activists, such as Jasmin Nario-Galace (IANSA Women's Network Steering Team), Abigail Ruane (PeaceWomen, WILPF), Anand Pawar (South Asia Network to Address Masculinities) and Zarin Hamid (Gender-Based Violence Program, Centre for Women's Global Leadership).

"It is important that we understand the interaction between gender, specifically masculinities, violence and militarism, in order to develop and support nonviolent and peaceful management of conflicts, by both women and men, and eventually prevent violent conflict from erupting." Netsai Mushonga, Facilitator WPP Global Consultation.

"By providing a critical analysis on gender and militarism, the WPP consultation aims to create an open space for discussion and analysis, as well as an opportunity to advocate for nonviolent conflict resolution models where women and men can work together as partners for peace." Isabelle Geuskens, Executive Director WPP.

During the Consultation, WPP will launch its annual May 24 Pack on "Gender and Militarism: Analyzing the Links to Strategize for Peace", comprising of 23 articles written by academics, activists and civil society representatives from different parts of the world, approaching gender & militarism from multiple perspectives. In addition, the Global Consultation will also mark the end of the Gender & Militarism social media campaign, advocating for awareness and action on the multi-layered connections between gender and militarism.

The WPP Global Consultation will take place prior to War Resisters International's (WRI) conference on "Small Actions, Big Movements: the Continuum of Nonviolence", with more than 170 participants from all over the world, taking place in Cape Town, South Africa, from the 4th to the 8th of July. By facilitating interaction between the WPP Global Consultation and the WRI Conference, mutual learning and strategizing will be strengthened.