Design Development for Gender Equality and Peace

Written by: Dr. Abigail Ruane

On April 24-25th, WILPF advocated for a conflict prevention approach to development that promotes gender equality in the UN President of the General Assembly (PGA) debate on stable and peaceful societies in the Post-2015 development agenda. This debate is part of ongoing discussions around creating a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for when the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire in 2015.

WILPF co-sponsored a strategy meeting on strengthening peace through development. Participants called for an integrated approach to peace and development, including through a stand-alone SDG on stable and peaceful societies and that peace is mainstreamed throughout the targets and indicators of all other goals. WILPF highlighted how a target reducing military spending and an approach that builds on existing commitments including the Women Peace and Security (WPS) agenda would be critical for a universal agenda that addresses root causes of conflict in militarized inequality and promotes development and peace.

WILPF also worked with the Post-2015 Women's Coalition, Women's Major Group and Global Network of Women Peacebuilders to support three women peace leaders from Colombia, Sudan, and Fiji to participate in the official debate. The women's leaders called strongly for the international community to invest in gender equality and peace through SDGs targets including reducing military spending, so as to reduce violence and free up resources for gender equality and peace. Rosa Emilia Salamanca from Colombia provided a powerful keynote speech and called for gender equitable peace and development that women's human rights defenders can “can see and feel.” Sharon Bhagwan Rolls from Fiji highlighted the importance of development that promotes human security and builds on women's experiences. Nagwa Gadahweldam from Sudan demanded that the next development agenda “transform modes of exploitation to regeneration” and promote gender equality, development and peace.

Please ask your government to design development for peace! Demand a target reducing military spending, and ask for peace to be prioritized through a stand-alone goal and mainstreamed targets and indicators throughout all other goals. For more information, read the blog on the WILPF International website here.