On Wednesday October 29th 2014, WILPF hosted a closed briefing with member states on “Syria and Iraq: Recommendations on Promoting Peace and Combatting State and Non-State Violence” at the Permanent Mission of Norway to the United Nations. Five women leaders from Iraq and Syria briefed member states and civil society on the situation of women in the region and their recommendations for promoting gender justice and peace.
All speakers brought attention to how militarism promotes a spectrum of violence, from non-state extremism to sexual and gender based violence including survival sex, trafficking including early, child, and temporary marriage. Syrian speakers called for action at any price to support a political solution for sustainable peace built on justice. Iraqi speakers called for an end to proliferation, a strengthening of data on violence, and increased support for women human rights defenders.
The speakers powerfully brought to light how the international community has accepted violence in their communities as inevitable, pointed out that their situations are not normal but extreme, and that the current violence is enabled by inadequate international community action for peace. They demanded increased political will, creativity, financing, and action to strengthen opportunities for gender justice and peace at every level.