On 4-6 December 2017, the Democratic Republic of the Congo section of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF DRC) held a high level event titled “10 Years of Building Peace By Women, For Women, and For All” in Kinshasa, the DRC.
The event included representatives of WILPF Africa (South Africa, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Zimbabwe, DRC), WILPF Sweden, WILPF International (Geneva and New York). The ceremony was presided over by the Minister of Gender, Family and Children, and included the presence of a representative of the DRC President in charge of addressing sexual violence, the Rapporteur of the Human Rights Commission, a representative of UN Women and representatives of civil society and the military.
There were a rich set of panel discussions that enabled exploration of creative approaches to mobilising action for feminist peace. This included panels on the peacebuilding role of feminist movement at the community level; the importance of networking for women and women's organisations for peace, promoting women’s political participation before, during and after elections; the place of women in peace agreements; a historical contextualisation of 17 years of UNSCR 1325 in the DRC; the consolidation of peace by going beyond prevention; Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (GBV); youth and the implementaiton of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); gender, peace and climate change; and the Women, Peace and Security financing. The event concluded with the sharing of a Women’s Declaration for Peace and a closing keynote delivered by a respresntative of UN Women and WILPF’s Women Peace and Security Programme Director Abigail Ruane on WILPF’s vision for feminist peace.
Overall, women affirmed the importance of moving away from the idea that peace is by, for and about men, and demanded action to support peace that is by women, for women and for all.