Issue Brief on Peace Processes WomenWarPeace

Sunday, January 1, 2006
United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)

Women organize for peace in their communities and at the national and regional level, but they are rarely a part of the official peace process. Formal negotiations that exclude half the population from the political process have little hope of popular support. Women's activism must be supported and their political demands acknowledged at every step, from peace negotiations to power-conflict elections and the restructuring of society. The exclusion of women from the peace process jeopardizes a sustainable peace. It is therefore, also the responsibility of the international community to support women's activities in the peace process, following Resolution 1325. While it is ultimately a state responsibility to honour the agreements that have been signed, and to create an environment in which they can be implemented, the international community also has a role to play. Whether international donors are in a country as adviser, as peacekeepers or as educators, they must keep gender issues at the forefront of their work. They must focus more effort on supporting the implementation process through training, support of women's organizations and capacity-building. Specific mechanisms must be put in place to guarantee women's continued presence through constitutional, judicial, legislative and electoral reforms. And, of course, they must work to guarantee the peace that will allow reforms to be implemented.

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