Below is the second intervention of Abigail Ruane, WOmen, PEace and Security Programme Director at WILPF.
Research shows that feminist movement building is the number one predictor of policies on reducing violence against women; and gender equality is the number one predictor of peace. Women are therefore key to catalytic change.
Yet “partnerships” discussions focus on public-private partnerships rather than partnerships with civil society. OECD data indicates that funding for women civil society has been cut in half over five years. There is increasing shrinking space for civil society. And militarised approaches to security including counter-terrorism financing are undermining civil society’s ability to do its important local work building justice, resilience, and peace.
For example, in Nigeria, women human rights defenders in our network have shared that money is moving toward the northeast portion of the country and that women civil society are being called to frame their work as Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) and Preventing/ Countering Terrorism (P/CT). This results in donor driven priorities that are the opposite of longterm, predictable, core funding for peace.
Resolution 2282 on Sustaining Peace supported strengthening partnerships with key stakeholders, including civil society; and the 1325 Global study supported building partnerships for peace and working in partnership with civil society including women and girls. In this regard, my questions are:
What action is being taken to ensure that partnerships are inclusive of civil society, including women led civil society, and that an enabling environment for civil society action is being prioritised?
What action is being taken to mobilise resources supporting civil society’s local peace building initiative, including by women human rights defenders and peace activists?