“It’s important to be aware of what’s going on in the world and to think about how you can start to make a difference, even when you’re a kid.”
Be the Change
By Abigail Ruane, WILPF PeaceWomen Programme Manager
CEDAW General Recommendation 30 is a landmark document giving authoritative guidance to countries that have ratified CEDAW on concrete measures to ensure women’s human rights are protected before, during and after conflict. It also affirms CEDAW’s linkages with the Security Council women, peace and security agenda. The purpose of this Guidebook is to increase knowledge on both of these frameworks, and how they can be used to strengthen and reinforce each other. The Guidebook provides information on the content of the General Recommendation and the Security Council resolutions and on the reporting and monitoring mechanisms. It includes a checklist for States parties reporting to the CEDAW Committee and also provides some examples of where the General Recommendation and Security Council resolutions have been referred to in the Committee’s concluding observations and lists of issues to States parties
This document sets out the commitments that the international community has since made to women and girls affected by armed conflict and outlines the major disappointments and gaps in implementation in three distinct but interconnected areas: participation; protection and assistance; and accountability. It also makes recommendations to governments, to all parties to armed conflicts, and to the UN on how to turn the promises made to women and girls in these three areas into reality.
War is always a choice and it is always a bad choice. It is a choice that always leads to more war. It is not mandated in our genes or our human nature. It is not the only possible response to conflicts. Nonviolent action and resistance is a better choice because it defuses and helps resolve conflict. But the choice for nonviolence must not wait until conflict erupts. It must be built into society: built into institutions for conflict forecasting, mediation, adjudication, and peacekeeping. It must be built into education in the form of knowledge, perceptions, beliefs and values—in short, a culture of peace. Societies consciously prepare far in advance for the war response and so perpetuate insecurity. Some powerful groups benefit from war and violence. The vast majority of humans, however, will gain a lot from a world without war. The movement will work on strategies for outreach to a wide variety of constituencies globally. Such constituencies might include people in many parts of the world, key organizers, well-known leaders, peace groups, peace and justice groups, environmental groups, human rights groups, activist coalitions, lawyers, philosophers/ moralists/ethicists, doctors, psychologists, religious groups, economists, labor unions, diplomats, towns and cities and states or provinces or regions, nations, international organizations, the United Nations, civil liberties groups, media reform groups, business groups and leaders, billionaires, teachers groups, student groups, education reform groups, government reform groups, journalists, historians, women’s groups, senior citizens, immigrant and refugee rights groups, libertarians, socialists, liberals, Democrats, Republicans, conservatives, veterans, student- and cultural-exchange groups, sister-cities groups, sports enthusiasts, and advocates for investment in children and health care and in human needs of every sort, as well as those working to oppose contributors to militarism in their societies, such as xenophobia, racism, machismo, extreme materialism, all forms of violence, lack of community, and war profiteering. For peace to prevail, we must prepare equally far in advance for the better choice. If you want peace, prepare for peace.
This case study explores the trajectory of women’s empowerment in Colombia over the past 20 years in the context of conflict. It analyses important changes in women’s political voice and legal activism, and how these in turn, are contributing to shaping policy on addressing the legacies of the conflict. It is well recognised that conflict-related violence, and the structural legacies of displacement, exclusion and discrimination, are highly gendered.
The Colombian case is an example of progress in women’s empowerment in the face of formidable and continuing challenges. Progress is identified in relation to: legal gains for women’s rights and gender equality; women’s presence and representation in public and elected positions; the advancement of a gender-responsive approach to addressing the legacies of conflict and associated mechanisms of memorialisation, reparations, restitution and transitional justice.
The case of Colombia is a valuable study in how women engage with contesting legacies of exclusion and discrimination in the prevailing political settlement, and influencing the public debate and direction of policy relating to justice, peace and accountability to take into account the gendered experience of conflict.
Although there is a growing body of feminist discourse establishing that war and peace are gendered activities, and consequently women's experiences, responses and needs are different, this is often overlooked by national and 'international policy-imakers. Studies making visible the centrality of women's agency in peace building and the need to have women participate at the peace table are ignored by the dominant cornflict, peace and security discourses. This paper maps the complex and variegated picture of civilian and militarised women's agency in moments of violent social transformation and the peculiarities of their languages of resistance and empowerment.
Document Title: Report of the Secretary-General on developments in Guinea-Bissau and the activities
CEDAW General Recommendation 30 is a landmark document giving authoritative guidance to countries that have ratified
After numerous revisions of the Open Working Group draft, the Intergovernmental Negotiation process resulted in the o
This document sets out the commitments that the international community has since made to women and girls affected by
The purpose of this paper is to highlight how the growing crisis of legitimacy in the relationship between citizens a