IPB statement: WOMEN NEEDED TO CREATE PEACE, TODAY IN SYRIA, TOMORROW ELSEWHERE
WOMEN NEEDED TO CREATE PEACE, TODAY IN SYRIA, TOMORROW ELSEWHERE
Geneva, 20 January 2014. The International Peace Bureau, IPB, appeals to the UN, to governments and regional and local bodies to implement decisions on the importance of women’s full participation in peace building as it has been expressed in a number of contexts e.g. in the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing 1995, and in Security Council resolutions 2122 and 1325.
Women in Syria and in many other war-torn societies suffer from violence and wars they have not started. They hardly have any stake in the war machinery or benefit from the war industry.
Women are eager to bring their suggested solutions into the peace processes. They form half of the population and have the right to both half of the space and the time to present their views. A sustainable peace requires just and democratic processes and institutions where both women and men participate and contribute on equal terms.
Women’s age-long experience in caring, gives them a competence and a capacity needed also, and perhaps not least, in times of tension. If the world had been ready to listen to women, they could also have an important role in early warning, since different types of restrictions on their lives, and violence, often precede armed conflicts. With women’s knowledge of the needs of civil society, their insight is also critical when prevention has failed, destruction has taken place and reconstruction is needed.
Hearing all parties in a conflict is essential in order to obtain lasting agreements and prevent the conflict from turning violent. Women are parties in conflicts in their own right, as citizens, not because they have armed power. Women’s knowledge of the suffering and fear that war entails is a fundamental element that needs to be included in any negotiating for peace.
Let us unite to bring the strongest peace-promoting women of Syria urgently into the process for peace.
International Peace Bureau