Men, Peace and Security with PeaceWomen
Maria Butler, PeaceWomen Programme Director
Transformative change must be made piece by piece. This month, PeaceWomen has been involved in a number of important meetings discussing pieces of the bigger picture.
From October 28-31, PeaceWomen participated in a special Symposium, “Men, Peace and Security”, in Washington D.C. Responding to the question, “To what degree does your women’s organisation work with men or masculinities?”, without hesitating I commented, that in my opinion everything we do addresses men and masculinities. I went on to discuss two core areas of our work:demilitarism and gender equality. From nuclear disarmament and advocating for a gender sensitive Arms Trade Treaty, to WILPF members calling on governments to reform structural violence and decrease military spending, WILPF connects and challenges cultures of masculinities, power, and state violence. Read more about the conference and other happenings addressing links with gender, masculinities and men below.
From November 5-7, PeaceWomen participated in the first Global Review on NAPs, which focused on building accountability for National and Regional Implementation, hosted by UNWomen. The three day meeting discussed current NAPs, lessons learned and recommendations. Given our work in WILPF sections and PeaceWomen’s monitoring on NAPs, I participated to share our recommendations and ask critical questions. WILPF-Nigeria President Joy also participated and shared lessons learned from the Nigerian NAP process which should have been more inclusive (more details below). PeaceWomen also participated in an OSCE/UNWomen conference in Almaty, Kazakhstan on“Enhancing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian Region.” Abigail Ruane presented WILPF recommendations to build civil society capacity and access in order to bridge key gaps left by governments, especially towards promoting demilitarization and disarmament and promoting positive and sustainable peace. These recommendations were taken up in the conclusions of the conference.
We also join with many women, peace and security advocates in welcoming the comprehensive General Recommendation on women in conflict prevention, conflict and post-conflict situations adopted in October by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW Committee). Read our blog on how the General Recommendation incorporates the WILPF integrated approach.
This month, we featured a special article on Colombia given the ongoing Peace Process, recent Summit on Women, Peace and Security, and leading work of WILPF Colombia. An agreement between the Government and the FARC-EP on political participation noted that everything that was agreed to with regard to political participation, including its implementation, would be carried out keeping in mind a gender focus and guaranteeing the participation of women.
Read more in this edition about the situation in Syria, including WILPF Secretary General Madeleine Rees’ response to UK announcement, and Anne-Marie Goetz’s Lecture on opportunities and challenges.
Through piecing together the bigger picture, PeaceWomen hopes to translate our work and actions into transformative change.