On 12 March 2019 some 70 people gathered in New York on the margins of the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women to discuss “The Centrality of Gender Equality to National Cohesion and Sustainable Peacebuilding.” The aim of the event was to raise awareness about the IDPS’ new Vision, one of whose thematic focus areas is advancing gender equality and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda to further the delivery of SDG 16+. The event was supported by ministers from Canada, Sierra Leone and Somalia as well as by the First Lady of Sierra Leone, Fatima Maada Bio.
Hon. Maryam Monsef, Canadian Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality highlighted that women’s inclusion leads to longer lasting peace processes in conflict-affected countries. Read more.
Hon. Nabeela F. Tunis, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Planning and Economic Development noted that women’s participation in public life contributes to conflict prevention in g7+ countries. Read more.
First Lady of Sierra Leone Fatima Maada Bio spoke of the need for women to be engaged at the highest levels of decision-making in all countries.
Visaka Dharmadasa, representing the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), appealed to donors and governments to finance and support women’s participation in peace processes, peacebuilding, conflict prevention and post-conflict reconstruction.
Anne Kwakkenbos, representing Cordaid, spoke of the need for greater representation of women, citing the example of the peace negotiations taking place in Doha with the Taliban with no women present. She delivered a statement on behalf of the Afghan Women’s Network calling for full, equal and meaningful participation. Read more.
Hon. Deqa Yasin, Minister of Women and Human Rights Development in Somalia, said that empowering women helps to empower whole nations to advance on the difficult path towards peace and development after conflict: “This is one of the reasons why my government has prioritised gender equality as a central objective in our current National Development Plan.”
What did we learn from the event?
What can we do as a community to advance this global agenda?
“We are aiming our message today, not so much at the gender experts among you although we really value your participation and views, but rather at governments in conflict-affected states and their donor and civil society partners, who may not have this kind of gender expertise or awareness...By investing in gender equality and participation…they are investing in a more peaceful future.”
Hon. Nabeela F. Tunis, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Sierra Leone
Research underpinning the IDPS’ gender theme
Strengthening gender equality in conflict-affected states is recognised as being critical to achieving global commitments to sustainable peace. This focus is grounded in a growing body of research indicating that women’s participation in peace processes, and gender equality more generally, is associated with more stable and peaceful societies. Much of this research is showcased in the UN-WB’s seminal Pathways for Peace: Inclusive Approaches to Preventing Violent Conflict report, which recognises that “the degree to which women are included in political, economic and social life is a key factor influencing a society’s propensity for conflict”.
Click here for a visual on the links between gender equality, peace and stability.
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The CDA Collaborative Learning projects has published a new report on engaging the private sector for peacebuilding in fragile contexts.
"It documents the efforts of individual companies, as well as those of associations of companies acting collectively, as they sought to transform the dynamics of conflict unfolding around them. The analysis identifies patterns that are common to effective approaches to peace and conflict by private sector actors, and the specific means and resources through which private sector actors implemented those approaches in successful cases. It offers insights for individual companies, for peacebuilding actors, and for policy organizations seeking to define and establish a role for the private sector in efforts to address fragility and conflict. The report systematizes and builds on insights gleaned over the course of the project through literature reviews, case study development, and consultations with a range of experts."
Authors: Miller Ben, Brian Ganson, Sarah Cechvala, and Jason Miklian
CDA Collaborative Learning Projects
The new IDPS co-chairs, Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau (Canada) and Minister Nabeela Tunis (Sierra Leone), are delighted will convene the next Steering Group Meeting of the International Dialogue on 12-13 December 2018, at the Lisbon g7+ Hub in Portugal.