When crisis calls, how must we act? As a peace organization with the big picture in mind, WILPF promotes preventing conflicts before they start by investing in equality and peace rather than militarized inequality and violence. Addressing the root causes of war is key to sustainable peace in the long term. But in the short term, when a legacy of investing in violence exists, what then? What do we do to pick up the pieces?
This month, WILPF sections around the world protested possible military intervention in Syria and advocated for a political solution to the crisis with women’s full and equal participation. In doing so, WILPFers showed how it is not just about acting, but about HOW we act that determines whether we perpetuate or transform violence into peace. WILPF-UK collected 500 petition signatures against intervention and contributed to demonstrations in Edinburgh, London and Glasgow. WILPF-US took part in national days of action and mobilized members across the country to demand that President Obama and members of congress stop the drumbeat for war and invest in an inclusive political solution. WILPF-Norway sent their government a letter on September 2nd urging them to maintain their stance against Syrian military intervention. PeaceWomen worked with WILPF’s Reaching Critical Will and Human Rights programmes to draft WILPF’s statement against war in Syria and advocate for strengthened support for an inclusive political solution to the crisis.
As crises continue in Syria and around the globe, WILPF/PeaceWomen continues our work to promote peace and security for all by strengthening gender justice and women’s participation and rights in issues of peace and security in Syria and elsewhere. PeaceWomen participated in the September 6th event on women and peacebuilding co-hosted by the current Security Council President Australia’s permanent mission to the UN, and worked along with partners in New York and WILPF-Australia to strengthen consideration of WPS issues in this month’s Small Arms Light Weapons (SALW) debate. Our September 13th Women, Peace and Security (WPS) lecture addressed the situation of women in Afghanistan before the Council’s quarterly Afghanistan debate and highlighted the importance of government reform and civil society engagement to strengthen and ensure women’s security and equal human rights. We also continued working with the Post-2015 Women’s Coalition to strengthen connections between women, peace and security and development including by participating in the September 21st People’s General Assembly on Development Justice.
As the UN General Assembly meets this week, we will be working with WILPF’s Reaching Critical Will (RCW) Programme to monitor country statements and key events for gender and disarmament issues. We will also bring attention to Women, Peace and Security concerns at the myriad events going on including on peacebuilding, human rights, sexual violence, small arms and light weapons, and the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region. Stay updated and let us know what actions you are taking to hold your government accountable!
In this edition, we feature a statement by WILPF-Nigeria welcoming the new Nigeria SCR 1325 National Action Plan. We address Australia’s September presidency and commitments on the Women, Peace and Security agenda. Additionally, we highlight the UN High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace.
Source: Abigail Ruane, PeaceWomen Programme Consultant