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Study Shows Women Excluded from International Peacemaking Processes

According to a report released Monday by the MIT Center for International Studies and the International Civil Society Action Network, women still have not been fully included in peacemaking and peace-building processes in many countries. The study was released the day before the tenth anniversary of the enactment of United Nations Resolution 1325, which calls for nations to ensure women’s “full involvement” in peacemaking and national security decision-making, according to the Associated Press. The report focuses on six nations and regions affected by conflict, including the Indonesian province Aceh, as well as Colombia, Israel, Liberia, Sri Lanka, and Uganda. The Associated Press reports that although legislation was passed in some of the countries to increase women’s participation, it was either never implemented or was ineffective. The report identifies three main problems in the implementation of Resolution 1325: the UN’s failure to create an education campaign about its goals; the failure of governments and international conflict resolution bodies to actually integrate women; and aid donors’ failure to support female participation in peace processes. Nevertheless, women have begun to break into the peacemaking process in some of the countries, the study reports. For instance, in Sri Lanka and Uganda, women participated in peace negotiations, though the negotiations ultimately failed. The report also asserts that the peace in Liberia, though unstable, is “largely thanks to the mass action of its women literally sitting outside the negotiations, and not giving up on peace,” as quoted by the Associated Press. In addition, women’s groups have led peace movements in Colombia and been at the forefront of peace advocacy in the Middle East, though they have been excluded from all peacemaking efforts in that region. UN Resolution 1325 was passed unanimously on October 31, 2000. In addition to its call for women’s participation, the resolution asserts that women and children are most adversely affected by armed conflict and calls for special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence and other forms of violence in situations of armed conflict. The Associated Press reports that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated, “Resolution 1325 will never be implemented successfully until we end sexual violence in conflict,” while US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called women’s participation in peacemaking “a necessary global security imperative.”

Sources:

Associated Press 10/26/10, 10/26/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 10/5/09