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Women Demand Role in Mideast Negotiations

Israeli and Palestinian women peace activists met with the United Nations Security Council this week to urge for the inclusion of women in negotiations to end the Mideast conflict. The women explained that Israeli and Palestinian women would be essential in creating peace in the region, as women could play an integral role in creating community trust in the peace process. “Whatever forum that is created in the future to try to resolve this too-long conflict will have to be done in a way to involve representatives from civil society, particularly women,” said Maha Abu-Dayyeh Shamas of the Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counseling in East Jerusalem. The women, supported by the US group Equality Now and feminist activist Gloria Steinem, said that they would support multi-national efforts to create conditions conducive to a peace settlement in the region, but believed that a greater effort should be made to have more women represented in potential peace negotiations in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1325 of October 2000. “I find it unimaginable that as distressing and as dangerous as the situation is right now, that no one is even considering that we as women might have something to say or something to contribute,” said Terry Greenblatt, an Israeli woman with Bat Shalom.

Sources:

UN Wire, 5/8/02