Colombia: Women Seek to Overcome the Barriers to Participation in Order to Achieve Peace

Colombia: Women Seek to Overcome the Barriers to Participation in Order to Achieve Peace

An advocacy document from the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in Colombia calls for the equal representation of women throughout the whole peace negotiation process in their country. The position is available in English and Spanish.

On 23rd of September an agreement in Havana between the Colombian government and FARC-EP (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People’s Army) was announced which creates a special system of justice as part of the integral system of truth, justice, reparation and non-repetition. The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) welcome this as a positive contribution towards ensuring the rights of female victims but strongly criticizes the lack of equal numbers of women at the formal ceremony, both at the main table and in the high-level positions and in several sub-committees.

Historic Peace Talks have been taking place since October 2012 in Havana, Cuba. Throughout the process women’s organisations have succeeded in participating as gender peace experts. However there is nothing close to gender parity and the increased inclusion of women came only after active organizing and lobbying by female leaders. From the National Summit of Women and Peace, which comprises 9 platforms of women’s and human rights organizations, WILPF recognizes what has been achieved so far in relation to the inclusion of a gender perspective within the negotiations for peace. They emphatically reiterate however that the participation of women in every one of the established scenarios must be joint, alternate and universal.  It is 15 years since the ratification of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which links the experiences of women during armed conflicts to the priorities of States in achieving peace and security throughout the world. The Resolution stresses the disproportionate impact of conflict on women’s lives and bodies and calls on the world to include women in the prevention of conflict and in conflict negotiation and post-conflict peace-building. In spite of the many calls and efforts made to achieve this in Colombia, Resolution 1325 has still not achieved its anticipated impact.



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