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Why Women Matter in Peacebuilding

"Why Women Matter in Peacebuilding"
Council on Foreign Relations (Blog)
Published on November 18, 2011
Stewart Patrick

On October 31, 2000, the UN Security Council (UNSC) unanimously passed resolution 1325. The resolution marked the first time that the body recognized the unique impact of armed conflict on women—and women’s undervalued role in peacebuilding. As Sanam-Naraghi Anderlini, who was a civil society drafter of the resolution, described, the resolution was spurred by the wars of the 1990s. The Bosnian conflict, the Rwandan genocide, and the peace processes in Northern Ireland and Israel-Palestine, all underscored that wars were no longer isolated to front lines or battlefields. Women were being directly targeted (as in mass rapes in Rwanda), and were also instrumental in peace processes.

UNSC 1325 was designed in response to these conflicts and negotiations, but what has been the real impact on the ground in armed conflicts and peacebuilding negotiations? On Monday, the International Institutions and Global Governance program and the Women in Foreign Policy program with Gayle Tzemach Lemmon cosponsored a meeting to answer this question, "Why Women Matter in Peacebuilding” with Michelle Bachelet, former president of Chile and undersecretary general and executive director of UN Women, as well as three remarkable panelists: Carla Koppell, senior coordinator for gender equality and women’s empowerment at the U.S. Agency for International Development; Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini[i], cofounder of the International Civil Society Network; and Rosa Brooks, Georgetown University professor of law and former special coordinator for rule of law and humanitarian policy and the U.S. Department of Defense. The full event can be viewed here, and the transcript is available here. Highlights of the discussion follow.

While the international community has certainly increased its focus on women in peacekeeping, as Michelle Bachelet described,

"In spite of the rhetoric of women’s centrality to peacebuilding, women are rarely invited to the peace talks. They are usually absent from the donor conference and international contact group meetings.”

Read the full post here

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