GPPAC Gender Experts Meet in New York for '1325 Week'

From 23-27 October, GPPACs Gender Experts gathered in New York for the 17th anniversary of UNSCR 1325. Through personal exchange and events, the experts were able to share their local stories from conflict settings with New-York based policy makers and civil society partners.

Next to internal discussions and reflections, meetings were held with the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, UN agencies and the 16 Days Campaign coordinator. GPPAC and QUNO co-hosted the event at the Prevention Platform: "Reflections on the Role of Women in the Prevention of Violent Conflict" during which GFPs shared their local experiences and realities. The speakers, Sharon Bhagwan Rolls, Justine Kwachu, Natalya Martirosyan and Ana Villellas, reflected upon the main challenges they face and changes needed in order to increase meaningful participation of women in conflict prevention and resolution.

Sajida Abdulvahabova, from GPPAC member organisation Women Problems Research Union, spoke at the GNWP event "Women, Peace and Security in Protracted Conflicts. The implementation of UNSCR 1325 in the OSCE Region" at the UN Headquarter. Abdulvahabova highlighted the continuing exclusion of women in peace processes in the region and gave overall insight into the reality of women in Azerbaijan today.

Visaka Dharmadasa, from GPPAC member organisation Association of War Affected Women, gave closing remarks during the side event "Increasing Women in UN Peacekeeping" hosted by The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations and the Permanent Mission of Canada last week. Dharmadasa highlighted the fact that UNSCR 1325 was not meant to militarize societies but to build them to be safer, secure and peaceful with the full participation of women. Therefore, increasing the number of women as uniformed soldiers or as peace support contingents is not enough. Following the event in New York, a seminar will be held in Colombo with the South Asian troops contributing with their insight into the topic.

GPPAC gender experts participated in a dialogue about conflict prevention organised by the International Peace Institute with CSO colleagues, Under Secretary-General Ana Maria Menendez, the Secretary General's Senior Advisor on Policy who is working on the SG's vision on Prevention and Under-Secretary-General Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women highlighting the importance of women's participation in conflict prevention.

"Bringing Peacewomen Together", a feature written by Sharon Bhagwan Rolls Executive Director/Producer FemLink Pacific, captures GPPACs "1325 Week" in 2017. She brings forward the voices of GPPACs GFPs talking about the advantage of being part of a network and the development of key messages. Read the full feature here.

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