By Naima Kane and Shalini Medepalli*
The UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) is one of the most groundbreaking international laws ever adopted by the UN. It shifted the paradigm on the international community’s response to conflict. It recognized that the impact of war on women impacts international peace and security. Resolution 1325 and its supporting resolutions underscore that in order for peace negotiations and all peace processes to succeed, women must take on leadership positions in peace processes and political processes.
The adoption of Resolution 1325 and the supporting resolutions on Women, Peace, and Security did not happen overnight. They are a result of many years of awareness raising and advocacy by women’s rights and women peace activists. The women activists worked with government and UN representatives in drafting Resolution 1325. One of those women is Cora Weiss.
Cora Weiss is a renowned peace and women’s rights activist whose work spans over six decades beginning from the protest movement against the Vietnam War. She is a pioneer who brought women’s rights activism and peace activism together—the foundations of Resolution 1325. Cora led the establishment of many organizations including the Hague Appeal for Peace which she serves as president. She was also the president of the International Peace Bureau from 2000-2006 which she now represents at the UN.
In this interview podcast, Cora speaks about some of the highlights of her involvement in the global peace movement –the Vietnam War protests and banning of nuclear testing as well as international solidarity work such as the African-American Students Foundation. She also speaks about the future and challenges today’s generation to continue the fight to end the scourge of war—the reason why the United Nations was founded.
While there are a number of achievements in the implementation of Resolution 1325 nearly 18 years after it was adopted in October 2000, there are also many setbacks and violations of its provisions. The continuing use of rape as a weapon of war, the non-implementation of peace agreements, the exclusion of women in decision-making are some of them. “I’m waiting for a country to be charged with violations of 1325,” Cora says emphatically. “We need to fulfill the promise of this very important international law,” she adds.
The Global Network of Women Peacebuilders hosts the Cora Weiss Fellowship on Peacebuilding which supports the development of young women peacebuilders and ensure that more young people share Cora’s vision for sustainable peace and gender equality as strong and integral parts of our global culture.
Click this link to listen to the interview podcast with Cora Weiss.
*The authors and podcast producers are Research and Advocacy Interns at GNWP.
*Editor: Mavic Cabrera-Balleza