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Month: July 2018

Month: July 2018

18 years on, have we fulfilled the promise of Resolution 1325? – An interview podcast with Cora Weiss, one of the drafters of Resolution 1325

18 years on, have we fulfilled the promise of Resolution 1325? – An interview podcast with Cora Weiss, one of the drafters of Resolution 1325

July 25, 2018 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

Young Congolese Women Start Businesses as They Fight Sexual and Gender-based Violence

Young Congolese Women Start Businesses as They Fight Sexual and Gender-based Violence

July 19, 2018 by Katrina Leclerc*

Wivine, Esther, Anitha, Nadine, Immaculée, and Ruth collect discarded tires on weekends. They make furniture out of these discarded tires and sell them for a small profit around their city of Goma.  These young women are members of the Girl Ambassadors for Peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who started small businesses to augment their family income or pay for their school expenses. On July 5 to 7, 2018, the young women attended an entrepreneurship and job readiness workshop facilitated by the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) in partnership with the Synergie des femmes pour les victimes des violences sexuelles (Synergie of Women for Victims of Sexual Violence – SFVS).  

The workshop is part of the women’s economic empowerment project that GNWP and SFVS are implementing in North Kivu, DRC. Under this project, members of the Girl Ambassadors for Peace (GA4P) started small businesses such as furniture making, jewelry and accessories production, growing and selling vegetables, and rabbit raising. In most of their businesses, the GA4P members work with local populations to contribute to income generation within their own communities.  

Members of the GA4P and GNWP and SFVS also met with provincial ministers in North Kivu and the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Gender in Kinshasa to solicit support for the young women’s economic projects. They requested support for product development and marketing as well as additional capital.  The Ministry of Gender said they can provide marketing support but not capital.  The GA4P members also informed the provincial ministers about the collection of taxes by people who claim to represent the provincial government but do not issue receipts. However, the government officials did not respond to this issue.

In addition to the entrepreneurship and job readiness workshop, GNWP also facilitated a session on organizational management.  The session was aimed at enhancing the GA4P members’ capacities to manage their own projects and campaigns.

Wivine and her friends are among the GA4P members who participated in the entrepreneurship, job readiness and organizational management workshops. Previously, they have also attended training on leadership and various discussions on sexual and gender-based violence. By enhancing their leadership capacities and giving them economic opportunities, these young Congolese women have become better equipped to assert their rights and denounce sexual and gender-based violence.

Wivine, the leader of the group working on recycled tires emphasizes that young women need to show leadership, to be truly empowered. Wivine adds: “We cannot achieve peace without re-defining what it means to be a leader; taking on leadership positions to serve our communities; and, prevent sexual and gender-based violence.”

 

Pictured: Wivine Kanyere, Girl Ambassador for Peace in Goma, DRC

 

GNWP established the GA4P program to promote young women’s leadership and participation in conflict prevention, peacebuilding, sustaining peace, and decision-making at all levels—beginning in local communities. It is based on the Localization of Resolution 1325 that GNWP implements in various countries around the world.  The GA4P program is operational in DRC, South Sudan, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

The United Methodist Women supports the young women’s economic empowerment project in DRC.

 

*Katrina Leclerc is the Coordinator of GNWP’s Girl Ambassadors for Peace program in DRC and South Sudan.

For more on the Girl Ambassadors for Peace program, please visit: gnwp.org/program/girl-ambassadors-for-peace/