Our Agendas Count: Colombian Local Women Leaders and Local Officials Come together to Discuss the Insertion of Women’s Agendas into Local Development Plans
By: Lauren von Eckartsberg, Global Network of Women Peacebuilders
February 10, 2016
Following the high-level event advocating for a Colombian Nation Action Plan (NAP) on United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 and 1820, participants in the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders’ (GNWP) localization program in Colombia convened for a second day to lay out a concrete plan of action for how women’s civil society organizations in local communities will collaborate with local officials to ensure women’s peace and security are accounted for in Local Development Plans.
The workshop coordinated by Red Nacional de Mujeres with support from GNWP took place on February 4, 2016 in Bogotá, Colombia. After participants introduced themselves and shared their contributions and expectations for the workshop, Mavic Cabrera Balleza of GNWP added to her presentation the previous day to further breakdown what the localization strategy is and how it can be used as a means of implementing UNSCR 1325 at the local level. Following Ms. Cabrera Balleza’s presentation, she gave a clarifying explanation of the differences between Local Action Plans, National Action Plans, Women’s Agendas, and Local Development Plans. This clarification helped participants who had less experience than other participants to actively participate in discussions that followed and to understand the terminology crucial for the workshop’s goals to be met.
Migdoña Rueda, Counselor of National Planning representing women from civil society, spoke next to give participants a clear and succinct explanation of how local governments draft and approve Local Development plans, their timelines, and why it is so important that they have a gender focus. Ms. Rueda emphasized the need for local women’s organizations and local officials to work together when she said, “We need to not only elect our representatives but also support them.” As a key actor in the process, she further explained, “It’s my job to share the information with you and to represent you at the national level.”
Following the presentations on the localization strategy and the process for approving Local Development plans, participants consisting of local women’s civil society leaders and local government functionaries broke into groups to come up with concrete measures they would bring back to their communities and advocate for their inclusion in Local Development Plans. After convening and strategizing, groups shared their outputs with the plenary.
To end the workshop, participants stated their commitments to carrying out the knowledge gained in the workshop and the organizers summarized what each group stated as its main points from their agendas to be advocated for inclusion in their local community’s Local Development Plan and offered to provide a sort of template with language that government officials commonly use so that the wording of their agendas are in a form easily accessible to those who have the potential to include them in their Development Plans.
For further media from the workshop, please visit GNWP’s Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Flickr accounts.
This blog was written by Lauren von Eckartsberg and does not necessarily represent the views of the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders.
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