The Role of Women in the Peace and Security Agenda: UNSCR 1325

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The Role of Women in the Peace and Security Agenda: UNSCR 1325

The Journalists and Writers Foundation CSW65 Panel Discussion 
The Role of Women in the Peace and Security Agenda: UNSCR 1325 

On the occasion of the 65th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, the Journalists and Writers Foundation organized the virtual panel “The Role of Women in the Peace and Security Agenda: UNSCR 1325” on March 16, Tuesday at 12:30 PM at the NGO CSW Virtual Platform and YouTube. 

The discussion focused on the security council resolution`s implementation, empowerment of women leaders in peacebuilding, women’s role on responsibility to protect, and prevention of atrocity crimes with a particular focus on gender-based violations.  

Cemre Ulker, the UN Representative of the Journalists and Writers Foundation, started the panel by sharing the UN Women data indicating that women’s inclusion in formal and informal peace processes is still far from the parity. Ulker also underlined “Women make up only 6% of the signatories and 13% of negotiators”. In her opening remarks, she talked about the importance of keeping up civil and global efforts to increase women`s critical participation in this area. 

The first panelist, Mavic Cabrera Balleza, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Global Network of Female Peace Builders, started her remarks by providing a background information on the landmark Security Council Resolution 1325 and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. Balleza put an emphasis on the significance that the UNSCR 1325 has for women’s empowerment. In her remarks, she highlighted that women’s equal participation in decision making is one of the key pillars of this resolution. Balleza said “as long as there is an armed conflict, the likelihood of sexual and gender based violence also increases”. She also underlined when the rights of women and girls are promoted and protected, “they can protect themselves”.

The next speaker, Savita Pawnday, Deputy Executive Officer of the Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect started her discussion by informing the audience on the norm of responsibility to protect. She highlighted the three pillars of R2P, ”the first one being the primary responsibility of the states, the second pillar is about the international assistance also denying perpetrators, lastly the coercive and non coercive actions from diplomacy to good offices”. Throughout her remarks, Pawnday underlined the importance of women’s rights organizations’ emphasis on “the need to highlight women’s stories and experiences, the abuse they have faced”.  Pawnday concluded her remarks by stating that “there is still a huge issue of women’s role in national and international decision making that we will drive and fight for”.  

The last speaker of the session, Grant Shubin, who is the Legal Director of the Global Justice Center, talked about the role of women in preventing atrocity crimes and shared several best practices of the Global Justice Center to combat such violations. He stated that “feminist orginizations are the ones that are challenging the approach to atrocities that will make a difference and allow womens voice to be heard”. While talking about gender-based crimes, Grant underlined that “gender is the primary motive for a crime to occur”. Grant ended his remarks by saying that “women were not invited to the peace making but they made sure that their voices were heard, made sure that voices of conscience individuals were highlighted in the action of making the peace process”.