Jun 2014

Gender, sexual violence and peacebuilding – women’s participation in peace processes

“We must change our thinking from that of winning the war to winning the peace”

Rosa Emilia Salamanca, Corporación de Investigación y Acción Social y Económica (CIASE)

From 10-13 June 2014, the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict will take place at the ExCel Centre in London.  As part of the summit, Conciliation Resources is organising two free, open events. 
In recent years the role of women in armed conflict and peacebuilding has increasingly caught international attention. In 2000, the UN Security Council adopted UNSCR 1325, recognising the distinct experiences and roles of women in peace and security. 
Despite this interest, little has changed on the ground. Women are still largely absent from the negotiating table and the implementation of UNSCR 1325 is lacking. The efforts of women – who play key roles in armed conflict and peacebuilding – often go unrecognised.
Conciliation Resources believes that promoting women’s participation in inclusive peace processes can play a key role in preventing all types of violence, including that of sexual violence.

Event 1: Women's Innovations in Peacebuilding, Thursday 12 June, 9:30 – 10:30, ExCel Centre, Discussion Room 5

Formal peace negotiations are only one part of building sustainable and lasting peace. In Colombia and the Philippines, women are leading ground-breaking initiatives away from the negotiating table to bring about lasting change.
Panellists from Colombia and the Philippines will discuss the innovations they have been spearheading. Kristian Herbolzheimer, Conciliation Resources’ Director of Philippines and Colombia programmes will chair the event. 
  • Fatima ‘Shalom’ Allian, Nisa Ul Haq; Froilyn Mendoza, Teduray Lambangian Women’s Organization (TLWOI) and Noraida Abo, UNYPHIL-Women. These women were part of an effort of Muslim and indigenous women’s groups to ensure that “the right of women to meaningful political participation” is included in the provisions of the new Bangsamoro Basic Law in Mindanao in the Phillipines. This initiative follows the signing of a peace agreement between the government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) earlier this year. 
  • Memen Lauzon, Women Engaged in Action on 1325 (WE ACT 1325), Philippines. The WE ACT 1325 network coordinated a Women Working for Normalization project during the final stages of the negotiations of Mindanao peace agreement.
  • Rosa Emilia Salamanca, Lead Convenor, Women Peace and Security Collective (WPS), Colombia. The core purpose of the WPS Collective is to highlight and advocate for women’s contributions to peace processes, after the resumption of peace talks between the Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia in 2012. 
Seats are limited. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.

Event 2: Women in Peace Negotiations: Reflections from the Philippines and Colombia, Thursday 12 June,12:30 – 13:30, ExCel Centre, Discussion Room 5

The panel of this discussion are women peacebuilders and negotiators from the Philippines and Colombia. They will share their experiences and reflect on current peacemaking practices, including the importance of having more inclusive, transparent and legitimate spaces for deliberation and decision-making.
  • Melinda Simmons, Head, Conflict Department, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Chair)
  • Natasha Jessica Stott Despoja AM, Ambassador for Women and Girls, Australia
  • Miriam Coronel Ferrer, Chair of the Philippines’ Government Negotiating Team Miriam is Chairperson for Government Negotiating Panel for Talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and is a Professor for Department of Political Science, University of Philippines teaching comparative politics, human rights and international humanitarian law. 
  • Raissa Jajurie, Member, Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), Philippines. Raissa was appointed by the President of the Philippines to be a member of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC). The BTC is mandated to draft and propose a Bangsamoro Basic Law that for the new political entity — Bangsamoro — as part of the peace agreement between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Raissa attended the peace negotiations as a legal adviser to the MILF. 
  • Rosa Emilia Salamanca, Director, Corporación de Investigación y Acción Social y Económica (CIASE), Colombia. CIASE is an NGO that focuses on strengthening public policy with a special focus on women’s rights. Rosa Emilia is a founding member of Colombian National Women’s Network and she coordinates the Women Peace and Security Collective. Rosa Emilia has been supporting the role of the two newly appointed women to the government peace-negotiating panel.
  • Linda Maria Cabrera, Coordinator, Division on violence against women and women's access to justice, Corporación Sisma Mujer, Colombia. Sisma is a Colombian women’s organisation that has worked extensively to improve Colombian public policies on women. Sisma is involved in pulling together the women’s contribution to the next agenda item of the peace negotiations which addresses the rights of victims, the focus for them being women and conflict related sexual violence. 
Conciliation Resources is coordinating these events with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Australian Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade, and ABColombia.  For further information about our events, please contact Charlotte Melly. For more information about our engagement on gender and peacebuilding, please contact Felix Colchester or visit our page on gender