Power to Women in Peace Processes

Women's Organisations Cooperating in Realising Resolution 1325

Network for Resolution 1325 formed in Turkey

At the end of June, Operation 1325 organized a first meeting in Istanbul with several women's organizations from all over Turkey that want to be involved in supporting resolution 1325 and women's participation in peace and security work. in Turkey, the situation for human rights activists and civil society actors is very difficult today. Nevertheless, there are people who continue to stand up for democracy, women's rights and human rights, whom we have the opportunity to cooperate with.

The meeting was divided into five sections where university researchers and activists began the day with information about the resolution and ways to work for an implementation of the resolution. Thereafter, a research analysis of women's influence on peace processes was presented and how peace agreements are more likely to last longer when women participate in the negotiations. Methods of political impact and how the political sector and civil society can collaborate for the implementation of the resolution were discussed next. Media's role in implementing the resolution was also one of the topics discussed during the day. The meeting ended with ideas and thoughts about the next step for the network. The group agreed that the first steps are to share information on resolution 1325 and support each other in continued work for women's participation in peace and security work.

Here is a more detailed description of the content of the meeting:

Rapport on Istanbul meeting 
Stockholm July 2017
 

Initial Input about UNSCR 1325 Inception and Political Feminist Implication and Examples of Implementation

Resolution 1325 engages women in peacebuilding and security work. Engaging women means including humanitarian questions in peace agreements. Women’s involvement enables positive peace. Countries where women play a significant role in peace are Liberia, Burundi, Rwanda, Congo and Sri Lanka.

For an implementation of the resolution to be possible, women need to reach high ranking positions.

Civil society can build peace by service delivery, mediation, advocacy, observation.

For a state to succeed in implementation, it needs to be willing to put in money and coordinate between sectors. Why women are not present is due to the reluctance to involve women, not lack of competence amongst women.

Points to remember when working for implementation is to develop a common language, to conduct an inclusive process where CSOs must gather analysis and gather the results of its work. It is also important to and spread the values of the civil society and important to see opportunities rather than challenges.

Important that national action plans need to be measurable and monitored.

Albania is a country to look at for good practices where regular meetings are held between civil society and policy makers. The work has a multi ministerial approach and multilevel stakeholder approach. Ireland is also a good example to look at.

In Turkey, a website with information on resolution 1325 is now being worked on.

In 2016 and early 2017, civil society workshops have been held on how to write a national action plan for Turkey. One idea raised during today’s meeting was whether local action plans would be a good idea for Turkey.  

Women in Peace Processes and Mediation

According to research, effective representation of women has a high correlation with implementation of peace agreements. One of the most important factors for influence is timing, being active outside the negotiation room can sometimes grant higher influence. Also, early involvement means larger impact. Women have a high level of influence at the revival of a process. 

Women put more focus on gender in negotiations; they do not limit themselves to armed conflict, but bring up the root causes to be addressed in negotiation.

 Political Lobbying and Coalition Building

The process of lobbying and coalition building must start by identifying needs in the political arena. Civil society organisations and social movements are important because they push and challenge the government. Active and elected politicians need to collaborate with civil society actors. The hostility between the two sectors needs to be overcome and decreased.

For a coming meeting, representatives from parliament committees need to be called. Also an increase in the number of women in these positions is needed.

 

Today it is difficult for members from different parties to talk in parliament. The current government uses affiliation with terrorism as a threat, this is one of the reasons for why it is hard for the women’s movement to come together. It was difficult to unite around the issue of rape but in the end it was successful and a good example to try to repeat. It is suggested to start with a question where everyone can agree.How to reach out to other actors was also a question up for discussion.

Feminist media and inclusive language

The situation today is that women are barely present in media, only a handful of women strive for gender sensitive media and promote resolution 1325. In 2014, 200 media outlets were closed down. All channels where women were allowed to talk have been closed down. Those who still use media actively risk to be imprisoned. “We feel, when will I be put in prison?”

Domestic violence rises in a conflict ridden or politically turbulent society, which the numbers of a higher death toll in women being murdered in 2017 compared to 2016 shows (beginning of 2017: 173 deaths, 2016: 106 deaths). How do we make media report on this? One answer is to make more women work in media.

The situation for journalists and women in media is discussed, by sharing examples of situations occurred. The case of a female journalist is shared with the group, the journalist took notes during an interview with a 10 year old boy, and was for this imprisoned for more than 100 days. Another case is of a journalist who drew a picture of a photo, and was for this put in prison. Also, an example of degrading and sexist language was recited: “the woman deserved rape because of her outfit”.

As a woman journalist, you are not an observer, said one participant.

The question on how we can work together and how information on resolution 1325 can be spread was discussed. Mainstream media must report on women’s situation and resolution 1325, change will not come if only opposition media reports on resolution 1325. Social media is brought up as an alternative channel to use. Language use is central in the discussion. Reaching out in solidarity and with the appropriate language is one alternative proposed. Resolution 1325 has to be reported on with the right language. Peaceful language must be used in people’s homes. The group needs to act upon creating a NAP and find the right group of persons for the job, said one participant.

Moving forward

The group was divided into five smaller working groups, to discuss on how to move forward after this day's meeting.

The ideas were summed as a network that can be both a communications network and support network.

This summary was based on the following ideas (bullet points:) as writing a brief report, forming a women’s group in parliament, making public statements, joint call, building a joint communications network, writing a shadow report on women, peace and security, regional gatherings, prepare for implementation of a national action plan, form alliances with men as the UN HeforShe-campaign, have a spokesperson and to form informal network meetings for resolution 1325, and more.