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Elisabet Thorp is working with Operation 1325:s conference “Security on the Ground” on security sector reform.

Elisabet Thorp is working with Operation 1325:s conference “Security on the Ground” on security sector reform. She is a jurist who has been active in the civil society sector for many years.

Elisabet Thorp has worked with human rights in Kenya for the Swedish section of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ-S). Most recently she as field coordinator in Albania worked for the Swedish organisation “Kvinna till Kvinna”, as well as coordinator on the Stockholm head office for Serbia, Montenegro and Iraq.

You have vast experience from the civil society. What made you want to specifically work with issues on women, peace and security?

As a legal professional I have always wanted to work with human rights, and to me resolution 1325 is precisely about that. Many women are not aware of the fact that the United Nations’ human rights apply to them. It is important to focus on getting women’s rights written into existing legislation, because in many cases, national law is applied to men’s realities and not the ones of women. Women must know their rights in order to influence legislation in their countries. This is also key to achieving results in working with resolution 1325.

Security on the Ground” is a follow-up to a conference that Operation 1325 organised in 2009 on the theme of security sector reform and resolution 1325. What is the purpose of this year’s conference?

The participants will be Swedish peace mission personnel and women from conflict and post-conflict areas. The purpose of this year’s conference is to increase  cooperation between peace mission personnel andlocal women and vice versa in actions related to security sector reform. According to resolution 1325 and the analysis which it is based on, women’s meaningful participation is a prerequisite for achieving sustainable peace.

The starting point is the participants’ experience and the conference will focus on allowing them to formulate practical and useful approaches to increasing and ensuring the participation as well as strengthening the protection of women’s human rights.

Nicole Bianchi