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Women are actively participating in the peace process-3rd March 2013

Women are actively participating in the peace process-3rd March 2013

Tarih 17 Temmuz 2013, 14:02 Editör

At our press conference, held on 3rd March 2013, we announced our willingness to take part in the peace process, we stressed that peace cannot be built effectively without women and stated existing international mechanisms ensuring women’s participation.

Women are actively participating in the peace process

At our press conference, held on 3rd March 2013, we announced our willingness to take part in the peace process, we stressed that peace cannot be built effectively without women and stated existing international mechanisms ensuring women’s participation.

 

To the press and the public,

Women, too, are actively participating in the peace process.

As women, who belong to different social and political circles, who have different beliefs and different sexual orientations, yet who live in the same country, we have stated numerous times to what extent the war, conflict, state militarism and violence have affected women over the last 30 years. At home, in the streets, in organisations, political parties and associations, women have been leading a great struggle so that the war and conflict end; militarism and violence disappear. Presently, this struggle for peace has entered a new phase; Turkey has been experiencing a new negotiation process. However, the critical contribution that can be made by groups involved in the peace struggle, - the contribution of social groups in general and of women in particular – is being overlooked. For this reason, as women, we came together to look for ways to participate in the negotiation process. 30 years of conflict and war have harshly affected all social groups but its impact has been even severer on women. As a result of forced migration, they have been forced to live in poverty in the slums of big cities. They have faced violence in its barest form; they have become victims of sexual abuse and rape. They have lost their children, their husbands to armed conflict and to extra-judicial murders; yet, despite all these, they have been actively participating in the struggle for peace for 30 years.

Elsewhere in the world, in the Philippines, in Ireland, Spain, Bosnia, Kenya, Burundi, Nepal, Guatemala, El Salvador, Palestine and in more than 100 countries, between 1990 and 2012, 582 peace treaties were signed to end armed conflict; but women were underrepresented in all of these peace processes. However, as a result of their struggle, the necessity of women’s participation as well as women’s right to take part in all the stages of peace-building, including peace talks, were recognised by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, which Turkey signed in 2000, and by the Skopje Declaration of the European Council, which the European Parliament also supports. The UN Security Council Resolution 1325, “reaffirm[s] the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and in peace-building, and stress[es] the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security, and the need to increase their role in decision-making with regard to conflict prevention and resolution, […] [and] urges Member States to ensure increased representation of women at all decision-making levels in national, regional and international institutions and mechanisms for the prevention, management, and resolution of conflict; […] to adopt […] measures that support local women’s peace initiatives and indigenous processes for conflict resolution, and that involve women in all of the implementation mechanisms of the peace agreements; to carry out a study on the impact of armed conflict on women and girls, the role of women in peace-building and the gender dimensions of peace processes and conflict resolution.” In a similar vein, the Skopje Declaration states that “any policy regarding peace and security must [ensure] full participation of women at all levels of decision making in local, regional, national and international institutions, and mechanisms for conflict prevention and resolution, including peace negotiations and the democratisation of societies after conflicts; the integration of a gender perspective in all activities aimed at conflict prevention and resolution, including peace agreements, the promotion of peace and construction of a democratic society”; and invites governments to “consider a gender screening of their legislation relevant to conflict prevention, peacebuilding and post-conflict democratic processes and introduce a systematic gender impact assessment into legislative processes, policies, programmes and budgeting.” According to these decisions, peace negotiations have to compensate damages suffered by women and girls during war and guarantee an atmosphere of freedom where they can carry on the experience of organised action that they have acquired during struggle for peace.

Peace talks around the world, some of which fell into pieces and had to go through numerous re-makes, showed that: If women do not participate in peace negotiations, – Peace cannot be societalized. – Peace cannot be sustained. – Peace cannot be localised. – Peace does not take into consideration the losses suffered during war and cannot compensate them. – The peace process cannot be transparent. – Pace cannot be gender sensitive. As a result, feelings of resentment, meaninglessness, reluctance, and betrayal set in and build up in society. If women do not participate in the struggle for peace, equality and democracy cannot be realised. Women, who have stepped out into the public sphere and acquired social roles, are forced to go back inside their homes. Militarism, incited so abundantly by war, turns into pressure on and violence against women during peace. If women do not participate in peace negotiations, the sexism of war is forgotten and peace becomes sexist, as well. The language of peace cannot become part of daily life.

As women, with all our ethnic, religious and class-based differences, we have led a peace struggle altogether. We have reflected on, discussed about and took action for war and its effects, causes of war and manifestations of militarism. Like other women around the world, we have accumulated experience in making and sustaining peace. From now on, we are going to gather and organise as official party, observer, mediator, consultant, commenter, witness etc. in order to take part in peace negotiations.

Without women, there can be no peace; a masculine peace cannot be sustained.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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