WOMEN ARE ON THE FRONT LINES OF EVERY BATTLE ZONE, & MUST BE TOTALLY INCLUDED IN PEACE & SECURITY!

Aliya Bashir
Posted February 5, 2016
Women are the Peace-makers!
A dinghy full of migrants approaches the coast of the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing from Turkey to Greece as a Syrian woman who just arrived holds her child, Sept. 10, 2015. AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris

Through years of horrendous civil war, women have handled local ceasefires, human rights abuses, opened temporary schools, and exposed local officials. Author – Evelyn Thornton, Chief Executive of the Institute for Inclusive Security, a non-profit organization advancing all stakeholders, especially women, as decision-makers in peace and security. October 13, 2015 - The value of such work has long been recognized — at least in proclamations and plans. Fifteen years ago this month, the United Nations Security Council declared that women need to be included as decision-makers on issues of peace and security. The nascent promise in this consensus, embodied in UNSC Resolution 1325, is most visible in the world’s deadliest conflicts, from Syria to Afghanistan and South Sudan. But the impact is greater than just the hotspots: So far, 55 countries, including the United States, have adopted national action plans to guide greater involvement of women in preventing and resolving conflicts, and to assure that peace is community-rooted and sustained. The principle behind Resolution 1325 is that women must no longer be seen simply as victims in conflict; they have to be involved in shaping the solutions. This can be dangerous and unwelcome; in varying degrees, most societies are accustomed to thinking of security as a male domain. But that ignores the advantages women bring to the table, including their skill in building bridges across dividing lines, down to the most local of levels. In Afghanistan’s Herat province, for example, a soft-spoken woman named Amina forged personal relationships with individuals, including wives of Taliban insurgents, who attended her workshop on women’s role in the community. After Amina heard that her relative’s teen-aged son had been kidnapped by the husbands of these women, she persuaded the wives to get involved. Her relationship paid off — after 13 days in captivity, the boy was set free. Over the past 15 years, many of those who have witnessed the positive results and broader dialogues that emerge when women are included have begun to champion change, to include all stakeholders in peace and security work. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is one such champion. He told the U.S. Congress: “No country in the modern world can be self-reliant with half of its population locked away uneducated and unable to contribute energy, creativity and national development.” And he has proved willing to invest political capital. Leaders of Afghanistan’s civil society organizations and officials from 15 different ministries spent three years hashing out details of the country’s plan to get women into higher-impact positions that shape security decisions. The surge in terrorism and violent extremism in the last two decades makes it even more important to involve all those with a stake in a country’s well-being. One important strategy for capitalizing on women’s talent is promoting their recruitment and advancement in police forces worldwide. These units, because of their permanent local presence and knowledge, are better-placed than the military to counter violent extremism over the long-term. Recruiting women, who frequently have wide personal networks and go places that males cannot, yields broader intelligence. Women police build trust with local communities; female civilians are more likely to report gender-based violence to women officers. Policewomen are also more likely to deescalate tensions and less likely to use excessive force. The U.S. Congress has recognized the desperate need for recruiting more women in the Afghan National Security Forces, for example, by appropriating $50 million over the last two years. Progress is still too slow in embracing “inclusive security.” Between 1992 and 2011, women made up just 2% of mediators and 9% of negotiators in official peace talks worldwide. Yet, social science and business researchers overwhelmingly agree that, as a group, women show particular strengths when it comes to compromise and collaboration; in other words, we’re missing out. Similarly, peace agreements are more likely to last at least 15 years if women participate meaningfully in their creation. When women are absent, there’s a 25 to 50 percent chance that the peace will fail within five years. The facts are clear: Involving all of a society in peace and security, not just half the population, leads to better results. At the Newseum in Washington Thursday, the Institute for Inclusive Security and the U.S. Department of State will bring together some 500 policymakers and activists to look back at progress over the past 15 years toward this inclusive approach and assess obstacles to achieving greater gains in the next 15 years. Dozens of women leaders from around the world will rue the slow headway even as they celebrate the advances. Whether on the front lines in Syria, in rural parts of Afghanistan, in police forces in Pakistan, or at peace tables in Havana where negotiators just thrashed out a deal to end decades of civil war in Colombia, women are contributing to security – and we must knock down the barriers that hinder them from doing even more.

Courtesy: (http://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2015/10/women-are-front-lines-every-batt...)

Comments 3

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Soumya Vilekar
Feb 05, 2016
Feb 05, 2016

Dear Aliya,

This is an eye opening piece of information that you provided. Although we all agree that women should be allowed to intervene and lead many such campaigns which are still secluded from them due to many gender issues.Women have been found to be very active and successful in handling and dealing in issues which otherwise might lead to more conflicts.

Empowerment in such a way shall definitely lead the world in a different way away from the chaotic violence,the example of the Afghaniwoman Amina is one of this kind where talks and dialogues can help with bonding and understanding.

Hope we all here in Leadership group and on Worldpulse will be motivated by the facts and figures you provided with the kind of leadership a woman can make.

Best wishes,

Soumya

Aliya Bashir
Feb 15, 2016
Feb 15, 2016

Dear Soumya!

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

It is really incredible to see that there are women who are isnpiring us to take a lead role in peace-building and voicing their concerns despite all the problems that they face in violent circumstances.

Lets work together to make this world a better place to live!

Take care

ikirimat
Feb 17, 2016
Feb 17, 2016

Hello Aliya

This post brings to light and confirms the fact that for sustainable peace to be achieved, women must be included on the peace talks table. This is what stands outs in the peace processes we have attained in Africa, such as Leila Gbowe in Liberia, Betty Bigombe in Uganda, among others. Women are peacemakers, mothers and wives and so have a lot of influence. so women need to be included in the peace processes without any hasitation.

Very critical