Holding our Civil Society networks accountable to "balance for better"

Sharon Bhagwan Rolls
Posted March 5, 2019 from Fiji

'Equality, Development and Peace' has been a powerful rallying call for feminists and gender equality advocates for several decades as we organised in our communities, national and regional level as well as through civil society networks such as GPPAC - the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict.

The work for peace has often been at great risk - negotiating cease fires, working across political factions and drawing attention to the root causes of violence and conflict.    

One would imagine that would be evidence enough not just for women at the table, but women's leadership in the maintenance of peace, in the prevention of violence including during Humanitarian crises including disasters.

Yet despite almost 20 years since the adoption of UNSCR1325 we still have to make do with one woman at the table - if at all!  The rhetoric must stop !

The political barriers must be removed !!  

That is why, as a global network of peacebuilders, we are holding ourselves accountable to the theme of International Women's Day.

Achieving a "balance for better" means  upholding and integrating gender equality in our peacebuilding practice for the realisation of a collective vision for  inclusive sustainable development and peace.

In a few months the GPPAC Intenational Steering Group will be asked to recommit to our gender equality agenda as we present the updated Gender Policy. I have to commend the leadership of the core working group led  who voluntarily dedicate time across multiple time zones to engage in dialogue and action to update the policy.

Just as we call on political leaders to ensure gender equality is at the heart of the decisions they make, we must also rally together as peacebuilders to contribute to the transformation of structures to bring about peaceful and inclusive communities.

This is why GPPAC is collaborating with several partner organisations to host a  side event at CSW63 to bring attention to recommendations from across our network to highlight ways in which the peace, development and humanitarian nexus can work  together to remove barriers and accelerate progress for gender equality.

The panel will have a clear message on encouragingi investment in gender-responsive social systems, and build services and infrastructure to meet the needs of womenand girls. 

Wherever you are commemorating International Women's Day - first celebrate all that you do and then share the stories so that collectively continue to make the local - global!  

Change starts with a story.
This story was submitted in response to Change Starts With a Story.

Comments 8

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Jill Langhus
Mar 06
Mar 06

Hi Sharon,

Thanks for sharing your powerful and inspiring post. I'm looking forward to hearing how the GPPAC's gender policy is updated and was progress can be made toward more peace and equality because of the updates, and also to hear about what progress is made from the side event that you mentioned, too.

Hope you're having a great day!

Tamarack Verrall
Mar 07
Mar 07

Hi Sharon,
One of the most important gifts of World Pulse for me is being able to be in touch with and get news from women like you, bringing news of pressure being put on, on a global front, for women's leadership toward freedom for women, care of the environment and a world of peace. It is such good news that the
GPPAC International Steering Group will be asked to recommit to the gender equality agenda. I look forward to your keeping us up to date on both road blocks and progress so that we can press forward together for peace everywhere. I do believe that it is women's voices that are needed.
In sisterhpood,
Tam

Sharon Bhagwan Rolls

Hi Tammy it's been a very important journey since GPPAC adopted the first gender policy ...the work at national and regional level is vital in this regards!

JANEKALU
Mar 08
Mar 08

Dear Sharon,thanks for sharing , we also appreciate all your effort in making sure that all political leaders are making ensure gender equality is at the heart of the decisions they make,
Thanks
Janekalu

Sharon Bhagwan Rolls

Thank you !

Sis. Salifu
Mar 26
Mar 26

Go GPPAC our prayers are with you and I hope you fine great results and findings.

Sharon Bhagwan Rolls

Thank you !

Ngala Nadege
Apr 09
Apr 09

Waow ,thank you sister. I love the last part dearly "celebrating all what you do and then share the stories" . Thank you for sharing your inspiring post.

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