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Ten years ago the indispensable role of women in building peace was finally recognised, in United Nations SCR 1325. But have we really seen a change in peace-making over the past decade: are women yet central in efforts to overcome conflict? Lyric Thompson and other openDemocracy authors write on the debates at the 10th anniversary celebrations.

Rape: a basic tool of militarism

Women’s groups such as Women in Black have long led the way in challenging the mindsets and structures of patriarchal power and militarism, but men must recognise that they have the primary responsibility to make the changes, says Rebecca Johnson

Peace can be planned. Just like health

"Violence can be prevented. This is not an article of faith, but a statement based on evidence" (WHO 2002). Scilla Elworthy calls for a strategy based on the clear evidence of what is working in scattered pockets around the world, with the creation of 'Infrastructures for Peace' at its core.

Seen and not heard: women in Sri Lanka's reconciliation commission

Sri Lanka's Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission has no mention of gender in its mandate and no dedicated expertise related to women; it has just one female commissioner out of eight. For Tamil women, the LLRC simply reaffirms bad old habits.

"Feast with your enemies" - Dekha Ibrahim Abdi

What do I do differently as a result of knowing this great woman? I utterly believe in the power of one local person to transform a violent situation. I know that humiliation is the driver of most incidents of violence, and that respect is the best antidote to humiliation, and I try to apply that. On the weekend of the UK memorial service for Dekha Ibrahim Abdi, Scilla Elworthy remembers her friend

‘N-A-T-O? What’s that stand for?’

How can we cheer NATO for promising equality for women in an institution we deplore? We are saying: ‘military security’ is an oxymoron. Women ascribe a totally different meaning to the word security

War and 1325: principles or diversity checkbox ?

Why were women career soldiers, US defense contractors, female peace activists and Pentagon officials talking to each other in Washington DC ? Lyric Thompson reports on a most unusual conversation...

No more 'Little Boy' and 'Fat Man'

As a political instrument of power projection and status, nuclear weapons carry a peculiarly masculine symbolism. In the 1980s, Greenham women were at the forefront of challenging masculine ideologies of defence and security. We need to seize the initiative and again become the agents of security transformation.

Civil society diplomats at the UN

" We’re not interested in making war safe for women… There are many substitutes for oil, but I can't think of a single substitute for a peace woman." Cora Weiss

1325: an exciting moment

"If we’ve done as much with as little resources as women have, think what we could do with more. Women are the energy of the future… its up to women to show what women’s leadership in the UN can do." Charlotte Bunch

Rape in war: the time for 'never again' is now

On October 17th thousands of Congolese women, led by Olive Lembe Kabila marched to end impunity for sexual violence against women. Rape survivors joined the march, many of them from their hospital beds, defying a culture that shames victims rather than perpetrators

1325 and the violent world of small arms

Earlier this year the Philippines became the first country in Asia to launch a National Action Plan to implement SRC1325, and in a bold move, the control of small arms was made a key part of the strategy

Interfaith peacework: a glimmer of solidarity

Just as borders, once drawn, become subject to militant patrol, so are the lives and bodies of women once they are marked by religious tensions. The need to address the nexus between religion, gender and conflict is becoming vital to peacebuilding

Good substance, bad politics: the row over 1325

Why won’t the Security Council endorse the Secretary General’s strategy for enhancing women’s role in matters of peace and security? Is it because of the deep divisions within the UN system itself? Or is it because of the Russians? Lyric Thompson reports on the battle behind the scenes at the UN

SCR 1325: just words on a piece of paper

"SCR 1325 is a tool, and the utility of a tool depends on how it is perceived and how activists employ it. So we have this resolution. Great; so what? Tell me how we can get people fired up on the ground." Peace laureate Jody Williams talks to Lyric Thompson.

The politics of peace: SCR 1325 at 10

As the 10th anniversary of SCR 1325 approaches and the debates heat up, it is with dual and conflicting senses of deep frustration with the past and tentative optimism for the future. Lyric Thompson reports.

UN SCR 1325: the 50.50 debate

In 2000 UN Security Council Resolution 1325 gave women decision-making power in preventing conflict and building peace. As the 10th anniversary of 1325 approaches read recent openDemocracy articles examining the role of women in working for peace.
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