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Support inclusivity in peacebuilding

17 October 2005
There are many UN resolutions and conventions that are not respected by
national states or the international community at large (who could know better
than a Palestinian).How could UN resolution 1325 be utilized differently? How
could it be used to empower women and influence decision makers so as to
guarantee women participation in conflict prevention, peace building and post
conflict reconstruction including reconciliation? What measures should be
taken not only to raise awareness about it at the horizontal level but also to
use it as an influential tool on the vertical level?

These questions have challenged women activists and movements for years,
especially those working in conflict areas. In the case of the Palestinian -
Israeli conflict, women meet on an informal level aware of the asymmetry of
power between the occupied and the occupier. They search for common values and
principles: equality, justice, freedom, ... . The Palestinian side always
insists on respecting international law as the term of reference because it
guarantees minimum justice and respect of human rights whether they are
individual or collective. The Israeli side is less enthusiastic about
international law and it advocates for a compromise that is more sensitive to
the rights of the other. Thus, in almost all encounters, no fundamental
changes are made on the rules of the existing political game, which are played
from within the framwork of power politics. For example, (referring to Galia
Golan talk on the wall in her entry 'women and men')the apartheid wall is not
bad only because it leaves school children on the other side of the wall
unable to reach school, but also because it is illegal, and it destroys the
Palestinian social and economic fabric, it grabs Palestinian land and
resources, it destroys the two states vision and consequently does not
contribute to building sustainable security nor peace.

As such the issue for a Palestinian like me or for those is similar situations
is how to use 1325 to empower women on the oppressed side. I believe the
strategies women (and gender sensitive men) use / will use have to examine
ways where women from the dominant side and outstanding women from the
international community can support legality, justice and inclusivity in peace
building and negotiation processes.

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