Pausing the convoy to reflect and and reconfigure....

4 October 2005
Hi fellow bloggers, I’m looking forward to a new way (new to me anyway!) of having a discussion with so many friends from around the globe.
 Well done OD for initiating this.
I’m excited by the possibility that from such a breadth of experience and knowledge we can come up with some practical ideas for accelerating implementation of 1325. At a later stage I would like to share with you a comprehensive plan I am involved in to train women for and get them to the peacetable

Sanam, I so endorse what you said in your lovely opening piece which raises many challenges and I look forward to the debate it will generate.


A couple of thoughts …firstly about being patient?  Perhaps it is years of waiting for British Rail trains that have made me see that yes, eventually a train will come but in the meantime I’ll have missed my meeting and my reason for travelling. Our reason for being on the convoy pushing 1325 is to make for more stable societies and thus a more peaceful and equitable world. As the world situation deteriorates about our ears, this is an ever more pressing need and I feel passionately that we have urgently to come up with some new approaches.

  New because if we just keep doing what we are doing we are gonna get the same results and that just aint  enough in our present predicament. I am ever mindful that as I sit in the comfort and safety of my office there are those hundreds of thousands of women, men and children for whom life is deeply insecure and fearful because of conflict.


The wisdom for the way forward will come from self reflection. We will do well to pause the convoy and take a long, hard and honest look at what we have done over the past five years. It will be joyful as there is much to celebrate but we also need to analyse carefully what the catalysts were where there have been breakthroughs. Just one I can think of is collaboration.UNSC1325 came about because of persistent collective action of a few, as did the historic 50/50 agreement of the AU. The goal was always bigger than the individuals represented and we need to acknowledge how sometimes the women’s movement has been hampered by competitiveness and self- interest getting in the way of the bigger picture.

Perhaps we also need to re-think our expectations of institutions and see how best we can use the increasingly powerful role civil organisations play in making change happen, both on the ground and also acting collectively to influence policy as the women in Somalia did so well. However what I see is a lack of a support system for these organisations and I would like to discuss what we can do to improve that.


This blog reaches an audience well outside of the usual practitioners and it would be good to hear some fresh ideas from them.


I’m with Mu Sochua,  I too would like to hear more about and learn from, experiences from the field where women have mobilized to make a change. Oh and I do agree no more conferences – we know as much as we need to know except how to reconfigure it in a way where action and intent meet to make a change. Some of that I’m hopeful we can figure out between us over the next month.   


Can there be a green populist project on the Left?

Many on the Left want to return to a politics based on class, not populism. They point to Left populist parties not reaching their goals. But Chantal Mouffe argues that as the COVID-19 pandemic has put the need for protection from harm at the top of the agenda, a Left populist strategy is now more relevant than ever.

Is this an opportunity for a realignment around a green democratic transformation?

Join us for a free live discussion on Thursday 22 October, 5pm UK time/12pm EDT.

Hear from:

Paolo Gerbaudo Sociologist and political theorist, director of the Centre for Digital Culture at King’s College London and author of ‘The Mask and the Flag: Populism and Global Protest’ and ‘The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy’, and of the forthcoming ‘The Great Recoil: Politics After Populism and Pandemic’.

Chantal Mouffe Emeritus Professor of Political Theory at the University of Westminster in London. Her most recent books are ‘Agonistics. Thinking the World Politically’, ‘Podemos. In the Name of the People’ and ‘For a Left Populism’.

Spyros A. Sofos Researcher and research coordinator at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University and author of ‘Nation and Identity in Contemporary Europe’, ‘Tormented by History’ and ‘Islam in Europe: Public Spaces and Civic Networks'.

Chair: Walid el Houri Researcher, journalist and filmmaker based between Berlin and Beirut. He is partnerships editor at openDemocracy and lead editor of its North Africa, West Asia project.

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