We linked to a notice of the upcoming exciting Women's Peace Building Cyber-Dialogues on October 21. Mavic has written to us with a brief report-back from that event:
"As part of the 5th anniversary of United Nations Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on women, peace and security, the International Women's Tribune Centre in collaboration with Isis-WICCE convened a Peace-Building CyberDialogue on UNSCR 1325. Envisioned as a global town hall meeting, this 'real time' discussion with voice and web camera facilities, connected women working on peace-building issues at the national and community levels with gender advocates, policy makers and diplomats meeting at the UN as well as with women attending the Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID) International Forum in Bangkok, Thailand.
Women gathered in Nepal, the Philippines, Timor Leste, Uganda and Zimbabwe as well as in Bangkok, Thailand and New York, USA to discuss their experiences with using UNSCR 1325, including ways to use the resolution to strengthen women's participation in key decision-making bodies that deal with peace and security issues and the issues that they want to bring to the attention of decision makers. Participants in New York included Rachel Mayanja, the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women. Ms. Mayanja noted the women's concerns and suggestions and took their messages to the Open Debate of the UN Security Council, which took place immediately following the CyberDialogue.
Peace activists from Burma and the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as advocates from Canada who came for the UN Security Council Meeting in New York also joined the peace-building cyberdialogues.
Some of the key points that participants in the cyberdialogues raised were:
- the need to ensure that women understand SCR 1325 and along with this, their need to be trained to gain skills in negotiation and in understanding and analyzing conflict - so that they can participate more effectively in discussions and negotiations on peace and security issues
- the need to educate the general public to develop a broad constituency of people who are aware of the issues [arising from conflict and those that bring about conflict] and how these can impact on their daily lives
- and the global policies and instruments that people can use to address these issues
Rachel Mayanja, underscored the need to demand member states to take action against the use of women's bodies as battlegrounds during conflict. She said that they are now requesting more gender trainers and a standardized curriculum at national and local level and at the international level. 'We would like to request that the Security Council insists on all member states to implement SCR 1325 and put in a reporting mechanism', she added.
The cyberdialogue participants were unanimous in demanding protection for women from rape and sexual violence, putting an end to impunity and prosecution for those responsible for rape and other forms of sexual violence.
They also expressed concern on how to make this resolution more binding and in holding governments more accountable.
IWTC recorded the conversations during the cyberdialogues. These will be edited to produce local language radio programs in Africa and Asia-Pacific that will be aired in local communities, especially those that are affected by conflict or are in the process of reconstruction. In many other discussion spaces on UN SCR 1325 it has been pointed out that it is one thing to translate the SCR 1325 into different languages, but it must also be ensured that it is accessible in popular mediums and formats that people could relate to and understand.
IWTC is interested in partnering with organizations who use information, communication and education to facilitate women's participation in all levels of policy and decision-making on peace and security issues.
International Women's Tribune Centre"