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[16days_discussion] WILPF PeaceWomen ENews: Syrian Women's Inclusive Participation in Peacebuilding

Abigail Ruane abigail at
Wed Jan 20 16:38:12 EST 2016

Dear friends and colleagues,

With apologies for cross-posting, please find WILPF PeaceWomen ENews below.

Happy new year!

Abigail E. Ruane, Ph.D.
PeaceWomen Program Manager
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
UN Office
777 UN Plaza, 6th Floor
New York, New York 10017
abigail at <maria at>
+ 1 212 682 1265

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: PeaceWomen <info at>
Date: 20 January 2016 at 15:35
Subject: Syrian Women's Inclusive Participation in Peacebuilding
To: abigail at

Syrian Women's Inclusive Participation in Peacebuilding
Wednesday, January 20, 2016


*It’s how women civil society participate in the Syrian peace talks – not
*By: Barbro Svedberg, WILPF Crisis Response Director*

As Syria moves into its 5th year of unimaginable civilian suffering and
conflict, a new round of Syrian peace talks has initially been scheduled to
begin in Geneva on the 25th of January. Regardless of when the peace talks
will begin, the question is no longer if women should participate in the
peace talks but how.

The need for women’s wider participation in peace processes can no longer
be perceived as a mere normative demand; in fact, recent studies have shown
that including women in peace processes increases the probability of
reaching a long lasting peace agreement by 35 percent. Thus, there is
strong correlation between women’s inclusion
and higher likelihood of reaching agreements, and that shatters common
assumptions claiming that women’s inclusion may negatively impact the
course of peace processes.

It is also important to indicate that ensuring a higher number of women
involved in peace processes is not sufficient on its own; it is essential
to combine it with meaningful participation and stronger influence of women
on the process in general.

WILPF are engaging closely  with Syrian women civil society organisations
and peace builders and are strongly supporting initiatives to ensure Syrian
women civil society will be represented in Geneva and available to
participate when the opportunity are made available to them.

WILPF strongly believes that mediators, Member States, and the United
Nations must exert pressure on – and guarantee that – all warring parties
of the Syrian conflict and stakeholders ensure women’s inclusion in the
process is equal and meaningful. We also urge the international community
to effectively support and technically enable women’s groups in Syria in
positively influencing the peace process.

How can Syrian women civil society best influence the process of the peace
talks? As part of WILPF’s ongoing work to strengthen women’s participation
and rights in Syria, we would like to take this opportunity to bring
attention to the following key demands that have been developed by Syrian
women peacemakers:

   - At the negotiating table: ensuring 30% women’s quota across all
   negotiation delegations, the setup of an independent women-only delegation,
   the inclusion of an independent civil society delegation, with a 50%
   women’s quota.
   - With mediators and supporters directly engaged in the negotiations: by
   increase women mediators to get a gender-balanced envoys and teams and in
   the International Syrian Support Group, increase women’s participation
   among member state delegations
   - Formally-attached to the negotiations: officially-endorsed civil
   society consultative forum, 50% women’s quota and officially-endorsed
   broad-based public consultations inside and outside of Syria with women’s
   - In addition strengthen and increase support for the informal processes
   around the negotiations: by ensuring women’s participation in track 2
   initiatives, support advocacy campaigns, lobbying at the
   national/international levels, ensure mass-mobilization efforts to build
   movements, including media and online social media campaigns and support to
   grassroots initiatives and organized campaigns.

Women must be represented at all levels in the process, and women’s rights

Join us! Let us not recreate the mistakes of the past.  Ask your government
what it is doing to ensure that Syrian women have a seat at the table.
Demand UN processes ensure women’s substantive inclusion. Only together can
we move from violence to a political solution, and sustainable peace
through a democratic and inclusive process.
January in the Security Council

*January in the Security Council*
*By: Federica Dall’Arche Ciranna*

*Photo Credit: The Lawyer's Chronicle

January has been a very busy month for the Security Council. Under the
presidency of Uruguay, which just joined the Council for a two-year term as
an elected member, there will be two open debates. The January 19 Debate
focused on the protection of civilians in armed conflict
on the Secretary-General’s June 2015 report
the protection of civilians and the recommendations from the High-Level
Independent Panel on Peace Operations relevant to the protection of
civilians. The Deputy Secretary-General is expected to brief. The second
open debate, scheduled for January 26 and during which the
Secretary-General is expected to brief, will focus on the Middle East, with
a specific attention on the Israel/Palestine issue.

As every month, the Council is expected to have its regular monthly
briefing on Syria and on the chemical weapons track from Acting High
Representative for Disarmament Affairs Kim Won-Soo. The humanitarian track
will be briefed by the head of OCHA, Stephen O’Brien, while Special Envoy,
Staffan de Mistura, is expected to brief on the political track. If a
ceasefire plan for Syria is agreed, coinciding with the beginning of the
Geneva Peace Talks on 25 January, there may be the possibility for the
Council to authorise and implement the ceasefire by the end of the month.

Uruguay is not the only new member to join the Council in January 2016.
Also joining the Council this month as new members are Egypt, Japan,
Senegal and Ukraine. These five new elected members replace Chad, Chile,
Jordan, Lithuania and Nigeria.
CSW Preview

*CSW Preview*
By: Marta Bautista

2016 marks the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW),
which will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from
14 to 24 March. This year, the priority theme is "Women’s empowerment and
the link to sustainable development" and the review theme is "The
elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and

PeaceWomen and WILPF are excited to once again participate in CSW 60, and
demands that we shift the gaze. We have waited long for governments to
fully implement UNSCR 1325, so now is the time for the feminist movement to
join together and take action! WILPF and MADRE are organising a symposium
with the aim to develop strategies to implement UNSCR 1325, with
consideration to the Global Study
that was launched in October. Join us and raise your voice!

In order to stay updated on all the events, highlights, and outcomes, make
sure to follow PeaceWomen’s getting ready and preparing for its
participation. We have already created the CSW 60 page
which we will keep you updated of all the events, highlights and outcomes
of CSW 60. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook
and Twitter!

For more information on CSW 60, see the UN Women website  here
For more information on CSW 60, see the NGO CSW website here
For information on WILPF’s engagement last year (CSW 59
this year (CSW 60
and otherwise, see our website here
Transforming Commitments into Action

*Transforming Commitments into Action*
By: Ghazal Rahmanpanah

This week, the WILPF Academic Network hosted its monthly webinar series
on National Action Plans (NAPs) on Women, Peace and Security, specifically
within the African context, and explore the case studies of the Democratic
Republic of the Congo and Nigeria, where the NAPs were released in 2010 and
2013 respectively, and Cameroon, where the NAP is in preparation. But, what
are NAPs and why are they important?

Put simply, National Action Plans are documents outlining domestic and/or
foreign policy action and orientation, developed with the aim of meeting
the Women, Peace and Security objectives: women’s participation, protection
from sexual violence, conflict prevention and post-conflict peacebuilding.
In essence, NAPs provide a tool to contextualize UNSCR 1325 and translate
these objectives into national and local realities.

National Action Plans are one critical part of localising commitments in
UNSCR 1325 into concrete action. As we move beyond anniversaries and
commitments that were made in 2015, 2016 must be the year where commitments
formulate into concrete action. One serious form of dedication to the
Women, Peace and Security Agenda remains holistic implementation of a
strong, inclusive National Action Plan that is supported both financially
and operationally.

NAPs must be designed holistically, with particular emphasis on prevention,
a major gap area within the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, and inclusion
of demilitarisation and disarmament.  Furthermore, NAPs must be developed,
monitored, and implemented inclusively with early, extensive, and genuine
engagement of a broad constituency of civil society, including women-led
civil society organisations. An inclusive process both upholds women’s
equal human rights and also strengthens action plan content and local
implementation through diverse stakeholder engagement and buy-in.

NAP Webinar
WILPF statement condemning violence against women in New YEar’s Eve in
Cologne, Germany
NAP Blog

Better Peace Tool
Monthly Action Points (MAP) for the Security Council: January 2016
Clamor for Justice. Sexual violence, armed conflict and violent land

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