It has been an exciting week and a half in New York with the 58th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

Photo of the WILPF delegation at CSW 2014

WILPF delegation at CSW 2014

The WILPF delegation of over 60 women from around the world has done amazing work in bringing attention to the need for sustainable peace and development that addresses the root causes of violence and war and integrates issues of disarmament, women’s human rights, and Women, Peace and Security (WPS).

WILPF’s panels showcased the powerful voices of women working for peace, disarmament, and women’s rights around the world in panels that were often packed – standing (or sitting!) room only.

No Development Without Disarmament

WILPF’s “No Development without Disarmament” and related events brought regional and global perspectives  together to show the critical need to design the Post2015 development agenda to prevent conflict and promote peace.

“This war economy is not taking us anywhere,” said Rehana Hashmi of WILPF Pakistan.

“The Post2015 agenda will have a gaping hole without disarmament,” said Sarah Boyd of WILPF Australia. 

From Bosnia to Syria: Women Lead to Peace

At WILPF’s “Bosnia to Syria” event, participants shared experiences from the workshops WILPF has held bringing Syrian and Bosnian women together to learn from each other’s experiences and strengthen women’s participation and rights in peace processes.

Photo from a WILPF side event at the CSW 2014

WILPFs many side events during the CSW were well attended.

“Imagine how amazing it is to meet women who live the same experiences, including one woman who lost fifty family members,” said WILPF partner Narwal Yazeji, of the Syrian Women’s League (SWL).

“Working with Syrian and Bosnian women reaffirmed by faith in humanity. It has been so powerful,” said WILPF Secretary General Madeleine Rees. 

Leveraging Innovation and Partnerships for Change

At WILPF’s event on access and technology which launched the expanded PeaceWomen application mobile on Women Peace and Security (WPS), participants highlighted the need to leverage innovation, partnerships, and ideas to strengthen impact and change.

“To create change, you have to build a model that makes the old system obsolete,” said WILPF partner Ghida Anani, of ABAAD.

WILPF PeaceWomen Programme Director Maria Butler described how PeaceWomen envisaged a world where Security Council diplomats made better policy by using the tool of a mobile application. She called on attendees to push the boundaries to ensure a holistic implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda.

Negotiations on the CSW Outcome Document Face Challenges
Photo of people sitting around a table

Maria Butler, Programme Director at PeaceWomen, speaking at one of WILPFs many side events

Negotiations of the Agreed Conclusions outcome document of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is currently facing challenges in moving forward on both women’s human rights and peace in addressing existing Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the upcoming Post2015 Sustainable Development agenda.

It is critical that this CSW provides the momentum to strengthen momentum to address key women’s rights and peace gaps evident in both of these areas. 

What can you do? 

In terms of the development agenda, you can push your government to recognize that conflict and war are an obstacle to development and peace. Ask them to commit to strong financing and accountability mechanisms for strengthening gender equality in development, including reducing military financing toward gender equitable social development.

In terms of the crisis in Syria, pressure your government to support a full ceasefire, to enable the local civil society brokering of peace. And advocate for the UN and member states to support a gender advisor for Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi. 

Stay involved!

Thanks to everyone who has joined us in our #100Women4Peace photo campaign! There are still a few days left if you’d like to share a photo of yourself saying why you support our movement, Women’s Power to End War.

If you participated in CSW this week, what did you think of it? Please share your experience in the comments below!