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Petition to Include Women at Geneva II Peace Talks Closed

25 November 2013

THE PETITION IS CLOSED.

The peace talks to bring a political settlement to the war in Syria have been postponed yet again. In the interim, the slaughter of civilians continues. There will be thousands more deaths as winter encroaches, and as humanitarian aid fails to reach the most vulnerable. Those deaths will be mainly women and children. Yet, still women are kept out of the peace talks, as if their stake in their future and the future of their country is somehow less important than the voices of the men with the guns. The international community must recognize its legal obligations, moral responsibilities and the practical necessity to ensure women’s participation: peace treaties without women do not work. If women are not a part of peace negotiations, then the peace will reflect only the interests of the most powerful and will ultimately fail. Women have been organizing, through an inclusive and representative process, and they are prepared to participate in negotiation. Instead, they are told by the United Nations that the political situation is complicated. Women already know that. Yet, they are told that they should look for alternative models and lobby mediators in corridors. This is untenable and wrong. We must join our Syrian sisters in raising our voices, so that Syrian women are not just included but have a real role in deciding the future of their country. Please join in signing this petition and calling for the inclusion of Syrian women’s leadership in the Geneva II negotiations and beyond.

PETITION: We need Syrian women at the negotiation table
TO: Lakhdar Brahimi The United Nations and Arab League Special Envoy to Syria John F. Kerry United States, Secretary of State William Hague United Kingdom, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Laurent Fabius France, Minister of Foreign Affairs Guido Westerwelle Germany, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation [ba-divider style=”solid” color=”#000000″] November 25, 2013 We are acutely aware of the need for peace talks on Syria to be convened as soon as possible. Geneva II is vital and important. To date, Syrian women have not been included in the process, even though they are active, prepared and representative. There is clear wording in the Geneva communication “that women must be fully represented in all aspects of the transition.” Yet if the peace is dictated by the warring factions, the possibility of women’s rights being accurately reflected in the transition is compromised. Women’s participation starts in the process towards peace and must be maintained. We commend the United Kingdom for their dedication to work with Mr. Brahimi to ensure the peace talks include a direct role for women’s groups and for their commitment to ensure women’s groups are provided with the support they need to engage in meaningful participation. We urge governments to act decisively and follow the example of the United Kingdom in demanding and ensuring women’s active participation in the process and a seat at the main table of negotiations. We recall obligations under Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1325, the UN General Assembly Resolution GA/65/283 (2011), and the Security Council Resolution 2044, which reaffirm the overarching importance of women’s participation in peace-building, peace keeping and international security processes. The international community must uphold these obligations and make them work in practice. As organizations and individuals who work towards women’s human rights and gender equality, we call on the leadership of the negotiating process to:
  1. Uphold SCR 1325 by ensuring the direct participation of Syrian women’s leadership as a third party in the Geneva II peace negotiations;
  2. Provide the appropriate support Syrian women’s groups need to participate effectively.
  3. Ensure that all delegations involved in the negotiations have senior women mediators and gender experts
  4. Provide an additional two seats for each delegation that is a direct party to the talks to be reserved for women. 
Endorsers
WILPF CodePink Madre Kvinna till kvinna
World YWCA FAS FAWCO WPSAC
FemLinkPacific MakeMothersMatter IFUW Global Fund for Women
Global Women's Studies TIAW International Women's Human Rights Clinic Karama
Nobel Women's Initiative Association Women to women Operation1325 logo Women's Federation for World Peace logo
Mujeres Empresarias del Mundo The Institute for International Women's Rights --- Manitoba Somali Women's Study Centre (SWSC)

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WILPF Afghanistan

In response to the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban and its targeted attacks on civil society members, WILPF Afghanistan issued several statements calling on the international community to stand in solidarity with Afghan people and ensure that their rights be upheld, including access to aid. The Section also published 100 Untold Stories of War and Peace, a compilation of true stories that highlight the effects of war and militarisation on the region. 

IPB Congress Barcelona

WILPF Germany (+Young WILPF network), WILPF Spain and MENA Regional Representative

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Demilitarisation

WILPF uses feminist analysis to argue that militarisation is a counter-productive and ill-conceived response to establishing security in the world. The more society becomes militarised, the more violence and injustice are likely to grow locally and worldwide.

Sixteen states are believed to have supplied weapons to Afghanistan from 2001 to 2020 with the US supplying 74 % of weapons, followed by Russia. Much of this equipment was left behind by the US military and is being used to inflate Taliban’s arsenal. WILPF is calling for better oversight on arms movement, for compensating affected Afghan people and for an end to all militarised systems.

Militarised masculinity

Mobilising men and boys around feminist peace has been one way of deconstructing and redefining masculinities. WILPF shares a feminist analysis on the links between militarism, masculinities, peace and security. We explore opportunities for strengthening activists’ action to build equal partnerships among women and men for gender equality.

WILPF has been working on challenging the prevailing notion of masculinity based on men’s physical and social superiority to, and dominance of, women in Afghanistan. It recognizes that these notions are not representative of all Afghan men, contrary to the publicly prevailing notion.

Feminist peace​

In WILPF’s view, any process towards establishing peace that has not been partly designed by women remains deficient. Beyond bringing perspectives that encapsulate the views of half of the society and unlike the men only designed processes, women’s true and meaningful participation allows the situation to improve.

In Afghanistan, WILPF has been demanding that women occupy the front seats at the negotiating tables. The experience of the past 20 has shown that women’s presence produces more sustainable solutions when they are empowered and enabled to play a role.

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