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For Immediate Release
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No Peace Without Women: CARE Report


Ten years
after the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) formally recognized
that women must be involved in peacebuilding efforts, women are still
largely absent from peace negotiations, CARE says in a new report on the
eve of the 10-year anniversary of UNSC Resolution 1325.

Resolution 1325, passed Oct. 31, 2000, called for increased
participation of women in peacebuilding efforts, through increased
representation of women at all decision-making levels for the
prevention, management and resolution of conflict; prevention of
gender-based violence; protection of women and girls against violence;
and the promotion of gender perspectives in peace missions.

report highlights experiences in Afghanistan, Uganda and Nepal, where
in some instances, women have managed to change the agenda and focus
attention on root causes and legacies of the violence in their country.
For example, in Nepal, some of the poorest and most marginalized women
have participated in the negotiation of a new constitution, bringing
issues like Dalit rights and gender-based violence into the process.

overall, the original idea behind UNSC Resolution 1325 - involving
women in peacebuilding - has in practice gained little traction.

"The establishment of peace is not just about formal negotiations, but
also ensuring that there is a tangible impact of peace, such as access
to education, health and welfare. There can't be lasting peace in Nepal
without the significant involvement of women," said Indu Pant Ghimire,
CARE Nepal gender advisor.

Intimidation and violence against
women is one of the major barriers; without protection, participation is
unsustainable and may do more harm than good. And without access to
education, health care and livelihoods - in short, full participation in
society - women are not well-placed to participate on a large scale in
peacebuilding efforts.

"The passing of UNSC Resolution 1325 was
seen as a milestone for women's rights, when in fact, it is a statement
of the obvious: women - as well as men - must be involved in
peacebuilding efforts," said Robert Glasser, secretary general of CARE
International. "But in the past 25 years, only one in 40 peace accord
signatories have been women. Across the world in conflict countries
women are working in their communities for peace, but they are excluded
from peace negotiations. It's not that they don't want a seat at the
table, it's that they're not given one.

"CARE, which works in
some of the deadliest conflict zones in the world, knows that women are
often the most affected by war, through rape or sexual violence, sexual
exploitation, and living with the fall-out from the destruction of
society. The involvement of women is crucial when it comes to
re-establishing normal life, healing social wounds, and building new,
more just institutions."

The U.N. Security Council will hold an
open debate on October 26 to discuss UNSC Resolution 1325, and CARE
expects that member states will take specific steps to monitor and
foster the implementation of the resolution.

Key recommendations from the CARE report to the international community:

  • Step up efforts to protect women from violence: Any
    strategy to promote women's participation in peacebuilding will fail if
    it does not address their protection from violence. In particular, a
    thorough analysis of gaps in frontline services and response capacity
    for protection should urgently be conducted - as mandated by SCR 1888 -
    and submitted to the U.N. Security Council within three months.
  • Fund long-term, multi-sectoral strategies that enable women to participate in the peacebuilding process:
    Access to basic education, health services and economic livelihoods are
    proven, necessary foundations for meaningful participation of women in
    peacebuilding and in society in general.
  • Connect grassroots peacebuilding to national and international peacebuilding efforts:
    Extensive peacebuilding work is underway by local, grassroots women's
    groups around the world but, on the whole, their expertise is not
    included or considered in debates at national and international levels.

CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. We place special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. Women are at the heart of CARE's community-based efforts to improve basic education, prevent the spread of HIV, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity and protect natural resources. CARE also delivers emergency aid to survivors of war and natural disasters, and helps people rebuild their lives.