When it comes to peace and security in the world, what role should and must women play?
This and other questions are being discussed today (18 November) at a conference co‑organised by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and the Federal Foreign Office and being held under Germany’s Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co‑operation in Europe (OSCE). The title of the international event is “A Case for Inclusive Peace and Security: How to Accelerate the Implementation of UNSCR 1325?”
It has been shown that the chances of reaching a peace agreement rise when women are actively involved in the peace talks. It is also more probable that what was agreed will actually be put into practice. These were the findings of a global study published in 2015 on the implementation of UNSCR 1325.
The conference was opened by Manuela Schwesig, Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, and Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office.
“Rape and sexual violence are often used by parties to a conflict as a means to humiliate and terrorise women and girls. However, men are also subject to such violence. These are war crimes and crimes against humanity,” said Manuela Schwesig, Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. “I call for women to be included as equal partners in peace processes and reconstruction because there can be no peace without women.”
Human Rights Commissioner Bärbel Kofler underlined the importance of UNSCR 1325 for maintaining peace in the world. “No conflict can be permanently resolved if half the population is excluded from peace efforts. That is why UNSCR 1325 is a milestone, not only for the protection and inclusion of women, but also for international peace policy.”
The conference participants are exploring the role and experiences of women in peace missions and peace processes and discussing how women’s inclusion in all phases of conflict prevention and conflict management can be improved. The experts are also addressing the topic of violence against women as a war tactic and the impact on the victims, including legal issues. Strengthening women’s participation in the OSCE region, one of the priorities under Germany’s OSCE Chairmanship, will also be a key topic at the event.
The day‑long conference, which is being attended by participants from the spheres of politics, administration, the military, the police, civil society and academia, will bring together international experts on these topics. The aim is that the conference will create impetus for more inclusive and gender-sensitive peace and security policy.