N-Peace has introduced a new chapter to inspire civil society action on women, peace and security in the region.
Twenty-two civil society organizations (CSOs) selected from across seven N-Peace countries – Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Indonesia and the Philippines – will execute initiatives to further the women, peace and security agenda.
The CSOs will cover issues under three critical categories: Local Initiatives to address sub-national level challenges on Women, Peace and Security; Youth-Led Initiatives that galvanize action on-the-ground based on challenges young people face relating to Women, Peace and Security; and Cross-border Initiatives to address challenges and/or facilitate South-South learning and networking.
Several initiatives are already underway and touch on some of the most sensitive issues in the region. The topics include: honour killings, sexual violence faced by women during conflict, women’s representation in formal and informal bodies, access to justice for women in conflict and post conflict settings, and access to livelihood for women in conflict affected areas.
The approach undertaken by these initiatives creates safe spaces to bring together civil society and government representatives to have difficult conversations on extremely sensitive issues, including those with cross-border and regional dimensions.
This October, the Asian Muslim Action Network (AMAN), organized a forum to explore issues in response to the crisis in Myanmar and Sri Lanka. The meeting held in Bangkok, facilitated a dialogue between government and non-government actors to review efforts in handling recent crises, especially as it relates to rights violations faced by women, including sexual violence.
The forum provided a safe platform to share and reflect on events that continue to unfold in the region, and that are having a devastating impact on the lives of women and girls. It reviewed potential roles that civil society organizations, governments, regional bodies and the international community can play to bring an end to hostilities and foster peace, while ensuring grievances are heard and efforts are made to ensure justice is served.
The meeting supported by N-Peace came up with a set of concrete recommendations on the way forward. The recommendations would help to implement the boarder Resolution 1325 and the women peace security agenda, and more specifically the recent the Human Rights Council resolution on Myanmar A/HRC/39/L.22 (25 September 2018).
The full report of the meeting will be published shortly.
By Nashida Sattar, Programme Specialist – Gender and Inclusion in Peacebuilding
United Nations Regional Programme, Bangkok Regional Hub