Women are a prime target in conflict. Yet when it comes to building peace, women are systematically excluded.
Launched on the 10th anniversary of ground-breaking UN Security Council Resolution 1325 that recognises the impact of conflict on women and calls for women’s inclusion in peacebuilding, the key message of our No Women, No Peace. campaign is simple:
You can’t build peace by leaving half of the population out.
Women have the right to shape peace processes and contribute to the rebuilding of their societies. They have gender-specific experiences in conflict which should be reflected in conflict prevention, reconstruction and peacebuilding. Many women recognise the links between war-time violence and the violence that continues post-conflict.
And yet, two UN surveys of peace agreements over the last few decades demonstrate that only 1 in 40 (2.5%) of signatories of peace agreements were women between 1992-2008, and only 4% were women between 1992 and 2011. Although they are targets of war, the needs and experiences of women have been all but absent in the official processes that aim to build peace. This is despite evidence that suggests a greater involvement of women in peacebuilding may in fact increase the chances of longer-lasting, more sustainable peace.
Where GAPS comes in
The GAPS No Women, No Peace. campaign recognises the vital role that women can and should play in building peaceful, stable societies. It is the only public campaign of its kind in the UK, and it has successfully put this issue on the national and international political agenda.
The campaign calls on the UK government to honour the commitments they have made to women in conflict-affected countries, often through high-profile media campaigns. Our work has focused on Afghanistan; highlighting the impact of conflict on Afghan women and the importance of their role in peacebuilding and on Afghanistan’s future.