International Women’s Day 2018: Women building peace

For International Women’s Day 2018, GAPS is celebrating diaspora women building peace through projects in the UK and across the world. Their work, from local initiatives to high-level peace processes, is at the forefront of change as they bring their voices, and the needs and challenges facing their communities, to the process of building sustainable peace. This is such important work, which all too often goes unrecognised by formal peace and security actors and institutions.

Women are systematically excluded from peace processes. Women’s rights are perceived as secondary, to be attained once peace has been brokered. This undermines the importance of women’s rights and gender equality, and precludes the opportunity for sustainable peace.

We recognise that the demand that women explain why their voices should be heard and what value they can bring undermines women’s fundamental right to equal participation; we should in fact be demanding explanations from those seeking to exclude women. We see this bias in GAPS’ question to the peacebuilders we are profiling for International Women’s Day, and our decision to keep the question is based on feminist practices of self-reflection and learning, and because of the many wonderful answers we received that deserve to be heard.

Today we are saying thank you to diaspora women working for peace and security as we profile five brilliant women and their important projects.

1. Amna Abdul:

“When I think about peace and security, I am always looking at it through an intersectional gendered lens with the aim to understand what women’s experiences and roles are within it.”

2. Quhramaana Kakar:

“Peace for me is not only the absence of war but the prevalence of harmony and tranquility, and the provision of justice, access and equal opportunity for individuals and societies in their struggle to shape their own narrative and negotiate their own terms.”

3. Camila Marín Restrepo:

“Women within diaspora communities have been subjected to a double invisibility. In their countries of origin, many were exposed to exclusion in relation to political participation. Their migration beyond national borders has meant they now face further barriers when attempting to contribute to peacebuilding conversations taking place in their home countries.”

4. Amparo Restrepo:

“We are now determined to break the silence in order to have our voices heard and to demand that we are included in the process of post-conflict restructuring.”

5. Marwa Baabbad:

“Women shouldn’t be asked why their voices are valuable unless everyone else is asked the same question.”

More News

APPG on Women, Peace and Security: The Past, Present and Future of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda

On Tuesday 20 October 2020, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security (APPG-WPS), together with GAPS hosted an event titled “20th Anniversary of UNSCR 1325; the Past, Present and future of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda”. To Read More

APPG on Women, Peace and Security hosts the UK Government’s Annual Report to Parliament in 2019

On Monday 13 July 2020, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security (APPG-WPS) and Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS) co-hosted the UK Government’s oral Report to Parliament in 2019 on the UK National Action Plan on Read More

Getting it Right: Putting Women, Peace and Security at the Centre of the Integrated Review

As the UK Government has resumed the Integrated Review on Security, Defence, Development and policy, GAPS and its members make the submission that this is a key moment for the UK Government to reaffirm its commitments to gender equality, the Read More

Sign up for our Newsletter

* indicates required

Twitter