Women building peace: Amparo Restrepo

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.

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

Amparo Restrepo is a poet, mother of three children and co-founder of one of the first Colombian refugee associations in London. She has lived in exile for over three decades and participates in the Truth, Memory and Reconciliation Commission of Colombian Women in the Diaspora (TMRC).

  1. What do peace and security mean to you?

Peace and security have a great significance to me because where they are absent, war and chaos will be present. War and chaos are destruction, devastation, violence and blood. Peace is stability, tranquillity, trust, joy and much more. Security is complementary to peace; there is no peace without security and vice versa. Peace with social justice should be fought for, in Colombia and everywhere else.

  1. Why are the voices of diaspora women valuable to policy-making on peace and security?

For decades, voices of women in the Colombian diaspora were shrouded in silence. Women like me, who fled from Colombia, were struggling with traumas of war, trying very hard to adapt to a new way of life in a different country, taking care of our children without speaking the language, not understanding the education system and lacking self-esteem. Nowadays – with the Commission of Truth, Memory and Reconciliation of Colombian Women in the Diaspora across London, Barcelona and Stockholm – we have become transnational messengers promoting peace and security, two hugely important pillars of any democratic society.

For us women in the Colombian diaspora, the construction of democracy and peace in Colombia has become an important task. We are now conscientious of the need to join the effort to ensure Colombia becomes a secure country, for our families and for ourselves if we choose to return; our voices are becoming stronger in order to enforce radical social changes in favour of stability, security, democracy and peace for all. 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.

  1. What projects related to women, peace and security are you working on or involved with?

I am an active member of the Commission for Truth, Memory and Reconciliation of Colombian Women in the Diaspora based in London. Having already shared my testimony of the human rights abuses I suffered in Colombia, I have been involved in empowering other women to share their stories so that we can begin to search for truth whilst constructing the collective memory of the civil war, starting the process of reconciliation in our community and thus prevent the repetition of future abuses. I have also worked to educate women who migrated for economic reasons to ensure that they understand the negative impact of violence in our society and work towards changing our collective approach by recognising the factors that produce cycles of violence through effective communication and propagating messages of peace and reconciliation.

One way I communicate these messages is through poetry; I write about the atrocities of the Colombian war, the nostalgia I have experienced in exile and the fear of returning to Colombia. Poetry also provides me with opportunities to heal my wounds and transform my pain into lessons for others.

Women building peace: Amparo Restrepo

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 Read More

Women building peace: Quhramaana Kakar

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.

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

Quhramaana Kakar is a peace activist and development practitioner. She is a Visiting Fellow at the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security, and Founding Director of Women for Peace and Participation. She has worked in key positions for a number of international organisations and the Afghan government, including the High Peace Council of Afghanistan. In recognition of her work and achievements for peace, she was awarded N-Peace Network‘s “Role Model for Peace” prize in 2012.

  1. What do peace and security mean to you?

Born and raised in war, witnessing killings, bombs and shelling at a very early age, the first time I experienced peace was at the age of 7 after I fled the war and sought refuge in a neighbouring country. There was something definitely better than war, the absence of war and physical violence. This new life – and my 17 years of engagement and efforts for peacebuilding through provision of opportunities for access to economic, social and political equality – enhanced my exposure and experience to understand what social pacification actually means in both letter and spirit. Today, peace for me is not only the absence of war but the prevalence of harmony and tranquillity, 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.

  1. Why are the voices of diaspora women valuable to policy-making on peace and security?

The Women, Peace and Security agenda has greatly ignored the effect of wars on women on the move, and the potential that addressing the needs of these women could have for key issues around peace and security. Experiences show that diaspora women are the best connection between grassroots communicates and global solutions to war and insecurity. It is essential to recognise and take into account their diverse knowledge, skills and experiences; coming from a transition, they are best placed to connect the outside world with the inside world. Diaspora women offer a strong bridge between their native communities and women and supporters at the regional and international levels. In the frequently-changing political environment, diaspora women are key resource for women in their own countries and other countries of conflict as advocates for keeping the focus on women’s inclusion at the top of the agenda. Women in diaspora communities have the advantage of positioning themselves, enabling them to create global solidarity and global action for raising and providing solutions for a variety of issues such as economic development, human rights, political rights, and peace and security.

  1. What projects related to women, peace and security are you working on or involved with?

In 2012, I initiated Women for Peace and Participation. Coming from the experience of working with Afghan communities inside and outside Afghanistan, I identified the dire need for connecting the local to the global. To achieve this, I adopted various strategies and built a network of diaspora women peacebuilders under the theme “United Women for Peace” (UWP). The aim is to develop a platform where women peacebuilders can advocate collectively at regional and international levels and to inform policies that potentially affect the role and position of women in conflict-affected societies and beyond. UWP works with women in diaspora from conflict and post-conflict countries and regions who are equipped with unique skills, expertise and first-hand experience of the local and global contexts and have trusted networks with women from countries in conflict. This initiative is unique in many ways, such as creating global solidarity among women peacebuilders at the international level and bridging the gap with the local context. This helps to ensure that the Women, Peace and Security agenda is no longer the business of the elite, but rather that it is discussed and led by women on the ground and from the real contexts.

Women building peace: Quhramaana Kakar

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 Read More

Women building peace: Amna Abdul

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.

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

Amna Abdul is a co-founder of Intersectional Feminist Foreign Policy, a group of women’s rights campaigners, journalists, writers, aid workers and policy makers focused on ensuring foreign policy does not create harm to women and looking to develop solutions to the urgent global issues that impact women around the world.

  1. What do peace and security mean to you?

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.

The impact of conflict on women and girls’ experiences vary from those experienced by men and boys, and perhaps this is more clearly laid out when we consider the endemic issue of violence perpetrated against women and girls – examples include Bosnia as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo and the experiences of refugee women fleeing conflict from Syria. The violence perpetrated against women and girls should be seen as part of the conflict itself, and in terms of long-term impact in communities and societies.

But violence against women and girls also happens during processes and times of peace which women are often excluded from, or they are included as a tokenistic gesture and hold very limited power to influence or create change. I believe in the four pillars of the Women, Peace and Security agenda – participation, protection, prevention, and relief and recovery – and in working within these pillars in a way that truly reflects women’s experiences and the values they hold close, such as faith.

  1. Why are the voices of diaspora women valuable to policy-making on peace and security?

The diaspora communities which exist do not sit in a vacuum away from their home countries. Many have often been forced to flee their home countries and make a new life elsewhere, not necessarily out of choice. We often also make the assumption that second or third generation communities don’t necessarily have the same links with their respective countries of origin. However, they are engaged immensely in what happens in those countries and are often directly impacted by what happens there.

Diaspora women also have a very different outlook on what is happening in their countries of origin, because they sit in an interesting position. They get a lot of information and keep themselves informed about issues in their home countries, as well as being able to relate to women’s experiences there because they understand the cultural and religious background they are situated in. However, they are at enough of a distance to be able to be an observer, seeing things in a different light to those living it every day. This position is what gives strength to the role that diaspora women can play in policy-making on peace and security.

  1. What projects related to women, peace and security are you working on or involved with?

Through the work of Intersectional Feminist Foreign Policy, myself and co-founder Shaista Aziz have focused on a range of closed roundtable discussions with diaspora women from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya, and have plans for more. These have included discussions on identity, challenges they face as diaspora women, barriers to participation, and understanding of issues in each community. Although themes overlapped, the way they impacted women in those communities differed greatly.

The work of Intersectional Feminist Foreign Policy also brings together women from all over the world, as well as those living in diaspora communities through an online network sharing information, news, observations and experiences. These are a combination of women who are activists, aid workers, journalists, students and more, who are seeking safe spaces to belong and share ideas based on intersectional understanding of women’s varied and intersecting experiences.

I’m also involved in a Manchester specific programme tackling the issues around radicalisation called RadEqual, as well as a European-wide network to share good practice, build new knowledge and understandings, and connecting with others. Within these networks the strength in the voices of diaspora women is vital.

Follow the work of Intersectional Feminist Foreign Policy on Twitter: @IFFPUK

Women building peace: Amna Abdul

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 Read More

APPG on Women, Peace and Security hosts the UK Government’s annual report to Parliament in 2017

On Tuesday 19 December 2017, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security (APPG-WPS) and GAPS co-hosted the Government’s 2017 annual report to Parliament for 2017.  The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence and the Department for International Development presented their progress in implementing the 2014-2017 UK National Action Plan (NAP), the final report for this NAP.

Baroness Fiona Hodgson of Abinger CBE, co-Chair of the APPG-WPS, opened the event. She emphasised that women’s voices must be heard and acted upon, and cited the consultations run by GAPS and its members as a particular highlight of 2017. Women’s rights organisations and women human rights defenders are doing vital and brave peacebuilding work. The consultations were an opportunity to bring their findings and recommendations to the UK Government’s policy-making processes.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (FCO) acknowledged the importance of ensuring women’s equal participation in post-conflict peacebuilding and restated the UK Government’s commitment to work in collaboration with and across departments as well as with civil society. Lord Ahmad drew attention to priority issues covered in the UK Government’s report, for example working with the United Nations to address sexual exploitation and abuse perpetrated by UN peacekeepers.

General Sir Gordon Messenger (MOD) highlighted the progress on WPS that has been made within the MOD and the British armed forces. The MOD is increasing the number of gender advisers in the British military, and will work towards the delivery of gender training pre-deployment and incorporating gender into training on the laws of armed conflict. General Messenger echoed Lord Ahmad on the frontline role that the UK must play to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeepers. Finally, he outlined targets for women’s increased participation in the armed forces, for improved collaboration and information sharing within UK Government and for WPS to be mainstreamed into UK defence plans.

Matthew Wyatt (DFID) drew parallels between the UK’s work on WPS and the development process for DFID’s new Strategic Vision for Gender Equality, noting that gender-based violence is one of the most widespread human rights violations in conflict-affected contexts. DFID’s humanitarian work has pushed for awareness of the specific needs of women and girls and recognises that women’s participation in the design and implementation of humanitarian response is vital. Mr Wyatt also acknowledged the importance of tackling root causes of gender-based violence.

Helen Stawski (International Rescue Committee, Europe), presented findings from the report No Safe Place: A lifetime of violence for conflict-affected women and girls in South Sudan. This report was produced as part of the What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) consortium. Ms Stawski highlighted that the international community’s focus is often on the perpetration of VAWG by armed actors yet the most common form of violence is intimate partner violence, and levels are shockingly high. The study found that levels of VAWG in South Sudan are as high as 65%, among the highest rates in the world. The report recommends that tackling VAWG should be central to all humanitarian response. There should be gender training for security personnel, and donors should ensure that funding is multiyear, accessible to in-country grassroots organisations and require collaboration with local women’s groups to support existing work and build local capacity. Furthermore, Ms Stawski recommended that programmes targeting VAWG should be integrated with those addressing long-term community-based peacebuilding.

Zarina Khan (GAPS) welcomed the presentation of the UK’s annual report as practice of an open and accountable government. Ms Khan presented the GAPS 2017 Shadow Report, which identifies areas of progress and concern. For instance, she highlighted the positive development of GAPS’ relationship with the cross-Whitehall WPS team and supported commitments made to changing internal cultures and attitudes on gender equality. On countering violent extremism, however, Ms Khan drew attention to the ways in which current practices are not in line with WPS principles, and noted that women and women’s rights advocates should have space to influence all UK Government decisions relating to peace and security. Finally, she challenged the UK Government on its support for Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen, which is inconsistent with its commitments to peace. In Yemen the UK is falling short of its obligations to prevent the occurrence of violent conflict, undermining in the process its own humanitarian and WPS efforts.

Zarina Khan called for the UK Government to meet its ambitions not only by listening to the voices of women in conflict, but by acting on them too. The FCO-funded projects to consult with women’s rights organisations and women human rights defenders set an important and welcome precedent for the UK’s NAP development process. GAPS hopes to see this investment in women’s voices continue, and to see action on the recommendations from the consultations.

Jo Churchill MP, Chair of the APPG-WPS, closed the event by thanking all those who presented. She commended the UK Government for its collaboration with civil society actors, and called on the UK as a global leader on WPS to lead by example in providing the space and access necessary for women’s rights organisations to be involved in the design and evaluation of WPS policy and programming.

APPG on Women, Peace and Security hosts the UK Government’s annual report to Parliament in 2017

On Tuesday 19 December 2017, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security (APPG-WPS) and GAPS co-hosted the Government’s 2017 annual report to Parliament for 2017.  The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence and the Department for Read More

UK launches new National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security

Implementation of the new UK NAP must support the work of women building peace

Today the UK Government has released its fourth National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (UK NAP) which sets the direction for the UK’s work on women’s rights, peacebuilding and conflict prevention from 2018 to 2022.

GAPS has been encouraged by the Government’s collaborative approach to informing this new UK NAP, and the increased commitment to hearing the voices of women’s rights organisations and human rights defenders in conflict-affected countries. With involvement of GAPS and its members, academia and Parliament, the Government has revised the UK NAP to ensure a more strategic and comprehensive approach to achieving the full realisation and protection of women’s rights and genuine, sustainable peace.

© Women for Women International

With this new UK NAP comes a recognition that, despite progress made on Women, Peace and Security globally, far more work is needed. “Creating a clear and evidenced strategy is an intensive task and we have been pleased to work closely with the Government to do so, but this is only the beginning,” says Zarina Khan, interim Director of GAPS. “The real test of this National Action Plan will be in its consistent implementation. This means not just listening to, but acting on women’s voices and taking seriously their concerns and ideas. It means dedicating meaningful resources to the work of women’s rights organisations and human rights defenders who are the on the frontlines of conflict, working to make their communities and countries safer and more peaceful in incredibly difficult circumstances.”

GAPS looks forward to continuing its work with Government and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security to ensure that the UK meets fully its commitments set out in the UK NAP, and that women and girls are truly at the heart of all efforts prevent and resolve conflict.

Read more about GAPS’ recommendations for the 2018-2022 UK NAP.

See what women’s rights activists in Somalia, Syria and Afghanistan think are the most pressing issues for the UK’s work on Women, Peace and Security.

You can access the 2018-2022 UK NAP here.

UK launches new National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security

Implementation of the new UK NAP must support the work of women building peace Today the UK Government has released its fourth National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (UK NAP) which sets the direction for the UK’s work Read More

Assessing UK Government Action on Women, Peace and Security in 2017

In this new report GAPS assesses the 2017 Annual Report to Parliament by the UK Government, analyses progress in the UK’s Women, Peace and Security work over the past year and makes recommendations for building on this progress including for the new UK National Action Plan (NAP). In this report, GAPS looks at the UK’s work at the UN Security Council, its efforts to support women’s participation in international events, its role in the conflict in Yemen, and other key developments from this year. As the final shadow report for the 2014-2017 UK NAP on Women, Peace and Security, it also provides an overview of the UK Government’s reporting during the course of this NAP.

This report builds on and complements GAPS’ written submission Informing the new UK National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, the summary report Women’s Voices in the UK National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, and previous shadow reports for 2015 and 2016.

Assessing UK Government Action on Women, Peace and Security in 2017

In this new report GAPS assesses the 2017 Annual Report to Parliament by the UK Government, analyses progress in the UK’s Women, Peace and Security work over the past year and makes recommendations for building on this progress including for the new Read More

APPG on Women, Peace and Security: in conversation with Ambassador Melanne Verveer

On Tuesday 31 October, Ambassador Melanne Verveer joined the APPG on Women, Peace and Security and GAPS for a discussion on her work on Women, Peace and Security, and her hopes for creating meaningful change for women’s rights.

Baroness Hodgson, co-chair of the APPG, highlighted Ambassador Verveer’s extensive experience in Women, Peace and Security, spanning government, civil society and academia. Ambassador Verveer was the first ever US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, nominated by President Obama in 2009. In this role, she led the development of the US National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. Ambassador Verveer is now the Director of Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security, working to enhance national and global security by championing the crucial role women play in peacebuilding and security.

Ambassador Verveer opened by describing her early involvement with Women, Peace and Security on the global stage. Ambassador Verveer pinpointed the Beijing Platform for Action in 1995 and the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 in 2000 as pivotal moments for the representation of women’s rights in international frameworks, especially relating to conflict affected and fragile settings.

Baroness Hodgson of Abinger CBE, Ambassador Melanne Verveer & Baroness Goudie

Ambassador Verveer paid tribute to the critical roles that women have played in peace processes, for example in Northern Ireland and Liberia. She expressed frustration at the underrepresentation and lack of documentation of women in peace processes, as this is needed to create a compelling evidence base that resonates with decision-makers. This is what the Georgetown Institute aims to achieve: bridging the silo between theory and practice to persuade decision-makers that Women, Peace and Security is the right framework to invest in and implement.

Ambassador Verveer feels the implementation of Women, Peace and Security is the most practical way to address conflict at the level of root causes. Effective implementation means not only strengthening the top-down approach at the levels of regional, national and local governance, but building capacity at the bottom as well. She articulated this as “heat at the bottom and heat at the top.” Women and women’s rights organisations are at the frontlines of change, and their perspectives and experiences are essential to developing approaches to end violent conflict and build peace. With this in mind, the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security has developed a Women, Peace and Security Index to offer a comprehensive measure of women’s inclusion, justice and security in 153 countries.

Questions from the floor discussed the importance of women’s movements and networks, and how resourcing and support for women’s rights organisations is essential to enabling change. Responding to a question on the need for a greater focus on preventing conflict and violence against women, Ambassador Verveer noted the relevance of international frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) as complementary to the WPS agenda.

Finally, a question from Women for Peace and Participation asked about the major challenges that women still face in accessing the negotiating table, for example in Afghanistan. Ambassador Verveer’s response, drawn from her past experiences, stated that the peace and security architectures still resist the representation of women and women’s rights. Addressing these structural barriers means pushing back on the conventional wisdom that putting women’s rights on the agenda means you will not get a peace agreement.

APPG on Women, Peace and Security: in conversation with Ambassador Melanne Verveer

On Tuesday 31 October, Ambassador Melanne Verveer joined the APPG on Women, Peace and Security and GAPS for a discussion on her work on Women, Peace and Security, and her hopes for creating meaningful change for women’s rights. Baroness Hodgson, Read More

APPG on Women, Peace and Security: Families For Freedom event

On Wednesday 11 October, the APPG Friends of Syria and APPG on Women, Peace and Security hosted an event with Families For Freedom – a women-led campaign for the rights of all detainees in Syria. They call for the issue of detainees to be treated as a humanitarian priority, separate from political and military bargaining. Their three main demands are as follows:
1) The right to know the fate of detained and disappeared people;
2) Detainees’ right to decent living conditions and freedom from torture and abuse;
3) The abolition of exceptional courts, especially Military Field Courts.

Baroness Hodgson of Abinger, co-chair of the APPG on Women, Peace and Security, briefly outlined the use of arbitrary detention and abuse and torture of detainees in the Syrian conflict. The Syrian Network of Human Rights has recorded more than 117,000 detainees, but some estimates place the number as high as 215,000. Amnesty International has reported that as many as 13,000 people, mostly civilians, were hanged in secret at one prison over a period of five years. Human Rights Watch revealed that at least 6,786 people have died in detention because of torture and abuse. Detention and disappearances affect not only the detainees, but also families left for years with no certain knowledge of their fate. Survivors of detention, and their families, suffer lifelong consequences.

Baroness Hodgson introduced three speakers from Families For Freedom: Amina, Noura and Ghada. Amina experienced detention herself, and three of her brothers were forcibly disappeared in 2011. Amina spoke about the origins of Families For Freedom’s campaign in Geneva, and appealed to the UK media to raise awareness about detainees in Syria, including the circumstances of their arrest and detention. Amina highlighted that the women of Families For Freedom have to struggle against gendered community pressures in order to be able to do their work. She described Families For Freedom as a “revolution against tyranny and traditions.”

Noura, a human rights lawyer and activist for women’s rights, recently learned that her husband Bassel Khartabil, detained in 2012, was executed. She spoke of her personal experience of being denied visiting rights to, and then all communications from, her husband. Noura expressed frustration at the inaction from the international community on Syria’s detained and disappeared. “We appreciate solidarity,” she said, “but we need action.” Ghada sees Families For Freedom as a means to feel stronger together. Since her husband’s detention, Ghada has been determined to spread the message about unjustifiable detention: “I feel very strong, because I have a message, and I have learnt that I always have to talk about it.” Families For Freedom has helped her to do this.

Laila Alodaat, Programme Manager for Crisis Response at the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), spoke on consultations that WILPF and Amnesty International UK ran in conjunction with GAPS. The consultations were held to inform the new UK National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security, but they have wide-ranging recommendations on support for women’s rights and women’s rights organisations that have application beyond a NAP. Women’s civil society organisations have the largest impact in their communities, but they are limited by a lack of financial and technical support. Women’s participation is also essential for the Syrian peace processes. The women from Families For Freedom, active community leaders working for peace, are excluded from the negotiating table. For this to change, the international community needs to start asking how the conflict in Syria is impacting women differently. This needs to be documented and implemented in policies to have accountability.

Baroness Hodgson thanked the speakers for bringing the situation of detention and forced disappearance to the attention of this audience, and for sharing such difficult personal stories. The event was also a powerful reminder of the specific barriers that women’s rights organising faces in the context of conflict, and that the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda still has far to go to be fully realised.

APPG on Women, Peace and Security: Families For Freedom event

On Wednesday 11 October, the APPG Friends of Syria and APPG on Women, Peace and Security hosted an event with Families For Freedom – a women-led campaign for the rights of all detainees in Syria. They call for the issue Read More

Somali Women’s Voices in the UK National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security

In November 2016 the UK Government partnered with GAPS to consult with women’s civil society organisations and women human rights defenders on the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) priorities in their contexts. This video presents a summary of the findings from the consultation in Somalia which took place in March 2017. The consultations were led by GAPS member Saferworld, and two of Saferworld’s local partners and established women’s rights groups: the Somali Women Development Centre (Mogadishu) and the Somalia Women Solidarity Organisation (Kismayo). The overarching theme from these consultations is that women are politically absent from decision making.

Somali Women’s Voices in the UK National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security

In November 2016 the UK Government partnered with GAPS to consult with women’s civil society organisations and women human rights defenders on the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) priorities in their contexts. This video presents a summary of the findings from Read More

Syrian Women’s voices in the UK National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security

In November 2016 the UK Government partnered with GAPS to consult with women’s civil society organisations and women human rights defenders on the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) priorities in their contexts. GAPS members Amnesty International UK and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom supplemented funds from the UK Government to run the Syria Response consultations in Turkey and Lebanon, alongside Women Now for Development. This report reflects analysis by women’s rights activists of the barriers and challenges around WPS, as well as recommendations that will inform the development process of the next UK National Action Plan on WPS.

Syrian Women’s voices in the UK National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security

In November 2016 the UK Government partnered with GAPS to consult with women’s civil society organisations and women human rights defenders on the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) priorities in their contexts. GAPS members Amnesty International UK and Women’s International Read More

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