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Many of our WASL partners, alongside other women peacebuilders, have pivoted their work to respond to COVID-19 and related issues: community awareness-raising, distributing supplies, calling for ceasefires, working to prevent domestic violence as people are quarantined or self-distancing at home, and more. Women peacebuilders are again on the frontlines, working to prevent the spread of a pandemic in their communities.
“Stop the rhetoric on promising rights, development and gender equality, and deliver on that promise. If your promises stay empty, you lose the trust of the people,” warned ICAN’s Founder and CEO, Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, MBE, during a high level session of the UN’s 7th Biannual Review of the Global Counter Terrorism Strategy.
Ms. Anderlini spoke alongside Professor Ni Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, the UN’s Special Rapporteur Ambassador Pascale Baeriswyl, Switzerland’s Permanent Representative to the UN and Ambassador Nicolas de Rivière, Permanent Representative of France to the UN in a session on “Protecting and promoting Human Rights as a cornerstone of building resilience against terrorism”.
Read Ms. Anderlini’s full speech.
Around the world, women peacebuilders are working within their communities to de-escalate violent conflict and prevent the recurrence of conflict in post-conflict or transitional environments. However, their work is made increasingly more difficult by the framing of conflict resolution as a linear process. WASL partners suggest that conflict is actually a cycle and that most countries will experience multiple phases of the cycle, simultaneously.
In the 14th virtual WASL call, peacebuilders discussed the ‘cycle of conflict’ and how it affects their work on conflict prevention, de-escalation, and peacebuilding.
Read the full summary.
The concept of interconnectedness is one that ICAN has directly addressed through the formal establishment of WASL, meaning “to connect” in Arabic, Farsi and Urdu. In the 12th weekly call, WASL members shared their stories of what this alliance means to them as a family and community of support.
“ICAN and WASL offer moral and political support to women. They energize us and empower us to raise our voice.”
Read the full summary.
As COVID-19 has exacerbated existing gaps in services on the ground, and many women peacebuilders pivoted their work during the pandemic to deal with urgent humanitarian response, the question of whether development aid reaches local communities arose. Members of the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL) highlighted the need for change so that development aid can reach local communities and provide the basic services of food, healthcare, and education.
Canada’s Minister of International Development, Karina Gould, and Canada’s Ambassador for Women, Peace and Security, Jacqueline O’Neill joined WASL members in the conversation.
Read the full summary
“I truly believe that a small group, like ICAN, of very committed women, can get the message across that there is not going to be a sustainable solution to extremism without including women”
– Senator Mobina Jaffer
“ICAN has one agenda, and it is Peace.”
– Sri Lankan woman peacebuilder
“ICAN provides a safe open space and a healthy environment for discussions that will bring about the needed change.”
– Palestinian woman peacebuilder
“Through ICAN, our work reached international platforms for the first time, including the UN.”
– Iraqi woman peacebuilder
“ICAN brings together women that have worked with extremist groups and within very violent conflicts. I share and learn new strategies from them.”
– Ugandan woman peacebuilder
The diversity I found in ICAN helps me and nurtures my experience and enables me to go forward”
– Tunisian women peacebuilder
“ICAN helps us learn new strategies through sharing experiences with other women from different countries”
– Somali woman peacebuilder