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“We are not afraid, we are resisting”: A strong message from the Director of Myanmar’s Gender Equality Network
At 8pm every evening since February 1, 2021 hundreds of thousands across Myanmar bang pots and pans to demonstrate their non-violent resistance to the military coup. This symbolic act is part of the Red Ribbon campaign, a nationwide Civil Disobedience Movement. The movement’s message is clear, explains May Sabe Phyu, Director of the Gender Equality Network (GEN) and a member of WASL: “We are not afraid; we are resisting the coup.”
Women Peacebuilders on the Frontlines of COVID-19
As coronavirus sweeps across the world, many of our WASL partners, alongside other women peacebuilders, have pivoted their work to respond to COVID-19 and related issues. These women peacebuilders are again on the frontlines, shifting from building peace in their communities and countries to working to prevent the spread of a pandemic. When civil society is strong and independent, CSOs can respond to a variety of crises, from war to a pandemic.
Far-right extremist ideology has found fertile ground in many countries amid the pandemic, and the movements embracing it are globally connected. On January 28, 2021, during the weekly WASL community call, Dr. Mia Bloom and Shannon Foley Martinez joined us to share their expertise on far-right extremism, conspiracy theories, and the role of women and gender.
During the pandemic we have been busy translating our materials and tools into new languages. In 2020 we launched a number of animations in Russian and Swahili, and we are excited to at this time share three of our existing animations in Ukrainian: Gendered Devolution: Why it matters, how to do it, Gender Responsive and Inclusive Ceasefires: Why it matters, how to do and Gendered Transitional Justice: Why it matters, how to do it.
During three weeks in December the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN), provided an 18-hour training on Gender Responsive and Inclusive Mediation to 16 members of the Women Mediators across the Commonwealth (WMC), a network hosted by Conciliation Resources.
ICAN promotes inclusive and sustainable peace in countries affected by violent conflict, extremism, militarism, and closing political space. Recognizing the gendered impact of conflict and the critical role of women peacebuilders, we fulfill our mission through a dual strategy of:
- Shaping and influencing the peace and security policies of governments, multilateral organizations, and the wider international community by providing thought leadership, strategic advice, and gender-responsive analysis and operational guidance; and
- Sustaining and strengthening a global movement of innovative locally rooted women peacebuilders to have voice and influence wherever matters of peace, violent conflict, rights, and human security are determined.
We bring the word and spirit of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and the global women, peace and security agenda to life.
“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