On March 14th, ICAN, in partnership with UNDP and the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the UN, hosted “The Role of Parliamentarians as Partners in Women, Peace and Security”. The discussion by the panel was introduced by the moderator, Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, Assistant Secretary General and BPPS Director, UNDP.  He spoke about the relevancy of UN Resolution 1325 now, and the work that is yet to be done to ensure gender equality.  He emphasized the importance of parliaments in creating and implementing legislation that moves the government toward the inclusion of women in peace and security, and the prevention of gender-based violence.

Panelist Jens Frølich Holte, State Secretary in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, discussed the importance of women’s engagement, and implementation of inclusivity.  Women inclusion makes a peace agreement more likely to be reached and be implemented, and makes peace more likely to last.

Nada Darwezeh, Chief of the Gender Equality Section at the Center for Women at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, spoke about the commission’s intentions to marshal efforts to aid in gender justice, providing relief access, and promoting participation and an end to violence.  She emphasized that the implementation of the WPS agenda must include legislation.

WASL partner, Visaka Dharmadasa, founder and Chair of Association of War Affected Women (AWAW) in Sri Lanka, spoke about the involvement of Sri Lankan women in government in three tiers (Parliament, provincial, and local).  One difficulty in Sri Lanka is that members of parliament are not independent—they work under the government and political parties, making it difficult to work for women’s rights.

Avazkan Ormonova, director of the Public Fund, Business Initiative Women, in Kyrgyzstan, discussed the work of Women Leaders of Kyrgyzstan, which was created after the passing of Resolution 1325.  The network works closely with parliament to push for laws on women’s rights, including domestic violence, reproductive rights, and the creation of a gender quota.

ICAN’s Executive Director, Sanam Anderlini discussed the fact that not enough progress has been made regarding Resolution 1325.

Collectively, we need to work to move from the “Triple A’s”—apathy, ad hoc-ness, and amnesia—to the “Triple C’s”—Courage (of politicians), Care (to know what’s happening in your country), and Commitment (it’s a long-term issue).  We need to realize that violence and war aren’t inevitable, peace is.  Women are the missing piece of the puzzle in peace and security.  One way to further the WPS agenda is to put it where money is, and put that money into human security, programs, and advocacy.

The panel concluded with consensus on several important points, such as noting that peace and security are not only during conflict, but also after; looking at the WPS agenda from a holistic manner to ensure gender equality and justice; and a pledge to form a manifesto of 14 March to create a movement around how to move from Triple A to Triple C.


“Women shouldn’t be cleaning up the mess, they should be at the table so the mess doesn’t happen in the first place.”

Sanam Naraghi Anderlini

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