Dr. Cynthia Enloe is a world-renowned scholar on gender and militarism and is a member of the WILPF academic network. In January, she participated in the “Women Lead to Peace” Summit in Montreux and Geneva, which WILPF and a coalition of women's groups launched to strengthen opportunities for women's participation in the Syrian peace processes. Dr. Enloe's daily blog, posted on the WILPF website, highlights the rich discussions among participants -- including Nobel Laureates Shirin Ebadi and Mairead Maguire -- who came from around the world including Iran, Northern Ireland, Liberia, the Balkans, Colombia, Sri Lanka, and Syria to share experiences and strategies.
An excerpt of her blog is below - download the full blog here:
“We all gathered at the Graduate Institute, wonderful new glass buildings just a short walk from the UN. Lisa Prugl, a well known feminist International Relations scholar and a faculty member at the Institute, had arranged for the space. The politics of space is always interesting. We all sat in a big circle – we are feminists after all! The focus was and is: How to persuade the UN officials and the US and Russian officials – as well as all the Syrian men invited to the official peace talks table (which officially begin in two days) – that inviting the only men who wield guns (and the men with brief cases who have large armies behind them) to make peace is not a formula that will work. In fact, there's an international track record – evidence! – to prove that this “only men with guns can make peace” is not an effective formula.
Instead … the only productive formula for moving towards a sustainable (“sustainable” was used repeatedly – these are not “quick fix” sorts of thinkers) peace is to have at the official table (not mere “observers”) representatives of those women civil society activists inside Syria. That is, sitting at the official negotiating table should be Syrian women who have knowledge about creating peace, reducing violence, creating a genuine social contract, AND who are not coming to the official table to promote post-war political careers for themselves.”