By Marina Kumskova, WILPF’s Women, Peace and Security Programme Associate
The participants from Yemen who were unable to join other peace activists at the UNSCR1325+18 (Photo: Marina Kumskova)
On 24 October 2018, Wo=men, Oxfam, Cordaid, Care, International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN), WILPF and the Permanent Mission of the Netherlands co-hosted an event titled, “Reality check: What is working in Yemen and CAR when it comes to international support for women’s leadership in peace and security?” Civil society activists from Yemen and the CAR discussed different approaches and tailored programs local women’s organisations are putting in place to advance the meaningful participation of women and girls impacted by humanitarian crisis and sexual and gender-based violence. The activists also discussed how the international community can support and advance, rather than take over, their work for peace.
Although she was unable to participate in person since her visa was not approved by the US government, our partner Rasha Jarhum, Founder and Director of the Peace Track Initiative, along with two other panellists, participated via video link. She highlighted how Yemeni women are bearing the brunt of the impact of the war, yet their role at the peace table is marginal. While the members of the Security Council celebrate the increase of civil society briefers and engagement with local activists via the Informal Expert Group on Women, Peace and Security, as well as strengthened international framework on peace with women at its core, the conversation shed the light on persistent gaps in financing, the lack of focus on disarmament and the shrinking space for civil society on all levels.
Read our summary of the “Reality check: What is working in Yemen and CAR when it comes to international support for women’s leadership in peace and security?” event here>>