Walking the Line: Women Cross De-militarised Zone (DMZ) for Peace

By Blythe Brauer

On 23 July, Peace Women in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of Liechtenstein to the United Nations convened a panel of women peace activists at the United Nations to speak about their participation in the historic 2015 Women's Walk for Peace in Korea, which WILPF International President, Kozue Akibayashi joined on International Women's Day this year. Panelists Christine Ahn, Aiyoung Choi, Ann Wright and Dr Hyung-Kyung Chung spoke movingly about their experiences meeting with both North and South Korean women and their wish for a Peace Treaty to finally end the Korean War. While the walk received enormous press coverage from international media, it was crucial to hear the voices of the Korean women and their wish for peace.

A film of the meeting showed that desire for reunification on both sides of the DMZ is palpable. The panelists reinforced the importance of including women in any future peace processes and reiterated a call to the UN to step up its efforts in reunifying the two Koreas. The event was well attended by civil society and member state representatives. H.E. Ambassador Chowdhury, former Permanent Representative from Bangladesh, suggested the walk demonstrates the time for ‘women’s diplomacy’ has come, and called for a woman to serve as the next Secretary-General of the United Nations. WILPF continues to support grassroots women peacebuilding movements and the inclusion of women in peacebuilding at all levels.

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