Global Open Day for Women and Peace
Open Day: Powerful Messages to Speed International Commitments
24 June 2010, UNIFEM
The UN-organized "Global Open Day for Women and Peace” continued in mid-June with senior UN officials and women peace advocates engaging in vibrant exchanges of proposed actions for improving women’s participation in peace processes.
In more than 20 countries, the Global Open Day is helping to kick off preparations for the 10th anniversary of UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. A set of recommendations from the event will go to the UN Security Council before it meets in October to debate the resolution’s track record and future implementation.
UNIFEM Executive Director Ines Alberdi attended the Global Open Day in Sudan, saying it would send a “powerful message of urgency” to the council. She highlighted recent progress in recognizing that conflict-related sexual violence needs immediate attention, but stressed that the level of sexual violence in crises remains “dreadful.” Other shortfalls include the low number of women in peace negotiations and the lack of financing of women’s needs in post-conflict recovery plans.
In Afghanistan, Staffan de Mistura, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, listened to a spectrum of women’s proposals on security, conflict resolution and peace-building, justice and accountability, and sexual violence. Mistura called for new dialogues guided by the Constitution, which guarantees “space to protect the gains made by women.”
Over 60 women from civil society groups in Burundi met with the Secretary-General’s Executive Representative Charles Petrie and mapped priority actions, such as creating a national 1325 committee to monitor progress on priorities identified during the Global Open Day. They underscored the importance of training women to assume peace and security roles, strengthening laws on gender equality and establishing special legal mechanisms for women survivors of violence.
Guinea-Bissau should have women in at least 25 percent of all national peace and decision-making positions, advocates said in a meeting with Special Representative of the Secretary-General Joseph Mutaboba. They also encouraged the international community to evaluate all forms of assistance from a gender perspective.
Women in Pakistan adopted the slogan “We don’t want to make conflict or crisis safer for women – we want to stop these altogether!” In talks with UN special Envoy for UN Assistance to Pakistan, Ambassador Jean Maurice Ripert, they called for zero tolerance for sexual and gender-based violence, and put forward gender budgeting as an essential tool in translating post-conflict recovery spending into benefits for women.
In Senegal, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Office for West Africa, Said Djinnit, committed to organizing a regional 1325 conference for West Africa at a session with women from the political, social development and academic spheres.
Women in Timor-Leste proposed gender parity in the national police and an international tribunal to address crimes created during years of conflict — women made up a majority of the victims. The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Ameerah Haq, highlighted successful efforts to protect women from violence, and visited a shelter for domestic or sexual violence survivors. She emphasized that much more needs to be done in ensuring equal access to justice and resources, and rallied women’s advocates by stating, “Do not be apologetic in raising your concerns.”
Other Global Open Day events have taken place in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kosovo, Liberia, Nepal, Sierra Leone and Somalia.