“While SDG 16 is a positive development worth celebrating, its gender neutral targets and indicators imply that actors will be required to use frameworks like CEDAW, Maputo Protocol and UNSCR 1325 to actualize this goal,” Isis-WICCE’s Helen Kezie Nwoha set the tone for the conversation focused on solutions to achieve peace and inclusive societies across the world. The panel discussion hosted by National Alliance of Women Human Rights Defenders, Isis-WICCE and the Women Resource Centre –Nepal took place at the 60th session at United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York City.
Isis-WICCE offered a gender analysis of SDG 16 on ‘Peace and Inclusive Societies’ highlighting the need for peace and development actors to proactively ensure gender-responsive implementation. Global Fund for Women’s Muadi Mukenge stressed the need for women to be concretely included backed by long-term investment in order to guarantee sustainable change. She shared the example of the 2013 Peace Accord and the Peace and Security Cooperation Framework which included the Women’s Platform as a component and a key benchmark for realizing the accord’s agreements.
“Through a special fund, grantees raised awareness on the Peace Accord, campaigned on ending sexual violence, supported livelihood initiatives and designed innovative approaches for clean energy over one year. It was clear that short term investments cannot deliver change “Muadi explained.
Bai Ali, an environmental women human rights defender from the Philippines presented the tensions and conflict resulting from protesting the loss of ancestral land and means of production to multinational extractive mining companies. Bai highlighted the challenges of activism in a context of high perception of terrorism and potential wrath from various militarized institutions. Conversely, WOREC Nepal’s Dr. Renu Rajbhandari used the recent case of the April 2015 Earthquake response to demonstrate the value of allying with well-equipped grassroots women leaders to maintain stability and peace gains within post-conflict communities.
The wider conversation agreed on the need to harness all the existing peace and security frameworks to yield tangible results and peace for women and communities. Participants called for stronger implementation of 1325, increased engagement of the youth and increased funding as well as skills building to ensure women’s contribution to peace and governance processes.