Women's Empowerment Builds International Peace and Security


UNITED NATIONS, Oct 18 (IPS) - When war erupts, women are often the first to experience the harsh brutality and the last to be called to the peace table. A resolution adopted Friday by the U.N. Security Council moves us one step closer to the full participation of women as leaders for peace and security.

By unanimous vote, the Council adopted a resolution that sets in place stronger measures to enable women to participate in conflict resolution and recovery, and puts the onus on the Security Council, the United Nations, regional organisations and member states to dismantle the barriers, create the space, and provide seats at the table for women.

Despite increases in the numbers of women in politics and in business leadership, very few women have lead roles in formal peace talks, in spite of the significant role they play in community-level reconciliation. Peace negotiations and all institutions linked to conflict resolution remain male-dominated.

Since the end of the Cold War, women have represented only four percent of signatories to peace agreements, less than three percent of mediators of peace talks, and less than 10 percent of anyone sitting at the table to negotiate on behalf of a party to the conflict.