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Empowerment of Women

Conference in Athens on Women in War and Reconstruction

Women’s Federation for World Peace, International
UN DPI / ECOSOC / NGO / General Consultative Status
WFWP – Japan
Middle East

“Women in War and Reconstruction”
15th annual Women's Conference on Peace in the Middle East recommendations

In light of the current events that are prevailing in the region extending from Morocco to Iran, over 40 women leaders from the Middle East, North Africa, Gulf States, as well as from Europe and Asia, gathered in Thessaloniki, Greece in May 2011 for the fifteenth annual “Women’s Conference on Peace in the Middle East (MEW)” sponsored by Women’s Federation for World Peace International and its counterpart in Japan. Participants, including representatives of grassroots organizations, governmental, economic and legal sectors, UN agencies and academia, deliberated on the conference theme, “Women in War and Reconstruction.”

It was confirmed that during the protests that swept the entire region, women courageously took to the streets alongside their fellow citizens at the risk of their lives. Yet despite their sacrifices, these women, who could have been valuable agents of conflict resolution and peacebuilding, in compliance with Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, often find themselves marginalized and excluded from reconstruction processes. The crosscutting issue of gender which acknowledges the valuable contribution of women cannot be bypassed without the dire consequences of undermining efforts of post-conflict reconstruction.

In accordance with the above, the following recommendations were agreed upon:

 

1. Calling for the participation of women in peace negotiation and peace building at all decision making levels.

2. Enhancing the knowledge and education at the family and formal levels through giving equal opportunities for both girls/women and boys/men, in accordance with international legal framework on gender.

3. Targeting governmental bodies and urging them to change repressive legislation against women and women’s rights, in order to help overcome gender discrimination.

4. Ending impunity for gender-based crimes and creating accountability.

5. Actively engaging women in reconciliation process as facilitators and not only as victims or beneficiaries.

6. Actively engaging women in reconciliation process as facilitators and not only as victims or beneficiaries.

7. Acknowledging and encouraging support for the preeminent role that women have in times of crises as providers of security and stability, not only as victims of the lack of it.

8. Appreciating that women have a unique position within families and communities to detect early warning signs of unrest and if empowered could pilot preventive measures.

9. Adopting appropriate laws promoting and protecting equal rights for men and women.

10. Involving national NGOs and other stakeholders to work with their respective governments on the creation of national action plans on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1325, with reporting mechanism as is required.

11. Building the capacity of National NGOs to respond to the needs of their local communities in conflict and post-conflict situation.

12. Launching awareness campaigns on Security Council resolution 1325 and human rights education with the support of UN agencies present on the field.

13. Guarantee the full participation of women in all fields of the labor market and their involvement in the national economy with special focus on the female-headed household.

14. Working on the creation of an independent structure to monitor the situation of women in their countries through the collection of research, media, statistics, testimonies, school curricula, and all available data in order to “map” women NGOs and entities for lessons learned and best practices. Creating a database/website to serve this purpose.

The women, participants at the said 15th Conference for Peace in the Middle East, call upon their respective Governments, NGOs, and civil society to consider and implement the above, enhancing thus their efforts to achieve peace and development in their nation.

See reports of other women's conferences on peace in the Middle East:

 Bridge of Peace
 Middle East Conferences
  » Geneva - 2012
  · Cyprus - 2010
  · Vravrona - 2009
  · Geneva - 2008
  · Cyprus - 2007
  · Geneva - 2006
  · Athens - 2005
  · Geneva - 2004
  · Crete - 2002

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