Women peace activists and researchers have been lobbying and advocating for years members of parliament in addition to inform the Canadian public about peacebuilding, conflict prevention and the important role women play in these issues. As the window for participation in policy making has been considerably reduced, Canadian women peace activists have been trying to join forces with other groups and institutions at home and from all over the world to foster ideas of peace and prevent conflicts.
Among them, is the creation of the Women, Peace and Security Network - Canada (WPSN-C) a loose network composed of Canadian individuals, NGOs, and scholars who aim at monitoring the Canadian government's efforts in relation to women, peace and security. Also, there has been the creation of public campaigns to heighten the awareness of the Canadian public on such issues, the organising of conferences, the writing of books (such as the recently published: Sexual Violence in Conflict and Post-Conflict Societies), the writing of op-eds to newspapers, among others.
Moreover, in order to tackle issues at home, First Nations women have played a key role in bringing to the fore the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in Canada. Actions have involved: an attempt to document this scourge in creating databases, a request for a national inquiry into the missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada, campaigns such as Idle No More to denounce Canadian bills and/or laws, which are deemed to heighten the vulnerability of and encroach on the sovereignty of First Nations Peoples.
Women's civil society in Fiji has a rich ‘her' story when it comes to preventing conflict particularly through a range of approaches since the crises of 2000 – this has included organising vigils, organising rural networks to enable women's participation and interactive dialogues with government officials particularly through the innovative use of community media including community radio; in the transition to parliamentary democracy women's rights groups have been working in partnership to enhance women's political participation."
Gender Focal Point
"As the window for participation in policy
Women in Serbia and the region of the Western Balkans represent a majority of actors involved in civilian peacebuilding and conflict prevention. Women played a crucial part in two areas of conflict prevention during the wars in 1990s as well as in the present, namely: peace and conflict resolution education and anti-war activism.
Building on the fact that a vast majority of primary and secondary school teachers in Serbia are women, they have taken a leading role in peace and conflict resolution education.
Peace education including conflict
resolution training programs.
Exchanges between North and
South Korean women. At the
moment, the South Korean
government does not give us
permission to meet North Korean
women, so it is difficult to meet them.
Advocacy on UN 1325.
There are a few levels where women are playing roles to prevent conflict.
Firstly, there is a vivid group of NGOs and Community Based Organisations (CBOs) who are advocating for gender equality, women rights and participation. Some of these NGOs are part of unofficial coalition for UN SR1325. They are lobbying for adoption of National Action Plan and implementation of the resolution at large.
Secondly, there are women journalists and civic activists who are constantly writing about human security, cost of the conflict, human rights violations in the army, the rights of soldiers and their families. It is a small but very vocal group which is active both in the media and social sphere. And finally, there are grass-roots women from various crossborder and conflict affected regions who are involved in education, civic activism and community mobilisation.
The coalition advocates for the increasing the role of Azerbaijani women in decision-making with regard of conflict prevention and resolution at the national, regional and international levels. 'Coalition 1325' aims to involve refugee and IDP women in peacebuilding process, to promote a culture of peace and establish cooperation with women coalitions working on similar issues abroad.
Paula Banerjee • India
Even though women remain largely excluded from formal peace negotiations, there have been cases of the involvement of women's peace organizations taking part in peace processes, particularly in Nagaland, India. Most notable of the Naga women's peace groups are the Naga Mothers Association (NMA) and they have been very active in the politics for peace in Northeast India. The NMA came into existence on February 14, 1984, with a preamble that stated, "Naga mothers of Nagaland shall express the need of rising awareness for citizens towards more responsible living and human development through the voluntary organisation of the Naga Mother's Association." The NMA mediated between the Government of Nagaland and the Naga Student's Federation over age limit for jobs and came to an equitable settlement. An achievement of NMA is the formation of the Peace Team in October 1994 to confront the deteriorating political situation. Their theme was Shed No More Blood. The NMA spoke against killings not only by the army but also by the militants. In a pamphlet released on 25th May 1995, the representatives of NMA wrote that: "the way in which our society is being run whether by the over ground government or the underground government, have become simply intolerable."