United Nations, Oct 21 (IANS) The international community should step up efforts to promote women’s participation in conflict-prevention and peacebuilding, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed has said.
The participation of women at all levels “has played a pivotal role in changing the way we approach peace and security over the last 20 years,” Mohammed told a UN Security Council open debate on the theme of “Strengthening Women’s Resilience and Leadership as a Path to Peace in Regions Plagued by Armed Groups” on Thursday, Xinhua news agency reported.
“When we open the door to inclusion and participation, we take a giant step forward in conflict prevention and peacebuilding,” she said.
Despite decades of evidence that gender equality offers a path to sustainable peace and conflict prevention, “we are moving in the opposite direction,” Mohammed said, noting that “progress has been slow.”
Between 1995 and 2019, women constituted on average just 13 per cent of negotiators, 6 per cent of mediators and 6 per cent of signatories in major peace processes, Mohammed said.
Women’s participation in peace processes, and influence over decisions that affect their lives, continue to lag far behind, creating a real barrier to inclusive, durable, and sustainable peace, she pointed out.
The UN deputy chief called for dismantling patriarchal norms that exclude women from power, putting forward more women mediators and negotiators as well as securing greater and more predictable financing for women peacebuilders at the frontline.
“We need full gender parity — including through special quotas to accelerate the inclusion of women — across election monitoring, security sector reform, disarmament, demobilisation, and justice systems,” she said.