Hosted by: Vice Presidency for Women and Family Affairs
Islamic Republic of Iran
Wars and conflicts have disproportionate impact on women and children. Historically, women have been left out of the peace process and reconciliation efforts. Women play an important role in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction. In this regard, the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 stresses the importance of women’s equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security. The Resolution emphasizes incorporating gender perspectives in policies, programmatic tools and capacity building activities.
Gender perspectives are yet to be systematically incorporated in planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting in areas of peace and security. An outstanding challenge is increasing the numbers of women in high-level decision making positions in peacekeeping operations. In the areas of conflict prevention, peace negotiations and post-conflict reconstruction, women do not participate fully and more needs to be done to ensure promotion of gender equality which is an explicit goal in the pursuit of sustainable peace. The Sustainable Development Goal 16 recognizes the importance of gender equality and women’s empowerment in building just, peaceful and inclusive societies. As such, progress towards the SDGs will not be achieved if women are denied access towards decision making and women’s agency in peace-building.
Due to the importance which the Vice Presidency of Women and Family Affairs in Islamic Republic of Iran attaches to gender roles in peace processes and the sustainability of peace in societies as well as to the significance of issues highlighted in the UN Security Council 1325 Resolution, and in the follow up of the ‘Women, Peace and Security Conference’ 2018 in Tehran; the second conference under a similar title to track discussions raised in 2018.
The one-day conference will welcome lectures, opinions, and initiatives by guest participants from states’ participant representatives, scholars, and representatives of NGOs and civil society. The dialogues will be heard; experiences will be shared and invited into discussion in panels.
The conference aims to bring together members of guest states, academics scholars, representatives from women NGOs and civil society and related stakeholders to exchange and share their experiences, lessons learned, good practices and research results on effective polices and approaches towards awareness raising on the role of gender relations in peace-building and security and new insights on current conflicts. The conference also intends to highlight the contribution of women NGOs to peaceful conflict resolution and concerns as well as practical challenges encountered and solutions adopted in the fields “Women, Peace and Security”. Subjects of discussions for the conference will revolve around the linkages between policy reform, sustainable peace, innovations, women as equal partners to men in peace process and stabilization, and gender responsive peace-building and peace-making particularly in strengthening the interlinked and mutually reinforcing four pillars of participation, prevention, protection and recovery and relief based on the principles of respect for human rights and dignity and in tackling the root causes of conflict to create sustainable peace.
Organizer of the Event
→ Vice Presidency for Women and Family Affairs, Islamic Republic of Iran, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Iran’s National Library, Iranian Political Science Association, Association for Protection of Refugee Women and Children, Iran Peace Studies Association, Center for Peace and Environment, Tehran Peace Museum, Iranian Association of Cultural Studies and Communications, Iranian Sociological Association.
Participants are ministers, policy makers, authorities, NGOs, related stakeholders, academics and specialists from various countries.
The format of conference is the panel discussion with representatives from governments, civil society, NGOs, academics, specialists, media stakeholders and authorities and experts from participant countries.
The conference will be held in two sessions:
- The Morning Session: It will be divided between introduction part, shorts speeches by Iranian and guest participants, which will be followed by a ministerial panel discussion.
- The Afternoon Session: There will be two general panel discussions, attended by participants.
(The details on participant names and their roles in each panel will be announced later.)
Main Subject Points of Panel Discussions
Under the title of “Women, Peace and Security”, the conference will address following discussion subjects in mentioned panels:
→ The Ministerial Panel of Morning Session: “Gender Role in Peace-building and Conflict Resolution”
Following the adoption of 1325 resolution by UN Security Council, it was highlighted that women are underrepresented in peace processes and in cases they have participation, their role is limited and marginal. Women’s rights are often sidelined in the rush to achieve a political settlement to end conflict. Resolution 1325 underlines the need for gender-sensitive approaches to peace and stability in post-conflict contexts. Women are disproportionately affected by wars and conflicts and so, should have a larger share in achieving sustaining peace after wars and conflicts. Gender mainstreaming can be effective when accompanied by strong empowerment structures – where women have greater voices in the public sphere, and resources are allocated to human development priorities. Women’s needs and priorities must be included in the process of peace-building and women, peace and security should be mainstreamed into national strategies; because in this way, societies will be able to achieve sustaining and lasting peace and post conflict security.
→ Afternoon Panels:
- Panel I: Effective Implementation and Accountable Mechanism
It seems that although there is individual enthusiasm to consider women as active partner of peace-building and peacemaking, as women are often not perceived to have the skills, knowledge or social status needed to bring about change in post-conflict environments; most of the systems, suffer from a lack of accountability, transparency and poor implementation of commitments. As the 2015 Global Study on UNSCR 1325 found, there is a “consistent, striking disparity between policy commitments to gender equality and women’s empowerment, and the financial allocations to achieve them”. Lack of action and implementation remains the critical challenge across agendas. This multiplies the burdens on women but there are opportunities for change. One example is the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which, if effectively implemented, promise to end poverty, promote just, peaceful, and inclusive societies, reduce inequality, and tackle climate change. To be consistent with human rights obligations and effective in creating sustainable development and long-term peace, the SDGs must be implemented through an accountable mechanism with gendered peace lenses.
- Panel II: Building Local Capacity of Women’s Groups/NGOs
Empowering women’s groups in various roles such as politicians, community service providers, members of professional associations, activists, NGOs and representatives in civil society is important so that they can influence their situation and protect other women and girls against violation their rights during conflicts, in transition period, and in post conflict time. Moreover the systematic participation of women increases likelihood of achieving lasting and sustainable peace. For this purpose, the role of women’s groups and networks in the overall peace efforts and their sustainability over time is clear. Peace sensitivity matters in development and subsequently women’s groups’ systematic participation in peace-building process matters in reaching sustaining peace over the time.
The panel will discuss how to further strengthen women’s groups/NGOs, interlink them and how to pave their ways as main knowledgeable partners in peace-building, peace-making and security stabilization process.
Audio- visual services including microphones, screen and technician will be available to enable showing video messages and presentations. Interpretation service in English/Persian will also be provided.
Contact Person for Further Information
Nafiseh Emadi: Nafise.Emadi@gmail.com