International Day of Peace

International Day of Peace: A focus on education for peace

Date: Friday, September 20, 2013

Education for Peace logo - International Day of Peace

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. This year’s theme is dedicated to the promotion of education for peace.

Women’s peace and security is among UN Women’s key priorities. Across the world, our programmes seek to build women’s participation and influence in decision-making to prevent and resolve conflicts. We support women’s engagement in all aspects of peacebuilding, and their efforts towards more inclusive societies that can ensure sustainable and durable peace and equity.

Our programmes foster women’s peace coalitions and prepare them to engage in peace processes. UN Women works with UN peacekeepers to detect, prevent and stop conflict-related sexual violence. Other initiatives advance the work of justice and security institutions that protect women and girls from violence and discrimination, public services fully responsive to women’s needs, women’s greater access to economic opportunities, and women’s engagement in all forms of national and local public decision-making. We also participate in the UN’s Global Education First Initiative.

A snapshot of some of our work on education for peace:

Blue Helmet trainings to prevent sexual violence
To prevent and respond to sexual violence in peacekeeping operations, Rwandan and South African military officers recently took part in a scenario-based training course by UN Women and DPKO. Since April 2011, more than 500 military officers have been trained in seven countries.

Afghan girls at their schooldesks

In Afghanistan, women and girls strive to get an education
In a country where education for all remains a challenge, UN Women is supporting efforts to reach women and girls through English classes and trainings in computer skills. On 10 July, the CEDAW Committee examined Afghanistan’s first report on progress and challenges towards gender equality. 

South Sudan woman holding notebook

South Sudan: strengthening women’s role in the new nation
As South Sudan celebrates its second anniversary as an independent State, a look at how UN Women and its partners are engaging women in improving literacy, promoting economic empowerment, bolstering their political participation, and ultimately, ensuring peace and security.

Timorese police officer speaking to community leader

In Timor-Leste, communities mobilize to confront domestic violence
Police and community-based networks in Timor-Leste are working to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence by helping survivors get counseling and judicial assistance. They also raise awareness of the domestic violence law.

Mali soldiers posing with women in white

Malian armed and security forces gear up to better protect women and children in conflict
A programme run by UN Women and four other UN agencies aims to train 4,000 members of Mali’s defence and security forces and raise awareness among at least 20,000 armed forces personnel around the protection of women and children and international humanitarian law.

Syrian woman at her sewing machine

Syrian Women Refugees Stitch Together Trust and Hope
At one of the largest refugee camps in Jordan, Syrian refugees are attending tailoring workshops and taking part in a programme to sew baby outfits for new mothers at camp hospitals. While earning an income, they are bonding with others and speaking up about gender-based violence.

Kenyan school boy drawing

As elections approach, school kids cast their vote against violence in Kenya
On the eve of Kenya’s Presidential elections on 4 March, schools and communities are raising awareness to prevent both electoral and domestic violence. Using theatre, art and an essay-writing competition, kids are tackling how to identify and report incidents of violence.

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