Stories

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Paivi Kannisto is the Chief of Peace and Security at UN Women with more than two decades of experience in international development and peace and security. As the UN Security Council prepares to meet for the Open Debate on women, peace and security on 21 October, Kannisto explains the state of progress and the need to invest in local women peacebuilders.
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Born and raised in Morocco, Yasmina Benslimane witnessed first-hand how oppressive laws affect women and force them to remain silent out of fear of breaking the status quo. She runs Politics4Her, a feminist blog and youth-led movement that advocates for the inclusion of girls and women in politics.
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Activists and advocates who participated in the global convening on “Gender-Inclusive Peace Processes: Strengthening Women’s Meaningful Participation through Constituency Building." explore good practices and strategies for gender-inclusive constituency building and the links between constituency building and women’s meaningful participation in formal peace processes.
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During her official visit to Mozambique from 24-26 May, and in the lead up to the Generation Equality Forum in Paris, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka meets women leaders, government officials, the donor community and youth activists to promote women’s leadership in the Women, Peace and Security agenda, and invites Mozambique to commit to Generation Equality Action Coalitions.
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As part of the continuing commemoration of 25 years of the Beijing Platform for Action on Women’s Empowerment and the 20th anniversary of landmark UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, high-level dignitaries, diplomats, political leaders and women organizations and peacebuilding practitioners from around the world will unite in a global event to discuss.
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For all the devastation it has caused, the COVID-19 crisis also represents a generational opportunity to build more inclusive economies and societies, free of the scourge of violent conflict. A concerted effort to demilitarize our world and build a feminist peace – beginning with a global ceasefire, and followed by a comprehensive reappraisal of how we allocate our resources – must be central to this vision.
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Miriam Coronel-Ferrer made history as the first female chief negotiator in the world to sign a final peace accord with a rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the Philippines in 2014. Today, she teaches political science at the University of the Philippines and works on mediation with the United Nations.
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Fatima Askira is a young Nigerian leader, activist and peacebuilder born and raised in the epicenter of the Boko Haram insurgency. As the founder of Borno Women Development Initiative (Nigeria), she empowers women and girls to promote peace in communities affected by violent extremism.
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Rosalina Tuyuc Velásquez, a Guatemalan human rights activist, has never given up looking for truth and justice, since her father and husband were disappeared during the Guatemalan civil war. After her father and husband were kidnapped and murdered by government forces during the Guatemalan civil war, she founded the National Association of Guatemalan Widows (CONAVIGUA). It is now a leading national human rights organisation. In 1995, she was elected as a Congressional deputy, and in 2004 she chaired the National Reparations Commission to investigate crimes committed during the civil war, which raged for over three decades.
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Separated by their country’s divisions, both geographically and politically, 36 Libyan women have since used their phones to connect, discuss and overcome their differences in the interest of one goal: Peace.
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Ninety-one women’s organizations from Iraq, Libya, Palestine, Syria and Yemen issued a joint statement to call for a ceasefire in the face of COVID-19, joining a global appeal issued by UN Secretary-General António Guterres’s at the outset of pandemic.
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Women do groundbreaking work for justice, peace and security. Yet, they continue to be sidelined in formal peace processes. As conflict continues to affect every region of the world, urgent action is needed to ensure that women are part of peacebuilding, and their contributions are visible and valued.
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At 32, Susan Sebit is an accomplished lawyer and advocate from South Sudan. She works to protect women and children from violence and to ensure the implementation of existing women, peace and security global frameworks.
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The UN deputy chief issued an impassioned plea on Sunday for Afghans to reconcile with the past and put “women at the centre” of all efforts to forge a durable peace, and a truly inclusive political process where women’s voices are truly heard.
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In 2014, one year after the region was freed from the extremists, a small hut was built in Gao, surrounded by larger buildings and barely visible from the street. Anyone who passes through the driveway and enters the hut in the middle of the dusty courtyard has a specific goal: Dialogue, exchange and cohesion. Welcome to the Women Peace Hut.
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The “Comedy for Equality” event on 25 March showcased UN Women’s work using comedy to promote women’s empowerment and counter extremism, as part of the “Empowered Women, Peaceful Communities” programme.
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Sella Esther Sowa, 42, grows and sells vegetables to support her four children, her nephews and her parents in Kenema in the Eastern Province, Sierra Leone. When a dispute over land rights erupted within Sowa’s family, she decided to take a stand.
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UN Women spoke with Jean Arnault, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia, about gender parity within the Mission and its priorities over the next year. The Verification Mission in Colombia has made impressive strides towards gender parity; 58 per cent of its professional level field staff are women and 65 per cent of field office teams are led by women. The Final Peace Agreement between the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP) was signed in 2016, ending more than 50 years of conflict. Contrary to most peace negotiations in history, women had a significant influence in the peace process in Colombia. The resulting peace agreement addresses core issues that impact women, such as women’s representation in decision-making bodies, access to land restitution or justice and reparations for survivors of conflict-related sexual violence.
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Taking place on the sidelines of this year’s annual UN Security Council Debate on Women, Peace and Security, an interactive forum organized by UN Women, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, brought together women peace activists from conflict contexts around the world, with UN Security Council members and UN experts to discuss existing barriers to women’s meaningful participation and strategies to accelerate women’s leadership in peace processes.
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Taking place on the margins of the 73rd UN General Assembly, the side event of the Women, Peace and Security Focal Points Network titled, “The Security Council and Women, Peace and Security: Fostering Practical Action” convened ministers, UN officials and civil society organizations to discuss progress made in the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda and ways to increase women’s meaningful participation in peace processes, as well as protect them from conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence, especially through the WPS Focal Points Network.