On Thursday 9 June 2022, European Council President Charles Michel, together with UN Women, Nadia’s Initiative and the Dr Denis Mukwege Foundation, co-hosted the second edition of “Women in Conflicts” in Brussels, bringing together women leaders and survivors of conflicts.
The event focused on support to survivors, on justice and reparation, and on women’s leadership in preventing, ending, and rebuilding from conflict. Participants highlighted the central need to ensure the rights of women and girls and their full participation in all efforts to bring about sustainable peace. Bringing together voices from women survivors, peace activists and world leaders, the event offered powerful testimonies combined with concrete and inspiring solutions to ensure that women have a say in prevention, crisis management and peacebuilding.
UN Women Director Sima Bahous recalled that the experiences and insights highlighted in the discussion require urgent and sustained action. Drawing on examples of UN Women’s work in conflict-affected communities, including in Afghanistan and Ukraine, she called on the international community move from policies to action, including though funding and political support to women’s work for peace. The importance of this work is clear, she said:
The First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, noted the gender dimensions of the war, and called on the global community not to forget about Ukraine, saying:
On the situation in Ukraine, European Council President Charles Michel, stressed the importance of accountability:
The importance of accountability was echoed by Nadia Murad, Nobel Peace Prize laureate:
Other speakers included Habiba Sarabi, Former Minister of Women’s Affairs of Afghanistan, Dr Denis Mukwege, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, gynaecologist, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Grace Achan, Co-founder, Women's Advocacy Network Uganda, as well as other participants from Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Iraq, Mali, Sudan and Syria.
Following the 'Women in Conflicts' event on 9 June 2022, its co-hosts, European Council President Charles Michel, UN Women, Nadia's Initiative and the Dr. Denis Mukwege Foundation issued a joint declaration.
The declaration highlights the importance of ending impunity and prosecuting those responsible for violence against women and girls in conflicts. It presents clear actions to support the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women and girls in areas such as conflict prevention, crisis management and long-term peacebuilding.