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Women's Peace Tables

Women's Peace Tables

1. Strengthening the effective participation of women in conflict transformation 

PWAG and its partner organisations in Colombia, Nepal and the Philippines have designed a programme to intensify the work on women’s participation in conflict transformation. PWAG’s programme fosters the exchange of knowledge and experience of women peace activists by facilitating a mutual learning process among local partner organisations. From 2018 to 2021, three face-to-face meetings between the local programme coordinators implementing the WPTs will take place. The meetings will be organised as mutual learning workshops and facilitated by the PWAG International Office.  

1.1 Women’s Peace Tables, Colombia 

With the signed peace agreement between the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) and the Colombian government at the end of 2016, one of the longest and most violent armed conflicts ceased after a period of more than 50 years. However, the implementation of most of the points contained in the peace agreement has not yet been initiated and Colombian society remains highly polarised. Social and political violence in the territories left by the FARC has increased as a result of increased drug trafficking, the formation of criminal groups, legal and illegal mining and the remaining presence of ELN (Ejército de Liberación Nacional, National Liberation Army) guerrillas. This context has a considerable impact on women's lives. There is a disproportionate increase in femicide.  

In 2018 the focus of the WPT will be on the territorial implementation of the Peace Accords, with an emphasis on women's participation in the implementation processes of the PDTE (Comprehensive Agrarian Development Programmes with a Territorial Approach) and the PNIS (Comprehensive National Programme for the Substitution of Crops for Illicit Use). Three local decentralised WPTs will be organised in Corinto, Argelia and El Tambo and one regional one in Popayán with delegates from different municipalities. The 2019 WPT will focus on violence against women in the context of the construction of truth and national memory, guaranteeing security for affected women when they bring their cases to the Truth Commission (CEV). It further provides tools to work on cases where women's human rights have been violated. Four regional WPTs will be organised in the conflict-affected departments of Chocó, Antioquia, Putumayo and Cauca and a national one in Popayán. For 2020 and 2021 the thematic focus will be defined in detail based on the implementation process of the peace agreement and the political agenda. We plan to organise three local WPTs in Cauca and a regional one in Popayán.  

In total, more than 600 women from different ethnic groups, cultures and regions, including former FARC fighters, will be involved. In addition, at least 20 women's organisations and movements as well as key people (authorities) will participate in the women's peace tables at local, regional and national level.  

Partner organisation: Ruta Pacífica de las Mujeres / Corporación de Mujeres Ecofeministas – COMUNITAR  

1.2 Women’s Peace Tables, Nepal  

After two decades of violence, the conflict between Maoist rebels and state forces ended in 2006. Eight years on, after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA), the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP) were installed as transitional justice instruments. Public knowledge about the commissions’ proceedings is extremely limited. Women, in particular those who live in remote areas, have no information about the commissions’ work, about how to submit cases and initiate investigations. Moreover, women who are informed face gender-insensitive operating language from the local commissions’ staff and insufficient protection from backlash and stigmatisation.  

Each year, from 2018 to 2021, seven local WPTs will be organised in each of the Nepalese provinces, with the participation of women who have already participated in capacity-building activities, and who have also shown interest in engaging actively in local conflict transformation processes. Additionally, these women from conflict-affected backgrounds have been trained in leadership and community peace building and have been active in informing other conflict-affected women about the TRC and CIEDP proceedings and in monitoring the commissions’ activities, providing information about shortcomings and challenges. The objectives of the 2018-2020 local WPTs will be to gather and critically assess the monitoring information on the functioning of the commissions, to provide more women with information on the process of conflict transformation in relation to the commissions, and to discuss the conflict transformation needs of women living in remote areas.  

The thematic focus from 2020–2021, when the tenure of the two commissions will possibly expire, will be on peace building in federal structures. If the tenure of the commissions is extended, the WPT programme will continue to focus on TRC and CIDP.  

The WPTs in Nepal are aimed at about 200 peace activists from all seven provinces and 150 women who survived the conflict. Members of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission of Inquiry into Forced Disappearances and key people (authorities) at local, regional and national level will also be invited to the WPT.  

Partner organisation: Nagarik Aawaz (NA)      

1.3 Women’s Peace Table, Philippines  

The Philippines WPT programme will focus on women’s participation in both the implementation of the Bangsamoro peace process and within the currently stalled peace process between the Philippine Government (PhGov) and the National Democratic Front (NDF). A new NAP 1325 was recently approved for 2017-2022 regarding the safeguarding of women’s participation in the peace processes in the Philippines. Women, including those with a background in peace NGOs and academics, have taken key roles in the peace negotiations in the Philippines, both at the diplomatic level and that of fostering the inclusion of feminist and gender perspectives in the conflict transformation processes. However, women are hardly present in the local peace and order councils.  

The Philippines WPT programme will be directed towards increasing the participation of women and women’s decision-making in the implementation of the peace agreements, focusing on those living in areas affected by conflict. Each year three local WPTs will be organised, as well as one national level WPT. The WPT will address the following topics: introduction on how to work with NAP 1325 and an assessment on the status of women’s participation in the transitional justice process in the Bangsamoro peace process; historical memory and the promotion of accountability; land dispossession; healing and reconciliation; strengthening women’s skills in conflict transformation (focusing on transitional justice) and mainstreaming women’s participation and gender sensitivity in the peace process mechanisms. The national WPT will function as a strategic dialogue platform for communicating the findings from the local WPT to a variety of stakeholders with access to decision-making within the normalisation process in the Philippines.  

The Women’s Peace Tables in the Philippines are aimed at 100 women from civil society organisations in the fields of peace, human rights and development. Of these, about 80 percent are from Muslim groups and 20 percent from indigenous or Christian groups. Around 40 participants with an interest in peace and security from local governments and authorities, the media, the arts, science and the security sector will also be invited. In addition to the above-mentioned women's groups, 20 women from civil society organisations from areas outside Bangsamoro (other parts of Mindanao, Visayan Islands, Luzon and Metro Manila) will participate.  

Partner organisation: Gaston Z. Ortigas Peace Institute