Women's Peace Tables
Women's Peace Tables create spaces in which women peace activists can exchange, network and strengthen each other. Whether they come from rural areas or urban centres: with one voice women, including disadvantaged and marginalised women, demand their right to participate in shaping peace in their country, as required by UN Resolution 1325 on "Women, Peace and Security". At the Women's Peace Tables, they work out solutions, formulate their concerns and demands in order to exert public pressure on governments and the international community. Because sustainable peace is not possible without the inclusion of women.
From 2015 to 2017 PeaceWomen Across the Globe organised, in cooperation with partner organisations, 60 Women's Peace Tables (WPT) in fragile and conflict-affected areas. The aim of the Women’s Peace Tables is both to reflect on the role of women in promoting inclusive peace dialogue and to exchange knowledge about peace-building. In 2018, a new project phase will start which will incorporate the experience of the previous Women's Peace Tables and other projects.
The Women’s Peace Tables open a space for conflict transformation processes, as well as opportunities for for women's voices to be heard, thus increasing the visibility of women peace activists. In order to make the dialogue sustainable, PeaceWomen Across the Globe’s local partner organisations follow up the recommendations of the corresponding Women’s Peace Tables using advocacy, campaigns and discussions with influential decision-makers, linking them with policy processes such as CEDAW reporting or the drafting of National Action Plans (NAP) 1325 in order to ensure sustainability.
Although women are disproportionately impacted by armed conflict, political fragility and extremist violence, their experiences, knowledge, skills and demands are significantly undervalued and under-utilised in conflict transformation. Despite UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 guaranteeing the rights of women to participate in peace processes, women overwhelmingly still have limited access to peace negotiations, transitional justice mechanisms and processes and to decision-making in general. Today only nine per cent of women participate in peace negotiations worldwide. As a result, gender norms and ideologies that produce patterns of exclusion disadvantaging women are reinforced within the process of conflict transformation, leading to the persistence of structural violence.
The 2018-2021 WPT programme is a long-term, worldwide programme with the following three autonomous, yet interrelated programme strands:
1. Strengthening Women’s Effective Participation in Conflict Transformation: In collaboration with its partners, PWAG will enhance the WPTs in the three post-conflict countries Colombia, Nepal and the Philippines and institutionalise an exchange of views and experience between the partners. In each country, 3-7 local peace tables are held each year, each of which focuses on the concerns of women at a decentralised level, in order to increase the local capacities for women’s participation in conflict transformation. These concerns accompanied by joint advocacy measures for the participation of women and to promote change on a structural level, are then conveyed in an annual national women's peace table. This is held, with the participation of the most important stakeholders, in the capital city.
This project will run from January 1 2018 to December 31 2021 and the total budget for the project is CHF 713’640.
A closer look at Women's Peace Tables:
Women's Peace Table, Popayan, Colombia (article)
Women's Peace Table, Antioquia, Colombia (video, Spanish)
Women's Peace Table, Nepal (video)
2. Supraregional Women’s Peace Tables: The second programmatic strand is the strengthening of (inter-)regional networks through the organisation of regional WPTs with a common thematic focus. As a pilot, in November 2018, a first regional South Asian Women's Peace Table will be held in Nepal with the participation of partner organisations from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India and Nepal. The aim is to initiate a joint learning process and exchange of experience and to strengthen strategic alliances between peace activists in the region. In addition to regional exchanges, all participating countries will also hold women's peace tables in their countries. Based on this supraregional Women's Peace Table pilot project in South Asia, there will be further supraregional WPTs in various regions: 2020 (Africa) and 2021 (Latin America).
The second phase will run from 2018 to 2021 and the total budget for four years is CHF 202’988.
3. Enabling space for civil society: Civil society organisations (CSOs) have been affected by the shrinking space for socio-political action for more than a decade. To counteract this trend, PWAG is continuing to support the implementation of annual Women’s Peace Tables in selected countries, for example in Kenya, Burundi, and in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The framework of these Women's Peace Tables is deliberately diversified so that the regional partner organisations can adapt the content and format to specific local needs. Despite the diversity of topics dealt with by the Women’s Peace Tables, the projects aim to facilitate an exchange between women's initiatives at grassroots level and local decision-makers. The aim is to provide information on women's concerns, skills and needs and to highlight the importance of including and implementing gender-sensitive mechanisms in conflict resolution, conflict transformation and policy making.
The third strand will run from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2021 with a total budget for four years of CHF 383’164.
Global Network: Feminists Connecting for Peace
In 2005, PeaceWomen Across the Globe (PWAG) nominated 1000 PeaceWomen for the Nobel Peace Prize. These women, all role models, were recognised for their work in building sustainable peace in their communities. The work of the 1000 PeaceWomen from over 150 countries was exemplary, and documented in a book as well as online. Ever since the nomination, the network of 1000 women has remained PWAG’s core resource for all its activities. The biographies and contact information of the 1000 women have been partially updated over the past few years. For the network to thrive and be further strengthened, there is a need to update the women’s biographies regularly and systematically. However, the work and lives of thousands of other women peace activists deserve recognition too; their expertise needs to be made visible and networking between them promoted. By so-doing, PWAG will be very pleased to welcome new, younger peace activists into the network. A comprehensive platform will be created through which on the one hand, women peace activists can network and exchange knowledge and ideas in order to learn and benefit from the network’s wealth of experience and expertise. On the other hand, the platform will contribute towards increasing the visibility and accessibility of the network. This will make it possible to make a specific search for various women's expertise in peace-building.
The project will run for three years from 2018 to 2020 with a total budget of CHF 153’900.