Championing Our Rights: Women, Peace, and Security
A significant step in defining women's roles in conflicts, Resolution 1325 was enacted 20 years ago and is known as "Women, Peace, and Security." An effective framework of for furthering human rights, gender equality, and international peace is the Women, Peace, and Security agenda. But, history has repeatedly demonstrated that women are not only essential change agents but also strong advocates for security and peace. Women have been crucial in expanding human rights, establishing peace, and confronting oppressive institutions, ranging from grassroots activists and community leaders to legislators and peacemakers. Women's involvement in peace and security-related decision-making is one of the main tenets of the Women, Peace, and Security agenda. Studies have demonstrated that the inclusion of women in peace discussions and decision-making bodies leads to more inclusive, long-lasting, and comprehensive settlements. Creative writing by women on these topics further amplifies their voices and perspectives, contributing significantly to global discourse and understanding. In order to advocate for the needs and objectives of their communities, women bring a unique viewpoint to the table that is based on their networks, skills, and lived experiences. The Women, Peace, and Security agenda contributes to more lasting and successful peace processes that tackle the underlying causes of violence and conflict by guaranteeing women a place at the table. Is it possible for one text to handle all of this at once? Thinking about it, I start to question where in my surroundings this true security is genuinely present. People live below the poverty line, work in dangerous jobs, have violent spouses, are frequently traumatized, or do not receive the necessary physical support—all of which exist even in the wealthiest nations. We should all be concerned about the need for a secure society. It's a mistake to believe that a resolution is unnecessary in situations when there is no conflict, as Julia Karashvili, a worker with displaced people in Georgia, explains in her narrative, which I read. Engaging with a diverse writing community can shed further light on these complex issues and foster greater empathy and understanding among readers. If you are curious to know more about writing community, check here. Towards a vision Dolly Kikon, an Indian activist hailing from Dimapur, the largest city in the northeastern state of Nagaland, sees the Resolution as precisely that—a written vision, a pledge, and a collection of guiding principles that help us comprehend the meaning of advocating for and understanding human rights. What part do women currently play in promoting peace? Miriam Coronel-Ferrer is the only woman to have signed a significant peace agreement in the role of main negotiator. She says cynically, "I know it is hard to imagine, but it tells you everything about the current state of affairs." Her role's significant deviation from the norm highlights the difficulty women face in claiming a voice in the peace process. Exploring modern publishing platforms or engaging with online communities focused on women's narratives can be instrumental in amplifying such voices and fostering greater inclusivity in global dialogues. What is the actual state of gender equality? While acknowledging that the Resolution and its execution are lacking in a number of ways, Dolly Kikon also remembers the advice given to her by her mentors: "If you're not engaging, shut up." As a result, she is a "doer" who also criticizes the propensity to talk about gender sensitivity without taking immediate action; this is because gender sensitization is only a band-aid solution to a far more serious issue. A very different picture one that allows us to actually achieve progress emerges when we shift the focus of the conversation from gender equality to power, influence, and authority.