Saturday, December 01, 2012

Women's issues are excluded during reconciliation and reconstruction processes

 Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

Liberian peace activist Leymah Roberta Gbowee shared the Nobel Peace Prize for 2011 along with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sir Leaf, and Yemen's human rights activist Tawakkul Karman

 The theme for 2012 16 days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence is From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women!
Nobel peace prize winner Leybah Roberta Gbowee shared her views on violence against women during war and post war, inclusion of women in healing and reconciliation process, and women's participation in politics.

"There are women in Internally Displaced Persons' camps. The Government has to make things work better for the women in Sri Lanka. Women's issues are excluded during reconciliation and reconstruction processes, because mostly men make their own decisions on war and post war. Women's issues should be addressed immediately. Rape and gender based violence increase in a post war situation. We had similar issues in Liberia".

 Women are vulnerable in war and post war situations

Women in politics

There is an increase in women's participation in politics in Liberia.

"I want to see more Sri Lankan women in Parliament!. Sri Lankan women from all ethnic groups should begin to view peace. If not, they will continue to be marginalized.  We have come a very long way in Liberia. We managed to achieve it through a collective work in Liberia. I'm a representation of it. We are proud that Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was the first elected female head of state in Africa. We went from door to door in 2005. As a result, Ellen Johnson Sir leaf was elected as the first female President of Liberia in 2005.

53% women in Sri Lanka's total population. But, the women are absent in decision making in Sri Lanka. Every fabric in the society (women, youth and men) needs to be woven through in reconciliation process. As a citizen of women's world, I believe women's issues are excluded during reconciliation and reconstruction processes.
People (men and boys) are in militarized minds and traumatized in post war . Tighten the laws and have a special court to hear the cases of violence against women. Sex is used as power of guns during post war. It happened in Liberia as well. We have a special court in Liberia.

Politics in Africa, America and Asia is about money and connections. Whole new revolution is needed to make people to vote for women. Women representation is needed in all levels (top to bottom and bottom to top) to address women's issues"   stressed Leymah Roberta Gbowee.

 Women in peace building 

Women's oraginsations in Liberal worked tirelessly to bring the warring parties to the negotiating table during the civil war. Liberia is currently enjoying 9th year of peace. Women are included in trauma healing and reconciliation process of Liberia.

"Peace has no boundaries. Don't build boundaries. If you have boundaries, you will never achieve peace. When guns are silent, people determine peace is delivered. Women are already poor in peace. If governments don't address the issues of women, then women become the poorest. Women of Sri Lanka should put aside differences of past and work towards sustainable peace".

"Women in Sri Lanka have to work beyond ethnic divide and political ideologies by uniting to achieve sustainable peace. Women at all levels across ethnic lines have to work together to achieve sustainable peace" said Leymah Roberta Gbowee.

Themes for 16 days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence:~

~ From Peace in Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End of Violence Against Women (2011-2012)
~ Structures of Violence: Defining the Intersections of Militarism and Violence Against Women (2010)
~ Commit ▪ Act ▪ Demand: We CAN End Violence Against Women (2009)
~ Human Rights for Women ‹—› Human Rights for All: UDHR60 (2008) 
~ Demanding Implementation, Challenging Obstacles: End Violence Against Women! (2007) 
~ Celebrate 16 Years of 16 Days: Advance Human Rights ‹—› End Violence Against Women (2006)
~  For the Health of Women, For the Health of the World: No More Violence (2004-2005)
~  Violence Against Women Violates Human Rights: Maintaining the Momentum Ten Years After Vienna, 1993-2003 (2003)
~  Creating a Culture That Says 'No' to Violence Against Women (2002)
~  Racism and Sexism: No More Violence (2001)
~  Celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of the Campaign (2000)
~  Fulfilling the Promise of Freedom from Violence (1999)
~  Building a Culture of Respect for Human Rights (1998)
~  Demand Women's Human Rights in the Home and in the World (1997)
~  Bringing Women's Human Rights Home: Realizing Our Visions (1996)
~  Vienna, Cairo, Copenhagen and Beijing: Bringing Women's Human Rights Home (1995)
~  Awareness, Accountability, Action: Violence Against Women Violates Human Rights (1994)
~  Democracy without Women's Human Rights . . . is not Democracy (1993)
~  Violence Against Women Violates Human Rights (1991/1992


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