In the same way that slavery was a moral challenge for the 19th c. & totalitarianism was a challenge for the 20th c., the challenge that women & girls face around the world is the moral challenge of our time.

~ Sheryl WuDunn & Nicholas Kristof

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Women Leading to Peace in Syria by Emily Nielsen Jones

It is a sad but true reality that religion and militarization are partners in most of our world's armed conflicts.  Women, more so than men, embody a human capacity to see beyond tiring religious, ideological, and political polarizations to embrace our common humanity and build lasting bridges of peace.  Women peace-builders are working tirelessly around the world, often at great risk, to create peace by building up human rights, creating a secure civil society, and working to be mainstreamed in formal peace processes.  Many of these peace-builders are women of faith who don't see religion as something that has to divide us into separate, alienated tribes of humans.  The leadership of these women in our world gives me hope for our world.

It is shameful that 14 years after the passage of UN Resolution 1325 to mainstream women into all levels of peace-keeping, the upcoming negotiations in Syria have ZERO women at the table.  Thank you Code Pink for all you do to support and mobilize women leading for peace.  Let's make sure to listen to and amplify the women's peace assembly going on in Geneva separate from the formal talks and let's do everything in our own sphere's of influence to gender balance our world, for the good of humanity and our world.
Women Lead to Peace

After three years of horrendous fighting, a death toll now exceeding 100,000 and more than seven million Syrians forced to leave their homes, Syrian peace talks will finally take place in Switzerland on January 22, 2014.

In response, CODEPINK and a coalition of women's groups have launched Women Lead to Peace, a global alliance of women and male allies calling for an immediate ceasefire in Syria, an embargo on arms sales, greater humanitarian aid for the refugees and displaced, and the full participation of women at the peace negotiations. The group will be mobilizing a physical presence in Montreux from January 20-22, for a Women Lead to Peace Summit. We will be there and you should, too!

UN Resolution 1325 states that the United Nations must recognize the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and promote their equal participation in all efforts to maintain and promote of peace and security. Women Lead to Peace is calling on Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN and Arab League Special Envoy to Syria, to ensure that this mandate is implemented at the Syrian peace talk table.

On January 22, 2014, the UN will convene peace talks in Geneva to broker a peace agreement that will hopefully end the devastating civil war in Syria. We know that this deal will not be reached without the full participation of women.
Yet, women are not being fully representated at the peace talks, as if their stake in their future and the future of their country is somehow less important than the voices of the men with the guns. The international community must recognize its legal obligations, moral responsibilities and the practical necessity to ensure women’s participation: peace treaties without women do not work. If women are not a part of peace negotiations, then the peace will reflect only the interests of the most powerful and will ultimately fail.
Women have been organizing, through an inclusive and representative process, and they are prepared to participate in negotiation. Instead, they are told by the United Nations that the political situation is complicated. Women already know that. Yet, they are told that they should look for alternative models and lobby mediators in corridors. This is untenable and wrong. We must join our Syrian sisters in raising our voices, so that Syrian women are not just included but have a real role in deciding the future of their country.

Please join Women International League for Peace and Freedom, CODEPINK, and MADRE in signing this petition and calling for the inclusion of Syrian women’s leadership in the Geneva II negotiations and beyond.
The people of Syria have suffered too much, for too long. Let's show them that we will take a stand to end the violence and alleviate the hardships they are enduring.
What can you do?
Latest News & Press Releases
PR: Global Campaign "Women Lead to Peace" Launched to Bring Hundreds of Women to Syrian Peace Talks in Switzerland
Madeleine Rees (WILPF) & Nela Porobic Isakovic on the Syrian Peace Process 
Women Need to Be Included in Syria's Peace Process 
UK Second Call for Syrian Women at Peace Talks Shames Silence of Brahimi and Member States
Syrian Women's Groups Push for Equal Role at Geneva II Talks
UN Official says Syrian refugee women have key role to play in country's future
First Step Forward to Ensure Syrian Women's Participation 
Campaign Partners & Endorsers
Hosting Organizations
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, CODEPINK, Iara Lee, MADRENobel Women's InitiativeKvinna till Kvinna, and Karama

Luisa Morgantini, European Union former Vice President; Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Prize winner; Alice Walker, Author; Eve Ensler, Author, V-Day Founder; Geena Davis, Actress; Chris Hedges, Journalist; Shirin Ebadi, Judge, Lawyer, Nobel Peace Prize Winner. See the full list here!

Travel Tools
Visit our travel page to get information on how to get to and stay in Montreux.

Visit our "No War in Syria" Page

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