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Governments must take increased responsibility to ensure that women become more involved in the reconstruction of democracy and security, according to participants at the seminar ”Actors fo

Governments must take increased responsibility to ensure that women become more involved in the reconstruction of democracy and security, according to participants at the seminar ”Actors for Sustainable Peace” on November 15th. In Liberia, for example, the judicial system must be strengthened.

Civil society does not trust the police and the rule of law, says Beyea Cooper, from the Liberian National Police.

– We arrest suspects and they are brought to justice. But the next day they are free again, she says.

– The weakness of the judiciary is the biggest obstacle to the participation of women and civil society in the reconstruction of our country, says Beyea Cooper.

The UN force in Liberia has a special women’s unit, which we wrote about earlier, encouraging women to apply for police work.

WOMEN SEE MEN AS THE NATURAL LEADERS

Margaret Mathiang works at the Gender Ministry in South Sudan.

– There is still considerable ignorance about resolution 1325 in my country, says undersecretary Margaret Mathiang.

Another obstacle to realising resolution 1325 is women’s own perception of power.

– Women are brought up to think that the minister position is a man’s job. 

”1325 IS A POST-CONFLICT TOOL”

In Colombia, the government claimed that the country was not in an armed conflict. It has also spread the message that resolution 1325 can only be applied to post-conflict countries. As a result, Colombia has lagged behind in its efforts to incorporate women’s participation in the peace process, says Laura Nepta, Corporación Humana, an organisation that among other things, examines the vulnerability of women in conflict and how they can be actors for peace. 

FEMALE MEDIATORS IN CONFLICTS – THE GOAL IN GEORGIA

In Georgia, there is at least one goal set up – that women should be supported to be included as mediators in peace negotiations.

– It is an important step, but I am waiting to see concrete results, says Nino Tsagareishvili, a journalist from Georgia.

The cultural interpretation of women as caretakers of children and family makes it hard for women to gain the political power they are entitled to, says the journalist.

Participants shared a few experiences:

  • that their governments need to make women’s influence an issue of priority
  • that the traditional notion of what women’s role in a society should be prevents them from gaining influence in political decisions

Helena Sundman
Translated by: Oriana Ramirez