GAT Inaugural Conference Press Release, 6 December 2012
The Gender Advisory Team (GAT) in cooperation with the PRIO Cyprus Centre launched a new report today summarizing far-reaching recommendations to integrate a gender perspective within the Cyprus peace process. Officials, scholars and activists from Cyprus, Norway, Turkey, Greece, Iraq, Croatia, the United Kingdom, and Israel were in Nicosia to launch the report and share experiences from the region.
Entitled “Women’s Peace: Recommendations of the Gender Advisory Team on Implementing UNSCR 1325 Provisions on Women, Peace and Security,” the report presents publicly for the first time the results of a three year effort undertaken by GAT, in dialogue with the negotiating teams, UNFICYP and the UN Good Offices mission in Cyprus.
The effort sets out to address obligations under UN Security Council Resolution 1325 mandating that parties in peace negotiations ensure the representation of women and incorporate provisions for gender equality within agreements. As noted by Elisabeth Wallas of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, who outlined her country’s global efforts on women, peace and security: “increasing women’s representation at the peace table is not enough. The outcome must meet the need and priorities of the entire population.”
Cyprus has fallen short on both counts, but is not alone in this, considering that only 4 of 14 UN co-led processes included women in the negotiating teams. “Peace work is also the work of women. Acknowledging that women’s needs are different and additional to men’s means that gender rights cannot come after the process of state building. For this reason, GAT works at the intersection of gender and peace, and the integration of high-level politics and everyday needs,” explained GAT member and PRIO Researcher Olga Demetriou.
Speakers outlined the range of challenges that continue to stymie progress on the role of women in public life, many of which resonate across the region: patriarchal structures and attitudes, nationalism, militarism, religious fundamentalism, vulnerability of women’s groups, and impunity for sexual violence and other war crimes.
The report focuses on the key chapters under negotiation, power-sharing and governance, economy, citizenship and property, and will form the basis of an expanded advocacy agenda for gender equality in Cyprus. One sign of progress is that the two Leaders have appointed Gender Focal Points in their negotiating teams, both of whom were also on hand to launch the report.
The report can be downloaded from: http://www.prio.org/News/Item/?x=1679.
GAT Press release, 1 December 2012
Regional conference on gender and peace processes
Nicosia 6 December 2012 entitled
Applying UNSCR 1325 to Cyprus and the Region
Women from Cyprus, southern Europe and the Middle East will gather in Nicosia on the 6 December 2012 to discuss the role of women’s leadership and engagement in peace-building processes. The conference aims to reinforce gender as a critical component within peace processes, as called for by a unanimously adopted UN decision in 2000. Despite repeated calls from the UN Secretary General, Cyprus lags far behind in implementing resolution 1325, as evidenced by the absence of women at the negotiating table. Leading women scholars and activists from Cyprus, Greece, Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt and Croatia will also offer insights on local concerns and international practice.
The Gender Advisory Team (GAT), an initiative of Cypriot activists and scholars calling for a gender-sensitive peace process, is the driving force behind the conference, which is being held in partnership with the PRIO Cyprus Centre (PCC). Since its establishment in 2009, the GAT has held repeated meetings with the Special Representatives of the Leaders and the UN Good Offices to voice the need for a gender perspective to the Cyprus talks. The group has also authored gender-focused recommendations pertaining to the specific chapters under negotiation, namely powersharing and governance, property, citizenship and economy. The report containing the recommendations will be launched during the conference.
The conference is supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway Grants, and UNDP-ACT Cyprus. The event will be held on 6 December 2012 at Chateau Status in Nicosia, located within the Ledra Palace Buffer Zone area.
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