At this point, hammering in the role of women in peace processes should not be difficult anymore. However, contrary to what is expected, women continue to remain in the sidelines of peace processes. Women, as members of half of the world’s population or a country’s population for that matter, should play an important part in peace processes. They must be consulted and given a seat at the negotiating table.
Here are some of the reasons why women should be asked to play important roles in peace processes:
1. Women are very much affected by the conflict. They are usually the ones left to care for the family, they are widowed or they care for their sons or daughters who become involved in the conflict. Therefore, it is important for their voices to be heard and for their needs and desires to be expressed.
2. Peace processes oftentimes put together the building blocks for post-conflict reconstruction. Unfortunately, women are marginalized from these kinds of activities. They should be given a voice and/or a platform to raise their concerns, among others.
3. Women are oftentimes victims of abuse and violence as a result of the conflict. They should be provided with a voice to address these issues.
4. There must be special attention that should be given to women’s health requirements, and training needs. By involving them, they will be able to guide policies on these issues that affect them.
Currently, while women are increasingly being involved in peace processes, the effort is not enough. As such, it is the goal of the Independent Monitoring Mechanism to monitor and report on this issue in order to be able to advocate for increasing the participation of women in peace processes. We hope that you will be able to support us in this matter.