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03 May 2012

Peacebuilding-Project: Advocacy activities against sexualized and gender based violence

Each country will see a range of advocacy activities focussing on the project topics concerning women, peace and security. They will be adapted to the country-specific background and to the topics which are most urgent in each country.

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is an international campaign that has taken place since 1991 involving participants all over the world demonstrating against violence against women. The campaign bridges the dates November 25, International Day Against Violence Against Women and December 10, International Human Rights Day, in order to emphasise that such violence against women is a violation of human rights.

The medica mondiale “Participation Project” aims to help the participating women and partner networks participate in the 16-Days Campaign in their countries. The advocacy instruments and political topics taught in the training courses will help to plan strategies for the campaign activities, and the results and experiences from the campaigns will be documented and evaluated in a report from each country.

This campaign will not be the only way of addressing the key topics of women, peace and security, and in particular the implementation of UNSC Resolutions 1325 and 1820. The participating women will invite politicians to round tables on the topics and organise hearings and other dialogues with important institutions and leaders from their regions to demand the actual implementation of the relevant laws and resolutions.

The campaign also goes beyond dialogue with decision-makers by using T-shirts, radio and TV spots and other PR measures to raise general awareness on the issues and create a genuine change in social attitudes.

At the international level, a highlight for the women will be a joint trip for two women from each country to Brussels and Berlin, where they have the opportunity to speak at the European and German parliaments about their situation. The trip is intended to strengthen the visibility of the Afghan, Liberian, and Congolese women and increase the rights support from European countries.

The Modest Wonder of a Normal Life

„From Transition to Transformation“ was the highly promising title of the Afghan Conference, which took place on Monday in Bonn. Much was spoken about, written and discussed before the gathering of about 1000 delegates, which took place exactly ten years after the first Petersberg Conference on Afghanistan. Would representatives from the Taliban be present? Would Pakistan, whose role is seen as so essential for the establishment of peace in the entire region, take part? Would the Afghan civil society be allowed to have a say this time?

The first two questions could be quickly answered with a „no“ for known reasons. Whoever had hoped for a breakthrough in the peace process, or at least for an advance in the peace negotiations, would have been disappointed. In contrast, the third question must clearly be answered positively, although cautiously: First of all, the Afghan civil society played a greater role in the run-up to the conference and at the conference itself than was the case in any of the Afghan Conferences of the last few years. At a civil society forum, which also took place in Bonn two days before the actual Conference of Foreign Ministers, a delegation of 34 Afghan men and women were offered the space to present their concerns and wishes to the Afghan government and the international community and to discuss them with the attending audience. At the Conference of Foreign Ministers, two of the 34 delegates, a man and a woman according to gender parity, then had the possibility to deliver a statement for the Afghan civil society.