Today, on International Women’s Day, PAX celebrates the inspirational work women have done over the past year. It is a moment to reflect upon the progress made in advancing gender equality, and to recognize the challenges facing women.
This year marks the 17th anniversary of the pivotal United Nations Security Council resolution 1325, which addresses not only the impact of war on women, but also the important role women play in conflict management, conflict resolution and achieving sustainable peace. Yet implementation remains erratic and the status of women around the globe remains dire. This years’ theme #BeBoldForChange reminds us of the courage and strength women and men in Iraq and South Sudan demonstrate in taking on the problems women face, and of their perseverance.
“The most valuable thing I have is my self-esteem and my dignity,” says Um Marwan, an internally displaced person (IDP) who was living in a camp in Kirkuk in northern Iraq. “My life before was to wash dishes and sweep the floor, but when I came here, I learned about power, and how to solve whatever problem is facing us.” Um Marwan is one of the women local activists PAX has helped train to become a mediator in IDP camps.
A woman in South Sudan working with PAX, who also knows how to #BeBoldForChange, urges more women to get involved in peace processes. “How can we leave it up to the men to mediate peace when they don’t talk about how we are affected by all this violence?”
As a signatory to the Dutch Action Plan (NAP) 1325, PAX calls upon the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be #BeBoldForChange next year when the country assumes the Presidency of the United Nations Security Council. The Dutch government should strive to ensure equal participation of women and men in peacebuilding processes, in line with the NAP 1325, and continue to champion the UN Security Council resolutions on Women Peace and Security.
PAX statement on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2017
Join PAX at the Women’s March in Amsterdam — In the run-up to the Dutch parliamentary elections, PAX is helping to organize a march on Saturday, 11 March, starting at 12:30 at the Dam Square in Amsterdam. Sign up on Facebook and let your voice be heard in support of a just and compassionate Netherlands.