LAU and ESCWA Conference on Women, Peace and Security Concludes, Launches Beirut Call for Action
Three main areas to ensure the inclusion and participation of women in all aspects of peace and security initiatives across the Arab World, namely: Localizing the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda; Promoting Women Activism in Peace and in War; and Institutionalizing Collaborations on Women, Peace, and Security, were identified and adopted by the international conference on “Prioritizing Women, Peace and Security on the Arab Agenda”.
Falling in a series of current discussions in the region on Women, Peace and Security, the conference concluded by launching the Beirut Call for Action which urged Arab States, the United Nations, the League of Arab States, civil society, policymakers, and practitioners to resource, action, and embed its recommendations. The conference acted as a forum to stimulate new thinking and create a new platform on involving women in the peace processes in the region and exchange experiences and lessons learnt in this regard.
Participants called for introducing a new paradigm that promotes a culture of peace, active protection of women from violence, as well as tackles issues of violent extremism, radical religious discourse, and political repression. This must include documenting the experiences of women in peace and security, women who engage in peace building processes, and women involved in violence. They recommended expanding knowledge on militarized masculinities as the dominant paradigm in war, as well as the gender divide in the politics of conflict and peace-making, and how to engage men in women, peace, and security issues as allies and advocates of equality and gender justice. They also called for promoting and supporting multi-stakeholder partnerships to include traditional and non-traditional partners, such as academia, media, non-state political actors, and the private sector to promote peace achievements and tolerance.
Over the three-day discussions, the international conference on “Prioritizing Women, Peace and Security on the Arab Agenda” was an opportunity to enrich and expand the debate on issues relating to women, peace, and security across the Arab region, with particular emphasis on strengthening Arab women’s participation in peace-building processes across the region, as well as on the role of women in current peace processes in several Arab countries; their successes, limitations, lessons learnt and the way forward.
The conference was organized by the Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World (IWSAW) at LAU and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) in partnership with the Danish Centre for Research on Women and Gender (KVINFO) from 8 to 10 August at the Beirut Commodore Hotel. It brought together more than 40 high level experts, academics, practitioners, civil society, government, and the United Nations from 11 Arab countries to discuss implications of the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda that encompasses UN Security Council Resolution 1325, subsequent resolutions, recommendation number 30 of the Convention of Eliminating All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), together with other international obligations.