Voice and Vision: What the Women Say. MENA/Asia (Fall 2012)

In September 2012 the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) convened the first regional “What the Women Say” MENA/South Asia Forum on Rights, Peace and Security with nearly 50 women representing 12 countries in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region, with international partners.

This group of peace and women’s rights experts, practitioners, activists and scholars met over a four-day period to draw on the framework provided by UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security to compare and contrast the fast-paced changes in the region. Their discussions included country situations analyses with attention to the gender dimensions of root causes and evolving political, economic, security, religious and socio-cultural trends; the threats and opportunities facing women’s movements; and the gendered dimensions of key transitional issues notably, legal and constitutional processes, transitional justice, security sector and economic reform.

What The Women Say

“ We are not a project. It is a matter of life for millions of people.”

— Woman peacebuilder

What The Women Say

“ Help us talk, don't just arm us to kill.”

— Syrian woman activist

What The Women Say

“Do not tell us that it’s not time to fight for our rights. There’s no convenient time; we have to always be fighting.”

— Pakistani women’s rights activist

What The Women Say

“State prisons are feeding the pool of foreign fighters… many are radicalized during incarceration.”

— Tajik woman lawyer

What The Women Say

“I say Jihad is not spilling or wasting blood in the streets, it is giving blood in hospitals to people who need it.”

— Iraqi woman peacebuilder

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