Baj0261CEAA07khICAN Co-founder and Executive Director Sanam Anderlini spoke on November 15th, 2013 at Women, Power and Politics – The Road to Sustainable Democracy. The conference was hosted by the Forum for Women and Development (FOKUS) in Oslo, Norway.

Addressing women’s participation in peace processes, Anderlini said that “we’re getting the question of ending wars confused with making peace… We’ve come far in terms of recognizing opposition and armed movements within countries.  What we haven’t recognized is that there are also unarmed non-state actors.” The UN Security Council’s Resolution on Women, Peace and Security (1325) plays an important role in this. It is “the first time that we get recognition of women as armed actors as part of armed movements.” But although many movements slip into violence to claim their rights, “not one single women’s movement in the world has ever picked up weapons to fight for those fundamental rights.”

The address also explored the numerous dichotomies and tensions found in including women in peace processes: hard/soft issues, cultural/universal norms, state/non-state actors, local/global. “The local and the global go together. We mobilized women, came to the Security Council, got the platform [UNSCR 1325], and then used the Security Council Resolution as a way of having a multiplier effect.”

Anderlini acknowledged that making peace processes inclusive isn’t an easy task. “We have to embrace the messiness of the process because that’s the reality… If in the process of trying to reach the transition, we don’t practice democracy, why do we think that the outcome is going to be any different?

“It is about life and death,” Anderlini stressed. “Every peace process that fails, we get more and more violence, fragmentation and complexity.”

Watch Anderlini’s full speech here.

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