Next week, ICAN and WASL partners from around the world will feature prominently at the Tunis Forum on Gender Equality hosted by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), UN Women, and the Tunisian Ministry of Women, Family, Childhood and the Elderly on April 24-26, 2019. With a theme of “Ensuring Inclusivity and Equality: Making international commitments a reality on the ground,” ICAN co-moderated the online consultation on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS), and in collaboration with the hosts and other organizations, helped shape the forum’s Women, Peace and Security sessions with the aim of ensuring synthesis of practical and inclusive input to planning of activities marking the 2020 anniversaries of UNSCR 1325 and the Beijing platform. Other organizations involved include Oxfam, YWCA, Kvinna till Kvinna, and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

ICAN has also organized a side event with UNDP and the Tunisian organization SOS Terrorisme on “Advancing a Holistic and Gendered Approach to Return, Rehabilitation, and Reintegration from Violent Extremism.” This event celebrates the launch of the executive summaries and programs guidance in French and Arabic of the recently published, Invisible Women: Gendered Dimensions of Return, Rehabilitation, and Reintegration from Violent Extremism, jointly produced by ICAN and UNDP, which draws on the expertise of members of the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL). Moderated by Dr. Amel Grami, scholar of gender and terrorism, Tunisia, speakers include Ruby Kholifah, country representative of AMAN, Indonesia and Nancy Yammout, director of Rescue Me, Lebanon.

As states and communities struggle to address the complexity of return, rehabilitation, and reintegration of fighters and those associated with them, especially women and children, identifying practical ways forward for policymaking and programming in the area of rehabilitation and reintegration is critical. This event will foster awareness of gendered perspectives on these issues and potential solutions pioneered by women peacebuilders from Lebanon and Indonesia, with application to the Tunisian context. The discussion will highlight the need for both understanding local context and international cooperation.

The WPS sessions during the forum include:

    • “What is a Feminist Peace?” which will explore gendered experiences of peace and security and the theory and practice behind feminist peacebuilding, covering in particular the challenges, opportunities, successes and failures in implementing WPS from a feminist perspective across contexts. Samira Ibrahim from the Neem Foundation, Nigeria and Khedija Arfaoui, feminist researcher from Tunisia will speak.
    • “Why Gender Equality Is Essential to Sustain Peace” which will explore what peace and security look like for women, how women’s organisations contribute to post-peace agreement peacebuilding and security governance, and how to avoid a gender equality backlash in the post-peace agreement phase. Juliana Suescún Gomez, Corporación de Investigación y Acción Social y Económica (CIASE), Colombia and Amina Rasul, PhD, President of Philippines Centre for Islam and Democracy (PCID), Philippines will speak.
    • “Tools for Engagement of Civil Society in Women, Peace and Security” which will review what tools and practical guidance exist to guide civil society engagement in the WPS agenda, featuring ICAN’s Better Peace Initiative, and giving attention to those which ensure gender perspectives in peacebuilding and centering of marginalized perspectives, especially those of women and youth. Hana Faidi, from the Libyan Women’s Forum (LWF), Libya and Abir Hajibrahim, from Mobaderoon-Active Citizens in Syria will speak.
    • “Women’s Participation from Peacebuilding to Reconstruction to Sustainable Development” which will encourage discussions on enhancing women’s participation and decision making in reconstruction, re-building of infrastructure and societies in post-conflict contexts, and preventing conflicts in the longer term.  

In addition to the WPS sessions, at the Beijing +25 session, “The Strategic Dialogue on Next Generation Gender Equality,” Fatima Outaleb, Director, Union for Feminist Action, Morocco, and Ruby Kholifah, country representative of the Asian Muslim Action Network, Indonesia will speak. And Mobdiun- Creative Youth from Tunisia will give a theatrical performance on April 24, from 8-10pm.

For more information about the Tunis Forum on Gender Equality, please visit https://tunisgenderforum.org/

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