Our fifth animation in our Better Peace Initiative series, Gender Responsive and Inclusive Ceasefires: Why it matters, how to do it is finally here! It has been a long process, which started during the discussion at our July 2018 inaugural Executive Seminar and Certification Course on Gendered and Inclusive Mediation in Ottawa, Canada. The animation explores why gender responsiveness and inclusivity matter in ceasefire agreements and processes, and how to go about ensuring this in practice.
The complexity of conflicts like those in Yemen, Syria and elsewhere require a shift from a narrow notion of peace negotiations as security and political processes to inclusive societal processes. Neither ceasefires nor political compacts alone are sufficient for sustaining a fragile peace when the wars have shred the social fabric turning neighbors against each other. For ceasefire agreements to succeed, there must be public buy-in and including civil society (particularly women) and local actors in the process from the beginning is a necessity. Ceasefires and peace agreements must be inclusive.
In 2000, the United Nations passed Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1325. Since then, the Council has adopted eight subsequent resolutions for Women, Peace and Security (WPS), the most recent (SCR 2467) in April 2019. The WPS agenda recognizes the substantial contribution women make to peacebuilding and security, and their right to inclusion in all discussions pertaining to war and peace. The WPS agenda turns 20 next year, but women still face a multiplicity of barriers to inclusion.
In 2014, ICAN launched the Better Peace Initiative (BPI). Drawing on consultations with expert practitioners and mediators, we developed the Better Peace Tool (BPT), the open source booklet that serves as a foundation for the BPI. It gives a comprehensive overview of the history of peacemaking, looks at existing barriers to inclusion and then addresses how to overcome these. It offers practical steps, is easy to use and follow, and is available in 11 languages!
Over the years, as the demand for gendered peacemaking and women’s inclusion has grown, state and multilateral institutions as well as women peacebuilders and other civil society actors are requesting guidance to inform their work. To meet this demand, we develop innovative tools that can be used by diplomats, governments and grassroots peacebuilders to ensure inclusive and gender responsive peacemaking. We produce short animations (explainers) on gendered thematic topics that are commonly addressed in peace processes. The animation on ceasefires is part of this series.
We also deliver expert advice, tailored seminars, trainings and capacity building for a range of actors, including our partners in the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL) and other civil society, governments, the UN and more recently, the various regional Women Mediators Networks. A previous cut of Gender Responsive and Inclusive Ceasefires: Why it matters, how to do it was screened in May at ICAN’s Better Peace Symposium II and again in June at a training for the Mediterranean Women’s Mediators Network (MWMN) in Rome. We are very thankful for the feedback received and hope this final cut captures the comments.
The BPI products are easily transferable and adaptable to local contexts, while ensuring a solid foundation of the core principles, values and ‘ingredients’ necessary to ensure inclusivity. We translate our animations based on demand and work closely with our partners to determine their needs and ensure that these are met.
We welcome translation requests as well as suggestions for thematic topics to explore. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
We thank Global Affairs Canada, the Compton Foundation, the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the UNDP for supporting the Better Peace Initiative!