Women, Peace & Security

Women integral to battling coronavirus and pushing for lasting peace and security

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An article written on 11 June 2020 for the UN News website highlights the crucial role local women are playing in their communities to combat the spread of COVID-19. It also articulates what the United Nations have been doing to support these women.

Key points of the article include:

  • The Peace Operations chief, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, stressed the importance of continuing to prioritize the UN’s Action for Peacekeeping’s (A4P) Women, Peace and Security (WPS) commitments during the pandemic.
  •  Missions’ close relationships with women’s organizations have allowed the them to “quickly and creatively continue to work” through UN assets – such as via radio, phone links and community alert systems – as well as by leveraging women-led structures, including women protection networks, early warning networks and gender working groups
  • Citing May elections in Mali, Jean-Pierre Lacroix elaborated on the political efforts underway to increase women’s participation. “We supported the role of women voters and candidates – as a result of these efforts we have a number of women in Mali parliament that has increased three-fold”, elaborated the head of Peace Operations.
  • UN peace and security actors had taken immediate measures to ensure that Action for Peacekeeping (A4P)’s WPS commitments have continued, and help inform COVID-19 mitigation and response efforts. 
  • Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka noted that with women already largely excluded from mediation at all levels, the compounding impacts of the virus – including increased caregiving burdens, economic insecurity, and diversion of funding away from women’s civil society organizations – risk “further alienating women from peace processes”.
  • Adding that challenges associated with human mobility are increasing tensions in border areas, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka warned that the result could be “attacks on human rights defenders, stigmatization, xenophobia and discrimination, and above all, a rise in all forms of violence against women and girls”. 
  • She spotlighted that the COVID-19 response offers “a transformative opportunity” to build back better, into a more peaceful, sustainable and equitable world.

Read the full article here.