Women's coalition denounces exclusion by Security Council

Source Inter Press Service

In October 2001, the United Nations Security Council endorsed a resolution recognising that women's participation is essential to sustain efforts for peace in the world. But did the international body ever ask world's women leaders to take part in the decision-making process? Activists associated with a global coalition of women's right activists say the answer is "no". "You cannot do anything [about peace-building] if women are not engaged in the decision-making process," said Mavic Cabrera-Balleza of the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders, an umbrella organisation of over 80 rights groups across the world. "If any policy is to be effectively implemented, you need to consult with women's representatives," she told IPS, after the group sent a letter to the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other senior U.N. officials, as well as the member nations of the Security Council. The letter was dated Jan. 7 and released to the media on Tuesday. Its signers raised critical questions about the lack of women's participation in the Council's decision-making processes on issues related to international peace and security and called for the world body's principle organ to match its words with deeds. The Security Council resolution on women's role in peace- building, known as UNSCR 1325, envisages participation of women at all levels of decision-making.