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UN chief launches "call to action" to boost women's role in peace endeavors

(Xinhua)    09:17, October 09, 2020

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday launched a "call to action" to boost women's participation in peace endeavors.

He called on governments, the UN system, regional organizations, civil society organizations, academia, and the wider international community to take bold action to translate into reality commitments to women's equal participation in peace processes.

Guterres launched his plea after a roundtable discussion on women, peace and security in peacekeeping contexts.

He called for action to prioritize women's leadership, to invest in community-based women's networks, to embrace evidence-based decision-making through a gender data revolution, and to adopt a feminist approach to accelerate women's full, equal and meaningful participation.

"Today, let's be clear, women's leadership is a cause. We must make it a norm," he said. "That is how we will transform international peace and security. And that is how we will build a peaceful and equal future, which has proven so elusive in all the efforts that we are making namely, to implement a global cease-fire."

"That is, I think, our shared duty, our common path. Day after day, year after year, we are paying a price because of our own biases and because of discrimination that exists. And we need to be able to do better. And it depends on us for that to happen," he said.

During the roundtable discussion, Guterres said women's full, equal and meaningful participation in achieving and sustaining peace is essential for successful peacekeeping.

In situations of conflict, it is often women who are brokering peace at the community levels. Yet women continue to be actively sidelined once those processes move to the national and international levels, he said.

Data through 2018 show that globally, women constituted only 13 percent of negotiators, 3 percent of mediators and 4 percent of signatories, he noted. "Women continue to have to fight for their voices to be heard, despite the mountain of evidence on the correlation between women's participation and the sustainability of peace."

Although the United Nations has worked relentlessly to advance the women, peace and security agenda, progress remains slow due to political setbacks, lack of investment in women's rights organizations and entrenched mindsets and male dominance, he said. "This must change."

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wu Chaolan, Bianji)

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