On July 21st, Peace Boat US attended the lecture series on Women, Peace and Security entitled “The World Humanitarian Summit—A historic opportunity for the WPS Agenda” at the UN Headquarters in New York. The lecture was co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Liechtenstein, the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination/Princeton University and the Peace Women Project of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. The lecture highlighted the need to push for gender equality in all areas of staff, and to push for equality in leadership roles. One of the attendees noted that we cannot hide behind culture, nor can we say “do not push this because it’s culturally sensitive”, when it comes to focusing on the goal of gender equality.
The lecture touched upon security and peacemaking topics from the perspective of women. It recognized that crises and conflicts have a very serious impact on families and societies, especially on women and girls who have fewer resources to survive in disasters, and who face gender-based violence, but are nonetheless excluded from decision-making. Therefore, the lecture recognized the significance of women’s participation in decision-making and how it must become standard practice in humanitarian action. The World Refugee Commission (WRC), which aims to reduce vulnerability, reported that in South Sudan, brutal cases of woman and girls being burnt alive after being raped still exist. Hence, we need more humanitarian programs focused on women, as women knows best what their families require and who is in worst need, and they need to know how to address those needs. And we need to see leadership in areas of peace and security.
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