We believe women’s experience from the grassroots must inform all peacebuilding venues, and that women’s leadership at formal peacebuilding tables is essential in building just, sustainable peace. We want to nurture movements that value and respect women as leaders in building a nonviolent, resilient, and just world.
Women and children are disproportionately impacted by gender-based violence, yet they have traditionally been excluded from peace-building processes. Evidence has shown that women in post-conflict regions have frequently played a critical role in developing sustainable human security solutions. We want to see aid and national security policies that support women’s full participation in the security sectors of their governments and all aspects of society.
Our Current Focus
We are developing relationships with women in Afghanistan and Iraq who are working to build the capacity of their campaigns for human security and against corruption and militarization. We also seek collaborations with other globally focused circles in WDN to learn how we can support political, civic, and economic empowerment for Afghan and Iraqi women, and create models for support of women in other conflict zones.
We are also tracking any progress made by implementation of National Action Plans for SCR 1325 in nations worldwide to share with the WDN membership.
The Women Building a Just Peace Circle was born of the recognition that women and girls pay a heavy price for the growth of militarism around the world. Use of military force as the dominant response to conflict is not a sustainable solution. Initially formed as a partnership with the Global Fund for Women (GFW), the Circle’s members have focused on women’s efforts around the world to resist militarism in their communities, with the goal of elevating and scaling up effective methods of dismantling militarism.
The Circle’s early activities included a discussion with the Global Fund’s grantee partners from Guam, Brazil, and Colombia working on the front lines to challenge military expansion in their communities and other educational activities to learn about how women are confronting militarism around the world.
The Circle has organized educational programming about what the Middle East uprisings mean for women; women’s experience of militarism and aid in the context of natural disasters, looking at Haiti, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan as examples; and women’s experiences in war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan. In collaboration with WDN’s Criminal (In)Justice Circle, members also learned about the intersection of militarism and the war on drugs.
The Circle’s first collaborative funding effort with the Peace and Security Funders Group focused on the development of materials that highlight the critical importance of empowering women’s participation in all phases of conflict prevention, including a compelling pamphlet that is being distributed to funders to encourage greater awareness and funding of women’s participation in, and contribution to, conflict resolution and peacebuilding.
A grant to 3P Human Security funded the critical work of bringing a gender lens to the training of security forces in peacebuilding efforts. The Circle also helped support a regional convening of the Women’s Regional Network, bringing 50 South Asian women peace leaders from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India together to strategize, plan for collective action, and propose solutions for a more peaceful region.