We believe women’s experiences 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.
Active through 2015, 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 rebuild their communities, with the goal of elevating and scaling up effective methods of nonviolent resolution of conflict.
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 creating peaceful solutions around the world.
The Circle 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.
In 2013, the Circle’s first collaborative funding effort supported the Peace and Security Funders Group to develop materials that highlight the critical importance of empowering women’s participation in all phases of conflict prevention, including a compelling pamphlet that was 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 where women peace leaders from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India came together to strategize, plan for collective action, and propose solutions for a more peaceful region.