“A common thread of peace pulls women together”
Bandana Rana is Executive Chair of our partner Saathi in Nepal, and member of UN Women Global Civil Society Advisory Group.
Here she introduces Womankind and ActionAid’s new report, From the Ground Up.
“This important report showcases the voices and work of a large but forgotten group of women – those working locally, wherever they are, to rebuild society after war and lead their communities to peace.
From Nepal to Liberia, from Pakistan to Sierra Leone and Afghanistan, a common thread of peace pulls women together, and compels them to act at local level for a just and equal future.
The experiences of women in Nepal mirror those of our sisters across the world. Despite their contribution and rich experiences in building peace, women have been left out of peace negotiations and sidelined from decisions about the future of our country and communities.
The barriers against women’s participation persist – patriarchal attitudes, lack of security, lack of access to justice and support mechanisms. Continued violence against women, as well as the failure to address abuses committed during conflict, are key factors underlying a feeling of injustice and tension in local communities.
Yet, against the odds, women overcome these and bravely step out into view to demand change. In Nepal during the drafting of the National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325, local women put aside their ethnic and political differences, and instead focused on the root causes of the conflict, and how they could tackle the associated grievances and discrimination. Women at local level, often previously confined to a domestic role within the home, have found strength in each other as they publicly demand justice and inclusion.
Against this backdrop I’m proud to introduce this report, and make a plea to the international community to put women at the heart of peace. Learning from and supporting the work of women’s organisations, who are at the frontline of building peace at local level, is a crucial part of a future where peace can prosper, not for just half the population, but for everyone.”