Centering Women, Peace and Security in Ceasefires

Authored by: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

Categories: Global Public Health
Sub-Categories: COVID-19, Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR), Migration, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV)
Year: 2020
Citation: “Centering Women, Peace and Security in Ceasefires.” Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, May 2020.

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Executive Summary

As the world faces the common risk of COVID-19, there have been renewed calls for multilateral action for peace. UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called for an immediate and comprehensive global ceasefire, emphasising the need to reinforce diplomatic action, create viable conditions for delivery of humanitarian aid, and “bring hope to places that are among the most vulnerable” to the pandemic. Women-led civil society organisations, including WILPF members and partners, have been among the first to build on the momentum of this call to continue their vital work to bring peace to their communities. As of mid-May 2020, there are ongoing ceasefires in Cameroon, Sudan, Angola, and Thailand; ceasefires ended in Colombia and the Philippines; and ceasefires were broken in Yemen, Libya, and Myanmar.

The more holistic approach to security enshrined in the Women, Peace and Security Agenda – prevention, participation, protection, and relief and recovery – provides a roadmap and set of guiding principles for approaching work to broker ceasefires and translate them into lasting action on the ground. The UNSC’s action on COVID-19, including any work it does to promote a global ceasefire, must be linked with its existing recognition of the gendered impacts of conflict, the importance and agency of women in promoting peace, and center inclusivity and human security. This recognition, enshrined and legally binding in the Women, Peace and Security agenda, is vital for lasting peace.