Bringing resolution 1325 into practice

In Cape Town, South Africa, a group of 27 women and men from Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Georgia and South Sudan are right now in the middle of a follow-up training within the International Training Programme (ITP) on 1325: Women, Peace and Security.

Role play about violence with a gender switch

Role play about violence with a gender switch. Photo: Kvinna till Kvinna/Eva Zillén.

The programme is run by Kvinna till Kvinna and Indevelop and this group first got together in Sweden in October for three intense weeks of training. Since then, they have been working on different projects within the areas of gender equality and peace work. And now, reunited again, we asked Sara Munárriz Awad from Colombia and Lysette Kavira Mukandirma from DR Congo: what has the training meant for them so far?

Sara Munárriz Awad works with the NGO Corporation of Research and Social and Economic Action (CIASE).

Sara Munárriz Awad works with the NGO Corporation of Research and Social and Economic Action (CIASE).

This experience has given me the opportunity to meet women and men in different cultures, countries, contexts and with different customs, working for social transformation and gender equality. And also the possibility to share these experiences with my organisation and women in Colombia that are active in many processes in relation to women, peace and security. The change project I have been working on is to develop a virtual platform for broadcasting and making visible the work of organisations and women in Colombia that allow local and national implementation of the 1325 Resolution” says Sara Munárriz Awad, Communications Officer at the feminist NGO Corporation of Research and Social and Economic Action (CIASE).

Lysette Kavira Mukandirma is in charge of local election issues and focal point on gender equality at the State Ministry of Decentralization and Customary Affairs in the DRC. Photo: Charlotte Wennerberg/Indevelop

Lysette Kavira Mukandirma is in charge of local election issues and focal point on gender equality at the State Ministry of Decentralization and Customary Affairs in the DRC. Photo: Charlotte Wennerberg/Indevelop

“This training has done a lot for me. First, it brought in me the will and the strength to do something for my society, and the conviction that my contribution to any change in my society really counts, even though I think it is insignificant. After the training, I was able to get a new position which I considered as a good opportunity. I am now active in pushing for more activities that can help to increase women’s participation in the local elections. And as one of eight advisors to the Minister of State I am now focal point for gender equality. This allowed me to include the change project I have been working on during the training programme in the annual work plan of our State Ministry. The project is to be funded with 70 % by the government!” says Lysette Kavira Mukandirma, State Minister Adviser in charge of local elections issues in DR Congo.

Facts: Kvinna till Kvinna and Indevelop have been running the ITP 1325 since 2011. The programme is Sida-financed and targets men and women representing civil society organisations, state institutions and agencies, academia and the private sector. The participants come from more than ten countries and are committed to bring resolution 1325 from policy to practice. Every year, around 80 women and men take part in the ITP 1325.

Anna Sundén, Project Manager for ITP 1325 at Kvinna till Kvinna

 


Yes We Can – Women in Kosovo bring Change!

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- What comes out of support to local women’s organisations? What difference does it make?

At times I am faced with these questions as a Kvinna till Kvinna co-worker. The questions arise in conversations with my neighbors, friends, colleagues or in meetings with donors.  Recently I was strengthened in my ability to give clear answers to these questions.

Under a blue and sunny sky in Montenegro Kvinna till Kvinna invited partner organisations in Kosovo to network and share their achievement stories. The million dollar question was: what change has been promoted by women’s organisations in Kosovo over the last few years?

After intense and creative group work several achievement stories were shared. It was clear that great change has happened with important contribution from women and their mobilisation. Allow me to present the top-five achievement list for Kosovo:

  • More women in local decision making
  • Better support to women subjected to domestic violence
  • Legal reform insuring justice and financial support to women subjected to conflict related sexual violence
  • Breaking the isolation of marginalized women
  • Re-claiming the concept of Feminism to promote women’s rights

Having this said, we need also to acknowledge that achievements do not come for free. “Great achievements takes sacrifice”, as Vetone Veliu from Mitrovica Women’s Association for Human Rights, phrased it during the meeting.

Vetone Veliu, Mitrovica Women's Association for Human Rights

Vetone Veliu, Mitrovica Women’s Association for Human Rights

So, dear neighbours, friends, colleagues and donors. You are all welcome to fire away with your questions. I have fresh and solid arguments for how women in Kosovo bring change and why support to local women’s organisations and their collaboration is crucial as we move forward.

Text: Anna Sundén, Coordinator for Kosovo

Photo: Kvinna till Kvinna/Laura Katona

 

“Violence against women – not a problem here in Kamza”

Stop violence against women

Picture in Women Forum’s office Elbasan, Albania saying “Stop violence against women”. Photo: Kvinna till Kvinna/Anna Sundén

The afternoon breeze is hot as we arrive in Kamza area in the outskirts of Tirana. I am in Albania together with Kvinna till Kvinna colleagues to participate in the annual International Human Rights Film Festival. This event brings together human rights activists, students, cineastes, as well as public officials from Albania and abroad. We are here to discuss and reflect on the theme of “violence against women” throughout a few intense days.

We enter a tall, but surprisingly empty building, where our panel discussion on “Violence against women – a men’s issue?” is soon to begin. I see a few men hanging around by the entrance and I invite them to join us. As the panelists start talking I notice that there are both men and women in the audience. A sigh of relief runs through me. The worst case scenario would be that we are here to talk about the role of men – without any men in the audience.

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