The role of women in conflict resolution and peace building
Tel Aviv, Israel, 19-20 May 2005
Socialist International Women is encouraged by the reform process of the Palestinian Authority and by Israel's resolution to withdraw from Gaza and considers this to be a positive step towards reviving the negotiations and reactivating the peace process.
A just and lasting peace must be based on two states for two peoples with two capitals in Jerusalem and a fair solution of the Palestinian refugee issue, while ensuring security for all.
As peace is inextricably linked to equality between men and women, a lasting peace cannot be established without the participation of women and the inclusion of gender perspectives in the peace process.
Israeli and Palestinian grassroots women's groups and women's peace movements have been active in lobbying for peace for years, but so far have not been included in any form of negotiation.
Therefore women's concerns, knowledge and experiences were not sufficiently used at the negotiating table when the Road Map for Peace and the Peace Coalition Geneva draft were formalised.
UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on 'Women, Peace and Security' which was adopted in October 2000, clearly stresses 'the importance of the equal participation and full involvement of women in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security, and the need to increase their role in decision making with regard to conflict prevention and resolution'.
It is therefore essential that women be included in the analysis, policy making and negotiations since they are more likely than men to be prepared to open and maintain a dialogue seeking to bridge the differences between Israelis and Palestinians.
Therefore, Socialist International Women having listened to women politicians and members of the civil society:
- calls on the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority to include women in the negotiating teams, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1325;
- stresses the need to implement fully international humanitarian and human rights law that protects the rights of women and children during and after conflicts;
- calls on the parties to renew negotiations based on the 'Road Map for Peace', also considering the 'Peace Coalition Geneva draft' which has been acknowledge by many as a model of agreement;
- calls on its member organisations to join local and international efforts of reconciliation, and contribute towards projects promoting peace and
- supports the establishment of an International Women's Commission for Israeli – Palestinian Peace and encourages the recognition and inclusion of the commission in any future negotiations.