Mexico City, Mexico, 01 June 2013
Socialist International Women (SIW) welcomes and supports the talks in the city of Havana, Cuba, held by the government of the Republic of Colombia and the FARC, seeking to give an end to armed conflict which for more than four decades has brought bloodshed to the Colombian people.
We emphasize the importance that these dialogues be carried out following a strict and detailed schedule, covering not only the immediacy of the conflict (the end of armed action) but the social factors that will lead the Colombian people to a true reconciliation: the land distribution, political participation, the solution to drug trafficking and the compensation to victims.
In particular, Colombian women need and deserve a serious and comprehensive agreement that allows them true development as citizens without fear of being mentally and physically violated by the clamour of fratricidal violence or continue to be used as spoils of war; there are already many barriers to achieving gender equality and the full development of women – the armed conflict should not remain one of them. Under the Colombian armed conflict, women are victims of multiple forms of violence; especially sexual violence is executed as a habitual, widespread, systematic and invisible practise.
Therefore, and considering the lack of female representation in the dialogue table, we advocate the explicit inclusion of the situation of women in the conflict as part of the discussion.
It is imperative that the parties take a gender perspective at all stages of the dialogue process, not only because most of the victims are women, but mainly because from the recognition of the multiple forms of violence against women, the repair constitutes an opportunity to move towards real equality of rights.
Finally we urge political parties, civil society organisations, women and men from Colombia and Latin America to border the negotiations in Havana and express our warmest wishes for a successful outcome that allows the Colombian men and women to fully enjoy the right to live in peace.