#Beijing25 ||ROADMAP: women and peace

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Shohini Banerjee’s depiction of the inclusion of women in peace processes was the winner of Roadmap, an infographic contest to celebrate 25 years of the Beijing Platform for Action.

References

  1. Council on Foreign Relations. Women’s Roles in Peace Processes: Explore the Data. Retrieved August 15, 2020, from https://www.cfr.org/womens-participation-in-peace-processes/explore-the-data
  2. Gender Peacekeeping. Retrieved August 20, 2020, from
    https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/gender
  3. Hedström, J., & Senarathna, T. (Eds.). (2015). Women in Conflict and Peace (Rep.). International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. from https://www.idea.int/sites/default/files/publications/women-in-conflict-and-peace.pdf
  4. Khullar, A. (2020, January 16). A Lukewarm Commitment: India and Gender Equality in Security Affairs. Retrieved August 26, 2020, from https://southasianvoices.org/a-lukewarm-commitment-indian-perspectives-on-unscr-1325/
  5. Landmark resolution on Women, Peace and Security (Security Council resolution 1325). (n.d.). Retrieved August 20, 2020, from https://www.un.org/womenwatch/osagi/wps/
  6. O’Reilly, M. (2015). Why Women? Inclusive Security and Peaceful Societies (Rep.). Inclusive Security. from https://www.inclusivesecurity.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Why-Women-Brief-2020.pdf
  7. Press Trust India. (2019, October 22). Urgent need to institutionalise involvement of women in conflict prevention: India. Retrieved August 15, 2020, from https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/urgent-need-to-institutionalise-involvement-of-women-in-conflict-prevention-india/articleshow/71699614.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest
  8. Samad, K. (2011). Gender, Conflict and Peace-building: On the Margins of Development
    (Rep.). Paris: UNESCO. doi: BFC/PCPD/2011/PI/1/REV.2

Shohini Banerjee is a Gender and Development Consultant.

New Prajnya Resource: Women and Peace, a directory

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Last year, a regional peace network was looking to identify potential partners from among women’s organisations doing peace work. We set out to make a list and that grew into this set of directories, Women and Peace–a compilation of organisations (largely but not exclusively, women’s organisations) that work on both women’s rights and peace in South Asia.

Defining ‘peace’ was in itself an interesting exercise. Women identify as integral to peace a host of other issues and concerns that might more conventionally be categorised as development work or human rights work or governance-related advocacy. It was hard to filter, because even our small desk-based research efforts yielded so many answers. We came up with a set of ‘keywords’ (or phrases, really) whereby we could capture quickly the kind of work they did. And we tried to cover all the eight SAARC states–Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

No desk-based study can generate anything more than an incomplete list. Moreover, this is a region where not every organisation doing good work has an Internet presence. We acknowledge that and invite you to send us suggestions of other organisations we might include, along with a URL for their website or more information about them. Contact information is particularly important. You can email your suggestions and other feedback to prajnyatrust@gmail.com.

The research for this project was undertaken by Vignesh Rajendran, who wrote the first draft of the profiles and prepared the index. Mitha Nandagopalan cross-checked information and edited the directory.

Women and Peace has been organised into separate country directories as well as a consolidated regional one. You can access all the directories here.

This project means a lot to us at Prajnya because it fulfils our three-fold mandate of research (to learn), public education (to make accessible) and (to enable) network-building. The topic itself lies at the intersection of our interests in women’s contributions to the public sphere on the one hand and in peace education on the other.

More than anything, we are delighted that having found 175 organisations with an interest in both women’s rights and peace, we have hopefully found a resounding response to the usual excuse, “We would include women, but where can we find women with experience in peace-building.” The answer we now have is, “Within the pages of our directory.” And we’d like to reiterate here, to make a political point, that the directory is far from exhaustive–it only lists what we could find.

We hope you will find this work useful and that it will open the door to greater collaboration and sharing.

Here’s wishing you a happy 2015 and a peaceful, violence-free world!

One barrier down, several to go

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The 36-week training of the first batch of about 200 out of the 612 women recruits, all between 18 and 22 years of age, started at the Border Security Force’s (BSF) training camp at Kharkan village, 15 km from here, Monday. Classes for the remaining recruits will start later.

The women, 45 from West Bengal and the rest from Punjab, were gung-ho about not just the training programme but even postings in inhospitable terrain along the border where the BSF is stationed.

“This is a very happy moment for me. This is an active job and will give job security to me and my family,” Sandeep Ghumman, a graduate, said.

“Both my parents are in the police. The job with BSF should be interesting,” added another recruit, Kiranbir Kaur.

Taking pride in her new uniform, recruit Jyotibala of Punjab’s border district of Gurdaspur said: “I always wanted to serve my motherland. My dream has come true.”

The women will primarily be used along the 553 km international border between India and Pakistan, which has 300 gates along the electrified barbed wire fencing in Punjab.

“They will mainly be used to frisk women from villages along the international border who have to cross the fencing to cultivate land,” BSF’s Punjab frontier inspector general of police (IGP) Himmat Singh said here.

The women, instructed by two women from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), will be trained in weapons and explosives handling, physical training, drill, map reading, field craft, border management and given knowledge about all major laws including Indian Penal Code (IPC), customs, passport and immigration, he said.

The fencing, erected by India in the early 1990s to curb militants from entering Punjab from the Pakistan side, is about 500 metres to one kilometre from the international border inside Indian territory. This had placed fields of many farmers of border villages beyond the fence. The farmers are allowed to go beyond the fence only for a few hours everyday (from 10 a.m. to 4 pm) to cultivate their land. They are frisked every time.

The BSF, over the years, had been facing problems in frisking women accompanying farmers across the fence. Frisking is essential as a lot of smuggling, particularly of drugs, takes place at the border, BSF officials said.

Over 8,500 women had applied for the 685 posts of women guards with the BSF June this year. Of these, nearly 2,500 were short-listed and underwent physical tests as well as screening and a medical examination before being selected.