Debate in the European Parliament on women’s contribution in peace processes. Cases in Colombia and El Salvador. “Women lose but the entire society is defeated”
“Women have a key role in the revolution of peace for this we must acknowledge a fundamental role.” Raul Romeva i Rueda, MEP of the Greens, opened a debate at the European Parliament with these words on women’s contribution in the peace process.
Women – forgotten, abused, raped, and arrested – are the ones who suffer the brutality of war the most, but they are also the most ignored during peace agreements.
“Equality means gender equality– according to Marc Tarabella, Euro MEP of the Socialists and Democrats and member of the Committee of Women’s Rights and Gender Equality – we need to encourage equality even at high levels in decisive-making because the majority of women have a high level of education and it is not fair that they are not represented.”
13 years after the resolution of the United Nations, advocate of women’s participation in peace negotiations, the debate focused on the situation in Colombia, where one of the worst crises of human rights in the world is registered.
Women who defend human rights in Colombia are victims of sexual violence; their families are threatened, when not actually directly attacked by groups armed to enforce silence, they intimidate them. Under their eyes children and husbands have been tortured and murdered. They are discredited in the workplace and in society. Locals and Afro-Colombians play a leading role in defending everyone’s rights, the right to collective land, the right to consultation on the use of this land.
“In Colombia the international community must accompany the peace process; this is a historic moment and we women want to take part in the agreements,” affirmed Adriana Benjumea of the Women for Peace (Mujere por la Paz) organization.
Women victims of war violence together with their children make up 70% of the 5 million people displaced “their requests – continued Benjumea – must be heard by the Colombian government in the post-conflict phase.”
Even Clara Murguialday, expert on the peace process in El Salvador, denounced the absence of women in decision-making roles, their total absence in the reconstruction of political life in the country, and the lack of any recognition – even of invisible pain from war. Women lost, according to Murguialday, because they didn’t take advantage, but even society in general was beaten, as evidenced by the continuing violence even in the post-conflict period inside the country.
The meeting organizers, the Oidhacho Association, asked the EU to continue to pay attention to policies for women, monitoring the actual implementation of resolutions adopted, “the European Union should strive for women to participate effectively in the peace process in Colombia and in the reconstruction of the country.”
“We Europeans – concluded the Euro MEP Rueda – must contribute to equality of women both on our continent and in any other part of the world.”