FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Women Want In To Peace Processes in South Asia
OTTAWA, Nov. 28, 2002—Peace cannot succeed if women are excluded from the peace process, according to South Asian experts and Marlene Jennings, MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation Susan Whelan, who spoke at a forum on women and conflict organized by South Asia Partnership Canada. The forum is on the 14th Floor of 250 Albert St.
“For women in Afghanistan, there is a constant guessing whether this peace is lasting,” said Nelofer Pazira, an Afghani expatriate who starred in the movie, Kandahar. She said that Afghan women see lasting peace is possible only if the warlords can be disarmed and a national army founded. Meanwhile, warlords are tightening their control and polishing their image by trading their uniforms for Armani suits. One warlord told her, “Don’t call me a warlord. I’m a diplomat.”
In conflicts, women combatants pursue issues that affect them, said Rita Manchanda of the South Asia Forum for Human Rights in India. Speaking by phone from Nepal, Ms. Manchanda told how women Maoist revolutionaries in Nepal are blowing up liquor factories, yet the issue of alcoholism and domestic abuse was not put on the table by either the government or the Maoists at last year’s peace talks.
In diplomatic circles, the Canadian government is working with other countries to implement United Nations Security Council resolution 1325, passed in 2000, that calls for the prosecution of crimes against women, increased protection of women and girls during wars and more women on peace-keeping missions and in decision-making positions at all levels.
“SAP Canada’s unique niche in facilitating regional networking and collaboration is very valuable in regions where mutual understanding and communication can be key to preventing conflict,” said Marlene Jennings, MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Minister Whelan, who runs the Canadian International Development Agency.
For more information, to arrange interviews, or to attend tomorrow’s session, call:
Forum Organizer, SAP Canada
Cell Phone 316-2044
Communications Officer, SAP Canada
613-241-1333 ext. 228
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Attached file: forumgsrecommendations.pdf