The UAE has supported UN-Women since its establishment in 2010 and has provided approximately 26 million dollars to the core budget of UN-Women to support its operations and efforts to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment, including through the UN-Women liaison office in Abu Dhabi. A growing body of research has shown that women’s effective political participation is fundamental to building stronger and more resilient societies. For its part, the United Nations has undertaken significant institutional reform to bring together its peace and security, sustainable development and human rights work to meet the challenges of sustaining peace. This includes scaling-up our efforts to promote women’s participation in prevention, peace processes, governance and decision-making.
So, what are the strategies to ensure women’s participation in post-conflict life?
- First, during peace talks, women must be at the negotiating table when possible and always provided the support to engage meaningfully. Put simply, there is no substitute for direct participation.
- Encouraging the Government and opposition to strengthen women’s representation on their own delegations;
- Receiving advice on all aspects of the mediation process from the Syrian Women’s Advisory Board; and
- Ensuring women’s effective representation from the outset on the recently-agreed Constitutional committee.
- Second, early planning based on gender-sensitive conflict and political analysis must inform all peace and security interventions including post-conflict planning.
- Third, legislative and policy protections are needed to support women’s rights, remove discriminatory laws and promote gender equality.
- Fourth, electoral reforms should be prioritized to enable and embed women’s safe political participation as voters and candidates, and to strengthen the credibility, inclusiveness and transparency of elections.
- Fifth, inclusive approaches must be prioritized, with women – including women’s civil society – engaged in setting peacebuilding priorities.
- Sixth, the international community must put its weight behind supporting national and grassroots-level peacebuilding priorities.
- And finally, these priorities need to be adequately, predictably and sustainably finance.
The UN has supported women’s electoral participation in many countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Somalia. This includes by assisting national efforts to develop or reform electoral laws to provide better chances for women to participate in public life; andproviding technical advice on temporary special measures, such as quotas in electoral laws, as well as voter registration, electoral security, awareness raising and voter sensitization.