Standing with Women Peacebuilders
The recognition of women’s rights is core to building peace. Nations with greater gender equality generally enjoy greater peacefulness—but when gender-based violence and discrimination are common, conflicts easily fall into a downward spiral.
Supporting women as peace leaders helps break that violent cycle. When women are involved in creating peace agreements, research shows that those agreements are 35% more likely to last—building sustainable peace for all members of society.
This International Women’s Day, we thank all our supporters for making Karuna Center’s current programs with women peacebuilders possible, including:
— The Protecting Our Communities Initiative, which has successfully increased women’s participation in conflict resolution processes in 18 communities that face farmer-herder conflict, bandit attacks, and ransom kidnappings. We organize this project together with
Neem Foundation, a peacebuilding organization led by Nigerian women.
— Our work in Myanmar, where women have played a central role in civil resistance to the February 2021 coup. Our women-led Watering the Banyan Tree project engages diverse women in dialogues and trainings to support work for social inclusion and peace.
As we bear witness to the unfolding humanitarian crisis and destruction in Ukraine, and its devastating impacts on women, we also see the shared desire for peace among Ukrainians and Russians, together with people worldwide.
The global unity against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is an important opportunity to support women peacebuilders, which will be key to building lasting peace. We stand behind the Alliance for Peacebuilding’s Global Call to Action, which outlines a series of actionable measures for building peace in Ukraine and beyond.
In fact, it was Russian women who catapulted International Women’s Day into the global spotlight, 105 years ago today. Their protests demanding bread, political rights, and an end to Russia’s involvement in World War I grew to over 150,000 people within two days—soon forcing the tsar to abdicate his throne.
There is power when women unite. Let’s unite for peace—in solidarity with Ukrainians and all people who face violent repression and armed conflict.
Left: Russian women in International Women’s Day in 1917 demand the goverment “feed the children of the defenders of the motherland” during World War I. Right: Senegalese women leaders from 21 local villages gather to begin the process of calling their rebel combatants home and, with Karuna Center’s support, hold ceremonies to reintegrate them into their communities (read more).