June 26, 2018
By Janice Biehn
Studies show that peace agreements have a 35 percent greater chance of being effective and lasting if women are involved in the drafting process. In recognition of this statistic, the KAIROS-led Women of Courage: Women, Peace and Security project recently received renewed funding from Global Affairs Canada, with a pledge of $4.5 million over the next five years. KAIROS will also be funding $1.3 million towards the project.
PWRDF is proud to be a member of Kairos and provided crucial support to KAIROS staff in revising the proposal. A representative for Global Affairs Canada announced the funding at a KAIROS Circle gathering meeting where PWRDF staff (Jeannethe Lara, Suzanne Rumsey, José Zárate) and representatives (Henriette Thompson and Jessica Steele from the Youth Council) were present.
Despite the knowledge that women’s involvement improves peace negotiations, men’s voices still control most of the process, with women making up for a mere nine percent of negotiators from 1992 to 2011. Women of Courage partners empower female victims of war and encourage them to work together toward peace. They are:
- Ecumenical Voice for Peace and Human Rights in the Philippines (EcuVoice)
- Héritiers de la Justice (DRC)
- South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC)
- Organización Femenina Popular (Colombia)
- Wi’am: Palestinian Conflict Resolution Center (West Bank)
The partners will ensure that women can contribute to sustainable peace and justice in conflict and post-conflict zones across the globe. They will provide women in conflict scenarios with psycho-social counselling as well as any legal assistance they may require. The project also focuses on providing the women with human rights training to help them become agents of peace.
The program aligns with Global Affairs Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy. This policy identifies gender equality and the empowerment of women as the best route toward development and to build a more peaceful, inclusive world.
“In renewing this commitment, the Government of Canada is recognizing resilience and strength in women’s leadership and investing in real systemic change in five contexts of militarized conflicts,” said Jennifer Henry, Executive Director of KAIROS. “Canadians should be proud partners with these women—the ones who know the solutions in their contexts to expand their capacity to build and sustain just peace.”