Discussion with the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus on Women, Peace and Security
On the morning of Friday 21 September, 8 Members of Parliament from the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus and several of their colleagues from Parliament joined UNDP and several civil society partners for a half day session to explore issues and ideas related to women, peace and security.
Taking UN Security Council Resolution 1325 as the starting point, the event looked at the resolution’s relevance to Sri Lanka and in particular how the Parliamentarians can promote the participation of women and the inclusion of gender perspectives in post-conflict peacebuilding and governance.
Highlights of the morning included an illustration by Professor Savitri Goonesekere of the many provisions included in the Sri Lanka Constitution, national laws and policies that address issues related to women, peace and security. Linked to current policy discussions, the MPs especially appreciated the Professor’s identification of commitments in the LLRC Action Plan and National Action Plan for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights that address issues linked to equality of women and protection of women from violence.
Meanwhile, Deshabandu Jezima Ismail, Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission and Civil Society representative encouraged the Caucus to establish a structured mechanism for regular dialogue on these and similar issues, and then went on to speak about the importance of women’s economic empowerment as a key to recovery and peacebuilding.
In terms of next steps, the MPs expressed willingness to work collectively through the Caucus to promote implementation of national commitments linked to women, peace and security. They also emphasized the importance of finding ways to better engage and share knowledge with male policy makers, while also taking the messages of women’s participation and empowerment to the village level.