Each year on 21 September, the International Day of Peace is observed around the world. The General Assembly of the United Nations declared this a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, within and among all nations and peoples. Since 2001, it has been an annual day of non-violence and cease-fire.

The Women’s international League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) considers Peace to be far more than absence of violence. Peace can only be achieved through a better understanding of how the elements that define power are interlaced, interactive, interdependent and deeply gendered.

The link between gender equality and peace should be understood in accordance with UN Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security; the Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW); and the CEDAW Committee General Recommendation n°30.

UN Security Council Resolution 1325 was passed in 2000 and was followed by subsequent resolutions 1820, 1888, 1889, 1960, 2106 and 2122 passed between 2008 and 2013.

Gender equality goes beyond the principle of non-discrimination; it implies positive efforts towards the elimination of stereotypes and social barriers. Thus, gender equality must be specifically mentioned in any consideration of the Right to Peace.

Women’s participation is one of the pillars of all Women, Peace and Security resolutions passed by the UN Security Council.

The full participation of women in decision making, conflict prevention and resolution and any other peace initiative, [is] essential to the realization of lasting peace.”

Please join WILPF in asking the UK government to place gender equality at the heart of all of its domestic and international agendas. This can be done by ensuring full engagement of women in all stages of policy development and implementation.