Source: New York Times
With Covid-19, the situation for women human rights defenders and the prospects for women's full participation in building peace have become 'vastly worse'.
This is according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet.
She made the remarks on Tuesday while participating in a Security Council debate, under the theme "Protecting Participation: Addressing violence targeting women in peace and security processes."
Bachelet said that between 1992 and 2019, only 13 percent of negotiators, six percent of mediators and six percent of signatories in major peace processes worldwide, were women.
"And that was before the pandemic struck ... and before a wave of intensifying conflicts and disastrous humanitarian crises took hold in many societies, further reducing women's rights," she said.
Capitalize on existing cooperation
Robert Kayinamura, Rwanda's Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations called on member states to capitalise on existing international and regional cooperation to protect women peacebuilders.
"While we have made considerable progress, the world continues to remain a very dangerous place for women and girls, who find themselves caught in unending conflict and wars,"
"Rwanda believes that a greater effort is still needed to safeguard and protect countless women who continue to suffer disproportionately with lasting consequences."
We also believe that Kayinamura said, our collective resolve to address these challenges should primarily focus on implementation of existing commitments and frameworks, including addressing root causes of conflict to eliminate grounds on which such crimes breed.
"United Nations and Member States should also capitalize on existing International and Regional cooperation frameworks to promote the protection and rights of women peacebuilders while driving universal aspirations to have commitments and recommendations translated into local, national, and regional action plans," he asserted.
For Kayinamura, equal and meaningful participation of women in peace and security processes helps to minimize chances of conflict and community confrontation.
He said that it also provides a larger sense of security to local populations, including women and children.
"Therefore, the protection of women should be part of the inclusive process of developing a policy framework seeking to provide equal rights and opportunities."
Kayinamura highlighted Rwanda's commitment to carry forward the country's ambitious domestic agenda for women's empowerment and gender mainstreaming.
The latter, he said, "Rwanda has made it a top priority and will continue to engage constructively with the international community in this regard."