Beirut, 30 October 2023--At a time when women around the world are lauded for their ever-growing achievements as peacemakers, the Arab region is marred by armed conflicts causing an increasing number of victims, particularly among women and children. As part of its mission to empower women and achieve sustainable development in the region, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) provided a platform for women leaders and pioneers to share their opinions on the role of women in achieving peace in times of conflict, in the context of the ongoing situation in Palestine.
ESCWA Executive Secretary Rola Dashti launched the initiative with the following quote: “Anyone of you may have a mother, a daughter, a sister, or a wife who might endure the horrors of violence such as killing and hostage-taking in times of conflict and war. These terrible acts of injustice and violations of human dignity and rights must end immediately. The rightful place for women is at the negotiating table among decision makers. Their voices and leadership roles are not only essential but also irreplaceable to achieve lasting peace.”
Jordan, Wafa Bani Mustafa, Minister of Social Development
“Most of the victims of the current aggression on Gaza are women and children. The lives of Palestinian women and children are no less important than those of women and children around the world. The international community cannot continue ignoring blatant violations of international humanitarian law.”
Kuwait, Maryam Saud Al-Azmi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs
“Women play a major role in consolidating the values of peace, security and stability, and in promoting development in their societies. Women are a pillar of peace.”
Lebanon, Claudine Aoun, President of the National Commission for Lebanese Women
“There is an urgent need to involve women in mediation and dialogue to combat hate speech, to limit conflicts and political and socioeconomic repercussions threatening the stability and security of our countries.”
Yemen, Shafeqa Saeed Abdo Saleh, Chairperson of the National Commission for Women “Peace stands as the universal cornerstone of humanity; unless it is embraced as a shared value by all people without exception, all notions of security are meaningless. Peace means criminalizing the killing of women and children, and rejecting the bombing of hospitals, schools, homes, mosques and churches. Peace means the right to self-determination. As a Yemeni woman advocating for peace, I, along with my fellow compatriots, have endured the ravages of conflict and war. Their destructive impacts have scarred our lives, and affected our well-being and relationships. The only sustainable path to achieving peace lies in the creation of a secure, independent, and stable Palestinian State.”
One of five United Nations regional commissions, ESCWA supports inclusive and sustainable economic and social development in Arab States, and works on enhancing regional integration.
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