Women need a role in conflict resolution and peace-building efforts in Ukraine, says OSCE’s Senior Gender Adviser
KYIV, 5 February 2015 – Enhancing the participation of women in conflict resolution and peace-building efforts is key to achieving security and stability in Ukraine, said the OSCE’s Senior Adviser on Gender Issues, Ambassador Miroslava Beham, as she concluded a four-day visit to Ukraine in which she met representatives of government, international organizations and civil society.
"It is clear that the changing circumstances are bringing a new urgency to the cause of gender equality as it is imperative to include all segments of society in conflict resolution, peace-building and reconciliation efforts,” said Beham. “For instance, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) an overwhelming majority of internally displaced persons are women and are in urgent need of assistance that is properly targeted to their requirements.”
She added that developing focused support to demobilized people returning from the conflict zone is equally urgent for addressing social tension, including the issue of domestic violence.
Beham noted it is encouraging to see that important processes have been launched in the area of gender equality, since her last visit to Ukraine last September.
“Steps have been taken to create a National Action Plan for implementing UN Security Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security as well as the start of a process to ratify the Istanbul Convention on Preventing and Combating violence against women,” said Beham. “These are all important steps to create a future of peace and prosperity for all Ukrainian citizens.”
The Senior Gender Adviser offered the OSCE’s support to these processes, underscoring that they are key building blocks to attaining comprehensive, inclusive security in the OSCE region.
During her visit, Beham met representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ombudsperson's Office and women parliamentarians. She also met with representatives from international organizations including the EU Advisory Mission for Civilian Security Sector Reform Ukraine (EUAM Ukraine), UNICEF, UNHCR, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) as well as civil society and a network of female mediators.
Ambassador Beham additionally had meetings with the senior management of the Special Monitoring Mission to the Ukraine to discuss how to enhance the capacity of monitors in including gender-related issues into their reporting.