Copenhagen Conference, The Role of Women in Global Security
The Role of Women in Global Security Conference was held from the 29th to the 30th of October, 2010 in Eigtveds Pakhus, Copenhagen. Co-hosted by the U.S. Embassy in Denmark and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the conference gathered participants from United States, North-Baltic Countries, Afghanistan, Liberia and Uganda. The idea was to promote the importance of women in peace and security by holding discussions on three areas: Women in Active Conflict/Peacekeeping Operations, Women in Post-Conflict Reconciliation and Women in Economic Development. The focus was held largely on experiences in Afghanistan, Liberia and Uganda. The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) issued a report stemming from these conversations.
Women in Active Conflict/Peacekeeping Operations
"What opportunities and challenges do female soldiers offer in armed conflict and stabilization/development efforts? What successes and challenges have been achieved with women soldiers in Afghanistan? What effect does the presence of women soldiers have on the men in the local communities? What is required to achieve a higher participation of women in peacekeeping operations? What are the success stories from women as peacekeeping forces in Liberia? Do women as police or security officers offer similarly unique opportunities and challenges? What are the successful strategies for empowering women living in, or emerging from conflict zones to claim their rights as active citizens?"
"Continue staffing, training, and deploying gender-balanced units at all levels within the military. Experts identified cultural resistance within military institutions and in society as a whole as a major barrier to instituting this practice. Whether at the peace table or in parliaments, a critical mass of women is required to introduce gender-sensitive legislation and agreements for consideration. Experts identified deeply entrenched barriers to the inclusion of women, including culture, existing power balances and interests, and aversion to change."Report
Women in Post-Conflict Reconciliation and Reintegration
"Can peace negotiations and conflict resolution mechanisms be successful if women are not active participants? What strategies for involving women in peace negotiations, post-conflict reconstruction and re-integration have proven to be effective? What perspectives do women bring to the table as potential policymakers and actors in establishing post-conflict societal and government structures, including rule of law? What programs for ensuring women’s empowerment in post-conflict societies as a basis for sustainable peace efforts have been proven? Does the involvement of women in disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration assist in similarly involving the men?"
"Gender mainstreaming should be integrated in a whole-of-government approach to justice and security sector reform.' Experts identified lack of political will to implement the law and weak institutions that result in a lack of faith in the system as major impediments to gender mainstreaming. Recognize sexual violence during and after war as an international criminal activity that needs to be prosecuted at either a national or international level. Experts identified political will as a major obstacle to such prosecutions."Report
Women in Economic Development
"How is the inclusion and participation of women in reconstruction programs ensured? What are best practices for designing economic development programs for women to support reconstruction? What are optimal strategies for fostering collaboration among women to advance their broader economic development, create new economic opportunities for other women, and encourage sustainable economic growth in conflict-ridden or developing regions? From micro-financing successes, what lessons can we apply to assist women in becoming part of the commercial fabric of their countries? How does economic assistance to women entrepreneurs support post-conflict reconstruction?"
"The interests of women and communities have to feed into the development of national policy programs and budget strategies.' Inadequate and/or discriminatory legislation, infrastructure, and policy frameworks are the main barriers to developing such programs and strategies."