Humphrey Highlight by Harum Mukhayer

The GWIPS workshop on Women’s Leadership in Peace and Security brought together 16 Humphrey Fellows from 16 different countries across the different Humphrey host campuses. Day one of the workshop helped set the stage for engagement between fellows. Each participant was asked to tell a story about their connection to women in peace and security.

HarumKey Points: Evidence that investing in women and girls contributes to significant improvements in household income over time and how participation of women makes peace processes more likely to lead to agreements. I enjoyed hearing the experiences of Ikram from Tunisia on the role of civil society in bringing women’s issues to the political dialogue. Listening to Fadiya share her work on human rights in Yemen and getting a different perspective on India from Anubha and her work in the troubled Manipur region.

The main lessons I learned:

  1. Women refugees and those displaced by war are subject to specific gender-based vulnerabilities, such as: health in camps, access to resources, early marriage and limited education opportunities.
  2. Using policies on gender is a way of telling people that they matter, and putting ideas on the table so that they can be carried forward into meaningful action. It also raises discussions on gender-sensitive policies in a way that informs diplomacy, such as the experience in the US.
  3. It is important for women to be involved in politics because politics determines who benefits, and through it countries may overcome any persistent inequality.
  4. Shift from a “rights” approach to “smart and strategic” discourse using empirical evidence and data to show how incorporating gender issues makes governments and organizations more effective in the work they do.