PRESS: When it comes to peace, success relies on inclusiveness, as much as it relies on effectiveness, Dr. Morsi said during her speech PRESS: When it comes to peace, success relies on inclusiveness, as much as it relies on effectiveness, Dr. Morsi said during her speech

NCW organizes workshop on women, peace and security

Wed, Sep. 4, 2019
CAIRO – 4 September 2019: Head of the National Council for Women (NCW) Maya Morsi met Wednesday with Jacqueline O'Neill, Canada's first ambassador for women, peace and security, and Canadian Ambassador to Egypt Jess Dutton to discuss issues of common concern and boost future cooperation.

During her speech, Morsi commended the strong relations between Egypt and Canada, as well as efforts by the Canadian government to enrich gender equality and praised the fruitful cooperation between the Council and the Government of Canada.

She further pointed out that Egypt has announced the commencement of a plan for women, security and peace in cooperation between the council, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Cairo International Center for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding.

D. Morsi also affirmed that terrorism is a global threat and state authorities have a mandatory and significant role in protecting the nation.

The NCW, according to Morsi, is currently working to completely end female genital mutilation through the National Committee for the Elimination of FGM, shedding the light on the important achievements that the council managed to pull through.

With regard to women's access to decision-making positions, she explained that women percentage in the government reached 25% for the first time in the history of Egypt, and in the parliament, women reached 25% of representation.

For her part, Ms. O'Neill expressed her happiness to be in Egypt to attend the workshop on women, security and peace, and confirmed her pride in Egypt's participation in this important initiative in order to share national action plans to exchange successful experiences.

The following is Dr. Maya Morsi's speech during the workshop:

Good morning Ambassador Wael Attia, Dr. Jean-Bosco Butera, Ambassador Masaki Noke, Ms. Jacqueline O’Neil, Dr. Randa Aboul-Hosn, Ms. Janneke Kukler, Ambassador Ashraf Swelam, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.

It is a pleasure to be with you today. Let us speak frankly, dreaming of a peaceful world requires us to recognize that women have the voice and power that make them the change agents and powerful peacemakers and peace-builders. Women’s agency, voice and capacities, as well as a sincere consideration of gender perspective are all critical to successful local dialogues, better policies, and more equitable peace deals. And this is what the WPS agenda advocates for.

The WPS agenda can be broken down into three priority areas: Prevention, Protection, Peace-building and Relief and Recovery, and another two overarching and cross cutting principles: Participation and Gender Mainstreaming. To achieve such an ambitious agenda, we must highlight the importance of behavioral change assumptions and work on realizing profound cultural change.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, 80% of people who are in need of international assistance are affected by armed conflicts. Since 2014, the death toll from war has increased by 28%. Civilians, more specifically women and children, constitute the majority of victims of conflicts.

Parties to conflicts use Conflict Related Sexual Violence (CRSV) as a tool of controlling production and reproduction in societies.

Excellences, ladies and gentlemen, although women and girls are greatly affected by crisis and instabilities, their voices are pent-up, their needs are might be ignored, and their contributions to peace are concealed:

• Globally, statistics show the various ways in which women are under-represented in peace efforts. Between 1990 and 2017, women constituted only 2%, 5%, 8% of mediators, witnesses and signatories, and negotiators respectively.
• Out of the 11 signed peace agreements in 2017, only 3 (27%) contained gender-sensitive provisions.
• Moreover, gender provisions of peace agreements gain the least attention. During the period from 2000 to 2016, 7% only identify modalities on implementing gender provisions. During the same period, out of 1,500 peace agreements 25 only highlight women’s role in implementation.

Excellences, ladies and gentlemen, if Women Participate in Peace Processes; their rights are more protected and their special experiences get recognized. When it comes to peace, success relies on inclusiveness, as much as it relies on effectiveness:

• Including women in peace processes raises the probability that an agreement would last at least 15 years to 35%.
• Studies show that peace agreements with female signatories are linked with durable peace.
• Women’s strong influence leads to the attainment of peace agreements.
• For example, there is a 37% lower prevalence of hunger when women are prioritized in food distribution. And this is one example of how prioritizing women’s and girls’ needs can accelerate and maintain effective peace process and efforts.

Let us all agree that the WPS agenda does not require the mere participation of women in peace process in terms of numbers and percentages. Women’s participation should go beyond token representation and be of meaningful quality.

Excellences, ladies and gentlemen, in May 2019, Egypt announced the start of the development of its first National Action Plan (NAP) on the Implementation of the WPS agenda. This step comes after Egypt has undertaken concrete measures for advancing women’s status and strengthened their role in the society.

Excellences, ladies and gentlemen, moreover, Egypt has exhibited leadership in the realm of preventing sexual violence and increasing women’s participation in peace efforts:

• President of Egypt’s membership to the Leaders to Prevent Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) in United Nations Operations.
• In 2018 Egypt proposed a resolution to the General Assembly for reaffirming commitment to zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse within the UN system.
• Egypt already pledged to increase females to 10% in police units by 2020 (already 10 policewomen are being deployed to each unit).
Additionally, through the efforts exerted by the Cairo International Center for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding (CCCPA), a lot of capacity building activities are being implemented:
• Trainings on preventing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse.
• Pre-deployment trainings that include gender for Egyptian peacekeepers.
• Developing a guide on preventing sexual exploitation and abuse to all Egyptian peacekeepers.

As the African continent has 25 countries who have already developed and are implementing their NAPs, I am very delighted to be here, with all the experts and esteemed guests to work collaboratively on the WPS agenda, share our experiences and learn from each other the best practices and policies adopted to enhance women’s role in sustaining peace and take concrete steps that will further this agenda.

In 2020, as we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the UNSCR 1325, we dream of celebrating sustained peace all around the world, for the sake of our children.

Thank you very much.

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