ParlAmericas and the Parliamentary Centre organized the global inter-parliamentary exchange “Women parliamentarians on the agendas of defence, security, and peace”
With the aim of exploring the experience of women legislators working on issues related to national defence, security, and peace building, particularly in situations of insecurity and ongoing threats, ParlAmericas and the Parliamentary Center co-hosted a virtual meeting with the participation of women parliamentarians from various parts of the world.
The initiative was proposed by Member of Parliament Anita Vandenbeld (Canada), who delivered welcoming remarks, emphasizing the importance of consolidating networks among women parliamentarians who participate in public policy debates related to defence, security, and peace. She noted that collaborative spaces provide a channel for active communication among women legislators, contribute to knowledge exchange, promote the implementation of best practices and, notably, encourage peer support for efforts to promote women’s leadership on this agenda.
In addition, Senator Verónica Camino Farjat (Mexico), President of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network for Gender Equality (PNGE), offered reflections on the global and regional context and the obstacles that women politicians face to position themselves on these agendas. She highlighted the importance of “raising awareness on the need for women to participate on an equal footing and fully contribute to decision-making processes on these issues at the national, regional, and global levels.”
During the meeting, emphasis was placed on the differential impact of armed conflicts on women and girls—especially considering that gender discrimination is heightened in contexts of insecurity—and, as a result, on the urgent need to incorporate a gender perspective in peacekeeping operations. The value of bringing transformative and inclusive perspectives that represent a broader diversity of voices to the parliamentary debate on defence, peace, and security was also highlighted.
Among their overall conclusions, the participating women parliamentarians stressed the importance of continuing to promote and strengthen their participation in national defence, security, and peacebuilding agendas, and providing the decision-making process with a holistic and intersectional approach to addressing the root causes of sustainable development challenges.