LOUISE WINSTANLEY

WOMEN’S PARTICIPATION IN THE COLOMBIAN PEACE PROCESS: ACHIEVEMENTS AND CHALLENGES AHEAD

In 2016, the Colombian Government and the FARC guerrilla signed a Peace Accord to end an internal armed conflict, which had disproportionately affected women. With eight million victims of violence, for many women, this conflict was a continuum of violence, aggravated by systemic inequality and a lack of economic resources for a dignified life.

Internationally, the Colombian Peace Accord is considered to be one of the most integrated peace agreements ever achieved. One remarkable element of the negotiations was the establishment of a gender sub-commission, which highlighted the gender dimension of the conflict and the need to address this in all of the chapters of the Peace Accord. This, alongside the work of Colombian Women’s Organisations, ensured a strong, influential and pervading gender focus in the Peace Accord.

Today, two years after the Peace Accord was signed, many of the problems of inequality, in particular women’s limited access to land, have still not been addressed properly. Equality is still something women will have to strive for.

Louise will review the process, current status and look to the future, with a focus on the impact on women.

About Louise: Louise has been working with ABColombia since 2010. As Programme and Advocacy Manager, Louise’s role is to manage and co-ordinate the work of ABColombia.

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About ABColombia: ABColombia is the joint advocacy project of five leading British and Irish organisations with programmes in Colombia: CAFOD, Christian Aid UKI, Oxfam GB, SCIAF and Trócaire. Amnesty International and PBI are observers. ABColombia members work with over one hundred partner organisations in Colombia. Many of ABColombia partners are local and national women organisations and human rights defenders working specifically on issues impacting Indigenous, Afro-Descendant and peasant farmer communities. ABColombia has been working with women's organisations throughout the Peace Talks to support ethnic leaders and civil society organisations to achieve a gender focus in the Peace Accord.

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