During her recent visit to India, Joanna Roper, representative of the UK’s Special Envoy for Gender Equality said that Women’s participation in politics is essential to ensure policy making is more inclusive. Joanna Roper was appointed by the Foreign Secretary as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Special Envoy for Gender Equality in February 2017.

Key Takeaways:

  • Joanna Roper is the representative of the UK’s Special Envoy for Gender Equality and was in India to attend the government’s Raisina Dialogue. 
  • She not only put forth the advantages to society as a whole if women are included in politics but also discussed possible India-UK collaboration on gender equality issues. 
  • She spoke to college students and British Businesses operating in India and discussed tackling sexual harassment in the garment sector.

Also Read: Why Men Must Drive The New Conversation On Gender Equality

Women’s Participation A Must To Ensure Lasting Peace And Stability

“Supporting women and girls’ meaningful mobilization and participation in political life, mediation, conflict prevention, peace-building and in post-conflict processes to rebuild their countries and communities, is essential to building lasting peace and stability,” Roper told The Hindu. 

Women account for a mere 2 % mediators, 8 % negotiators, and 5 % witnesses to peace processes. However, despite such low participation, they make a real difference and ensure peace negotiations stick.

This was the UK’s first Special Envoy for Gender Equality. ” The UK will pursue diplomatic policies at multilateral and bilateral level to influence and transform the political environment in fragile and conflict-affected states to enable and encourage the participation of women in decision-making and support initiatives to enable women to play leadership roles,” the envoy added.

Read More: Women In Nuclear Non-Proliferation Deals – Effective Yet Underrepresented!

If You Bring Women Together, Everyone Benefits

Roper stressed on the upsetting figures of women’s participation in peace processes. She said that women account for a mere 2 % mediators, 8% negotiators, and 5 % witnesses to peace processes. However, despite such low participation, they make a real difference and ensure peace negotiations stick. Where women participate, 60 % of such negotiations are less likely to fail and 35 % of such cases are more likely to last 15 years or more. “There is really strong evidence that if you bring women together, everyone benefits,” she added.

Also Read: Survey Shows 74% Are Aware of the Sustainable Development Goals

When Other Notable Personalities Stressed On Women’s Participation In Peace Processes

This is not the first time that a notable personality has stressed on women’s inclusion in the peace processes. Many other notable personalities have showcased how peace processes become effective when women are involved.

  • During a round table discussion with the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee, Ivanka Trump suggested implementing the Women, Peace and Security Act.
  • In October 2016, Ban-Ki-Moon, the then United Nation’s Secretary-General said that women have higher chances of sustaining a peace treaty for up to 15 years if they are a part of the board.
  • Majority of peace agreements signed in the last three decades do not involve even a single woman signatory, Paulomi Tripathi, First Secretary in India’s permanent mission to the UN observed while speaking at Peacebuilding Commission’s Ambassadorial Level Meeting on “Strengthening Linkages between Women, Peace and Security & Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace.”  She also expressed her concern about the fact that most of the peace agreements “fail to reference women and address their concerns, such as gender-based violence.”

Picture Credit- Evening Standard

Also Read: Be Courageous As Women Are Everyday: Council Urges G7 Leaders

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