International Women's Day 2015

International Women's Day provides us with an opportunity to raise awareness of how far women's empowerment around the world has progressed.

In 2000 UN Security Council Resolution 1325 was the first resolution that specifically addressed the unique impact conflict has on women, as well as the contribution women make to conflict resolution and sustainable peace.  It marked a watershed moment, when the international community recognised the importance of Women and gender to peace and security.  Those who have the levers of power need to understand the importance of UNSR 1325.
Following this resolution, subsequent resolutions have further defined the importance of women's roles in conflict and peace, recognising sexual violence as an issue and the international community passing further resolutions with an aim to strengthen the measures to improve the participation of women in all phases of conflict resolution.
We must draw on such resolutions to ensure that we have women who are adequately trained and demand women from the local community have a seat at the table for all peace talks. If women are not at the peace table, peace does not last long and conflict repeatedly continues. It is integral that women are leaders in peace and encouraged to be legitimate peace keepers. 
We have to ensure that peace is about continue their education up to the highest level, that adequate hospitals with facilities to take care of real health Issues, including maternal health are funded and they are empowered to be apart of a solution for conflict.
Economic stability is not just about jobs but about long term stability with real investment from the international community - we know that lack of safe economic opportunity increases vulnerability to gender-based violence. We cannot move from conflict to sustainable peace without economic  opportunity.
So today is a day of celebration for how far we have come, but also a reminder of the work that we still have ahead of us. There are serious crisis's effecting women all around the world for example the number one crisis for girls in Syria is child marriage. I call on the international community to continue its hard work and drive the commitment to secure gender equally across the world.

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