Nagwa Gadaheldam (Global Partnership for Local Action, Sudan), panelist at the PGA Thematic Debate on Peaceful and Stable Societies panel on “Building Global partnership for ensuring stable and peaceful societies”, April 25, 2014, Photo Credit: WILPF

Nagwa Gadaheldam (Global Partnership for Local Action, Sudan), panelist at the PGA Thematic Debate on Peaceful and Stable Societies panel, April 25, 2014, Photo Credit: WILPF

A brief reflection from last week’s President of the General Assembly (PGA) thematic debate on stable and peaceful societies with the theme “Building Global partnership for ensuring stable and peaceful societies” in the Post 2015/Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) agenda by Abigail Ruane*

At the debate, three women leaders – from Colombia, Fiji, and Sudan – spoke on behalf of the Post 2015 Women’s Coalition about the need for designing development for peace based on gender equality and women’s rights.

Not only was the presence of these women powerful, but having the three of them join together created a palpable shift in the conversation. Together, they were not token voices; instead, their joint presence changed the frame of the debate. They called for a change in business as usual that puts people over profit and those marginalized at the center. And because they were there together, their solidarity reinforced, normalized, and underlined the importance of this call.

Although discussions will continue, and there are still many challenges in designing development for gender equality and peace, I was impressed with the power we can have together in changing the terms of the debate in this context. I am grateful to work with such amazing women leaders who advocating for gender equality and inclusive peace. And I look forward to continuing to work with all of you to strengthen the access and impact of women’s voices in these key fora toward greater peace and freedom for all.

If you are interested, please check out WILPF’s blog on the debate & a side event we co-hosted.

Abigail Ruane is PeaceWomen Program Manager for the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), the longest-standing women’s peace group in the world. Download our app or follow PeaceWomen on Facebook or Twitter at @Peace_Women for the latest on Women Peace and Security issues.

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