United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and Millenium Development Goal 3
UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (Oct. 2000) underlines the pivotal role which women must be helped to play in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and in peace-building. UNDP states that ‘Special efforts must be made to assure the empowerment of women as dynamic participants in conflict prevention and peace building, to strengthen women’s security and gender justice, to open new space for women’s leadership roles, and to ensure that government delivers for women.’ Two of the recognised priorities in achieving MDG 3 are to strengthen the role of women in leadership and to combat violence against women and girls.
Many parts of the world today are suffering greatly due to long standing conflicts and civil war. Women are frequently the first victims, and suffer the most, and yet often it is the women at the grass roots who have played a key role in conflict resolution and who have always been active promoters of harmony in the community. Through their important mothering role, the culture of peace, in much of history, was seeded in the children as a foundation for peaceful living in families, the community and the clan. But today, in regions of conflict, those families have been torn apart, and women need help and training to take up their role as the peace builders in their communities once more.
Forgiveness and Reconciliation Counsellor Training Programme
There are specific pathways to forgiveness and reconciliation that people need to know about to be able to go beyond the path of revenge and violence, and we need to grow those strategies in war-torn areas. That’s where the Feminenza programme comes in. It takes up to four years to complete the training and is a completely different process from any other kind of counselling, an inner training of the mind, the heart, the will.
Feminenza’s work on forgiveness was launched in 2006 during a 4-day international conference, at the UN headquarters in Nairobi, titled ‘Humanity & Gender’. In 2007 we published The Seven Pillars of Forgiveness and based on this, a follow up conference, ‘Finding Forgiveness, Reconciliation and Peace’, was held in Nairobi in July 2007 for refugees from Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC, with very encouraging outcomes. In 2008-2010 further work was undertaken in Greece, Israel, the UK and the US.
In 2009 with some financial support from UN WOMEN, we trained 26 women, supervised 13 projects and rolled out the first of a four year programme in Kenya, targeting the localities which had experienced 87% of the fatalities and trauma in the 2008 post election violence.
The work was well received. For further information download the UN WOMEN pilot project report.
A continuous professional development process is now available in the USA and Canada, Denmark, Norway, Holland, Germany, United Kingdom, Ireland, Greece, Turkey, Israel, and Kenya. Women are trained and individually mentored to take an active role in stepping down conflict, combating violence (particularly against girls and women), fostering rehabilitation and recovery, establishing reconciliation.
Who do we train?
Teachers, the police, women leaders, community workers, carers, politicians, civil servants. Mostly women with a real project, a drive to strengthen humanity, to help others overcome fear, to foster forgiveness, reconciliation, restorative justice. And yes we do encourage men to engage in this work. With this training the two genders working together will often lead to improved engagement and improve outcomes.