Women Peace and Humanitarian Activists Establish Bold New Agenda
(Vienna) – 70 women peacebuilders and humanitarians convened in Vienna, Austria this week at the world’s first Global Women’s Forum for Peace and Humanitarian Action.
Organized by the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF), together with the Austrian Development Cooperation and the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP), this grassroots women-led forum has united local activists from 17 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe and South Caucasus, Middle East and North Africa and Latin America to exchange experiences, define key priorities and drive support for their work to build peace and respond to humanitarian crises.
“With this year’s landmark anniversaries of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and the historic Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, 2020 constitutes a critical moment to mobilize crucial financing for women peacebuilders and humanitarian responders,” said Ghita El Khyari, Head of Secretariat for the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund. “This forum is accelerating action and much-needed funding for the women’s organizations that are responding to the world’s most urgent conflicts and crises.”
Austria, Germany and the European Union announced new financial commitments, along with Dell Technologies who shared their plan to provide technology resources, all of which will directly support women who are actively shaping local responses to the grave challenges of their conflict-affected communities.
Actress and WPHF Global Advocate Kristen Bell made a special appearance at the forum to spotlight the work of women working for sustainable and inclusive peace around the world.
“This forum is about celebrating the unlimited power of women,” said Ms. Bell. “I’m here today to listen, to amplify their message and to help push their priorities forward.”
The forum culminated in the drafting and adoption of the groundbreaking Vienna Declaration 2020 that reflects a wide range of grassroots women’s voices, formalizing their key priorities to drive critical momentum for their movement to build peace and respond to crises around the world.
“It is so important for us to be a part of this forum,” said Margaret Unohwaye Taylor from the Women Empowerment Network of Liberia. “We bring the messages and lessons from our communities to influence our declaration. Women working to build peace must be heard. Today we are making history and shaping the destiny of our own lives.”