Global: Dismantling Barriers to Women’s Participation in Peace Processes, WPHF Launches New Rapid Financing Tool

14 January 2021

(New York) – The Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF) – together with UN, government and civil society partners – launched on Thursday a new financing mechanism to urgently accelerate women’s influence and participation in peace processes across the globe.

The new WPHF Rapid Response Window (RRW) on Women’s Participation in Peace Processes and the Implementation of Peace Agreements addresses the countless technical and logistical barriers that women and local civil society organizations often face to participate meaningfully in peace processes at all levels – such as travel, childcare, translation, advocacy, and capacity building support.

“The Rapid Response Window of the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund will make a real difference in the lives of women peacebuilders – and through them – their communities and societies. This tool will deliver flexible funding to civil society organizations so that women can take their rightful place at the peace table.” United Nations Deputy Secretary General Amina J. Mohammed at yesterday’s official launch event

A recommendation of the UN Secretary General in his 2019 annual report on Women, Peace and Security, this critical new financing mechanism was designed in consultation with women peacebuilders and a wide range of UN and civil society stakeholders to support more women to effectively access and shape peace processes around the world.

Testimony of Government Donors at the WPHF RRW Launch Event

“Belarus, Sudan, Iraq: in all these countries, women have recently led social and political movements for peace and democracy,” said Heiko Maas, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany. “Their courage reminds us once again that lasting peace needs equality and the full participation of women.”

“The Rapid Response Window is embedded in local contexts and offers concrete opportunities to women and women’s organizations,” said Sophie Wilmès, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium. “It is one of those tools that one wonders how it could not have been developed earlier.”

Despite the efforts carried out these past 20 years, there unfortunately is still a need for targeted initiatives to include women fully, equally and meaningfully in peace processes,” said Ine Eriksen Søreide, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway. “I reiterate Norway’s support for this initiative, and urge others to join us.”

The Rapid Response Window is currently supporting three pilot initiatives led by women’s civil society organizations on two continents. In Afghanistan, Rapid Response Window support is raising awareness of the essential roles of women in formal conflict resolution processes and facilitating the direct participation of diverse women’s civil society organizations in a track 2 peace process. In Mali, the Rapid Response Window is supporting local consultations to strengthen advocacy initiatives for women’s participation in the implementation of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation.

“Reinforcing women’s leadership is key to achieving sustainable peace in Africa. We need to invest in the training of women and the financing of women-led peacebuilding programs, which is crucial to the peace and stability of our region.” Massaran Bibi Traoré, director of Mali’s Alliance for Research and Integrated Development and a WPHF RRW partner

Made possible with generous initial investments by the Governments of Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Malta, Norway and Sweden, the Rapid Response Window – powered by the flexible and rapid financing of the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund – will help position women and their organizations as essential actors on the road to lasting peace.