Upon the invitation of Bahrain Business Women Society, Dr. Wajeeha AlBaharna, President, along with some Board and Association members of Bahrain Women Association – for Human Development participated in ‘ Woman Role in Peacemaking’ Symposium held on Monday the 8th of April 2013 in the BBWSs headquarter in Al Mahooz. Proceeding from The United Nations 1235 resolution in regard to women participation in peacemaking, whereas Kingdom of Bahrain civil society’s representatives presented the outcomes of their participation in ‘Women in Peacebuilding’ roundtable workshop held in Wilton Park in England from 18 – 20 March 2013.
The Symposium started with a speech by Mr Najeeb Friji; the director of the UN Department of Public Information – Bahrain Office. Then Dr. Huda Al Mahmood elaborated about the Bahraini delegation participation in reviewing 1235 procedure after 10 years in United Kingdom. Followed by Mrs Afnan Al Zayani who talked about the opportunities and three major threats and how to overcome them.
Dr. Wajeeha Al Baharna raised few concerns to name few: a) what the reasons could be that constraint one talking about raising awareness on the role of women in peace-building? b) What could be the possible obstacles to spread the culture of peace since our culture SHOULD depend on values, morals and behaviors that are supposedly based on non-violence and respect of human rights and freedom? c) Should one wait for a war or conflicts to happen in order to start spreading the awareness?
Furthermore, Dr. Al Baharna stressed on the need to refer to other procedures issued by the UN in respect of Women vis-a-vis Peace; for example: 1) Resolution 1820 on Sexual violence against civilians in conflicts; 2) R1889 that urges the participation of women in peacemaking processes and sets some indicators to track the implementation of resolution 1325 and 3) R1960 that integrates and emphasizes on women, peace and security action plans. She also affirmed that due to increasing role of women in peacemaking, one should work on building and empowering their capacities so they can play more active roles in peacemaking and decision-making processes.
Dr Al Baharna concluded that BWA, and after two years of intensive workshops/activities/stakeholders meetings, is going to launch very soon, a project called ‘Woman, the Peace Embracer’. The aim of this project is to enforce the role of women in Peace-Building and the challenges women encounter due to cultural and societal misconceptions.