International Conference "Peace and political transition processes : where are the women?"

25 Apr 2017

A conference entitled Peace process and political transition: where are the women? was held by the Euromed Feminist Initiative at Paris City Hall on April 25th 2017. Organized with the support of the Mayor of Paris, Mrs. Anne Hidalgo, this event took place in the framework of the TAHDIR program Supporting transition towards democracy in Syria through preparing for an engendered constitution building process, co-funded by the EU and Sweden.

Mrs. Patrizianna Sparacino-Thiellay, diplomatic advisor of Mrs Hidalgo, opened the conference, saluting the work of the Euromed Feminist Initiative and stressing the need to address the persistent absence of women in peace and transition processes.

Mrs. Lilian Halls-French, co-president of the Euromed Feminist Initiative emphasized that "as long as women are left out of decisions that bind their lives and the future of their country, we cannot speak of democracy and full citizenship ". Nada Nader, IFE-EFI Head of International Cooperation and moderator of the panel, introduced the speakers and gave them the floor.  Mrs Lama Kannout, coordinator of studies for the Syrian Feminist Lobby, and Mrs Joumana Seif, a Syrian feminist lawyer and activist, made an inventory of women’s rights violations in the Syrian conflict and their misrepresentation both in official delegations and in the ranks of the opposition political parties. Mrs. Myriam Gutiérrez, a Colombian activist, focused on the role of women in conflict and post-conflict context and their contribution to the peace agreement with the FARCs. Mrs. Salsabil Klibi, professor of constitutional law at the University of Tuinis, took the case of Tunisia, a "successful" example of the Arab Spring, to show the challenges that women still have to face in protecting their rights. Finally, Mrs. Giovanna Tanzarella, Vice-President of the Euromed Network in France, concluded this conference by deploring the shrinking space of civil society and insisting on the importance of bringing together the two shores of the Mediterranean and expanding women’s solidarity across borders.