On the 21st of September of every year, the world observes the International Day of Peace, a day dedicated towards spreading and promoting the ideals and importance of peace. However as violence, war, and human rights abuses become more and more prominent around the world, the need and call for peace has never been more desperate.
The humanitarian crisis and violence being projected from Syria is only one of the many examples around the world that is in dire need of our attention and action.
Promoting peace for Syria should not be limited to September 21st. Rather, calls for peacebuilding in Syria must become a consistent, ongoing, and serious effort in the international community. Syria, and Syrians, have endured and suffered for much too long and it is time that Syrians begin to see some positive change.
One of the many ways by which the international community can try and develop peace for Syria is by involving Syria’s women in the peace processes. The importance of this step is highlighted by United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security. This Resolution not only acknowledges the “disproportionate impact of violent conflict on women,” but also emphasizes the critical need to involve women in peacebuilding initiatives, such as peace talks, conflict mediation, and post-conflict reconstruction.
Even as the International Day of Peace passes, it is crucial that the international community seriously invest in Syria’s women if we hope to see peace for Syria. Women are essential not only because they have the capacity to bring forward a much more comprehensive peace plan that addresses and advocates for societal needs, but additionally, involving women in peacebuilding empowers them and signifies the need to allow for greater gender equality in matters of peace and security.
Syria is clearly in dire need of peace and Syria’s women have a role to play. Let us push for the implementation of UNSC Resolution 1325 in Syria. Let us empower Syria’s women, and let us help them lead the way towards peace in their country.
Guns are not the answer to peace. Peaceful negotiations and the integration of some of the most vulnerable and victimized parties to a conflict is the answer.
Syria needs peace and Syria needs peace now. May the upcoming International Day of Peace be only the beginning of the push for peace in Syria.