Panel Discussion in English and Arabic (simultaneous interpretation)
20 years ago, the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 was adopted - with the main aims of strengthening women’s participation in peace and security governance; ensuring their protection; enabling their recovery from conflict-related and gender-based violence; and contributing to the prevention of armed conflict. In addition, UNSCR 1325 demands gender awareness in conflict analysis and peacebuilding. A number of resolutions, and national and regional action plans followed, which together form the UN Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda.
Great effort has been put into the realisation of this WPS agenda - by international organisations, the EU, state actors, international NGOs, and feminist networks. One significant group however has been widely ignored in the discourse, action plans and implementation of this agenda, namely forcibly displaced, conflict-affected women and girls who have sought asylum in Europe.
In general, European actors tend to look at conflict regions outside the EU and their immediate neighbouring countries to analyse, demand and implement the participation and protection of women. Yet, do we also acknowledge refugee and asylum-seeking women as experts in conflict analysis and peacebuilding? Do we demand and guarantee sufficient, adequate relief and recovery mechanisms for conflict-affected women and girls? And do we understand that this participation, relief and recovery and protection of refugee women and girls within the EU forms an essential part of the WPS agenda?
The Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation (VIDC) has been working on the UN Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda, as well as on diaspora engagement over many years. We took this year’s 20th anniversary of the UNSCR 1325 as an occasion to draw attention to the connection between these two policy areas: the WPS agenda and forced migration to Europe.
For the VIDC, Barbara Kühhas, expert in gender, peace and development, and Marie-Luise Möller, lawyer specialized in asylum and immigration law, conducted a study analysing the gaps in the implementation of the WPS agenda in Austria with regards to the rights and living conditions of refugee and asylum-seeking women.
holds a Ph.D. in Cultural and Social Anthropology and has 27 years of experience in international development as well as emergency and relief work in the field of women´s human rights & gender equality, the human rights-based approach to development, including indigenous peoples´ and child rights programming, and the UN Women, Peace and Security Agenda, as well as anti-discrimination.
Experience further includes participatory qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis, gender & diversity analysis, evaluation and audits, curriculum development and facilitation of trainings and workshops, as well as the development of recommendations and action plans for organizational change towards the inclusion of gender and diversity into programming and organizational structures. Barbara has more than nine years of field-experience in (post-)conflict and developing countries (Central & South America, Balkans, South-East Asia, East Africa, South Caucasus, West Africa). She has undertaken work for INGOs in the global North and South, the UN system, EU Commission, government agencies and intergovernmental organizations.
is a lawyer and independent legal scholar specialized in asylum- and immigration law as well as victims rights with a special focus on (S)GBV and trafficking in human beings. As an independent legal scholar she has contributed to numerous projects and studies in the field of refugee law and human rights law.
is a human rights activist and lawyer, who has been working in Damaskus, Syria focusing on fighting against violence against women and discriminatory laws against women. She currently works in Vienna at the association Afya Interkulturelle Gesundheitsförderung (Intercultural Health Promotion) as a trainer and counsellor. She is founder and director of the initiative Souriat - Syrian Women for Justice and Peace based in Vienna. Souriat aims to strengthen the participation of Syrian women in peace and justice efforts as well as to enhance the integration and communication between the Syrian community and the Austrian majority society.
is a researcher, gender equality activist and human right advocate. She is the founder and head of operations and strategy of AkiDwA - a Migrant Women’s Network in Ireland. Salome has over 20 years’ experience of working with under-represented groups in particular women, children, and the youth, in Europe, Africa and internationally. She serves on various boards and advisory groups in Ireland and at the European level; she is the president of the European Network of Migrant Women and sits on the EU Expert Group on Economic Migration.
Since 2015 she has been supporting the development of Wezesha, an African diaspora-led development organisation supporting women and children who are affected, or are likely to be affected by conflicts, violence, war and poverty, with piloting projects in Kenya and the DR Congo. She holds a Master’s degree in Equality Studies from UCD and is in her final year of undertaking Doctorate research at Trinity College Dublin in International Peace Studies.
is program manager for Gender, Peace and Security at WO=MEN - Dutch Gender Platform. Trained in Social Psychology and International Relations, Anne-Floor started in 2004 as a policy officer at Refugees Organizations in the Netherlands, a platform of 400 organizations of (former) refugees from all over the world. She worked over 10 years with refugee women, men and youth addressing harmful traditional practices and gender-based violence. In 2015 Anne-Floor started working at WO=MEN, where she coordinates joint lobby and advocacy for gender justice in conflict affected countries, the meaningful participation of women and girls in peace processes, and the better protection of refugee women and girls in the Netherlands. Additionally, Anne-Floor is civil society coordinator of the Dutch National Action Plan 1325.
WO=MEN, Dutch Gender Platform is Europe´s largest network of development-, diaspora-, women´s rights and gender justice organisations, peace activists and (former) military and police women, academics and entrepreneurs.
is gender officer at the VIDC with a focus on the Women, Peace and Security Agenda as well as gender trainings. She developed and conducts VIDC’s Gender Tandem Trainings with and for Afghan women. She has a background in Peace and Conflict Studies, and is a board member of WIDE Austria – Women in Development Europe.
is gender expert for the Austrian Development Agency (ADA). She has been working as the Austrian delegate to the OECD DAC Committee and Head of Programme at CARE Austria and has a vast experience in development, gender equality and women's empowerment.