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Kim’s Corner: A Good Year for Women

4 January 2012 No Comment

Kimberly Weichel

Kimberly Weichel
Peace X Peace CEO

“We encourage YOU to express your voice and be the change agent our world needs.”

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I feel that 2012 will be a good year for women – at least I hope so! A number of recent trends give me inspiration and hope.

First, the recent Nobel Prize for Peace honored extraordinary women Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee, and Tawakkul Karman for their courage and dedication to building peace in their respective countries of Liberia and Tunisia. The Nobel Committee awarded these prizes not just for the individual work of these three women, but also as a powerful symbol for the future to strengthen the position of women: “It is the Committee’s hope that the prize to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman will help to bring an end to the suppression of women that still occurs in many countries, and to realize the great potential for democracy and peace that women can represent.” And as Tawakkul said, “This prize is not for me, it is for the whole Yemeni people, for the martyrs, for the cause of standing up to injustice.”.

Second, the US National Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security was just launched two weeks ago, joining 30 other countries that had already developed action plans. The goal of the National Action Plan is profound: to ensure gender priorities in our foreign aid programs; to accelerate, institutionalize and better coordinate our US government efforts to advance women’s inclusion in peace negotiations and conflict prevention; to protect women from sexual and gender based violence; and to ensure equal access to relief and recovery assistance. This is a very significant milestone and road map for women.

Third, women were on the frontlines of change this past year. Women have taken leading roles in the Arab uprising, with thousands of women protesting in Egypt, Tunisia, and other Arab nations. Women have also taken leading roles during the Occupy movement in the US and other countries. Women are standing up for justice, equality, and inclusion.

Fourth, 2011 saw women continue to step into leadership positions at all levels of decision making, including five new female presidents and prime ministers in Brazil, Switzerland, Peru, Kosovo, and Thailand.

We at Peace X Peace expect to see these promising trends heightened and deepened as 2012 unfolds. We will continue to raise and multiply women’s voices, advocate for important policies and legislation that support and advance women, highlight extraordinary women on the frontlines of change, and connect women across all divides. We encourage YOU to express your voice and be the change agent our world needs.

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