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Dialogues at the Economic and Social Council

Achieving Gender Equality, Women's Empowerment and Strengthening Development Cooperation

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This publication presents key debates that took place during the 2010 High-level Segment of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), during which was organized the second biennial Development Cooperation Forum. The discussions also focused on the theme of the 2010 Annual Ministerial Review, Implementing the internationally agreed goals and commitments in regard to gender equality and the impowerment of women. It contains keynote speeches, issue papers, roundtable summaries, National Voluntary Presentations, transcriptions of other dialogues and discussions, including a video of the United Nations television debate “Face-to-Face”.

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The role of women in conflict and post-conflict situations

Women’s inclusion in decision-making in crisis and post-crisis situations is justified by three different factors. First, women are the majority in most post-conflict societies and have often held communities together through generations of conflict. They have frequently suffered disproportionately from war or natural disasters. It is, thus, their fundamental right to have a voice in post-conflict development, so that their historical vulnerabilities and disparities in education, health care and income can be addressed in the reconstruction phase. Second, it is a legal obligation, as there is a myriad of international, regional, and national resolutions, declarations, policy statements, and action plans calling for women’s inclusion in decision-making and greater attention to their priorities and needs. Among them, United Nations Security Council resolutions 1325, 1820, 1888, and 1889, which obligate Member States to attend to the needs of women, especially as victims of sexual violence and to elevate the role of women in all stages of the peace process. Finally, there is a growing body of evidence confirming that women’s marginalization undermines efforts to resolve and rebuild conflict stricken-societies, as it deprives these efforts of women’s experience, expertise, and perspectives to deliberations, programme design, and implementation. Moreover, since women represent the majority of the population in post-conflict situation, failing to capitalize on the skills and views of this majority is simply poor practice and bad policy.

English

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