Voices for peace: when you envision a peaceful world, what do you see?
During these uncertain circumstances, the voice of the activists at the forefront of supporting their communities is more important than ever. Youth action in fostering dialogues and collecting ideas is critical to building back peaceful, resilient and more sustainable communities. This International Day of Peace, we hear from the young women activists in Jordan who are on the ground working to promote women's and youth participation in peace and security in their communities.
This year also marks the 75th anniversary since the establishment of the United Nations (UN). Millions of people and youth worldwide have been invited to join the UN75 campaign, the largest and furthest-reaching global conversation on building the peaceful and prosperous future that we want.
We asked some activists about their hopes for building a peaceful world and the actions they are taking to make it happen.
Peace is the foundation to grow, empower and create
Since 2011, I have been working to promote youth and women's participation in peace and security by increasing people's knowledge on Jordan’s National Action Plan (JONAP) on UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security at the community level, working with students and teachers in Jordanian public schools under the ‘Masahati’ programme implemented by Madrasati in partnership with UN Women.
People are different and the way they perceive peace differs too. Hence, it is essential to involve everyone in defining and having an active role in promoting peace.
Equality is essential for achieving peace. It is important to recognize the equal role and equal participation of women and men towards building peaceful communities. To this end, women need to be included in peace and security processes, and they have to be empowered to become active agents of change.
When I envision a peaceful world, I see sustainability and diversity for human beings, regardless of their gender, nationality, race, or religion.
I believe that there are three simple actions everyone can take to make a change in this world:
• Respect and accept differences.
• Support women’s rights.
• Educate students about the importance of women’s role in peace and security.
You can make peace by believing in it.”
Dina Qutaishat, 26, Programme Officer, Madrasati Initiative.
In a gentle way, you can shake the world
Women are an essential part of any society, and it is impertinent that they have equal and ample opportunities to access their rights and participate in peace and security processes.
Driven by my passion and belief in human rights, I seek to promote youth and women’s equal participation in peace through my work in the ‘Masahati’ Student Clubs and Remedial Centers programs, where I work with students to build social cohesion particularly, between the host community members and Syrian refugees.
In my eyes, I believe change can start from empowering youth and women to actively stand up for their rights and participate in peace and security processes. The three actions everyone can take to make a change is:
• Raising awareness about the importance of peace.
• Attracting attention to the cause.
• Getting the media to talk about human stories in conflict areas.
I have always been inspired by the quote from Mahatma Gandhi “In a gentle way, you can shake the world,” and believe that we can undoubtedly change the world if we all have an equal voice in bringing that change."
Muna Hamour, 31, Senior Programme Officer, Madrasati Initiative.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step
“Women make up half of society as well as half of the world’s population. Promoting women’s rights and creating an enabling environment where they can express their capabilities and creativity will allow us to build peaceful, secure and progressive societies.
I decided to pursue volunteering work and become an activist because of my love for giving back to my community and my desire to create a positive change. When I started to work for Generations For Peace and UN Women under the ‘Youth for Women, Peace and Security’ programme, I was inspired to motivate and lead youth to address the causes of conflict and violence.
By enhancing youth, women, and societies' capacity to resolve conflicts and address gender-based discrimination peacefully, they can build more peaceful, secure and prosperous communities.
I believe that we must all work towards increasing youth’s awareness and representation in peace and security, as well as in decision-making processes. The three recommendations that I give them to make a change in their communities include:
• Helping the needy
• Supporting women
• Empowering youth
Always remember that the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
Tasneem Al-Abdallat, 27, Generations For Peace Volunteer and Youth Activist
Within the framework of Jordan’s National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security (JONAP), Madrasati, in partnership with UN Women, is working to empower women and youth across Jordan to foster a community culture that recognizes gender-specific needs, the importance of gender equality and the role of women (including young women) in peace and security. The initiative is generously supported by the Governments of Canada, Finland, Norway, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
GENERATIONS FOR PEACE
Generations For Peace and UN Women, with the support of the European Union, are mobilizing 33,000 youth across Jordan to raise awareness on the important role women can play in preventing conflict, promoting peace and security, under the ‘Youth for Women, Peace and Security’ programme.