FARC-EP: Gender Perspective in the Agreements

With affection, we greet our special guests, ladies Phumzil Mlambo-Ngcuka and Zainab Hawa Bangura and other members of the team of UN WOMEN. We embrace our fellow sisters of struggles, dreams and utopias that are present here today and through you, we extend our infinite gratitude to the Colombian women, with all our combative love, of women committed to the empowerment of other women and the poor.

Today, almost two years after the establishment of the Gender Subcommission, we present three agreements with gender perspective and inclusion of the rights of girls and women.

This result confirms our commitment to acknowledge ourselves and other women as protagonists in building peace with social justice, our commitment to create conditions that allow us to advance in the transformation of unequal power relations between men and women, relationships that are repeated through multiple mechanisms, but mostly through violence against women both in public and in private.

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The creation of the Gender Subcommission as an agreement of the Peace Talks, besides being new and unprecedented, is the historical opportunity to recognize the impact of socio-political and economic violence on girls and women, but especially to carry out specific actions, promote structural transformations that have reproduced discrimination, social exclusion and violence against women.

The dialogue and peace-building is an opportunity to move from the formal guarantee of their rights to a real guarantee, to build and consolidate processes of collective female empowerment, to expand democracy and especially to achieve the expansion of women’s rights, without this being seen as a threat or at best as a concession, but as an act of justice for the other half of the Colombian population.

The work that we present today is the result not only of the dedication and commitment of the delegates from the two parties to the table, but also the initiatives of all women from different sectors and population groups in Colombia. It describes the experiences, proposals and hopes of all these peasant women, Afro-descendants, indigenous, youth, victims of violence during the armed conflict and outside it, of human rights defenders, urban workers, artists reflect, LGTBI population, among others. It is with all our commitment and work. We received, heard and reviewed all concerns, all proposals have been forwarded to the Subcommittee, and have sought to reflect them in the agreements, that include differential approach in the peace agreements is not reduced to a simple matter of writing; It is a challenge that involves thinking about the need to build a different country to include in all its stages women with decision-making and participation also involves thinking about new forms of relationships: solidarity, fairness, caring, of sisterhood.

This was an effort that has not only included new elements into the agreements we present today; It has also given us new tools and knowledge to ourselves, it has transformed us, qualified us and has reaffirmed us as women and as members of the FARC-EP. We want to tell all women and men in Colombia that for the women of the FARC-EP, building peace with social justice will be undertaken with unconditional surrender on our part: As well as we have shown this during war, we will now do so in order to build peace.

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What’s next? This task, sisters and colleagues, ladies of the international community, this task has just begun! Now we must ensure that what is on paper will become action, will become reality. The implementation stage is coming closer, in which we must ensure that in each of the mechanisms, such as design, planning and execution, women will participate and decide on an equal footing to men. Only in this way, peace will be real and true.

Regarding the first point, it is essential to ensure access and formalization of rural property, productive training and economic and social rights of women and LGBTI population.

As for the second agreement, political participation, we put emphasis on promoting the participation of women in spaces of representation, decision-making and conflict-resolution.

The agreement for the solution to the problem of illicit drugs incorporated the relationship between consumption of illicit drugs and violence, especially domestic violence and sexual violence, among others.

The agreement on victims underlines the prevention and protection measures that address the specific risks for women; access to truth, justice and guarantees of non-repetition.

Peace is built with work and unity of women and men, especially those living in the forgotten corners of Colombia. It is a historical duty to take up the challenge we face today, we will build a new country where welfare and good living conditions for all people will be the engine for the emancipation of Colombian women.

The Gender Subcommission should continue its efforts beyond the signing of the final agreement, in order to build a stable and lasting peace!

Thank you very much,

Gender Subcommission of the Peace Delegation FARC-EP.

Presentation of Agreements with Gender Perspective

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Havana, Cuba July 24, 2016

The delegations of the National Government and the FARC-EP have presented today the results of the inclusion of gender perspective on to the agreements reached up to this date by the peace process.

The inclusion of a gender perspective in a peace process such as this one is unprecedented in the world, and seeks primarily to create conditions for women and people with different sexual identity to be able to access on equal terms to the benefits of living in a country without armed conflict.

At the Dialogue Table, we are aware that the changes that the country needs for peace-building cannot be possible without a society that recognizes and respects differences, and in which stigmatization and gender-based discrimination remain in the past.

The Gender Subcommission, which was created on September 11, 2014 and composed by women and men from each of the delegations, reviewed and included gender perspective in points 1: “Towards a New Colombian Countryside: Comprehensive Rural Reform”, 2: “Political Participation, Democratic opening to build peace” and 4: “Solution to the Illicit Drug Problem” and accompanied the construction of point 5: “Victims” and the agreements reached up to this date on point 3: “End of Conflict”.

The contributions given by victims who visited the negotiating table, 60% of whom were women, the 18 women’s and LGBTI community organizations, the 10 Colombian experts on sexual violence, the international experts and the former female guerrilla combatants from around the world, were fundamental to enrich the work of the sub-commission. To all of them we reiterate our gratitude for helping us in this development.

Likewise, for the assistance to the presentation ceremony of the agreements with the inclusion of gender perspective and support in this process, we thank Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women – UN Women; Zainab Bangura, United Nations Secretary-General´s Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict; Luiza Carvalho, regional director for the Americas and the Caribbean of UN Women; Bethlehem Sanz, representative of UN Women in Colombia; Juan Fernando Cristo, Minister of the Interior; Maria Emma Mejia, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations; Martha Ordoñez, Presidential Adviser for Gender Equity, and the European Union’s Special Envoy for the Peace Process, Eamon Gilmore; as well, the Colombian women and members of the LGBTI community, representatives of social organizations, and the guarantor countries Cuba and Norway.

The incorporation of a gender perspective in the reached agreements revolves around eight central themes: Access and formalization of rural property on an equal footing; guarantee of economic, social and cultural rights for women and persons with different sexual identity in the rural sector; promoting the participation of women in spaces of representation, decision-making and conflict resolution; prevention and protection measures that address the specific risks for women; access to truth, justice and guarantees of non-repetition; public recognition, non stigmatization and dissemination of the efforts made by women as political subjects; institutional management to strengthen women’s organizations and LGTBI movements for political and social participation, and disaggregated information systems.

The gender sub-commission will continue working in order to guarantee, for the agreements to be reached, the inclusion and the exercise of rights on an equal basis for society and specifically for women and LGBTI people.

FARC-EP