On this day of Remembrance, let us reflect on the importance and urgency of the participation of women in our military and as peacemakers around the world. It is clear that war affects women disproportionately. We have seen, girls and women as victims of sexual violence in conflict at alarming rates. The highly reported kidnapping and rape of Chibok schoolgirls of Nigeria, or the forcible ‘use’ of girls and women in suicide bombing, pale in comparison to the day to day struggles of women and their abandoned and vulnerable children. This vulnerability could be not having access to basic support subject to on-going conflicts and terrorism.
Increasingly, militaries – and police services, like Canada’s, work to recruit, train and retain women. The United Nations has recognized the value of the full engagement of women in the pursuit of peace, from having a full role in negotiating at the peace table, to the grassroots reintegration of former enemy combatants and contributing to the ‘economy of peace’ in their communities.
Lest we forget those who give their lives valiantly in the service of their country and in the service of peacebuilding, let us remember that the threats in the world into which we send our young women and men must be solved by men and women.
At a time of uncertainty from the Government Elect of our neighbours, Canadians can be proud that we have a government committed to ensuring women are empowered – in war and in peace.
President & CEO
United Nations Association in Canada