Colombia: Organisations develop a general balance of women's peace and security context five years after the signing of the Peace Agreement

More than 20 Colombian organisations joined a context analysis session on the situation of women and the implementation of the Peace Agreement in the country. The online meeting, hosted by the Norwegian Human Rights Fund (hereafter NHRF), took place on September 20, 2021.

This meeting was based on Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. Its adoption more than 20 years ago was a historic breakthrough for women, who have been fighting for peace for more than a century.

Claudia Mejía, a feminist and human rights defender who acted as a guide for this space, shared a general context about the situation of women in Colombia. Mejía spoke about the large gap that exists compared to men: "Unemployment rate is 20.7% while for men it is only 12.7%. In terms of political participation, inequality has been very visible, the 2018 elections showed that only 18.7% of women held a seat in the house of representatives of the congress compared to 81.3% of men", Mejía said.

The concern about the security of women human rights defenders in the territories was also highlighted. Mejía said that "according to data from Sisma Mujer, during 2019 and 2020 the amount of violence against women social leaders increased by 3.42%." According to the organisations that attended, this percentage has been increasing since the signing of the Peace Agreement.

"Unemployment rate is 20.7% while for men it is only 12.7%. In terms of political participation, inequality has been very visible, the 2018 elections showed that only 18.7% of women held a seat in the house of representatives of the congress compared to 81.3% of men" Says Claudia Mejía, a feminist and human rights defender who acted as a guide for this space

The implementation of the Peace Agreement from a feminist perspective

During the session, the status of the Peace Agreement with a gender perspective was also discussed. After four years of implementation, it was identified that there are delays and gaps or insufficient measures in components such as the political participation, the rural reform, the solution to the problem of illicit drugs and the end of the armed conflict.

Mejía stated that "although many measures have been initiated, there are still gaps that represent a great danger to women's human rights. An example of this is the solution to the problem of illicit drugs in which many people have lost their livelihoods and have not yet filled this economic gap."

In the other hand, Victims component has made the most progress. With the support of the Commission for the Clarification of the Truth (CEV), it has been possible to collect testimonies to clarify what happened during the armed conflict. However, Diana Barrios of the organisation COLEMAD expressed her concern about this result, "although progress has been made, there is a re-victimisation of women and a disarticulation between the nation and territories."

Sandra Solano of the organisation Confluencia de Mujeres said that "although this government has turned its back on the Peace Accord, it is important to highlight the pressure that the organisations have been exerting for its fulfilment".

This argument was supported by Ángela Galvis, FNDH programme officer, who said that partners work has promoted women's participation in the Integral System by 83 per cent. Furthermore, 81% of the partners have stated that they have carried out activities in favour of the inclusion of a gender perspective in the implementation of the Peace Agreement.