The symbolic power of justice to prevent violence against women in conflicts: experiences from Colombia & Guatemala

On the occasion of the 22nd anniversary of UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (WPS), our partners Impunity Watch and Corporación Humanas, with the support of GAAMAC, will convene a side event in New York on the prevention of violence against women and sexual violence in conflicts.

With the aim to generate discussion on the lessons learned from post conflict societies, the achievements as well as the challenges, two case studies will be drawn upon. Colombia and Guatemala are two societies with a history of mass violence currently struggling to tackle entrenched structures of impunity and human rights violations. 

The lessons drawn from the Guatemalan and Colombian contexts are based on the 2021 policy brief Lessons Learned from Armed Conflicts in Colombia and Guatemala to Prevent Violence Against Girls and Women, which from a comparative look includes  lessons learned such as: perspective of intersectionality, strategic litigation of emblematic cases, legal reform and public policy, dissemination, education and enforceability of rights, the use of international instruments and the women, peace and security agenda, physical and mental health care, building alliances and networks.

The objectives of this side event are:

to reflect on the symbolic power of justice for the prevention of sexual violence in post-conflict societies, and the impact it has on the legal system, society, and the empowerment of women;

to pinpoint lessons learned and identify practical measures to implement UNSCR 1325 and other WPS resolutions, as well as guarantees of non-repetition to prevent violence against women.

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