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[Press Statement] Engaging ASEAN in Women, Peace & Security

Engaging ASEAN in Women, Peace & Security


Rede Feto Timor-Leste President Judite Ximenes today welcomed ASEAN representatives to a conversation of women peace builders in conflict / post conflict situations in South East Asia.

This workshop was organised by Rede Feto Timor-Leste, Initiatives for International Dialogue, Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict –SEA, the People’s Empowerment Foundation of Thailand and the Women’s Inititaives Network for Peace in Myanmar, to draw attention to the UN Security Council Recommendation 1325 and the need for ASEAN members to make a commitment to policy development and National Action Plans on women and peace and security.

Ms. Ximenes opened the workshop with a statement of commitment to the issue “Women’s peace and security issues are at the core of a just and inclusive society. Without addressing violence against women, we will never achieve a just world”.

“Timor-Leste has a long history of fighting for justice and Rede Feto Timor-Leste members have organised this session because these issues are at the heart of the development of our nation. In our struggle for Independence, from 1975 – 1999, women were a particular target of violence and sexual assault by the Indonesian military. They suffered terribly and today many women still carry trauma from this time. And for many women, violence is still present in their lives; Like in many nations, in Timor-Leste many women face daily violence in their homes and in society.

Ms Ximenes added, “Even in their own homes, many women are not safe!”

Rede Feto member organisations have worked with TL Government to develop four pillars of action: protection, prevention, participation and the promotion of peace and security. All Ministries of TL Government have committed to implement these pillars within their own departmental National Action Plans.

Other speakers at the workshop were Sister Lourdes, (Mana Lu) Timor-Leste; Thwin Linn Aung – WIN PEACE and Dr May Shi Sho – Karen Development Network from Myanmar; Sotheavy Srey – Alliance for Conflict Transformation Organization from Cambodia; and, Chalida Tajaroensuk – Women’s Empowerment Foundation from Thailand. Each spoke of their struggles to bring gender and peace building into the centre of their nation’s policies and priorities.

The final speaker was Dr Aurara Javate-De Dios who is the Philippine representative to  the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC). Dr Javate-De Dios talked about strategies used to get widespread support for the Philippines National Action Plan (NAP) including increasing familiarity through schools with ‘dance with a message of peace’, interfaith dialogue and discussion of gender, local government initiatives, building women’s skills in peace building, mediation and the confidence to run & win elections. Dr Javate-De Dios summed up “Women must be a part of the peace process, Women must be a part of decision-making process related to natural resource management, Women must be a part of NAP drafting process.  I call on all ASEAN countries to implement UNSC 1325 and commence the drafting process of NAP at national level”

The workshop indentified recommendations which will go to ASEAN:

  • ASEAN member countries must implement UN 1325 (and other successive UN resolutions) and each member country should draft and implement a National Action Plans (so far only Timor-Leste and the Philippines have done this);
  • AICHR / ACWC / AIPR must engage with ASEAN Governments at the regional level to include the women peace and security agenda in their policies and priorities;
  • Support must be given to strengthen regional partnerships between and among women’s organisations and stakeholders in promoting peace and security in the South East Asian region.

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