PSRP launches mobile app to boost role of women in peace processes
The Political Settlements Research Programme (PSRP) has launched a new mobile app to help embed women’s rights in peace negotiations in the Arab world and beyond.
PSRP researchers joined with those from the Monash University in Australia and InclusivePeace in Geneva to develop the data and technology to provide vital information on gender issues for those mediating peace processes.
The PeaceFem app brings together data on women and peacemaking in one app in English and Arabic.
UN Women – the body within the United Nations that globally champions gender equality – supported the team on the development of the app and the idea that all parts of an affected society should be included in its peace process.
The project contributes to the United Nations Security Council’s call for greater awareness of gender issues in peace negotiations.
Experts say that including an explicit reference to women’s rights in peace agreements recognises the importance of women for social cohesion and ensures that the process of rebuilding a society is fully representative.
Using data from the PA-X database, the app provides information on 30 peace processes where gender inclusion was a key feature of the peace settlement. Users can search by region, country, and peace agreement.
It also contains a fully searchable library of case studies that showcase the strategies used to include women in peace provision, the enabling or limiting factors and the agreements that resulted.
Rachel Dore-Weeks, head of UN Women Lebanon, said: “COVID-19 has served as a reminder to us of the importance of adapting and finding new ways of connecting, and of sharing and accessing information. This app is an important contribution to redefining how we work on peacemaking in the Arab region, and for taking down barriers that have restricted access to information in the Arab World and beyond.”
Professor Christine Bell, director of the Global Justice Academy, said: “When the Second World War ended, the soldier given the task of drafting the surrender agreement with Germany immediately turned to past peace documents to help him in his drafting.
“Our experience is that in ending conflict today, parties often find looking at similar documents helpful. This app aims to support women in mediation processes to have access to this information very quickly.
“We hope it will provide wider inspiration to those seeking imaginative solutions to the conflicts they face, to see the role that women have played. We are also very proud to have collaborated with researchers, practitioners, policy-makers, and tech-experts to develop the app.”
PeaceFem is available in the Google Play Store and on the App Store.