Pakistan has underscored the need for addressing the root-causes of conflicts for promoting and safeguarding the interests of women in conflict situations and urged the UN Security Council to continue dealing with the issues of women, peace and security.
“Women across the world, from Colombia to Uganda to Burundi to Tunisia, have emerged as leaders and consensus-builders, inspiring hopes of peace and prosperity amidst conflict and violence,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi told the 15-member Council.
“As agents of peace, women also have a vital role to play in achieving, sustainable development as peace and development are inextricably linked,” she said in a debate on Women, Peace and Security.
“Empowerment of women is therefore also essential for achieving the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) , including on poverty eradication, health, education and inclusive development.”
At the same time, Ambassador Lodhi said, millions of women and girls remained most vulnerable in situations of armed conflict. The perpetrators of these crimes, she pointed out, included DAESH and Boko Haram as well as states that use sexual abuse as a weapon of war.
“In our region, we have witnessed thousands of women falling victim to brutal oppression,” the Pakistani envoy said. “Countless others have suffered rape and sexual abuse, the worst and the most traumatic form of violence.”
Calling for a renewed focus on those challenges, she said that women also had vital roles to play as agents of peace and achieving sustainable development. Women’s special skills in mediation made them particularly suited as Special Envoys and Special Representatives of the Secretary-General, she said, adding that Pakistani women peacekeepers had also served as police officers, doctors and nurses in missions around the world.
In addition, as host to the largest protracted refugee population in the world, Pakistan had allowed Afghan refugees, including women and girls, unhindered access to free education, health care and secure employment, she added.