This report addresses the integration of a gender agenda in the peace negotiations in Cyprus as well as in activities outside the framework of the negotiations.
The lack of such an agenda has been an on-going concern for local civil society as well as international observers in the last decade. Consolidating and expanding earlier work, the current report seeks to outline a strategy for action on gender mainstreaming in conflict and post-conflict settings by exploring and assessing the initiatives so far implemented and suggesting how they can be bolstered and become more effective in the future. Women today cannot afford to stand by as onlookers as the peace process unfolds; neither can they do so as the stalemate becomes ever more entrenched. One possibility for overhauling the current status quo in the area of gender, albeit not the only one, is for Cypriot women from all communities to transcend their ideological, ethnic and other divisions and organize a large-scale movement to demand, among other things, the implementation of Security Council resolution 1325. This is an issue of gender equality, as well as one of democracy and women's human rights. They can also propose the creation of a ministry of women's affairs in the new Cyprus federal republic. Both of these proposals have been forward by a number of organizations and in the area of the first, civil society groups across the various divides mentioned are picking up the agenda of UNSCR 1325, which focuses on gender, peace and security, and addressing it from different perspectives. This report focuses on these attempts because it is here that the most meaningful interventions can take place.