Peace talks of political leaders capture the attention of the media. We hear much less about alternative roads to peace. Yet grass root initiatives all over the world have proven to be important for lasting peace agreements. Research has shown that involving women create a more sustainable peace process. The UN created Resolution 1325 to include women in peace negotiations and post-conflict resolution. Involving women and young peacemakers especially appears to be crucial.
The Syrian activist Rafif Jouejati gives Syrians a voice by means of the Freedom Charter. She sees a pivotal role for civil society in peace building and promotes gender equality in all its activities. During this evening with Rafif Jouejati, we will explore the ins and outs of the Syrian Freedom Charter as an alternative road to peace. We will also link this important initiative to similar initiatives in other countries, such as the remarkable ‘Women of Liberia’ and the ‘NO’ campaign during Pinochet regime in Chile.
A few pertinent questions to be answered will be:
- Why should media pay more attention to grass root peace initiatives that rise from civil society?
- What do these insights signify for the audience, the media and policymakers?
- How can we support peace activists and civil society?
- What is the role of young peace makers?
Moderator and publicist Petra Stienen, who only just recently received the prestigious Aletta Jacobs Emancipation Price (2016), will guide us through the evening.
Thed Brouwer, an experienced young peacemaker of Youth Peace Initiative, will explore the lessons that can be drawn from the work of Rafif Jouejati, in order to support young Syrians in the Netherlands.