Supporting People’s Actions to Empower Women at the Margins

Pasos Peace Museum and the International Institute on Peace Education invite you to our annual CSW symposium at Fordham Law School

Supporting People’s Actions to Empower Women at the Margins

Saturday, March 18, 2017 –  1oAM – 4PM
* Registration / Check-in: 9:30am
* Book party / reception to
 immediately follow the symposium
Fordham Law School
150 West 62nd Street at Lincoln Center 

Pasos Peace Museum and the International Institute on Peace Education invite you to join in a participatory, action-planning program to build solidarity with women’s movements to claim rights proclaimed by the world community in international human rights instruments, yet denied or ignored by national governments. Among the relevant rights instruments are: UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security; the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, all of which have the potential to empower citizens to advance their full participation in striving toward a just and peaceful world. Within the context of the potential of law and international standards the symposium will comprise action-planning discussions based on women’s experience with self-empowerment campaigns.

Women’s international efforts toward the implementation of UNSCR 1325 through civil society initiatives at the local and regional levels in Africa and Asia will be introduced by Mavic Cabrera-Balleza of the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders and Asha Hans of Sanristi, India.  National campaigns to assert the civil and political rights of Native Americans and African Americans will be introduced by Betty Lyons of the American Indian Law Alliance and Farah Tanis of Black Women’s Blue Print.

As the conclusion of our action planning discussions law students will reflect on how their future professional endeavors might enhance gender justice, social equity and political equality using law and international standards as practical and strategic instruments of justice.

Please consider reviewing these legal instruments and important background documents in preparation for your participation.

Book Party

You are also cordially invited to a celebration of the publication of Openings for Peace: UNSCR 1325, Women and Security in IndiaEdited by Asha Hans and Swarna Rajagopalan. A presentation of the book will be made by Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury and Asha Hans.

The book party will begin at approximately 4:15pm and conclude at 5:30pm.

RSVP Required: Please RSVP for the book party using the registration form below.    

Register / RSVP

Registration for this year’s event is $20.  Registration fee covers lunch and the post-event book celebration and reception.

A two-step registration is required.
1) Please complete the registration form for each individual who will attend.
2) After registering please submit your registration fee using the PayPal button below.  (Your registration fee will be paid to Pasos Peace Museum)

Submit Payment

Payment is required to complete your registration.  By clicking on the button below you will be redirected to the PayPal account of Pasos Peace Museum.  Your $20 registration fee supports your event participation (lunch and reception).

More about Participating Organizations and their Work

Global Network of Women Peacebuilders

UN Security Council Resolution 1325, a landmark in the validation of women’s roles and claims to full participation in all matters of peace and security was the product of women’s civil society activism from its conception through it’s adoption in October 2000.

So, too, no steps toward the implementation of the resolution would have been taken without the demands of women’s civil society movements and organizations such as the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) that has taken the lead in moving toward the fulfillment of its intentions goals and intentions.

GNWP is a coalition of women’s groups and other civil society organizations from Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America, Eastern and Western Europe, Middle East and North Africa—mostly in conflict-affected countries—that advocates for the effective implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and the supporting Women, Peace and Security resolutions. Among its many programs and initiatives is the localization of USCR 1325 that enhances the capacities of local communities and grassroots organizations to lead the implementation of the WPS resolutions; and to hold governments, the UN and regional organizations accountable to their obligations.

This symposium will consider what needs to be done to move forward the promise of 1325. Mavic Cabrera-Balleza, civil society’s leading activist on implementation will provide background from her world-wide experiences as a starting point for our discussion on how we can advance women’s roles in striving toward human security by realizing the purposes of this highly significant international instrument.


Among the women most marginalized from political power and most negatively affected by the militarized state security system are those who live on contested borders. These are women whose right to be heard and have their situations taken into account in security policy making could certainly be served by the realization of the provisions of UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. However, their particular conditions are largely overlooked in the drafting and adoption of national plans of action for the resolution’s implementation. Local and transnational peoples’ plans of action offer more hope of their concerns being moved from the margins to the center of security concerns.

Sansristi, an Indian gender research institute has worked with women in South Asia, on the borders of Kashmir and with Indian and Pakistani women and the North East of India (Nagaland and Manipur) toward the development of local and transnational regional 1325 action plans. The focus has been on A People’s Action Plan. It also is assisting in planning for a National Action Plan in Bangladesh.

Asha Hans, founder of Sansristi and the Women’s Studies Program at Uktal University, will share her experience of working with women striving to be heard as background for our discussion of how the suffering imposed by militarization and failure to assure the human rights of those on borders and all marginalized populations might be moved to the center of the human security agenda at all levels. We hope to shed light on how the possibilities for the empowerment of women in the security sphere might be realized through the design and implementation of people’s transnational and local action plans.

American Indian Law Alliance

International human rights standards and other landmarks in international law have emerged from human experience with injustices that were deemed by the world community to be against the fundamental principles of universal human dignity and fairness. They reflect the belief that law should assure these principles. UNSCR 1325 calling for gender justice and fairness in all matters of peace and security is among the standards intended to assure women’s full equality; to challenge the gender injustice integral to the patriarchal structures that comprise the global political order.

These same structures have imposed injustices on other groups who also have been marginalized, exploited and oppressed. Indigenous people throughout the world have been among these groups. Their human rights like those of women have been at the center of social justice movements, such as that which led to the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Neither all the rights enumerated in the Declaration nor all the constitutional rights of US citizens have been assured to Native Americans. Treaties governing relationships between the US government and the native peoples on whose lands the American republic was built have not served to protect their rights. To this day those treaties and the rights declared in the Declaration are violated, as in the current case of the water protectors of Standing Rock. The American Indian Legal Association is dedicated to overcoming these injustices.

The mission of the American Indian Law Alliance (AILA) is to work with Indigenous Nations, communities and organizations globally, in our struggle for sovereignty, human rights and social justice for our peoples, while remaining committed to our original instructions handed down through generations of ancestors in order to preserve Indigenous traditions for the seventh generation yet to come. Founded in 1989, AILA is a non-governmental organization in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Betty Lyons, President and Executive Director of AILA, a primary symposium participant will illuminate the Alliance’s efforts toward justice as background to discussing means to build solidarity between the global women’s peace and justice movement and the struggle for the rights of indigenous peoples. Please register if you wish to join in this effort to build solidarity among women working for justice and peace.

Black Women’s Blueprint

The basic rights of citizenship supposedly assured to African Americans by the Civil Rights Act (1964) and The Voting Rights Act (1965) – the latter severely compromised by the Supreme Court – and the fundamental human rights declared in the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination continue to be systematically violated. These rights and their violation have particular gender dimensions largely, marginalized and invisible until feminist activism brought them to public attention. This symposium will acquaint participants with Black Women’s Blueprint (BWB) which places the lives of Black women and girls in the context of the movement for racial justice and equality. BWB seeks to build a movement where gender matters in social organizing. It envisions a world where women and girls of African descent are fully empowered.

Black Women’s Blueprint is a national Black feminist organization using civil and human rights approaches to organize and develop a culture where women of African descent are fully empowered and where gender; race and other disparities are erased. It engages in progressive research, historical documentation, policy advocacy and organizes on social justice issues steeped in the struggles of Black/African American women within their communities and within the dominant culture. Black Women’s Blueprint is the convener of the first Truth and Reconciliation Commission ever to focus on Black women in the U.S. and their historical and contemporary experiences with rape/sexual assault. BWB also administers a small museum, The Museum of Women’s Resistance (MoWRe), which uses multi-media art to provide a historical context and to spark dialogue on the civil and human rights of women and girls in the African Diaspora. The Museum is recognized as a Site of Conscience by the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.

Farah Tanis, Founder and CEO of Black Women’s Blueprint will offer the symposium insights into the learnings that may be gleaned from the experience of bringing gender to bear upon issues of racial discrimination as they have been addressed by international standards and the Black Lives Matter movement. These learnings will contribute to assessing the possibilities for the application of these standards to achieving a gender justice peaceful order free of racism, the common goal of various peoples’ movements, moving toward greater effectiveness though solidarity among justice and peace advocates.

Event Partners / Co-Sponsors

American Indian Law Alliance strives toward the fulfillment of the human rights of indigenous nations and communities throughout the world, to achieve social justice and to preserve their traditions to the seventh generation and for the human future; 

Black Women’s Blueprint, an American Black feminist organization that uses civil and human rights approaches toward the empowerment of Black women in their own communities and in the dominant culture;

Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, working for decades to promote Disarmament, the abolition of nuclear weapons and awareness of UNSCR 1325 as an instrument toward these ends; 

CONNECT, a program and support center providing services and education to enable individuals and secular and religious organizations to confront and overcome intimate violence;

Global Campaign for Peace Education, a network of peace educators around the world, working toward the achievement of a culture of peace through the introduction of peace education into all learning settings, formal and non-formal;

Global Network of Women Peace-builders, a world-wide network of NGOs and women peace activists seeking to empower women in all matters of peace and security through the implementation of UNSCR 1325 at regional, national and local levels;

Sansristi, an association of Indian feminist scholar-activists dedicated to advancing the human rights of women and their full and equal participation in security policy making in South Asia;

World Council for Curriculum and Instruction, a person-to-person organization of university and school educators focused on educating for peace;

With thanks from the organizers and hopes for on-going cooperation and solidarity,

Pasos Peace Museum, bringing peace education to varied audiences within and outside formal education;

International Institute on Peace Education, a biennial intensive experience in peace education for those who work to facilitate peace learning in varied settings throughout the world.

Contact the IIPE to be added to our list for future announcements:

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