2014 Humanitarian Campaigns Forum explores link between gender and arms.

Over 100 campaigners gathered from 17-19 October for the third annual Humanitarian Disarmament Campaigns Forum organised by Control Arms, PACE University and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), and focused on the link between gender and arms.

The dynamic program included high-energy speeches from Felicity Ruby of Thoughtworks and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Jody Williams that sharpened understanding of how exactly how gender and disarmament are related. These were supplemented by vibrant panel discussions that allowed other perspectives on the subject to be heard and introduce practical ways in gender can be better highlighted within humanitarian disarmament. The Forum also offered skill building and discussion break out groups, and provided the opportunity for global campaign coalitions (International Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons, Stop Killer Robots, Control Arms, IANSA, ICBL, CMC, ICBUW, Toxic Remnants of War, and International Network on Explosive Weapons) to update on their activities over the last year.

The Forum produced an Action Plan including specific initiatives that connect gender and arms and which conference participants have committed to supporting over the coming year, and will help ensure that gender will not be marginalized or overlooked in campaign planning, research and reporting. The initiatives span action at the UN, and campaigns such as the “no more all male panels” initiative that seeks to correct under-representation of women in panel discussions. The Action Plan also highlights the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and the annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.

The first Humanitarian Forum was convened by Human Rights Watch on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, followed by last year’s event organised by Article 36 and PAX.

Participants also recorded “Its Time” statements for a campaign video made over the weekend, watch it HERE.

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