The UC Santa Barbara Gevirtz School – along with the Department of Feminist Studies, African Research Focus Group, and the Women’s Center – will co-sponsor, with event host the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) CA Branch, an Advancing Women as Peacemakers Workshop at 1160 Phelps Hall, UCSB on October 19 at 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. The panel discussion will feature two international experts: Marie Lyse Numuhoza of Rwanda, founder of Women Peacemakers for Great Lakes Region of Africa, and Dr. Sushma Pankule of India, senior lecturer in Adv. V.R. at Manohar Institute of Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology.
The event celebrates the tenth anniversary of the first United Nations Security Council Resolution on women, peace, and security (UN SCR1325). The Advancing Women as Peacemakers Workshop will focus on educating U.S. residents about the interconnectedness of gender equality and peace, including the unique roles women can and have played in peace negotiations, on celebrating the way the UN SCR1325 delegitimizes the use of military force and promotes nonviolent, civil society approaches to resolving conflict. It will honor international women, who have used the UN SCR1325 to positively transform their communities and will promote exchange of strategies used by women from countries in conflict that can be adopted or adapted by U.S. women in their own struggles with local violence.
Numuhoza has been a human right activist for the past 8 years and has worked with the London Citizens and Independent Asylum commission and STAR (Student Action for Refugees, the national network of student groups working to improve the rights of refugees in the UK), campaigning for refugees asylum seeker issues. Numuhoza is also involved with Voices of African Women campaign, advancing African women’s rights and also working on the promotion of the UN SCR1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
Pankule is a social activist and has been an active member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) in Maharashtra, India for the past 10 years. In 2001 Ms. Pankule served as the President of the WILPF Nagpur branch and was later elected to be a Vice-President of the National WILPF India section for two terms. In 2008 Ms. Pankule presented a paper on the “Role of Women in Self Guarding the Environment” at the International Board Meeting of WILPF in Geneva, Switzerland and later attended the United Nations 14th Convention on Climate Change in Poznan, Poland. Pankule’s social work is focused on addressing the problem of the poor status of women in India. In 2009 Ms. Pankule started a program that engages girl students from rural areas regarding selection of vocation for self-empowerment.
While the event is free, parking, which is available in Lot 12 off Mesa Road, is not.
[Sara Cooley, representative of the WILPF Santa branch, is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]
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