May 2020

Transformative Gender Approaches to Conflict Prevention During COVID-19

On 20 May, QUNO co-hosted “Prevention and Implications of COVID-19: Learning from Transformative Gender Approaches,” an online discussion that brought together over 40 UN, civil society, and Member State experts as part of the Civil Society-UN Prevention Platform’s 2020 discussion series on prevention.  

As the third event in the Platform’s discussion series, this conversation engaged in joint learning on what conflict prevention looks like from a gender perspective during COVID-19. The Platform was particularly pleased to bring together a wide range of diverse voices and perspectives, including those of women peacebuilders, leadership within the UN system, and Member States. Speakers highlighted existing strategies and identified how they can be translated in different contexts, noting gaps and opportunities for the provision of appropriate conflict prevention capacities. The discussion brought forth an outpouring of concrete transformative gender practices and recommendations for conflict prevention, especially emphasizing the need to increase women’s access to leadership opportunities at all levels of decision making. 

Prevention is at the core of a transformative gender approach driven by local women’s experiences, traditionally focusing on the principles of human security, local ownership, and people-centered approaches. This calls for decisive action to address political, social, and economic root causes of violence deeply entwined in gendered power disparities within communities.  The COVID-19 pandemic further illustrates the need to apply a prevention lens to the ongoing humanitarian and health responses and to support and uplift women’s leadership at every step. Such measures will contribute to strengthening social cohesion and transformative economic and social recovery for communities. 

The Civil Society-UN Prevention Platform looks forward to continued constructive engagement with the UN community during this dynamic period of COVID-19 to collectively support effective prevention at all levels. 

Learn more about the other discussions in this series:

Taking Stock of Prevention: Progress Achieved and Lessons Learned

Dialogue and Mutual Understanding: the Role of Young People in Preventing Conflict

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