The International Women's Commission and Women Lawyers for Social Justice are holding a conference in Tel Aviv on Thursday on "Women, Peace, and Political Negotiations."
The conference, expected to attract a few hundred participants, will focus on the lack of integration of both Arab and Jewish Israeli women in the peace negotiation process.
Many argue that women's voices have not been sufficiently heard despite the Knesset's establishment of Amendment 4 in 2005, which specifically called for women's increased presence in all peace and conflict resolution negotiations. The amendment also called for the implementation of United Nations Resolution 1325, which was passed by the UN in 2000 to stress the importance of women's contributions to peace and security.
Anat Saragusti, a member of IWC, argues that the amendment has "not [been] implemented at all, despite the two appeals [made] to the supreme course regarding this law. Also the body that was supposed to monitor the law is not monitoring the law at all."
She added, "We will be presenting the dilemmas of implementing the law and have a presentation on how the UN resolution 1325 is implemented around the world."
In the past three years, the IWC has held 13 independent hearings with 250 Jewish and Arab Israeli women on the peace process, conflict and the unique voice of women. The commission created a report on the hearings, titled: "Women in the Face of Peace - The Voice of Israel," which will be presented at Thursday's conference.
"[It's the] first conference of its kind," Dorit Abramovitch, a women's rights activist, told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday, adding that the report showed that "most Jewish women do not believe in the ability of government to achieve peace in Israel."
Saragusti said that if the government were to enforce Amendment 4, women could greatly influence the path of the peace negotiations.
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