A peacebuilder's story: Gulru, Caucasus

We believe that peace requires the equal participation of all members of society, including men, women, girls, boys and gender minorities.

To mark International Women's Day 2015, we are sharing the stories of our inspiring peacebuilders around the world – both men and women – and their views on peace and gender equality.

Gulru Nabieva, Caucasus

Gulru is Senior Programme Officer for the Caucasus and Central Asia programme at International Alert, and is based in London.

Why did you decide to work in peacebuilding?

Coming from Tajikistan, a country that underwent a brutal civil war, my first and foremost motivation was to engage in the sector that aims in creating and encouraging long lasting positive change in the communities and lives of people affected by war. Consequently, I pursued my degree in post-war reconstruction and development, and joined a peacebuilding organisation.

Why is International Women's Day important to you?

For me, the importance of this day is in serving as a platform for raising awareness about issues effecting women and girls, such as discrimination in educational institutions and the workplace, being allowed to speak out, and for challenging the notion that ‘women’s day is only 8 March'.

In post-Soviet countries, it is usually a beautiful day full of flowers and presents, celebrated in family circles with a festive meal prepared by men to appreciate women (mothers, sisters, wives and daughters). But, Women’s Day should not be only one dayit should be every day, so that women are recognised for who they are and the difference they make.

Why in your opinion is gender equality important for peacebuilding?

Understanding the gender dimension in peacebuilding is essential in building long-lasting sustainable peace. It is understanding the needs women, men, boys and girls and different age groups have in societies we work in. Without a deeper analysis and consideration of these needs, it is impossible to build a society where all equally enjoy opportunities and resources available.