Women's Day 2024: Let's take this moment to recognise women's contribution to peace

In honour of International Women’s Day, we encourage you to take a moment to recognise and celebrate the women in your life, whether they are colleagues, mentors, friends or family members. Let’s use this day to initiate conversations, initiatives and actions that promote gender diversity, equity and inclusion.

Moreover, let’s take a moment to extend our thoughts to the women who are enduring the hardships of war and violence, and who are courageously supporting peace in their communities.

In conflict zones around the world, a growing backlash against gender equality has raised concerns about the future of women’s rights and empowerment. From the corridors of power to the streets, reactions against efforts to level the playing field between genders are becoming increasingly visible.

Our latest analysis presents insights from DRC and the South Caucasus to show how the backlash against gender equality has manifested and how to navigate a path forward.

Despite these immense challenges, this International Women’s Day we would like to share the stories of women change-makers who are supporting peace in their communities in the face of adversity.

“It is crucial our voices are not overlooked in mediation and peace.” | Women mediators in Lebanon

Cosette Nakhle, Lebanon

In Lebanon, women have a crucial role to play in building peace. But as the border conflict with Israel continues to rage, women and girls are facing disproportionate and immense challenges, as we shared in our recent Gender Alert with UN Women Lebanon and the Professional Mediation Center at the University of Saint-Joseph.

Women told us they fear going to work due to the risk of being hit by missiles on the way, gender-based violence has been further heightened during the crisis and groups of women such as migrants from Palestine and Syria are even more vulnerable to the impacts of the crisis.

Despite these immense challenges, Cosette Nakhle, is supporting peace in Lebanon as part of our 240-strong network of local women mediators. Her story demonstrates the importance of investing in women’s skills and ensuring they have the space to build peace in their communities.

Meet the feminist change-makers stopping gender-based violence in Nigeria

In the heart of Dangoma, a community in Kaduna state, Nigeria, Hauwa and Hadiza are not only women leaders, they are pillars of strength and beacons of hope. Their unwavering determination to combat sexual and gender-based violence and promote peaceful and safe homes is lifechanging.

Men who were once bystanders are now allies, joining hands to challenge harmful norms and promote gender equality. Women and girls are more respected, emboldened and are are speaking up.

“We are considered role models because we are peacebuilders” | Women working for peace in Rwanda

Rose Ingabire, Rwanda

This year Rwanda is observing the 30th commemoration of the genocide against the Tutsi, which destroyed unity and trust among Rwandans.

It has been a long and challenging road to rebuild and improve unity, resilience and social cohesion that continues today and women play a crucial role.

Through this peacebuilding work, the historical and cultural view that undervalued the power of women has also been challenged.

Women are too often left out of peace processes, but we see the impact of investing in women every day.

That’s why we’re rallying behind this year’s International Women’s Day call to ‘invest in women’. Women’s rights to peace and inclusion must be upheld. We hope you will join us in pushing for women’s inclusion in peacebuilding.