Women who feel protected and resilient are more able to become active participants for peacebuilding in their communities. HealthNet TPO supports women and girls, providing psychosocial support and building stronger community networks so that they feel empowered and enabled to engage in decision-making processes for sustainable peace.
Women, peace and security
The legacy of more than 50 years of armed struggle left deep wounds in the Colombian population. Victims of the conflict have seen their social, cultural and family lives deteriorated, and marginalised groups have faced social and economic discrimination which has had devastating effects for their mental health. Women and girls face greater risk of being victims of forced displacement and sexual violence. Risk factors range from their engagement in the defense of human rights, their personal or family relationships with members of legal or illegal armed groups, to their identities as indigenous, Afro-Colombian or rural women in the middle of an armed conflict.
As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR1325) on Women, Peace and Security, HealthNet TPO is committed to re-emphasising the positive contribution of women and youth to sustainable peace processes. In Colombia, the voices at the heart of the conflict need to be recognised, supported and celebrated. HealthNet TPO wants to ensure that mental health and psychosocial support is provided to restore and develop healthy human relationships and enable people affected by the conflict to realise their full potential and to be able to live productive and peaceful lives. However, a long way remains to restore the damaged social fabric and ensure the provision of adequate care and support to women and girls.
For the coming five years, from 2021 till 2025, we strive to contribute to a lasting peace process in Colombia in which women and girls have the same rights and opportunities as men and boys. This requires the creation of favourable conditions to strengthen the participation and leadership of women in peacebuilding spaces at the local, territorial, and national levels.
HealthNet TPO is supporting women by building capacity so they may engage in decision-making processes. By bringing women together we strengthen community engagement, and increase their knowledge and ability to address issues that affect their mental health and psychosocial wellbeing.
We will continue mobilising and working closely with community-based groups to ensure that survivors of gender-based violence are able to access quality services, opportunities and spaces where they feel safe and protected. Since 2016, our work in Colombia, together with our partner LIMPAL, aimed to build the strength and resilience of women in their communities. This has been recognised by local governments as a lasting and high-impact one. We will continue working with these groups and linking them to regional and national spaces to advocate for lasting peace and security. Moreover, we will build on our technical expertise in mental health and psychosocial support to care for the caregivers and support women leaders in self-care practices through evidence-based approaches.
This programme will be carried out under the framework of the Dutch National Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security and as part a consortium of national and international NGOs, including CODACOP, ICCO, LIMPAL and Ruta Pacifica.
“Since joining the project I have changed. I started to meet more people and LIMPAL helped me to understand my problems and find a solution… I have created strong bonds with the other Brave Women, we provide each other with support and counsel. We fight for women’s rights, for justice and to give other women the courage to escape abusive relationships”.