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Female organizations in Colombia have been promoting peace and effecting long-lasting change since the early years of the conflict in the country. Now, these brave and tireless women are playing a huge role in the implementation of the signed peace agreements. See how these organizations have stood against violence and worked as catalysts toward a new era of peace in the country.
This women-led NGO is one of the oldest in the country and was founded in the city of Barrancabermeja in Colombia. For more than 45 years, OFP has worked tirelessly for women’s rights, and during the years of conflict, they were one of the staunchest opponents of violence. They expressed their position against the war with campaigns and symbols, like the time they wore black (inspired by Spanish women during the Spanish Civil War) in a large demonstration to highlight all the lives lost and the widows and orphans who were left behind. Now they are part of a nationwide movement against militarization and key promoters of peace.
This feminist organization was founded in 1996, when a group of 2,000 women walked towards Mutatá in a demonstration to protest violence against women during the war. Since then they have been vocal against armed groups who abused women, and in favour of long-lasting peace. Their motto is ‘No Pause in the Road Towards Inclusive Peace for Women,’ and they have definitely never paused. Their ‘Peace Agenda’ includes events around Colombia as well as organized mobilisations to defend women rights in all aspects of the peace agreements promoted by the Colombian government.
Red Nacional de Mujeres, the National Network of Women of Colombia, has worked for more than 25 years on many issues related to women, but recently they have focused on peacemaking. They were in communication with the Colombian government about the final agreements, and they follow United Nations resolutions in relation to armed conflicts around the world, with a deep focus on the protection of vulnerable women who are victims of war. Through several campaigns and alliances, this organization is one of the biggest and strongest in the country and a key ally in the road towards peace.
Iniciativa de Mujeres Colombianas por la Paz (Initiative of Colombian Women for Peace), works with three main objectives: creating a space for women in the official dialog towards peace, negotiating an official Agenda of Women for Peace and introducing a gender perspective into the national agenda. They have published several reports with detailed analyses of the key areas affecting women and promoting peace and justice.
This network assisting women affected by the armed conflict in Colombia is a union of several organizations, private entities and individuals who, since the year 2000, have been working together on issues stemming from the conflict that affect women directly. Many researchers and investigators who have built an alliance with the National University in Colombia also work within the network; they talk directly to female victims of violence in different communities, and then publish reports on the key issues that need more attention. They also work closely with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Refugees in Colombia.
This is an ethnically and generationally diverse movement that brings together more than 61 organizations. They were key players in the organization of the Vigils for Peace in Colombia held in Bolivar Square in Bogotà, and they have representation in almost every department in the country. The National Movement of Women Actors and Authors of Peace also works directly with women and communities that have been displaced from their locality and helps them on the path to return to and recover their territories.