The world is a violent place. Every day we are confronted with horrific images from Syria, Myanmar, Afghanistan, and other conflict hotspots around the globe. The number of violent conflicts internationally has spiked dramatically since 2010. Conflict is also growing more complex, with non-state actors, new technologies, and mass population displacement all contributing to make wars and civil conflicts in 2018 more interconnected and multi-layered than perhaps ever before.
At the same time, gender issues are in the spotlight right now. Worldwide “Women’s Marches” in 2017 and 2018 have seen millions of people come out onto the streets to advocate in favour of women’s rights. International Women’s Day is upcoming on 8 March, and will be an opportunity to focus attention on precisely these issues.
Around the world, women and girls are among the most vulnerable to conflict, including its indirect effects such as poverty, malnutrition, and infectious diseases. Roughly 90% of the victims of violent conflicts today are civilians (and the majority of those are women and children). Yet, when given the chance, women have played instrumental roles as agents of change and leaders in the prevention of violence. The probability of a peace agreement lasting at least 15 years increases by 35% when women are included. Could empowering women help to build a more peaceful world?
On 8 March 2018, Debating Europe will be co-hosting a live online Q&A session with Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of the World Bank, to mark International Women’s Day. Georgieva will respond to our readers’ comments about the role of women and girls in helping to prevent violence and extremism, and you can send us in your questions and comments on this topic in the form below, or on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #AskGeorgieva.
The Q&A will be part of our “#Ask” series, which recently included European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker and European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly.
Are women in power the key to peace? How is gender equality linked to fragility, conflict, and violence? Would empowering women help to build a more peaceful world? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!