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Public Event
Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) Conference Room 5th Floor (Pétale 4)

Show me the meaning of... meaningful participation

Wednesday 1st November 2023  |  09:00 - 10:30 CET

Geneva Graduate Institute (IHEID) - Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) Conference Room 5th Floor (Pétale 4) | Maison de la Paix | Geneva, Switzerland

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This event will seek to unpack what is meant by meaningful participation when it comes to peace and security.. Although ‘meaningful participation’ is a long established concept used in Women, Peace and Security, Sustainable Development and now New Agenda for Peace frameworks, there is still a lack of clarity on what this actually entails. Despite the addition of the word ‘meaningful’ before participation’, many efforts are still focused on counting women and ensuring that they are represented at the table in different humanitarian, development and peace-related contexts.

In every country around the world, people’s lives are shaped by their identities, relationships and social factors. These combine to create interconnected forms of privilege and oppression, which, when combined with discrimination – based on age, gender, race, ethnicity, disability status, sexual orientation, migratory status or other factors - create situations in which some people face more challenges than others exercising their rights or accessing opportunities. This has direct implications for their ability to meaningfully participate in and influence decision-making.

In this workshop, we will therefore seek to draw upon a model of meaningful participation put forward by a UN Women Expert Group Meeting to explore the concept in more depth. Beyond representation, this model incorporates dimensions related to being present, self efficacy, deploying agency and exerting influence. The objective of the workshop is not to provide a definitive definition of meaningful participation. Rather it seeks to draw upon insights and experiences from work in the peace and security field to trigger thinking on the part of Geneva-based practitioners, who can continue to reflect and explore how they might be able to ensure meaningful participation in different areas of their work.

This event has been co-organised by Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian DeminingDCAF – Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance, and the Small Arms Survey as part of Geneva Peace Week 2023.