Colombia: Pushing for peace and women’s rights

(LWI) – Colombia’s hard won peace accords are at risk in the current political climate. That’s the view of a civil society delegation from the South American nation that presented a shadow report to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in mid-February.

The shadow report, compiled by a coalition of NGOs including a network of churches known as DIPAZ, is entitled ‘Women and Peace in Colombia: in search of full rights’. It details allegations of human rights violations that continue to affect the most vulnerable women in the country, despite new hopes for justice and peace raised by the signing of a national peace agreement in August 2016.

Sara Lara is coordinator of the human rights program of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Colombia (IELCO). She was part of the delegation attending the CEDAW session in Geneva and she explains the challenges faced by those working for human rights in her country today: “We hoped the FPA [Final Peace Agreement] would usher in a new era of peaceful relations”, she says, yet she notes that conflict continues in many areas of the country.

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