Colombia: Peace with the stamp of a woman: firm steps towards equity | Opinion

FARC women, in the Antonio Nariño village area, in Tolima, in 2017.
FARC women, in the Antonio Nariño village area, in Tolima, in 2017.María Camila Salamamca / National Theater

Peace in Colombia has the face of a woman! In the last three years, we have assumed the challenge of starting a transforming process in Colombian society, through the implementation of the peace agreement signed with the FARC, to which we gave social and economic scope, as well as an inclusive approach that allows us to close gaps historical equity issues.

Along this path, the role of the international community has been fundamental, which has highlighted the progress of the Government of President Iván Duque in this matter, and whose contributions encourage us to build on what has been built to achieve a change in the living conditions of Colombians, be irreversible.

The peace policy with legality has materialized results in more than 500 obligations enshrined in the agreement, with a transversal commitment to gender equality. This goes hand in hand with the Women’s Equity Policy, which we launched since the beginning of this Government and which we have been leading since the Vice Presidency of the Republic and the Presidential Council for Equity for Women.

In the framework plan for the implementation of the peace agreement, 51 gender indicators were established. Thanks to the leadership of the Presidential Council for Equity for Women, today we have a rigorous methodology for monitoring these 51 indicators that allows us to periodically evaluate the impact on women and the technical advances of the competent entities. According to this analysis, five years after the signing of the peace agreement, it was found that 57% of these indicators have been finalized or present significant progress with a progressive trend of growth in the number of beneficiaries.

Rural women have been at the center of the agreement’s implementation. At the point of Comprehensive Rural Reform, 687,386 rural women have accessed the line of soft loans; 25,025 have been sheltered in the land formalization process. In addition, through the Generación-E strategy, about 83,000 women have been trained, representing more than half of the beneficiaries.

Regarding the Solution to the Illicit Drug Problem, it must be said that 28,130 families headed by women have received payments for immediate food assistance.

Regarding the victims, 150,236 women were compensated with an investment close to 2.5 billion. Likewise, we have guaranteed psychosocial support to 60,454 women.

Another aspect to highlight is the promotion of women’s participation; This year, the exercise of elections for the new members of the Special Instance of Women for the Gender Approach in peace was especially important. We accompanied the development of 36 assemblies with the participation of more than 500 women’s organizations.

Along the same lines, after a process that had the participation of 200,000 people, including 65,000 women, 4,606 initiatives on gender and rural women were included, corresponding to 32% of the total initiatives that are part of the Development Programs with Territorial Approach in the 170 municipalities that were hardest hit by violence in our country.

We have an enormous challenge ahead of us, but also all the political will so that the already tangible advances of peace with legality are consolidated and become a benchmark for the world. With the help of the international community, we will accelerate efforts in these nine months, to multiply the fruits of this systematic work that we are carrying out.

Our commitment as a Government is to continue sowing with rural women robust seeds of scalable and profitable projects that give them economic autonomy, as it is the best way to prevent and confront different types of violence against women.

Inclusion, respect, and recognition of the dignity of women constitute an essential basis for achieving a developed and fair country in which we all build the best version of Colombia.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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