The yearly awards aim to encourage innovative research and recognize outstanding contributions by civil society leaders in advancing women’s meaningful participation and leadership in efforts to prevent and resolve conflict and build peace. The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced the awards program on October 30, 2020.
“Canada’s enduring commitment to the women, peace and security agenda is grounded in the conviction that these issues are essential to a more equal and peaceful world. Today, and in the months and years to come, we are taking concrete action to break down the barriers to the agenda’s implementation and accelerate progress,” Minister Champagne said.
One of the awards, a collaboration between Global Affairs Canada and IDRC, will promote a greater understanding of the vital role women play in conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and post-conflict peacebuilding. The Women, Peace, and Security Research Award will target early career researchers or research institutions in fragile and conflict-affected states in the Global South.
“We know that women play vital roles in preventing and resolving conflict and that their participation results in more sustainable peace agreements. Research will help to create a better understanding of the factors that can prevent or enable women’s participation, to build policies and programs that promote peace and security based on evidence,” IDRC president Jean Lebel said.
Global Affairs Canada will also grant two yearly Women, Peace, and Security Civil Society Leadership Awards to a civil society leader from a fragile or conflict-affected state and from Canada.
The three awards aim to increase knowledge of the key challenges remaining to achieve women’s full involvement in conflict resolution and peace and security efforts. They will also strengthen the implementation of Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.
This year’s theme for both awards is the role played by women peacebuilders and those who advocate for the redress of unequal gender relations in conflict prevention and resolution processes.
The United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1325 on October 31, 2000 to recognize the unique and disproportionate effects of armed conflict on women and girls. The resolution calls on the international community to promote women’s active participation in conflict prevention and resolution and post-conflict reconstruction and development. It also affirms the need to safeguard women and girls in situations of armed conflict and ensure that recovery efforts address their specific needs.
IDRC and Global Affairs Canada will release more details about the call for research concepts and the nomination process related to the awards by the end of 2020.