In the Midst of War: Women’s Contributions to Peace in Colombia

Catalina Rojas | April 2004

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Women have been victims and actors in Colombia’s cycles of violence and peace. In talks organized by President Andrés Pastrana in 1999, women represented both the government and FARC, the major guerrilla group. In 2000, 600 women participated in a women’s public forum that pressed FARC and government leaders to consider women’s concerns. In 2002, women’s groups continued to work towards peace after talks fell apart, reaching a consensus on the issues affecting Colombian women. In spite of the dangers women face as a result of being recognized as political leaders, they remain at the forefront of local efforts for peace.

This publication assesses the importance of a gender perspective in peace negotiations and documents the critical work of women at the local, regional, and national levels to mitigate the effects of continued violence on their communities, mobilize for renewed dialogues, and prepare for the next cycle of peace in Colombia.

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