Colombian peace award to Diakonia's partner
On November 18th, Ruta Pacifica de las Mujeres, a partner organization of Diakonia, received a well renowned Colombian peace award. The award, an important recognition of a stubborn and 18-year long struggle for peace, is awarded by UNDP, amongst other organizations.
We gave Marina Gallego, chairman of La Ruta Pacífica de las Mujeres, a call to congratulate and ask a few questions.
What does this award mean to you?
– The award is very important since it is recognition of all our hard work over the years. La Ruta Pacífica is a movement with many women who have dedicated their life to our struggle. It’s important that their work for peace is made visible.
Why do you think you receive this award at this point?
– La Ruta has always worked for the fulfillment of peace talks, and today it’s a reality, it puts peace on the agenda. Our view is that negotiations are the only way to reach peace and democracy in this country. It’s important that social movements and civil society are part of that process. Our work with the truth committee and the creation of an archive consisting of the testimonies of Colombian women from the armed conflict is also an important factor, contributing to us receiving the award.
Which role do women play in peace building in Colombia today?
– Us women work every day with small, daily actions that are necessary to build peace in the long run, to build a society based on new values, equality and equity. The award is in many ways a collective recognition of the importance of women’s engagement in civil society.
Diakonia supports Ruta Pacífica de las Mujeres in a number of projects. One of the most important ones is the project involved with the truth committee and the creation of an archive of women’s testimonies (mentioned in the interview). The aim of the project is to include women in the peace process and to break the historical silence regarding crimes that women are subjected to during armed conflicts, and to put womens' participation, needs and demands in the forefront.