After a decades-long conflict, Colombia's government and FARC military rebel group have reached what is considered a 'major breakthrough' in their peace negotiations
Colombia has a long history of violent conflict. The conflict, which can trace its roots back to the 1940s, has seen widespread rape, gender-based, and sexual violence and a culture of impunity for offenders on all sides of the conflict. Impunity around sexual and domestic violence also remains a serious concern in broader Colombian society.
The agreement would see one of the country’s largest rebel militias commit to completely disbanding the military arm of the movement in exchange for recognition as a legitimate political party.
Missing from the negotiations have been diverse voices including those of women. One woman was appointed to the Chief negotiation team in mid-November of this year, however she is the only woman to be included in the primary demilitarization negotiations this far.
Women in communities, however, continue to mobilize to rebuild their communities destroyed by war through grassroots peace initiatives. One of these are the ‘Courts of Women’ which are public hearings that allow women affected by the decades of violence to speak out about what they have suffered.
Negotiations remain ongoing at this time. Though this particularly difficult issue has been agreed upon- it is still yet to be addressed whether some FARC members can be barred from participating in politics because of human rights abuses or crimes against humanity.