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The participants come from seven former Training and Reincorporation Territorial Spaces (ETCR – Espacios Territoriales de Capacitación y Reincorporación – for its acronym in Spanish) and three other regions of Colombia.
80 women from 10 regions of the country participate in a national meeting where they will narrate their experiences of citizen participation, leadership and advocacy in public affairs. The initiative is led by the Agency for Reincorporation and Normalization (ARN -Agencia para la Reincorporación y la Normalización - for its acronym in Spanish) and the British Council in Colombia.
This February 27 and 28, in Bogotá, a meeting takes place that brings together 80 women, Farc – Ep ex – combatants representatives and inhabitants of 10 communities where the reincorporation takes place, in a scenario that is the result of a gender - focused community process by the Agency for Reincorporation and Normalization (ARN) and the British Council , designed with the support of the Gender Technical Bureau of the National Reincorporation Council (CNR – Mesa Técnica de Género del Consejo Nacional de Reincorporación - for its acronym in Spanish).
For 8 months, 300 women and men participated in the project "Community actions with a gender and women's rights approach", in a training process for strengthening their active citizenship, participating in peace - building and reconciliation scenarios, and promoting their sexual and reproductive rights.
"Women are the main character in the reincorporation process. It is a priority for the national government to carry out all the necessary actions for the fulfilment of the commitments made with the Farc - EP former members, strengthening their advocacy and participation processes and providing them with the tools for the recognition and active exercise of their rights, as well as for coexistence and reconciliation in their territories", highlights Andrés Stapper Segrera, ARN General Director
For her part, the director of the British Council in Colombia, Soraya Colmenares stated: "Our objective from the area of Social Development, is to promote social inclusion and broader participation by strengthening civil society, participation and access to justice in the context of the post - conflict agreement in Colombia. This is why we are pleased to be ARN allies in this process, which allows us, through our knowledge and experience, to strengthen women's capacities in aspects related to active citizenship, peace - building and sexual and reproductive rights".
During these two days, women participate in this meeting with the purpose of exchanging their work experiences in the territories and strengthening their "Women's Agendas", tools that reflect their proposals for citizen participation and impact on public policies for the territorial development of each of their municipalities.
"This is an opportunity to make visible what we are doing and especially to get other women to know these experiences; besides that we can acquire more knowledge and learn from the other participants", said Luz Ledys López, one of the women attending the meeting.
The strategy was implemented in 10 municipalities in Colombia, in the former Training and Reincorporación Territorial Spaces (ETCR) Santa Lucia (Ituango), Tierra Grata (Manaure), Pondores (Fonseca), Las Colinas (San José del Guaviare), La Guajira (Mesetas), La Variante (Tumaco), Caño Indio (Tibú), and in the areas of Mutatá, Pasca and Cali.
In these municipalities, the Farc – Ep former women members and their neighbors from surrounding communities jointly built community projects, based on their interests, needs and capacities.
As a sign of this, in the former ETCR Tierra Grata, they worked as a team to carry out "Give Peace" ("Pone Paz" – in Spanish), a productive initiative for laying hens, which represents an alternative to promote their economic autonomy. For their part, in Mutatá, they defined as a community project the construction of the "House of Women, dreams of peace with equity" ("Casa de la Mujer, sueños de paz con equidad" - in Spanish), where they hope to receive and provide trainings, exchange knowledge, promote the realization of sporting and cultural events, and generate employment through a dressmaking workshop.
In this way, the national government is making progress in implementing the gender - focus actions contemplated in the Peace with Legality policy to contribute to a successful and comprehensive reintegration of the ex - combatants, the territories' development and stabilization.
From the 13,065 Farc – Ep former members who carry out their reincorporation process, 3,031 are women, that is, 23 %.