The Feminist Impact for Rights and Equality Consortium (FIRE)
On Monday, March 23rd, UN Secretary-General António Guterres issued an appeal for a global ceasefire in response to the coronavirus pandemic. He has reiterated this call in the days since, calling on “all those that can make a difference, to make that difference.” The Feminist Impact for Rights and Equality Consortium (FIRE) is committed to making that difference.
The Feminist Impact for Rights and Equality Consortium (FIRE) is a new feminist collective comprised of The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation, MADRE, medica mondiale, the Nobel Women’s Initiative and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). FIRE formed to act as an accelerator for the realisation of a feminist vision of peace and security. Covid-19 has exposed the urgent need for this vision: for exposing the fault lines, for a radical reimagining of our future, for transformative—and lasting—change.
The global ceasefire represents an important means to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and mitigate its impacts. More than that, it presents an important opportunity to create sustainable peace in conflict-affected regions. To succeed in that ambition, the global ceasefire must take into account a feminist perspective. To that end, FIRE has developed five feminist principles to serve as the foundation for the negotiation, design and implementation of meaningful ceasefires. FIRE will continue to build on these principles and support the UN Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire as part of its collective response to covid-19. There is more to come.
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In order to halt the rapid spread of the coronavirus, many countries are now in a state of emergency. Kvinna till Kvinna has supported women’s rights organisations in conflict affected countries and in crises for many years, and we know that without a gender perspective on the response to covid-19, women’s priorities will not be taken into consideration. If we are determined enough, the pandemic could give us a possibility to transform this sudden change in a positive new direction by challenging unequal power distribution, unequal economic structures and patriarchal norms.