SEED’s Co-Founder and Vice President Tanya Gilly-Khailany, was one of the eight speakers during TEDxNishtimanWomen on November 3rd in Saad Abdullah Hall in Erbil, Kurdistan. Tanya’s speech was about the importance of women’s participation in building peace.

“Women’s priorities tend to be different than those of men, Women experience war and peace differently, and women needs and wants are different. When women are excluded from the decision making process, our vision, our priorities, our wants, and our needs are not included in shaping the future.”

She gives examples from around the globe of women demanding to be heard. She talked about the 2003 sex strike of Liberia, when Christian and Muslim women came together and held a sex strike against their partners, to force them to start peace talks.  Or the 1990’s women march from Suleimaniya to Erbil who ended at the parliament building and staged a sit-in. They succeeded to imposing a temporary cease-fire.

“As women, if we are fifty percent of society, and the mother of the other fifty percent, why are we not partaking in the peace process?” She gives some pointers on how we – women and men – can achieve this: start small with families and communities; the more people you have, the faster the word spreads; use all tools available, from Facebook and Twitter, to lobbying and town hall meetings; and finally use international mechanisms for promotion.



Watch Tanya’s speech.

This video is from Rudaw Television Network. Once TEDx publishes the speeches, above video will be replaced.

PHOTOS: Department of Foreign Relations