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CMI’s the Worst Joke in the World campaign aims to make room for women at peace tables

Published on Friday, 21 September 2018

Our latest fund-raising campaign aims to make room for women at peace tables. Women make up half the global population but they only comprise 8 per cent of peace negotiators. Women’s participation would improve the scope for durable peace. The campaign is being launched with the release of a video that tracks how ‘the worst joke in the world’ spreads like a game of broken phone. The video features many high profile Finns, such as MPs Jutta Urpilainen, Li Andersson and Tiina Elovaara, the singer Alma, and actors Armi Toivanen, Minttu Mustakallio and Tommi Korpela.

Our fund-raising campaign The Worst Joke in the World, which kicked off today goes: What do a pen, a middle-aged man and a bouquet of flowers have in common? Answer: They’re all more likely to be present at a peace negotiation table than a woman.

On average only 8 per cent of peace negotiators and 4 per cent of peace agreement signatories are women.

All too often peace processes fall through. Peace has a more sustainable and equitable basis when there are as many groups and parties as possible involved already at the negotiating stage. CMI’s goal is to build a durable peace together with all parties to a conflict and ensure that the voice of women is heard at negotiations. CMI is engaged in a long-term effort aimed at increasing the proportion of women in peace processes by at least 30 per cent.

“It’s now high time to make room for women at peace negotiating tables. Unless there is equality we will never get rid of conflicts. Women’s equal opportunities for participation will ensure that all possible available knowledge and skills are made use of in conflict resolution. By supporting our work, Finns can genuinely promote efforts to bring about sustainable peace,” says CMI founder, president, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Martti Ahtisaari.

The campaign aims to collect enough for five rounds of peace negotiations for CMI. One round of CMI peace negotiations costs on average €40 000, while global arms spending runs to €4 billion a day. Overall, the aim is to collect €200 000 for CMI’s peace work. Donations are collected from private donors and companies via the campaign website – maailmanhuonoinvitsi.fi. Private donations guarantee that CMI can perform its work for peace independently and impartially.

Wide range of Finnish movers and shakers backing the campaign

The campaign is being supported by a number of well-known and influential Finns. The campaign video features, among others, MPs Jutta Urpilainen, Li Andersson and Tiina Elovaara; journalists Tuomas Enbuske and Maryan Abdulkarim; singers Alma and Vesta, and actors Armi Toivanen, Minttu Mustakallio, Tommi Korpela, Aku Hirviniemi and Heikki Silvennoinen. In the video, the world’s worst joke goes on like a game of broken phone.

“I didn’t know that only 8 per cent of peace negotiators and 4 per cent of peace agreement signatories are women. I was shocked to hear the percentages. It’s hard to take in that even today the number are that bad”, says Alma.

Jutta Urpilainen, the Foreign Minister’s Special Representative on Mediation, stresses that improving the scope for women to participate is not only a matter of gender equality, it also makes sense. “Peace is often more durable when women have been involved in negotiating it”, she affirms.

For Tuomas Enbuske it’s simply “pointless not to use one half of the human brain for peace”.

Campaign video (in Finnish)

Check out the campaign online:

 maailmanhuonoinvitsi.fi    #maailmanhuonoinvitsi      #worstjokeintheworld