This week, violence has dominated the news with a horrific massacre in Kandahar, Afghanistan, the ongoing slaughter of civilians in Homs, Syria and disproportionate violence against communities in Gaza, Palestine. WILPF used the opportunity of our statement on international women’s day last week to call for us to raise our voices, to protest and to keep working for peace.
Women, despite the barriers, violence and challenges, did gather, did organize and did call for action around the world on March 8. For example Palestinian women rallied in Gaza and Ramallah to mark International Women's Day and Afghan Women's Network (AWN) Theme for 2012 was “Let us End Violence against Women! Let us push for implementation of Violence against Women Law!”
Since the last PeaceWomen ENews, we have been very busy with International Women’s Day, the Security Council civil society (Arria Formula) meeting on Mediation, the annual Commission on the Status of Women and the Security Council open debate on Sexual Violence.
In Geneva, WILPF held seminar on Disarmament through International Law and Human Rights. The seminar is based on the WILPF December law conference. Also in Geneva, Beatrice Fihn, project manager of Reaching Critical Will/WILPF, delivered WILPF statement to the Conference on Disarmament emphasizing that “the cost of the continued renewal, deployment, and maintenance of nuclear weapons should be put in relation to budgets available to fulfil human rights obligations.”
In New York on IWD 2012, we participated in a march for global women for equality, development and peace. In the afternoon, we attended and monitored the Security Council's closed meeting with civil society (called Arria Formula) on "Women's role in mediation and post-conflict resolution" co-chaired by UK and Portugal. Read more here about Arria meeting>>. Also on March 8, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the president of the 66th session of the UN General Assembly Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser proposed the idea of holding a global conference on women's issues in 2015, 20 years after the last women's summit held in Beijing. The proposed Fifth Global Conference on Women is current being discussed by WILPF executive committee.
During this year’s CSW, WILPF was active at numerous events and actively voiced its ongoing recommendations for a holistic approach to conflict prevention, by way of statements and though advocacy efforts. In addition WILPF held several side events, the first convened by our Nigerian Section on “Human Security for Rural Women in Nigeria - using SCR 1325”. Here, Joy Onyesoh the WILPF-Nigeria president highlighted the urgent need to advance the process of formulating and drafting a comprehensive Nigerian National Action Plan for implementation of SCR 1325. Sameena Nazir, WILPF Pakistan, spoke at our second panel, which was co-hosted by various CSO organisations and entitled “Food, Sovereignty, Conflict and Peace”.
Balancing a busy schedule Sameena also spoke at several other events and panels where she advocated for comprehensive peace and inclusion of women in mediation and resolution efforts, as well as in formation of policy. On Friday March 2nd, US WILPF and PeaceWomen co-hosted an event recognizing the release of the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (SCR 1325) and celebrating the publication of WILPF's report on the Civil Society Consultations held during the drafting period. I also spoke on a panel “Rural Women and 1325” hosted by YWCA, and WILPF spoke at 2 panels with friends “Women, War and Peace” series.
Read our blog contribution on International Women's Day 2012 - Rural women face threat of protracted violence after war.
Read WILPF’s official CSW 56 Statement>>
PeaceWomen monitored the February 23rd Women, Peace, and Security: Conflict- Related Sexual Violence. As a member of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, we importantly were able to secure a civil society speaker seat at the meeting. The statement was delivered on behalf of civil society by Ms. Amina Megheirb, President of Attawasul Association, a Libyan NGO in Benghazi working on women’s empowerment. This statement urged all actors to take the immediate and relevant action on conflict-related sexual violence and emphasized the need to prioritize prevention as a means of ensuring a survivor-centric approach; and to strengthen efforts to ensure justice and accountability. We also called on all actors to address the root causes of sexual violence. For full summary, documents and analysis, click here >>.
This ENews also includes updates and articles on: the inaugural meeting of the WILPF Africa Working Group; WILPF participation at the seminar on Gender and the Responsibility; overview of Gender & the International Judicial Systems; and links to work by WILPF's Reaching Critical project.
| WILPF Nigeria side event
|| Aniqa (WILPF Pakistan) and Maria
|| WILPF Pakistan fair
|| WILPF Panel, March 1