From Beijing +10 to the September Summit 2005: UN Member States Must Prioritize Women's Empowerment and Gender Equality to Achieve Development, Security and Human Rights
1. PEACEWOMEN ANALYSIS
From Beijing +10 to the September Summit 2005:
UN Member States Must Prioritize Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality to Achieve Development, Security and Human Rights
By Kara Piccirilli, PeaceWomen Project, WILPF-UN Office
On 21 March 2005, the day before the closing session of the 49th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the UN Secretary-General (SG) released his report, entitled In Larger Freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all. This report addresses the recommendations put forward in the report of the SG’s High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, A More Secure World, and in the reports of the Millennium Project,* in preparation for the review of the Millennium Declaration (14-16 September 2005).
Prior to the release of In Larger Freedom, UN Member States had devoted months to achieve a negotiated political declaration on the 10-year Review and Appraisal of the Beijing Platform for Action, in which they committed themselves to integrate a gender perspective in the high-level plenary meeting on the review of the Millennium Declaration. In addition, they stated that the MDGs cannot be achieved without the full implementation of the Platform for Action. With the adoption of this declaration (4 March), governments reaffirmed that women’s empowerment and gender equality are cross-cutting issues to be addressed not only in the discussion on the MDGs, but also in the security, human rights and UN reform considerations on the agenda during the September Summit:
“We, the representatives of Governments…
3. Emphasize that the full and effective implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action is essential to achieving the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration and stress the need to ensure the integration of a gender perspective in the high-level plenary meeting on the review of the Millennium Declaration;”
- Paragraph 3, political declaration, E/CN.6/2005/L.1, 4 March 2005
Women’s rights advocates expected that the Secretary-General’s report would reflect the momentum generated by the adoption of the political declaration on the Beijing Platform, through the inclusion of women-specific and gender-specific language in the recommendations for governmental action. Instead, the report of the Secretary-General collapses the seven strategic priorities identified by the UN Millennium Project Taskforce on Education and Gender Equality- the advisory body on the achievement of gender equality- into one proposed governmental action under the section of the report on development, Freedom from Want:
5(j) Reaffirm gender equality and the need to overcome pervasive gender bias by increasing primary school completion and secondary school access for girls, ensuring secure tenure of property to women, ensuring access to reproductive health services, promoting equal access to labour markets, providing opportunity for greater representation in government decision-making bodies, and supporting direct interventions to protect women from violence;
The words ‘women’ and ‘gender’ appear in no other recommendation for governmental action in the annex of In Larger Freedom, including those recommendations in the sections on security and human rights.
In Larger Freedom should have been framed in the context of the pre-existing governmental commitments made in the Beijing Platform (1995), UNSC Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security (2000), the Millennium Declaration (2000) and obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). In the Millennium Declaration, governments committed “to combat all forms of violence against women and to implement the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women” and “to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women as effective ways to combat poverty, hunger and disease and to stimulate development that is truly sustainable.” Consequently, as UN Member States develop their national responses to In Larger Freedom, they must prioritize actions on women’s empowerment and the achievement of gender equality in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in the next ten years. Further, their commitments and re-commitments to women’s empowerment and gender equality must be reflected in the outcome to be adopted at the Summit in September 2005.
In the coming weeks, civil society organizations will release analyses on the different components of In Larger Freedom. We will highlight the gender analyses in upcoming issues of 1325 PeaceWomen E-News and on PeaceWomen.org.
For the Secretary-General’s report, In Larger Freedom, visit: http://www.un.org/largerfreedom/.
For the report of the UN Millennium Project Taskforce on Education and Gender Equality, visit: http://www.unmillenniumproject.org/reports/reports2.htm#03
* Many civil society organizations have expressed concern that the work of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Eminent Persons on Civil Society and UN Relationships was not formally incorporated into In Larger Freedom.
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Preparation for the September 2005 Summit: Important Dates
6-8 April 2005: Governmental plenary session on the Secretary-General’s report as a whole, UN Headquarters, New York
Governmental consultations, UN Headquarters, New York:
19-20 April 2005: Cluster I (peace & security)
Facilitators: HE Mr. John Dauth (Australia), HE Mrs. Laxanachantorn Laohaphan (Thailand), HE Mr. Ali Hachani (Tunisia)
21-22 April 2005: Cluster II (development)
Facilitators: HE Mr. Christopher Fitzherbert Hackett (Barbados), HE Mr. Nana Effah-Apenteng (Ghana), Mr. Valeriy P. Kuchinsky (Ukraine)
25-26 April 2005: Cluster III (rule of law and protecting the vulnerable)
Facilitators: HE Mr. Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury (Bangladesh), HE Mr. Roman Kirn (Slovenia)
27-28 April 2005: Cluster IV (institutional reform)
Facilitators: HE Mr. Ricardo Alberto Arias (Panama), HE Mr. Dirk Jan van den Berg (Netherlands)
Civil society organizations should contact these UN Member States, their own governments, as well as the current president of the UN General Assembly, Mr. Jean Ping (Gabon), to urge them to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women as integral cross-cutting issues for discussion at the governmental consultations.
30 April 2005: Deadline for NGO input to the UN NGO Liaison Service (UN-NGLS), which is compiling the NGO input/feedback into a report of findings. Email input to firstname.lastname@example.org.
23-24 June 2005: NGO hearings on In Larger Freedom, General Assembly hall, UN Headquarters, New York
For more on the UN-NGLS report of findings and the NGO hearings, visit the UN-NGLS web portal on MDG +5: http://www.un-ngls.org/mdg.htm
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2. WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY NEWS
FEMALE DEATHS IN TSUNAMI FAR OUTNUMBER MALES
March 26, 2005 - (Reuters) The Asian tsunami that devastated countries fringing the Indian Ocean on Dec. 26 may have killed up to four times as many women as men, the international aid group Oxfam says.
DRC: ITURI MILITIAS TAKE WAR TO CIVILIANS
March 23, 2005 - (IRIN) Three months after the resumption of fighting between Lendu and Hema militias in Ituri, a district in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a vivid picture of human-rights violations is emerging. Pregnant women have been gang raped, children burnt to death and villages razed to the ground.
REPORT FROM UN CSW/BEIJING PLUS 10
March 23, 2005 – (IWTC Women’s GlobalNet #273) This report from the 49th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (February 28-March 11, 2005), also known as Beijing + 10, was put together by Aileen Familara of Isis International Manila and Asia-Pacific Women's Watch.
BURUNDI'S WOMEN STILL LIVE IN FEAR OF VIOLENCE
March 22, 2005 - (afrol News) Hundreds of Burundian women interviewed agreed that, despite the mild security improvements due the 2003 ceasefire, the climate of violence has actually increased. With illicit arms increasingly accessible, violence has turned from war-related incidences to revenge acts, sexual predation and armed robbery, mostly victimising women, a new report shows.
SOUTHERN AFRICA: CALL OF 30% WOMEN'S REPRESENTATION IN PUBLIC OFFICE BY 2005
March 17, 2005 - (Pambazuka News) Gender and Free Expression organisations call for 30% women’s representation in public office by 2005 and adoption of Gender Guidelines in Budgeting in SADC.
For more country-specific women, peace and security news, CLICK HERE
For more international women, peace and security news, CLICK HERE
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3. BEIJING +10: THE FOLLOW-UP CONTINUES
Close of the 49th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)
On 22 March 2005, the 49th Session of the CSW was brought to a close with the adoption of the Bureau’s report on CSW49. The final negotiations on the resolutions and the writing of the chairperson’s summaries on the content of the panels and roundtables have been completed. The resolutions and summaries were distributed at the final meeting of the 49th Session. Final statements were made by the CSW Chairwoman, Ms. Kyung-wha Kang, the UN Special Adviser on Gender Issues, Ms. Rachel Mayanja, and governmental groups, as well as individual States.
The resolutions adopted at the 49th Session will be available shortly at: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/Review/english/news.htm
Beginning of the 50th Session of the CSW
22 March 2005 also marked the beginning of the 50th Session of the CSW, which included the announcement of the newly elected Bureau members: Chair: El Salvador; and Vice-Chairs: Hungary, Indonesia, Nigeria and the United Kingdom. Beyond the two themes for next year*, we must now turn our attention to the programme of work and the methods of work of the CSW.
Programme of work of the CSW
In 2006, the Economic and Social Council will adopt a new multi-year programme of work, setting out the overall themes for the next 5 years of CSW. This is an important opportunity for civil society to voice its ideas and concerns regarding the work of the CSW.
Methods of work of the CSW
At the closing of the 49th Session of the CSW, New Zealand presented a statement on the working methods of CSW on behalf of the delegations of Canada, Australia and New Zealand (CANZ). CANZ has presented this statement during the previous three sessions of the CSW. Below are some excerpts of this statement, illustrating the kinds of governmental concerns that exist regarding the current methods of work of the CSW:
“…It is time to take a new approach. We have had debates on the Commission’s working methods in the past. But much of those debates have focused on the pros and cons of negotiating agreed conclusions versus negotiating resolutions. We would like to move away from that debate, and ask why we need to have either. While some formal documents may need to be adopted, negotiated outcomes are not the full measure of the Commission’s value. The success of a Commission should not be judged by the number of pages of agreed text it produces. Negotiated texts such as agreed conclusions will always have their place - this Commission still needs to consider new and emerging issues as it did last year, for example, on the role of men and boys. But agreed conclusions and resolutions should not be the inevitable default activity of this Commission.
The real value in this Commission is that it provides a truly unique forum for substantive exchange by capital based experts that exists nowhere else. The increase of panel discussions and roundtables over the last few years has been a significant improvement in the Commission’s programme of work. Now, however, we need to work on enabling more experts to actually attend them.
Next year we have the opportunity, in discussing our future work programme, to re-examine our methods of work. In doing so, we should examine the experiences of other functional commissions, including the Commission on Sustainable Development…”
For the full statement by CANZ, CLICK HERE.
*Themes for the 50th Session of the CSW:
Item 1: Enhanced participation of women in development: an enabling environment for achieving gender equality and the advancement of women, taking into account, inter alia, the fields of education, health and work.
Item 2: Equal participation of women and men in decision-making processes at all levels.
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SCR 1325 References in the Government Statements Delivered at Beijing +10
La Consejeria Presidencial para la Equidad de la Mujer (CPEM) y el Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores conformaron la mesa de Mujer, Paz y Seguridad que ha realizado el análisis y difusión de la Resolución 1325 del Consejo de Seguridad y el Informe del país sobre la implementaron de la misma; ha capacitado a un grupo de mujeres de diferentes regiones en la prevención y resolución de conflictos. Así pues, Colombia puede mostrar leyes, compromiso político, acciones concretas y resultados; sin embargo, persisten la violencia y las discriminaciones contra la mujer que representan graves limitaciones para un mejoramiento de sus condiciones de vida y para una mayor y efectiva participación social y política.
Pour leur part, les femmes ivoiriennes qui se sont fermement appropriées la Résolution 1325 du Conseil de Sécurité de l'ONU sur l'implication des femmes dans la résolution des conflits et qui ont payé un lourd tribut au cours de cette guerre fratricide, sont déterminées à prendre la place qui leur revient afin de réussir à restaurer définitivement la paix dans leur pays.
A review of the National Security and defence has been undertaken and the establishment of a national security framework in line with UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325. We call for the protection of women and children in conflict situations and from the use of rape and sexual abuse as a strategy of war, protection of women's human rights defenders, and cease the recruitment of child soldiers.
Germany is deeply committed to the vision of Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000). During its non-permanent membership in the Security Council, Germany put effort into integrating a gender perspective into mandates for peace-keeping operations. We stress the need to include women at all levels of peace negotiations and conflict resolution.
Since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action there has been more emphasis on women's role in relation to conflict. It is five years since the Security Council adopted resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. Are we making full use of this instrument? There has been some progress but not nearly enough. It is time to evaluate how the resolution is being implemented.
Sri Lanka's women have suffered much in this period in a prolonged internal conflict. We are of the view that more opportunities need to be provided for women to participate in on going conflict resolution and post conflict peace building as mandated by UN Security Council Resolution 1325.
It is time to break the silence surrounding gender-based violence. It is time to talk about hideous crimes committed by men against women, such as violence against women and children in the home, violence in the name of honour and violence connected to prostitution or trafficking in women and girls, including in situations of armed conflict, crises and transition. In this connection we would like to mention that Sweden fully support the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. I would like to inform you that we are in the middle of preparing an action plan on 1325 and it's implementation on national, EU- and UN-level.
The full compilation will be available shortly at: http://www.peacewomen.org/un/Beijing10 /beijing10index.html
For information on the recent Review and Appraisal of the Beijing Platform, CLICK HERE.
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4. UN SECURITY COUNCIL ADOPTS GENDER LANGUAGE IN ITS RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING A PEACEKEEPING OPERATION IN SUDAN
On 24 March, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1590 authorizing the establishment of the UN Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS), for an initial period of six months. Featured below are excerpts of the gender language found in the operative paragraphs of the resolution:
…4. (a) (iv) To assist in the establishment of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme as called for in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, with particular attention to the special needs of women and child combatants, and its implementation through voluntary disarmament and weapons collection and destruction;
(vi) To assist the parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, in addressing the need for a national inclusive approach, including the role of women, towards reconciliation and peacebuilding;
(x) (d) To contribute towards international efforts to protect and promote human rights in Sudan, as well as to coordinate international efforts towards the protection of civilians with particular attention to vulnerable groups including internally displaced persons, returning refugees, and women and children, within UNMIS’s capabilities and in close cooperation with other United Nations agencies, related organizations, and non-governmental organizations;
…“14. Requests the Secretary-General to take the necessary measures to achieve actual compliance in UNMIS with the United Nations zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, including the development of strategies and appropriate mechanisms to prevent, identify and respond to all forms of misconduct, including sexual exploitation and abuse, and the enhancement of training for personnel to prevent misconduct and ensure full compliance with the United Nations code of conduct, requests the Secretary-General to take all necessary action in accordance with the Secretary-General’s Bulletin on special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse (ST/SGB/2003/13) and to keep the Council informed, and urges troop-contributing countries to take appropriate preventive action including the conduct of pre-deployment awareness training, and to take disciplinary action and other action to ensure full accountability in cases of such conduct involving their personnel;
“15. Reaffirms the importance of appropriate expertise on issues relating to gender in peacekeeping operations and post-conflict peacebuilding in accordance with resolution 1325 (2000), recalls the need to address violence against women and girls as a tool of warfare, and encourages UNMIS as well as the Sudanese parties to actively address these issues;…
The US-led Resolution 1590 on the Sudan was only adopted after France agreed to postpone voting on their own resolution that would refer war crime cases from Sudan to the International Criminal Court, a move the US currently opposes. Another point of contention among Security Council members concerns applying sanctions to Sudan.
For more gender language from the resolution, CLICK HERE.
The PeaceWomen Project monitors the gender content of the Security Council’s resolutions addressing all current and upcoming peacekeeping operations, and features all of the Security Council's gender language, including from the most recent resolution on Sudan, on the following webpage: http://www.peacewomen.org/un/pkwatch/SCrescompilation.html
For news on women, peace and security issues in Sudan, visit PeaceWomen’s Sudan News Page.
For UNIFEM’s country profile of Sudan, CLICK HERE.
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5. GENDER AND PEACEKEEPING UPDATE
A comprehensive strategy to eliminate future sexual exploitation and abuse in United Nations peacekeeping operations (A/59/710)
Prepared by the Secretary-General's Special Advisor on sexual exploitation and abuse by United
Nations peacekeeping personnel, Jordan's UN Ambassador Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein
24 March 2005
The 2005 report of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (A/50/19) requested the Secretary-General to make available a comprehensive report with recommendations on the issue of sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations peacekeeping personnel - civilian, civilian police and military personnel. The Secretary-General asked his Special Advisor on sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations peacekeeping personnel, H.R.H Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein, to prepare the report.
Featured below are excerpts of the letter from the Secretary-General to the President of the General Assembly, which accompanies the report:
… As the allegations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo surfaced, it became clear that the measures currently in place to address sexual exploitation and abuse in peacekeeping operations were manifestly inadequate and that a fundamental change in approach was needed. I began a process of review to determine the nature and extent of the problem and resolve it. As a first step, in July 2004, I invited His Royal Highness Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein, Permanent Representative of Jordan, to act as my adviser and assist me in addressing the problem of sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations peacekeeping personnel. As the Permanent Representative of a major troop- and police-contributing country and a former civilian peacekeeper, Prince Zeid has brought a vital perspective to the problem and potential solutions. Thus, when the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, in its 2005 report (A/59/19), requested me to make available a comprehensive report with recommendations on sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations peacekeeping personnel, I asked Prince Zeid to undertake its preparation. This report I now submit to you. I would be grateful if it could be made available to the members of the General Assembly.
The report before you represents the first comprehensive analysis of the problem of sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations peacekeeping personnel. It contains bold recommendations directed at both the Secretariat and Member States. In formulating the recommendations, Prince Zeid drew on extensive consultations with Secretariat officials and representatives of the troop- and police-contributing countries that provide the most military and police personnel, as well as on insights from a visit to the United Nations peacekeeping operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 24 October to 3 November 2004.
I believe that Prince Zeid’s analysis is a fair and honest account of a serious problem. I concur fully with all recommendations relating to the report’s four main areas of concern:
• The current rules on standards of conduct
• The investigative process
• Organizational, managerial and command responsibility
• Individual disciplinary, financial and criminal accountability
…The implementation of the report’s recommendations will strengthen the ability of peacekeeping operations to promote good conduct and discipline more broadly and increase the accountability of managers and officers in this area. Since the problem of sexual exploitation and abuse is not confined to peacekeeping contexts, the report also offers many innovative ideas that could be applicable to the wider United Nations system…
For the full report in all 6 official UN languages, visit: http://www.un.org/Docs/journal/asp/ws.asp?m=a/59/710
To read the Secretary-General's statement, delivered after he forwarded the report to the General Assembly, CLICK HERE.
For news coverage of the release of the report, CLICK HERE.
The Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations is expected to reconvene in the coming weeks in order to review the report. PeaceWomen will include more information about this process as soon as it becomes available.
To stay informed about the follow-up on this report, visit PeaceWomen’s Peacekeeping Watch webpage at: http://www.peacewomen.org/un/pkwatch/pkwatch.html
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6. FEATURE REPORT
Our Common Interest: Report of the Commission for Africa
11 March 2005
The Commission for Africa was launched by British Prime Minister Tony Blair in February 2004. Comprised of 17 members, 3 of whom are women, “The aim of the Commission was to take a fresh look at Africa’s past and present and the international community’s role in its development path. The work set out to be comprehensive and challenging, addressing difficult questions where necessary. Five formal objectives* were established to guide the Commission’s work (see link below). It was tasked with finalising its report by early 2005 and producing clear recommendations for the G8, EU and other wealthy countries as well as African countries” (Commission website). The report and its recommendations are also part of the preparations for the September 2005 summit in New York City to review progress made since the United Nations Millennium Declaration (2000).
*The five formal objectives can be found at:http://www.commissionforafrica.org/english/about/objectives.html
The Commission organized their work around six themes: Culture and Participation; Economy; Governance; Human Development; Natural Resources; and Peace and Security. In addition, they identified three principal cross-cutting issues: HIV/AIDS, gender and youth.
Featured below are excerpts of the gender language found in the 388-page report:
4.3.2 Constitutional structures, parliaments and political processes
54…The position of women in government is poor. Many African governments have made concerted efforts to raise awareness of the importance of women’s involvement – South Africa, Uganda, Rwanda and Mozambique have levels of women’s representation in parliament ahead of most developed countries. But most countries fall well short of gender equality at all levels of political decision-making. This is despite evidence that corruption falls as the proportion of parliamentary seats held by women rises and the fact that many Africans believe women MPs are more likely to listen and attend to basic community needs. Whether men or women, parliamentarians need better knowledge and capacity to address gender concerns – such as review of inheritance and property tax rights and of laws or customary practices that discriminate against women – and to mainstream gender into sector policies and budget processes…
5.1 The case for prevention
16. At all levels, actors should promote the full implementation of UN Resolution 1325 (2000) on the role of women in peace processes and the impact of armed conflict on women and girls.
6.5.3 Building strategies against exclusion and vulnerability
119. Recommendation: Donors and African governments should provide direct budgetary support to pan-African organisations to support their work in protecting women and children’s rights. African governments must honour the progressive and exciting commitments made in the African Heads of State Solemn Declaration on Gender, which includes the implementation of the Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. African civil society and governments have also identified specific actions at the Beijing+10 in Africa meeting, 2004. Donors and African Governments should provide financial and other support to the Gender and Development Directorate of the AU, to AU/NEPAD and to the African Gender and Development Centre of the Economic Commission for Africa.
For the full report and for more information about the Commission, visit: http://www.commissionforafrica.org/index.html
For the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa, adopted by the Heads of State and Government of Member States of the African Union in July 2004 at their Summit meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, CLICK HERE.
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7. FEATURE RESOURCES
Worse Than a War: “Disappearances” in Chechnya—a Crime Against Humanity
A Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper
…The available evidence shows that enforced disappearances in Chechnya are both widespread and systematic. According to government statistics, at least 2,090 people have “disappeared” since the conflict started in 1999; human rights groups estimate the figure to be between three thousand and five thousand. As this briefing paper shows, the victims are always civilians or individuals who, when taken from their homes, checkpoints or other locations, are unarmed—they are hors de combat. They are predominantly men between eighteen and forty years old…
Recently Russian and Chechen security forces have also increasingly targeted women—a trend that may be linked to the fact that a number of
women were among the perpetrators of recent terrorist attacks in Russian cities.
For the full report, visit: http://hrw.org/backgrounder/eca/chechnya0305/
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The Crushing Burden of Rape: Sexual Violence in Darfur
Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) Briefing Paper, 7 March 2005
…In spite of high-profile visits of the world’s leaders, people still face persecution and intimidation inside the camps. Rape, a feature of the attacks on their villages, has now followed them insidiously into their places of refuge. Families, in order to sustain themselves, have to continue collecting wood, fetching water or working their fields. In doing so, women have to make a terrible choice, putting themselves or their children at the risk of rape, beatings or death as soon as they are outside the camps, towns or villages. Rape has serious consequences for women’s health and well-being, especially without adequate access to health care and general proper attention.
Between October 2004 and the first half of February 2005, doctors from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) treated almost 500 rape victims in Darfur. Given the great sense of shame, humiliation and fear felt by victims of sexual violence, a sense which discourages them from going to a health facility to receive treatment, MSF strongly believes that the numbers recorded are only a partial representation of the real number of victims…
For the full briefing paper, CLICK HERE.
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Coming Home: Return and Reintegration in Angola
Human Rights Watch, March 2005
Excerpts regarding the exclusion of women from the DDR process:
…In Struggling Through Peace: Return and Resettlement in Angola, Human Rights Watch expressed concern that the DDR process excluded women, including the wives and widows of former UNITA combatants, women abandoned by UNITA combatants, and women and girls abducted during the war and forced to join UNITA forces as “wives,” porters or in other support functions. These women are still suffering the social and psychological effects of the war. One government official told Human Rights Watch of his fear of stigmatizing underage ex-combatants and women and girls who were exploited during the war. He described plans to work with child protection NGOs to provide trauma counseling and life skills training to rehabilitate and reintegrate women and girls who were raped and sexually abused during the war.
Human Rights Watch also reported on the exclusion of underage ex-combatants during the demobilization process in Forgotten Fighters: Child Soldiers in Angola (2003). The ADRP attempts to address these problems by mandating that each reintegration project include a “social component” to assist women, children and the disabled, either directly or through community-based projects. In Caala, for example, the ADRP is funding a business training and micro-finance project for 400 widows and female ex-combatants…
For the full report, which includes recommendations directed at the Angolan government, donor community, and UN agencies, visit: http://hrw.org/reports/2005/angola0305/
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Decades of Suffering, Now Women Deserve Better
Amnesty International, 22 February 2005
… This report is part of Amnesty International’s Stop Violence Against Women campaign. It focuses on the many ways in which women and girls in Iraq have suffered from government repression and armed conflict in disproportionate or different ways from men, and also how they have been targeted as women. It also shows how discrimination is closely linked to violence against women, and the particular ways in which women have suffered from the breakdown in law and order in many parts of the country since the overthrow of the government of Saddam Hussain.
Among the recommendations made in this report, Amnesty International calls on the Iraqi authorities and members of the National Assembly to ensure that the new constitution and all Iraqi legislation contain prohibitions on all forms of discrimination against women, and that effective measures to protect women from violence are introduced and supported.
For the full report, visit: http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE140012005
For NGO and civil society reports, papers and statements, UN and government reports, and books, journals and articles on women, peace and security issues, CLICK HERE.
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8. UPDATE FROM THE NGO WORKING GROUP ON WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY
Recommendations to the Drafters of the Terms of Reference for the UN Security Council Mission to Haiti
16 March 2005
On the occasion of the drafting of the Terms of Reference for the upcoming Security Council (SC) Mission to Haiti (13-16 April 2005), the NGOWG on Women, Peace and Security shared a series of recommendations for incorporating UN Security Council Resolution 1325 into the Terms of Reference.
Recognizing the many demands on both SC Members and women in Haiti during this brief SC mission, and recalling SC Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security,
The NGOWG recommends that the Security Council:
1. Meets with local and national women's organizations. Further, the SC should schedule and arrange these meetings as soon as possible in order to: allow adequate timing for coordination; maximize inclusion of rural women's groups; and to secure funding for the organizations, if necessary, for any related costs.
2. Holds a meeting with Senior Gender Advisor, Nadine Puechguirbal, during this mission.
3. Incorporates a gender perspective and women-centered approach throughout this mission, including in the resulting report(s) and/or mandate, inter alia, by ensuring gender-knowledgeable staff participate in each phase of this SC mission. Gender-knowledgeable staff should: assist in advance coordination of the mission, attend meetings during the mission, and assist in drafting the resulting report and/or mandate.
The recommendations are available at:http://www.peacewomen.org/un/ngo/ngostatements/HaitiSCMissionTORrecs.html
For updates on the preparations for the Security Council mission to Haiti, visit the UN Security Council news index at: http://www.un.org/sc/unsc_news.shtml or http://www.un.org/Docs/sc/
For women, peace and security resources on Haiti, CLICK HERE.
For more information about women, peace and security issues in Haiti, visit UNIFEM’s Haiti profile at:
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Urgent International Attention Needed to Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo
21 March 2005
The NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security (NGOWG) expresses its grave concern about the situation faced by the population in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), particularly women and girls, during this time of conflict. Women active in grassroots organizations in the DRC have contacted the NGOWG to ask for its support and to request that UN headquarters give attention to the world’s bloodiest war, act to stop the atrocities, and support elections in the DRC…
For the full statement, CLICK HERE.
For the French translation of this statement, CLICK HERE.
The NGOWG’s action alerts and updates are now posted on the NGOWG website at: http://www.peacewomen.org/un/ngo/actionalerts.html
For more NGOWG updates, CLICK HERE.
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9. WOMEN, PEACE & SECURITY CALENDAR
Seminar: Women Pioneering Peace-Building in Africa
1 April 2005, 8:30am-4:00pm, SRC Chamber, Conference Centre, Main Campus, University of Pretoria, South Africa
The Centre for International Political Studies (CiPS), UP, All Africa Women for Peace (AAWP) and the Royal Netherlands Embassy cordially invite you to participate in a one-day seminar on Women Pioneering Peace-Building in Africa. Women in Africa are playing increasingly strategic roles towards building human security on the continent. Many women are engaging more innovative methodologies towards restoring peace in their communities. This seminar aims to showcase some of these initiatives that are being pioneered by women. This event is free of charge. RSVP: By e-mail to email@example.com, or fax to (012) 346 3359.
Conference - Women in War: Law and Gender in Situations of Conflict
8-9 April 2005, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA, USA
The Harvard Journal of Law & Gender will be holding its annual conference this year on "Women in War: Law and Gender in Situations of Conflict," exploring the myriad ways that women participate in and experience violent conflict. The Conference brings together leading legal and policy scholars, practitioners, and students who are interested in analyzing war and its many facets and effects through a gender-conscious lens. Ms. Rachel N. Mayanja, the UN Special Adviser on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women, will be the Keynote Speaker. Conference panels focus on women combatants, war crimes and women, women's role in peace processes, issues of gender for refugees and internally-displaced persons, and women's rights and status in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Advance registration is $5 for Harvard students, $15 for other students, and $35 for non-students. For more information and to register, please visit: http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/wjl/. Online registration ends 5 April at 5pm.
Towards Equality: The Global Empowerment of Women
28 April 2005, 8:30am – 1:00pm, Kaufman Conference Center, 12th Floor, Institute of International Education, 809 United Nations Plaza, New York
RSVP by 8 April 2005
The event is co-sponsored by the National Council for Research on Women, UNIFEM, and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. Thirty one global New Century Scholars from the U.S., South Africa, Kenya, Peru, India, Sri Lanka, Ukraine and other countries will discuss ways in which women working together can advance their roles around the world in the educational, political, economic and policy spheres. Topics to be addressed are: Responses to Violence against Women and the Implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325; Using Feminist Analysis to Assess the Effects of HIV/AIDS Interventions on Female Sexuality and Autonomy; Negotiating Citizenship and Diversity: Gender, Nation, Diaspora; Gender, Neoliberal Governance and Globalization: Analytical and Practical Alternatives to Contemporary Global Hegemonies; and Voices of Women in Egypt and Senegal. As seating is limited, please respond by April 8 via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone to Hajra Zahid at 202-686-6250. Include your full name, institutional affiliation, and e-mail to ensure registration. Please visit the link for details: http://www.cies.org/NCS/2004_2005/letter_04_05.htm.
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