1. WELCOMING THE NEW PEACEWOMEN TEAM
Dear 1325 Colleagues and Friends,
We would like to take this opportunity to say farewell as we prepare to hand over the PeaceWomen Project to a new PeaceWomen team.
After three years with the PeaceWomen Project, we are leaving the UN community at Headquarters to continue our women, peace and security advocacy in new and different communities: Sarah has been pre-selected to serve as a UN Volunteer Gender Advisor in the Gender Unit of the UN Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS); and Kara is moving to Nottingham, England, to study for an LLM in International Human Rights Law with a focus on women, peace and security issues.
As we look ahead, the five-year review of the implementation of SCR 1325 lies just beyond this year's 2005 World Summit in September. Beyond October 2005, women's rights organizations plan to incorporate the women, peace and security agenda into the thematic work of the 50th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW50) and in its program of work for the years to come. Amidst the forward-looking planning for the 2005 World Summit, review of 1325 and CSW50, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom PeaceWomen Project will also look to the future in fresh, new ways.
We are therefore honored to introduce the two new PeaceWomen Project Associates, Milkah Kihunah and Sam Cook, the new editor of the 1325 PeaceWomen E-Newsletter:
Milkah Kihunah holds a master's degree in international relations from Yale University (2005) where her studies centered on regional and global trends in conflict management and the human security challenges facing women. She trained as a lawyer in her native Kenya, and has worked in human rights research and advocacy with the Kenya Human Rights Commission in Nairobi, leading a project to document cases of torture and maltreatment of detainees by the colonial-era government. She has also worked with Africa Action in Washington DC where she helped to craft a campaign to press for greater US engagement in efforts to arrest the ongoing violence in Western Sudan.
Milkah can be reached at Milkah@peacewomen.org.
A lawyer from Cape Town, South Africa, Sam Cook has a LLM degree from Columbia University School of Law in New York. Sam has a long-held interest in transitional justice and gender and focused on these themes during the course of her master's degree. Her LLM paper explored issues around how the South African and Sierra Leonean Truth and Reconciliation Commissions dealt with sexual and gender-based violence. During her training as a lawyer and in her subsequent research and work, Sam has been involved in a number of women's rights issues, particularly violence against women. Other than her work as an attorney, she has worked with a number of women's NGOs in South Africa and at the law faculty of the University of Cape Town.
Sam can be reached at Sam@peacewomen.org.
To contact Sarah Shteir, please email: SarahShteir@yahoo.com.
To contact Kara Piccirilli, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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A WILPF Farewell
WILPF waves good-bye to Sarah and Kara with sadness and gratitude. You both have given unstintingly to women, recognizing what enormous waste it is when women's voices aren't heard; recognizing that the violence women suffer must be stopped; strategizing always to get a place for women at the table.
Take WILPF with you. Carry PeaceWomen in your hearts. We won't forget you and we expect to read about you both in the 1325 E-Newsletter.
Mary Ann McGivern, Director
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
United Nations Office
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2. RESULTS FROM 1325 PEACEWOMEN E-NEWSLETTER EVALUATION QUESTIONNAIRE
As of 21 July 2005, we received 19 responses to the questionnaire. We depend on your comments and suggestions in our efforts to strengthen the 1325 PeaceWomen E-Newsletter and ensure that it remains a useful tool in our broader effort to monitor and advocate for the full implementation of SCR 1325.
The 1325 PeaceWomen E-Newsletter has approximately 1,395 subscribers, representing 101 countries. Together with the readership figures for the other email lists that the E-Newsletter is sent to, we have determined that approximately 3,680 individuals receive the 1325 PeaceWomen E-Newsletter on a regular basis. We have come a long way from our first issue in May 2002 with its 300 subscribers.
While the responses gathered are a very small sample of the overall 1325 PeaceWomen E-Newsletter readership, they have been valuable nonetheless.
Of the 19 respondents, 11 use SCR 1325 in their own work.
Almost all of the respondents read the newsletter for information updates about SCR 1325 (15) and specific women, peace and security issues (10). A smaller number of the respondents read the newsletter for information updates about a specific geographic region (8) and to seek opportunities for action (7). One respondent suggested that the “newsletter could be a very good forum to mobilize women from different regions on one specific topic/event. It has a very good coordinative function.”
The three sections of the E-Newsletter that were identified as most useful are:
1. Women, Peace and Security News
2. Feature Resource/s, Statement/s, Report/s, and Analysis/es
3. Gender and Peacekeeping Update
Respondents requested more information about:
• 1325 implementation successes;
• Women peace makers from conflict zones, in the form of profiles;
• Women in the Pacific region; and
• Partnerships between women's groups in the North and women's groups in the South, with analysis of ‘best practices' and challenges faced.
Respondents also suggested:
• Introducing an ‘employment opportunities' section; and
• Announcing initiatives of the NGOWG on Women, Peace and Security before they happen with information about opportunities for broader participation.
We are very grateful to the questionnaire respondents. If you have comments, please send them by questionnaire response, or directly, to: email@example.com.
If you would like to fill out the evaluation form, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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3. WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY NEWS
IRAQ: FEARS GROW FOR WOMEN'S RIGHTS AS DEADLINE LOOMS FOR CONSTITUTION DRAFT
July 28, 2005 - (IRIN) As the August deadline for completion of the Iraqi constitution nears, there are continuing calls for delegates to include provisions protecting women's rights in the family and society more generally.
ISRAEL - PARLIAMENT/KNESSET PASSES NEW LAW MANDATING INCLUSION OF WOMEN FOR PEACE & SECURITY NEGOTIATIONS & POLICY
July 21, 2005 - (Isha L'Isha News Release) Haifa Feminist Center is pleased to announce that the Knesset, Israel's Parliament, has just passed a new law mandating the inclusion of women in teams appointed for peace negotiations and setting domestic, foreign or security policy. This law, an amendment to the 1956 Equal Representation of Women law, is a major milestone in the advancement of women's rights in Israel.
WITH UN SUPPORT, HAITIAN WOMEN MOBILIZE AS ELECTION CANDIDATES
July 20, 2005 - (UN) Following up on a United Nations seminar, a group of Haitian women have launched a support network for women candidates in the upcoming elections in the impoverished Caribbean country.
PEACE BEGINS WITH MOTHERS, DAUGHTERS, SISTERS
July 20, 2005 - (IPS) Women are at the forefront of community-level conflict resolution but are rarely included in higher-level peace processes, leading to a sexist politics of peace, declared four experts on women's involvement in peace negotiations Monday.
UN SEX ABUSE SACKINGS IN BURUNDI
July 19, 2005 - (BBC) Two United Nations peacekeepers in Burundi have been sacked after having sex with prostitutes and minors. UN spokesman Penangnini Toure said the two soldiers had been found guilty of breaking a strict code of conduct which forbids sex with prostitutes.
UNIFEM CALLS FOR STRONGER INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT FOR WOMEN'S PARTICIPATION IN PEACE PROCESSES
July 18, 2005 - (UNIFEM Press Release) United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) called on the international community today to recognize women's efforts to prevent and resolve conflict in their communities, and to strengthen support for women's inclusion as full and equal participants in formal peace processes.
AFGHANISTAN: VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN REMAINS DRAMATIC - UN EXPERT
July 18, 2005 – (UN) From forced child marriages entailing physical and sexual abuse to the public execution of a woman on local council's orders, from girls burning themselves to death out of despair to impunity for abusers, violence against women in Afghanistan is a dramatic problem that must be addressed now, a top United Nations expert said today.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA: AFTER GENOCIDE, WOMEN'S WORK IS TO REBUILD
July 17, 2005 - (WeNews) Last week thousands visited the field in Bosnia and Herzegovina where husbands, sons and brothers were killed in the largest European genocide since World War II. Now the women of Srebrenica go back to making life's work out of devastation.
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IN NORTHERN UGANDA
July 17, 2005 - (AI) "When we were given to our husbands we were expected to have sex with them. I was only 10 years old when I was handed over. For days after, I was sexually abused. The first time I felt a lot of pain because he was too big. He told me he was nearly forty years old. I felt so bad because I was still young, but I had to accept to sleep with him. I was afraid that if I refused he would carry out his threat to kill me. I had no love for that man."
SIERRA LEONE: WOMEN ADVOCATE FOR MORE EMPOWERMENT
July 15, 2005 - (The Independent) The Network of Women Ministers and Parliamentarians (NEWMAP) in Sierra Leone are making significant strides to improve the welfare and status of women in the country. They are also currently collaborating with the Mano River Peace Network (MARWOPNET) that involves Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
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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4. 1325 TRANSLATION UPDATE
Fongbe, Slovak and Uzbek Translations Now Available
TOTAL NUMBER OF AVAILABLE TRANSLATIONS: 69
PeaceWomen recently received a Fongbe translation, a Slovak translation, and an Uzbek translation of SCR 1325.
The Fongbe translation was completed by Solange Nouatin Attakla, the Program Officer for the Women in Peacebuilding Network (WIPNET) in Benin, as part of the WIPNET regional initiative to localize SCR 1325 in West Africa. WIPNET is a program of the West African Network for Peacebuiding (WANEP).
According to Ecoma Alaga, WIPNET's Regional Coordinator, “For us at WANEP, this Resolution gives resonance to the work we do in WIPNET - building women's capacity to play more active and visible roles in promoting peace and human security in the sub region.”
Fongbe is a major West African ethnic and linguistic group in the country of Benin, a country made up of more than 2,000,000 people. The Fongbe language is the main language spoken in Southern Benin, and is a member of the Gbe language group. Fongbe is spoken by approximately 1.7 million people.
For more information, contact:
Solange Nathalie Nouatin Attakla
WIPNET Program Officer
WANEP - Benin
081 B.P. 7033 Aeroport, Cotonoe, Benin
Phone: +229 960423
For more information about WIPNET, visit: http://www.wanep.org/programs/wipnet.htm.
The Slovak translation was completed by:
MSc. Rut Erdelyiova, Programme director of the Slovak Youth Foundation and Jozef Dolnik MD., Surgeon and member of educational staff of the Medical Faculty of Comenius University.
For more information about the Slovak translation, contact Rut Erdelyiova at: email@example.com.
The Fongbe, Slovak, and Uzbek translations are all available at: http://www.peacewomen.org/1325inTranslation/index.html.
For information about the translators of the available 69 translations, CLICK HERE.
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5. 33rd SESSION OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN
States should eliminate stereotypical attitudes, address the special needs of ethnic and rural women, and withdraw any reservations to the Convention, says Committee
5-22 July 2005, UN Headquarters, New York
The Committee considered the reports on national implementation of CEDAW from the following States parties: Benin, Burkina Faso, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Gambia, Guyana, Ireland, Israel, and Lebanon. For more information, visit: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/33sess.htm.
The WILPF PeaceWomen Project monitored the 33rd Session. The PeaceWomen report on the 33rd Session of CEDAW will be posted on 1 August 2005 at: http://www.peacewomen.org/un/ecosoc/CEDAW/33rdSession/CEDAW33.html.
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6. A GENDER AND PEACEKEEPING UPDATE
Designing an Action Plan to Guide Implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations
Comfort Lamptey, Gender Advisor, Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO)
Since the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, DPKO has made some positive strides towards the incorporation of gender perspectives in peacekeeping operations. Nevertheless, there is still significant work to be done, particularly in terms of equipping staff with the conceptual and practical knowledge and tools to fully integrate gender perspectives into their peacekeeping functions.
In 2004, the Security Council requested that all UN entities develop action plans for the implementation of Resolution 1325, and to present a UN System-wide Action Plan to the Council in October 2005. This request was also echoed by the Special Committee on Peacekeeping in February 2005.The recently-adopted gender policy statement of DPKO's Under-Secretary General underlines the development of an Action Plan as one of the important components of the Department's overall programme strategy for mainstreaming gender in peacekeeping operations.
The Action Plan will outline a detailed work programme for individual Offices of DPKO, which will be consolidated into a Department-wide programme, with clear objectives, activities, goals and targets for mainstreaming gender in all functional areas of peacekeeping, in accordance with the provisions of SCR 1325.
Progress to date:
Under the coordination of DPKO's Gender Advisor, and in collaboration with the Office of Human Resources Management (OHRM) and the Office of the Special Advisor on Gender Equality and the Advancement of Women (OSAGI), the services of three experienced gender consultants have been contracted to facilitate the process for designing the Action Plan.
In May 2005, initial discussions between DPKO's Gender Advisor and the different Offices of the Department were undertaken in order to review the overall programme objectives, and the process and criteria for the selection of staff who would participate in this process. It was concluded that staff from all functions and all levels, including senior management, will participate in the workshops. On June 23rd, the USG's Gender Policy Statement was formally presented by the Gender Advisor to DPKO staff in a Town Hall meeting. Recently, a week-long needs-assessment process was undertaken, during which the 3 consultants selected to work with the Gender Advisor met with DPKO staff individually and in groups. The needs assessment served as an opportunity for the consultants to review the gender dimension of DPKO's work, as well as to identify resources and information that will best support staff efforts to integrate the mandate of SCR1325 into their work.
This autumn will see the organisation of five 2-day workshops for staff of the Department, which will be designed to respond to the gaps identified through the needs assessment phase, and tailored to the specific functions and needs of each Office. A pilot workshop will be held in advance of the five workshops in order to fine-tune the content and the structure of the subsequent workshops. As an outcome of the workshops, each office will elaborate a work plan for implementation of SCR 1325, which will feed into the broader Action Plan.
The work plans of each individual office will be consolidated and finalized into a Departmental Action Plan. The implementation and follow up of the Action Plan will be closely monitored and evaluated by the Department's Gender Unit. The individual office's efforts to reach the goals and targets set forth in the Action Plan, will be monitored and evaluated as part of the regular follow up and reporting on SCR 1325.
For more information, contact Comfort Lamptey at:
This overview is also available at: http://www.peacewomen.org/resources/Peacekeeping/DPKO1325ActionPlanoverv...
For more information about the gender advisory capacity in DPKO, visit: http://pbpu.unlb.org/pbpu/genderadv.aspx
For PeaceWomen's Gender and Peacekeeping Index, CLICK HERE.
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7. NGOWG UPDATE
Call for Candidates for October 2005 Advocacy on Women, Peace and Security at UN Headquarters
October 2005 marks the five-year anniversary of the adoption of Security Council resolution 1325 (SCR 1325) on women, peace and security.
The NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security is calling for candidates who have been actively working on SCR 1325 and related women, peace and security issues, in areas affected by violent conflict, to participate in our October Advocacy Program at United Nations Headquarters in New York.
The objective of the October Advocacy Program is to ensure that women's experiences and concerns in areas affected by violent conflict are heard at UN Headquarters. Advocates will develop concrete recommendations on issues of women, peace and security for the work of the Security Council, UN Agencies, Member States and civil society. These recommendations will be communicated to audiences at strategic events, panels, and meetings at UN Headquarters.
The October Advocacy Program will run approximately 10-12 days (estimated time frame: 18 October-1 November). Selected participants will be provided with travel, accommodation and a per diem stipend for the duration of the program.
Criteria for Candidates
• Involved in work relating to women, peace and security in areas of violent conflict, post-conflict or areas where there is escalating violence and/or militarization.
• Have used SCR 1325 or its provisions in work at the local, national or regional levels.
• Experience working with local/grassroots groups, including women's organizations.
• Experience in public speaking, advocacy and fluency in at least one of the UN languages.
• Available to spend 10-12 days at the end of October in New York for the program.
We welcome candidacies for this important advocacy program at UN Headquarters in October.
Please submit a resume and letter of interest to (e-mail or fax preferred) by 8 August 2005:
The NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security
777 UN Plaza, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Fax: (+1) 212.682.5354
For the full ‘Call,' CLICK HERE.
For the French version of the Candidates Call, CLICK HERE.
For the Spanish version of the Candidates Call, CLICK HERE.
For more information about the NGOWG, CLICK HERE.
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8. UNIFEM UPDATE
International Women's Commission Established by Palestinian, Israeli and International Women for a Just and Sustainable Peace
28 July 2005
In an energetic effort to work for a genuine negotiation towards a just and sustainable peace based on a two-state solution, 35 Palestinian, Israeli and international women leaders and activists met in Istanbul 26-28 July 2005.
The group decided to establish for the first time an International Women's Commission to ensure the implementation of the groundbreaking UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (October, 2000) that calls upon all state parties to ensure increased representation of women at all decision-making levels.
“After three intensive days, women were able to overcome differences and agree upon what I view to be the most effective and substantive vehicle to bring about the change so urgently needed in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” said Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Director of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), who convened and chaired this meeting.
The International Women's Commission (IWC) will work to guarantee women's full participation in formal and informal Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, based upon principles of gender equality, women's human rights, international human rights and humanitarian law in any future resolution of the conflict to bring about an end of the Israeli occupation and a just and sustainable peace.
The Commission's work will be guided by a charter of principles that was developed and adopted at the Istanbul meeting. The goal of the IWC is to incorporate diverse women'' perspectives, voices, and experiences into the peace process, and make sure that the rights and issues of women affected by the conflict are raised and effectively addressed including issues dealing with women's political, economic, social and cultural rights, and human security.
The group expects to formally launch the Commission in September 2005.
Also available at: http://www.peacewomen.org/resources/OPT/IWC2005.html.
Information about the impact of the conflict on Palestinian women and on women's peace-building efforts can be found on UNIFEM's Web Portal on Women, Peace and Security at: http://www.womenwarpeace.org/opt/opt.htm.
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9. UPCOMING INITIATIVES
The 2005 Peace Building Cyberdialogues on UNSCR 1325: Linking New York, Kampala, Monrovia, Oslo, Dili, Bougainville, Bangkok and more
Mavic Cabrera-Balleza, Senior Programme Associate, International Women's Tribune Center (IWTC)
The International Women's Tribune Centre, in collaboration with partner organizations, is planning to convene two, possibly three cyberdialogues that will bring the voices and views of women on issues of peace and security to the attention of government officials at the national and international level.
Drawing upon the experiences of women from different world regions, a major focus of the cyberdialogues will be women's efforts to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and analysis of the gaps and challenges in the implementation process.
Where and When
The cyberdialogues will take place during the 10th International Forum convened by the Association of Women's Rights in Development (AWID) to be held from October 27-30, 2005 in Bangkok, Thailand. At this event, which is expected to draw over 2,000 participants—academics, policymakers, and programme planners—from around the world, IWTC will host a cyberdialogue, an interactive workshop using Internet voice chat and/or audio visual teleconferencing to connect women attending the Bangkok conference with the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security at UN headquarters in New York and with women involved in peace building processes in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and Europe.
Screens and speakers will be set up in Bangkok and other cyberdialogue sites to allow for greater audience participation. At the present time, 6 to 8 dialogue sites are being considered. If time and facilities allow, two cyberdialogues will be held during the AWID Forum.
The cyberdialogues will be linked to the UNSCR 1325 October anniversary activities in New York organized by the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security. The overall thrust is to provide women working on peace building issues at the national and community level with the rare opportunity of engaging in a dialogue with policymakers working at the international level.
IWTC will work closely with the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security and other partner organizations to formulate key questions that will move the discussion forward. The role of women as key participants in the reconstruction process will be highlighted as well as issues and obstacles encountered in the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1325. Time permitting, attention may also be directed towards experiences in working with other new legal mechanisms relevant to women in the post-conflict and reconstruction process such as the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court.
The 2005 Peace Building Cyberdialogues will employ a variety of interactive techniques to engage women at the community and country level with policymakers and advocacy groups at the international level. A key feature of the project will be collaboration with community radio broadcasters in each of the dialogue sites to ensure that the issues discussed are “re-packaged” for use at local level and, working with other media practitioners, put in motion an information multiplier effect.
Using Community Radio to “Ground” 1325 and Extend the Cyberdialogue Discussion
Community radio broadcasters will play a key role in all phases of the global-local cyberdialogue experience. In the weeks leading up to the event, community radio broadcasters in each of the discussion sites will broadcast a programme explaining the significance of UNSCR 1325 to women at community level, announce the forthcoming dialogue (when and where and how to participate), and include some interactive component to elicit community participation.
During the actual cyberdialogues, the discussions will be recorded and edited to produce English language radio programmes that will then be dubbed into local languages and aired in community radio stations, most of whom are members of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC). The radio programmes will ensure wider outreach for the outcomes of the cyberdialogues and will contribute to raising awareness of UNSCR 1325 and how women can use this resolution at community level. The radio programmes produced out of the cyberdialogues will also be made available in downloadable MP3 format on the websites of the cyberdialogue partners.
The radio programmes and cyberdialogues are key components of IWTC's larger multi-media programme intended to put new legal mechanisms into the hands of women at country and community level. IWTC is currently in discussion with partner organizations to explore other means of capturing and extending discussion of issues raised during the dialogues beyond the event itself.
For more information, contact Mavic Cabrera-Balleza at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Norway: 2005 TV campaign on Violence Against Women!
Mari Holmboe Ruge, WILPF Norway
Each year in October, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation dedicates one day for a national fundraising campaign to benefit a "good cause". This year the theme is '"A world without violence against women". The campaign will focus on four topics: violence against women during and after armed conflicts; trafficking in women; female genital mutilation; and violence in the family and other intimate relationships. In addition to national coverage, all households, most workplaces and public areas will be visited by volunteers and asked to contribute to anti-violence projects within the framework of the campaign theme.
The campaign is being coordinated by FOKUS, Forum for Women and Development*, a network of women's organisations in Norway that includes the WILPF Norway national section. The proceeds will finance women's projects in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, Eastern and Southeastern Europe in their work to combat violence against women. WILPF Norway has developed three projects in cooperation with sister sections in Belarus, Lebanon and Colombia which we hope will receive financial support from the campaign. Emphasis is placed on women as active peace builders rather than victims needing relief, in the spirit of SCR 1325.
For more information, consult the campaign web page: http://www.fokuskvinner.no/TV-aksjonen_2005/4205/TV-campaign_20051.pdf
*For more information about FOKUS, visit: http://www.fokuskvinner.no/
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Canada: Call to Join Working Group to organize Third Annual Symposium on Women, Peace and Security
The Canadian Committee on Women, Peace and Security (CCWPS) will be organizing the Third Annual Symposium on Women, Peace and Security in advance of the 5th Anniversary of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 in late September/early October, 2005.
If you are interested in participating in the Working Group to set up the Symposium, please contact Chantale Walker at email@example.com.
Le Comité canadien sur les femmes, la paix et la sécurité (CCFPS) organisera le Troisième symposium annuel sur les femmes, la paix et la sécurité avant la cinquième anniversaire de l'adoption, par le Conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies, de la résolution 1325, à la fin de Septembre ou au début d'octobre 2005.
Si vous souhaitez faire partie de la groupe de travail pour contribuer à l'organisation du symposium, veuillez communiquer avec Chantale Walker par courriel éléctronique à firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Canadian Committee on Women, Peace and Security, visit: http://www.ccwps-ccfps.org/
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10. FEATURE STATEMENTS
International Law Obligates the US to Uphold the Rights of Iraqi Women: An Open Letter to the US Ambassador to Iraq
27 July 2005
To the Honorable Ambassador Khalilzad,
MADRE, an international women's human rights organization, emphatically supports the call of Iraqi women's organizations for the immediate repeal of Article 14 of Iraq's draft constitution. As you are aware, Article 14 seeks to replace Iraq's 1959 personal status laws, which are among the most progressive in the Middle East, with Sharia, or Islamic law. As such, Article 14 poses a grave threat to the rights of Iraqi women, to core principles of democratic governance, and to the primacy of international law. In light of this danger, we were heartened to hear your comments of July 25, indicating that the United States will work to guarantee the rights of Iraqi women.
In fact, the United States, as the occupying power in Iraq, is legally obligated under the 1907 Hague Convention to ensure the human rights of Iraq's civilian population, including the full range of women's human rights...
…The United States bears direct responsibility for the current climate of hostility to Iraqi women's rights. In 2003, Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) chief Paul Bremer personally appointed reactionary Muslim clerics to the Iraqi Governing Council, empowering leaders with a stated commitment to restricting women's rights. In the period leading up to the election of the National Assembly, the US also refused to honor a series of demands by Iraqi women's organizations, including calls to: create a women's ministry; appoint women to the drafting committee of Iraq's interim constitution and guarantee that 40 percent of CPA appointees were women; pass laws codifying women's rights and criminalizing domestic violence; and uphold UN Security Council Resolution 1325, mandating that women be included at all levels of decision-making in situations of peacemaking and post-war reconstruction...
For the full letter, CLICK HERE.
For more information about MADRE's work on this issue, CLICK HERE.
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Women's participation is a key to lasting peace and security: Letter to Prime Minister Tony Blair and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jack Straw
Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation, Stockholm, Sweden, 8 July 2005
Dear Prime Minister Tony Blair and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jack Straw,
Women's participation is a key to lasting peace and security – Millennium Review Summit in New York 14-16 September
…In a speech 27 June this year the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jack Straw highlighted the UK's priorities regarding the UN reform, based on the Report of the High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change and the report In Larger Freedom by the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Mr Straw underlined the importance of modernising the UN's approach to peace and security. We agree - there is a great and urgent need for a broadened security doctrine reflecting the true threats men and women face today.
However the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation, as women's organisations all over the world, criticised both of the reports for being gender blind. Mr Annan states that development, security and human rights are inter-connected and he broadens the security concept to include poverty and environmental issues. This is welcomed, but he fails to make the connection between security, equality and women's human rights. The analyses of threats are still biased towards men. Still violence against women is seen as a private matter, instead of it being recognised as a threat against national and international security, despite the fact that women themselves state that their physical integrity is a key to their security.
Despite the fact that In Larger Freedom was published just after Beijing +10 not a single reference is made to the Beijing Platform for Action or the UNSC Resolution 1325. Not a word is said about the importance of ensuring women's participation and that their knowledge must be recognised in security debates and policies. This undermines not only women's human rights but the democratic system as a whole. The report talks about zero tolerance and codes of conducts for international personnel which is good, but not enough.
We are now concerned that women's human rights and security once again will be sidelined at an international summit. It is all too common that leaders and politicians only talk about these issues at “women conferences” and not at other relevant times. We therefore call on you, representing the UK and the EU, to put forward the following questions during the summit…
For the full letter, CLICK HERE.
For more information about the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation, visit: http://www.iktk.se/
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11. FEATURE RESOURCES
Women, Girls and Urban Gun Violence: A Case Study on Rio de Janeiro
Viva Rio and the Peace Studies Group (Centre for Social Studies) at the University of Coimbra
Prepared for the Second Biennial Meeting of States on the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms
…In Rio – a non-war context -- women and girls, too, are involved in and impacted by gun violence in specific ways, and a clear understanding of this is a key and necessary element to reducing urban gun violence in Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, and internationally. For example, in studies that sought to understand why young men and boys want to have or use a gun, a frequent response has been to "get girls" or to seem more attractive to them, and to feel manly. On the other hand, Brazilian disarmament campaign directed at women “Choose Gun Free! Its Your Weapon or Me” aimed to provide women with information and arguments to convince men to give up their guns, by de-masculinizing the gun and disassociating guns with security.
…The objective of this action-oriented research project is to contribute to a fuller understanding the needs of women and girls in contexts of armed violence, as well as to the development and implementation of more effective security policies, gendering the concept and practices. The project is a partnership between Brazilian NGO Viva Rio and the Peace Studies Group (Centre for Social Studies) at the University of Coimbra in Portugal, with partial support from the Ford Foundation and UNESCO. Between February 2005 and July 2006, we will gather and analyze theoretical and field data on women and girls' roles in armed violence in Rio de Janeiro, as well as the specific impact this violence has on their lives. At the same time, we aim to identify women's ‘individual insecurities' at the microlevel, making visible the (often silent and marginalized) impact of armed violence on women.
For the full case study, CLICK HERE.
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UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs' Policy on Gender Equality
Released on 27 June 2005
The mission of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is to mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors in order to alleviate human suffering, advocate for the rights of all people in need, promote preparedness and prevention and facilitate sustainable solutions. To accomplish this mission, OCHA is committed to working towards the goal of gender equality as pervasive gender inequalities undermine the ability of women and girls to exercise their rights and be active partners in emergency response, rehabilitation and development. OCHA's policy on gender equality does not seek to duplicate the work of other agencies. OCHA recognizes that other humanitarian actors also have expertise, policy commitments and responsibilities in this area. OCHA's policy on gender equality
For the full Policy document, CLICK HERE.
For more information, contact Kate Burns, Senior Humanitarian Affairs Officer - Gender Adviser in the Policy Development and Studies Branch of OCHA:
For more information about OCHA's work on gender issues, visit: http://ochaonline.un.org/webpage.asp?Site=gender
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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12. WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY CALENDAR
Conference: Role of Women in Diaspora in Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution
3 September 2005, 2-6pm, Den Haag, The Netherlands
The Multicultural Women Peacemakers Network (MWPN) in the Netherlands is a forum for diverse groups of women from different backgrounds, nationalities, religions and cultures but all working for the common cause of peace building, gender justice and conflict resolution. These women want to unite their forces in mobilising their strengths and impacting civil society and in making a difference in the world. Last year (2004), the Burundi Women for Peace and Development- BWPD and Vrouwen voor Vrede op de Molukken- VvVM together with the representatives of MWPN made successful peace trip-visits to Burundi and the Moluccas. The conference will highlight the trips these women made in their hometowns and the political, economical and social impact they made there. The conference's objectives are the following: To share experiences and lessons from the two peace trip-visits: Burundi and Moluccas; To exchange information and ideas on peace building and conflict resolution; To contribute to the development of the culture of peace and conflict resolution approaches; and To strengthen and broaden the network of women peacemakers. For more information, contact: + 31 (0) 70 3807102.
Gender Democracy and Development: Popular Struggles for an Alternative World
6-9 September 2005, Tanzania Gender Networking Programme (TGNP), Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania
The Gender Festival is organised by the Tanzania Gender Networking Programme (TGNP) in Collaboration with the Feminist Activism Coalition (FemAct). This Festival is a collective capacity-building, skills-building and networking fora for civil society and development actors in and outside of Tanzania. The main objectives of the festival are to contribute to public debate on issues relating to gender and social transformation around the given themes: Alternative Organising/Leadership Styles in Struggles for a Better, Alternative World; Ideological and Political Struggle; Struggles Within and/or Outside the System; and Rights/Entitlements Issues. The official languages of the conference will be English and Kiswahili. For more information, visit http://www.tgnp.org/0gfadvert.htm or contact the Tanzania Gender Networking Program at: email@example.com.
For the complete calendar, CLICK HERE.
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