Colombian Women Advocate for Protection of Women's Rights in Draft Law on Justice and Peace

Tuesday, June 7, 2005


June 6, 2005 - (Reuters) Pro-government militiamen raped 15 women and girls in an attack on a remote Congolese village last month, stealing their clothes so they were forced to flee naked, the United Nations said on Monday.

June 5, 2005 - (NYT Op-Ed) All countries have rapes, of course. But here in the refugee shantytowns of Darfur, the horrific stories that young women whisper are not of random criminality but of a systematic campaign of rape to terrorize civilians and drive them from "Arab lands" - a policy of rape.

June 3, 2005 - (UN News) United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette will be travelling to Kosovo, resuming her visits to peacekeeping missions to reinforce Secretary-General Kofi Annan's zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse for United Nations personnel.

June 2, 2005 - (The Institute for War and Peace Reporting) Zakira was given away in marriage to stop a blood feud. Her uncle had murdered a man and, rather than start a round of revenge killings between the families, 20-year-old Zakira was bestowed on the murdered man's brother who happened to be three times her age.

May 31, 2005 - (The Analyst) The Deputy Executive Secretary of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Dr. Remi Artificial, has raised the question of why women were still being excluded from the much-coveted position of Head of State and government.

May 27, 2005 - (WeNews) Laura Bush's Middle East tour, which generated a mixed response from women's rights activists in the region, ended earlier this week, one day before female protestors were among those attacked at a pro-democracy rally in Cairo.

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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Millennium +5 Summit Draft Outcome Document Released

On 3 June 2005, the UN General Assembly President, Mr. Jean Ping (Gabon), released the first public draft of the governmental outcome document for the Millennium +5 Summit, to be held 14-16 September 2005. The draft outcome document was formulated by the Office of the General Assembly President, and is based on the Secretary-General's report, In Larger Freedom, the reports of the facilitators on the governmental ‘cluster' negotiations (April 2005) and informal governmental consultations. Between 3 and 21 June, national governments will prepare their responses to the draft outcome document, and then recommence informal negotiations on the language in the document.

Women's organizations, including WILPF, have noted that the language in the draft outcome document should be strengthened to reflect and to support action on previously-made governmental commitments on women's rights. Toward these ends, women's organizations are preparing a language advocacy document urging Member States to incorporate a gender perspective in the final outcome document.

This language advocacy document will be available shortly and posted at:

For the draft outcome document and more information on the Millennium +5 Summit processes, CLICK HERE.

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Forum Norway 1325
Forum Norway 1325 was established in 2005 in order to secure the implementation of the Security Council Resolution 1325 Women, Peace and War. Several organizations and institutions in Norway participate in the forum, which was initiated by WILPF (the Norwegian section). The forum is open for organisations, institutions and persons who are interested in working for the implementation of the resolution. Forum Norway 1325 seeks active dialogue with the Department of Foreign Affairs and advocates for strong and accountable realisation of the resolution and it's intentions by the Norwegian Government.

The forum consists of:
The Norwegian section of WILPF –
The Centre for Gender Equality in Norway –
Care, Norway -
Norwegian People's Aid –
Amnesty International, Norway –
FOKUS (Forum for Women and Development) –

Contact information:
Likestillingssenteret (Centre for Gender Equality)
at/ Lene Nilsen or Rachel Eapen Paul
Postboks 8049 Dep, 0031 Oslo
Tel: +47 24 05 59 50

For PeaceWomen's compilation of NGO and civil society initiatives on SCR 1325, “1325 in Action,” CLICK HERE.

For PeaceWomen's database of organizations worldwide working on women, peace and security issues, CLICK HERE.

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Seminar: Women in Conflict Prevention and Crisis Management
Organized by the Permanent Delegation of Sweden to the OSCE in co-operation with Folke Bernadotte Academy
20 June 2005, Vienna, Austria
At the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Annual Security Review Conference, held in Vienna in June 2004, Sweden put forward a proposal to arrange a seminar on women in crisis management. UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security will constitute the basis for this event, which will be held on 20 June in Vienna.

The overall objective of this expert seminar is to promote the implementation of UNSCR 1325 in the OSCE. There is a clear role for the OSCE in doing so, as manifested in the 2004 OSCE Action Plan for the Promotion of Gender Equality.

A further purpose of the seminar is to exchange information about women's participation in conflict prevention and crisis management, to exchange experience and lessons learned from participation in conflict prevention and international missions, and to discuss and identify possible actions in order to implement UNSCR 1325 in the OSCE.

For more information, contact:
Anneli von Wachenfeldt
Folke Bernadotte Academy
SE-872 64 Sandöverken, Sweden
Tel: +46 612 82 303, +46 70 624 43 78
Fax +46 612 820 21

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Colombian Women Advocate for Protection of Women's Rights in Draft Law on Justice and Peace
In late March, the Colombian Parliament opened debate on a new Justice and Peace law, expected to be finalized by the end of June. Colombia's two main national women's networks – Iniciativa de mujeres por la paz (Women's Initiative for Peace) and Red Nacional de Mujeres (National Women's Network) – have been working since last year, supported by UNIFEM, to ensure that the new law adequately reflects and protects women's rights and enshrines justice for sexual and gender based violence (SGBV).

The women's networks have developed a series of recommendations, targeting both the preamble and specific articles. Colombian women are demanding that the Justice and Peace law meet international legal standards, such as the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, especially with regard to the protection of women's rights. Their recommendations aim to give victims a strong voice in the call for reparations and the search for truth. The women are also advocating for clear mechanisms to be put in place so that victims of violence, including SGBV, can participate in all stages of truth and justice processes.

Civil society took up the women's call for attention to SGBV among its own recommendations following advocacy by the women's networks during a public consultation. The women's networks also presented their recommendations directly to Parliament in a public audience.

In April, three of the women's 16 specific recommendations were approved for incorporation into the draft law, in articles 39, 42 and 52. These focused on protection of victims and witnesses in cases of sexual violence, attention to the specific needs of victims and representation by women's organizations on the proposed National Commission for Reparation and Reconciliation.

Last month, the women's networks began a second round of proposals and sent an open letter to Parliament on 12 May, hoping to see more of their recommendations taken up in the last weeks of negotiations on the draft. These recommendations are available in Spanish on, as is the current version of the draft law.

More information on the advocacy initiative and the legislative process can be found on the Iniciativa de mujeres por la paz website or obtained by contacting the networks directly: or For more on Colombian women's peace-building activities and the impact of conflict on Colombian women, CLICK HERE.


UNIFEM has new translations online:
- Getting it Right, Doing it Right: Gender and Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration is now available in French and Arabic
- The 1325 Toolbox is available in Arabic, French and Spanish
- The Annotated version of 1325 is available in Spanish

New UNIFEM Gender and HIV/AIDS Electronic Library
UNIFEM, with support from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), has developed a Gender and HIV/AIDS Electronic Library to provide up-to-date information on the gender dimensions of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, including on Gender, HIV/AIDS, and Conflict. Substantive resources are complemented by a unique feature called the "e-Course Builder" that allows users to create and edit a tailored electronic course or report in HTML format, drawing from the materials contained in the CD-Rom. To obtain a copy, write to:

UNIFEM's Web Portal on Women, Peace and Security:

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Security Council Holds First-Ever Public Meeting on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse
31 May 2005
On 31 May 2005, the Security Council, under the Presidency of Denmark, held its first-ever public meeting devoted exclusively to sexual exploitation and abuse. The Council heard from Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein (Jordan), the Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, and Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations. The Presidential Statement, issued at the end of the session, was read by Council President Ellen Margrethe Løj (Denmark).

Featured below are excerpts from the Security Council Presidential Statement, and presentations by Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein (Jordan), the Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, and Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations:

Security Council Presidential Statement (S/PRST/2005/21)
…The Security Council underlines that the provision of an environment in which sexual exploitation and abuse are not tolerated is primarily the responsibility of managers and commanders.

…The Security Council urges the Secretary-General and Troop Contributing Countries to ensure that the recommendations of the Special Committee, which fall within their respective responsibilities, are implemented without delay.

The Security Council will consider including relevant provisions for prevention, monitoring, investigation and reporting of misconduct cases in its resolutions establishing new mandates or renewing existing mandates. In this regard, the Security Council calls on the Secretary-General to include, in his regular reporting of peacekeeping missions, a summary of the preventive measures taken to implement a zero-tolerance policy and of the outcome of actions taken against personnel found culpable of sexual exploitation and abuse.”

For the full Presidential Statement, CLICK HERE.

For the Security Council's Press Release, "Security Council Condemns 'In Strongest Terms' All Acts of Sexual Abuse, Exploitation by UN Peacekeeping Personnel" (SC/8400), CLICK HERE.

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Presentation by Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein (Jordan), the Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse
…Our growing understanding of SEA led us also to ask the obvious question: why had we left this and other similar issues unresolved for so long. It was well known to many in the secretariat in the early 1960s that ONUC faced difficulties relating to the ill-discipline of some of its personnel, and ever since UNTAG was mounted in 1989, a steady stream of similar reports have surfaced in relation to practically every subsequent mission, and were brought to our notice by the secretariat, humanitarian non-governmental organizations and the press.

…And we, the member states, have refrained, Madame President, from opening up this subject to public discourse over the last sixty years because of what: because sentiments of pride, mixed in with a deep sense of embarrassment, have often produced in us only outright denials. And yet almost all countries that have participated in UN peacekeeping operations have, at one stage or another, had some reason to feel deeply ashamed over the activities of some of their peacekeepers. If all of us are therefore guilty, so to speak, should it not then be easier for us, each member state, to visit the transgressions of its own personnel openly, with some measure of honesty and humility? Surely, we owe this to the victims of our abuse. And, naturally, if one is to propose such a change, to the manner by which we confront this problem, then one is obligated also to set a good example.

… In conclusion, Madame President, we will only eliminate SEA from UN peacekeeping operations, once we have put into effect most, if not all, the recommendations, contained in the comprehensive report, over the next two years. However, that will not be possible, so long as there are colleagues, both in the general membership as well as in the secretariat, who would have us believe that the furore regarding SEA is an over-exaggeration, a media-inspired public-relations issue, and nothing more – one that will surely soon lapse into the past. In adopting this draft presidential statement, and the measures contained in it, the Council's position will be read as being equally clear: such an opinion is profoundly mistaken. SEA in peacekeeping operations is a most serious and tragic issue, especially for the victims, many of whom are young women living in the most difficult conditions. And SEA carries with it the most serious consequences for the future of peacekeeping if we were to prove ourselves incapable of solving this problem. I therefore applaud you Madame President, and the Council, for taking this decisive action today, for you have brought us that much closer toward removing this dreadful stain on the reputation of UN generally, and on UN peacekeeping in particular.

For the full presentation, CLICK HERE.

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Presentation by Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations
…The various measures that my Department has undertaken over the past year at Headquarters and in the field have opened our eyes to the enormity of the task that lies ahead of us. We need deep, systemic change. I will do my utmost to implement such recommendations with due haste, as will managers and commanders in peacekeeping operations.

I commend the resolve that Council members are showing through the Presidential Statement under consideration today. I also welcome the reference in the statement to be read out by the President at the close of this meeting, which refers to the need for specific provisions to be included in Security Council mandates for peacekeeping operations to address misconduct by peacekeeping personnel. Indeed, DPKO hopes to establish a dedicated capacity to address conduct issues in the form of Personnel Conduct Units at Headquarters and in the field. These units will be an essential tool for preventing misconduct, monitoring compliance with UN standards and ensuring swift follow-up on disciplinary cases. In an organization that aims towards professional standards, this is no longer a luxury but a must.

Sexual exploitation and abuse does not occur in a vacuum. These acts take place where there is a general breakdown in good conduct and discipline. DPKO is ready to address the problem in a comprehensive manner.

However, my Department cannot solve this problem alone. We need to create a culture and environment in peacekeeping operations that does not permit sexual exploitation and abuse. This requires joint action by both DPKO and Member States…

For the full presentation, CLICK HERE.

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NEW RESOURCE: Gender, Conflict, and Peacekeeping
Edited by Dyan Mazurana, Angela Raven-Roberts, and Jane Parpart (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.)
February 2005
Peacekeeping has become a major international undertaking throughout the world, from Africa to the Americas, from Europe to Southeast Asia. Yet until now, there has been no systematic analysis of the key role of gender in post-cold war conflicts and of post-conflict peacekeeping efforts. This groundbreaking volume explores how gender has become a central factor in shaping current thinking about the causes and consequences of armed conflict, complex emergencies, and reconstruction. Drawing on expertise ranging from the highest levels of international policymaking down to the daily struggle to implement peacekeeping operations, this work represents the full span of knowledge and experience about international intervention in local crises. Presenting a rich array of examples from Angola, Bosnia Herzegovina, East Timor, El Salvador, the former Yugoslavia, Guatemala, Haiti, Kosovo, Liberia, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, and Serbia, the authors offer important insights for future peacekeeping and humanitarian missions.

For more information, and to order Gender, Conflict and Peacekeeping, CLICK HERE.

For more gender and peacekeeping resources, CLICK HERE.

For PeaceWomen's Gender and Peacekeeping index, CLICK HERE.

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Conference Report: A Conference on Girl Mothers in Fighting Forces and Their Post-War Reintegration in Southern and Western Africa
Prepared by Malia Robinson and Susan McKay, June 2005
“A conference on Girl Mothers In Fighting Forces and Their Post-War Reintegration in Southern and Western Africa was held at the Foundation's Bellagio Center, Bellagio, Italy, from April 12th through 18th 2005. The event was supported by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, financial support from the USAID-funded Community Resilience and Dialogue Project in Uganda, and a grant from the University of Wyoming. The conference was organized and facilitated by Susan McKay, Professor of Women's and International Studies, University of Wyoming, and Malia Robinson, an independent consultant of child protection and psychosocial programming. Maria Gonsalves and Miranda Worthen assisted the organizers during the conference. A total of 17 invited participants representing program, policy and research perspectives attended the conference…

The conference was intended to provide an opportunity for those directly involved with the demobilization and community reintegration of girl mothers in African conflict situations to explore the existing research and share their practical experiences, with the “luxury” of time and space for reflection, discussion, sharing and creating possibilities—program ideas, policy recommendations, a research agenda, and a scholarly publication. It was hoped that the conference would contribute to the improved capacity of Africa-based practitioners in documentation, analysis and program enhancement.”

For the full conference report, CLICK HERE.

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Women & Elections: Guide to Promoting the Participation of Women in Elections
Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women and the Electoral Assistance Division of the Department of Political Affairs
June 2005
“The current handbook is intended to provide a quick reference guide to assist headquarters- and field-based actors from the United Nations, Governments and civil society working to promote greater participation of women in electoral processes in post-conflict countries. The handbook found its inspiration in the issues and findings of the Expert Group meeting held in Glen Cove, NY, in January 2004, organized jointly by the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI) and the Electoral Assistance Division of the Department of Political Affairs (EAD), as well as in the knowledge and experience accumulated by the United Nations in assisting countries that emerge from conflict. The handbook was prepared by OSAGI and EAD in consultation with a network of experts from within and outside the Organisation.”

For the full handbook (in both html and pdf), CLICK HERE (A French language version of the handbook will be available soon).

An annotated bibliography of resources on all aspects of women and elections can be found at:

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Democratic Republic of the Congo: FDLR Militia Dependents Vulnerable
Sarah Martin and Andrea Lari, Refugees International, 31 May 2005
“In the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a Rwandan militia group, the FDLR (Forces Democratiques de Liberation du Rwanda), may finally be ready to lay down their arms and return in peace to Rwanda. But as the return process begins to be negotiated and organized, MONUC, the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC, the government of Rwanda and other implementing agencies are not paying adequate attention to the needs of FDLR dependents, leaving at least 40,000 women and children potentially vulnerable.”

For the full policy recommendation, CLICK HERE.

For more information, contact Sarah Martin and Andrea Lari at: or 202.828.0110.

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From Rhetoric to Reality: Afghan Women on the Agenda for Peace
By Masuda Sultan with contributions from Corey Levine and Elizabeth Powley
Women Waging Peace Policy Commission, February 2005
“This paper examines the effectiveness of the international community's commitment to women's rights. The study also provides an overview of women's initiatives and activities in Afghanistan, and examines the potential contributions of Afghan women to the struggle for peaceful and democratic change in their country. It makes the case that women have the potential to foster religious and political moderation by providing social services and pioneering human rights education and reforms. Fulfilling that potential will depend upon the extent to which the international community encourages and supports it.”

For the full paper, which includes a set of recommendations, CLICK HERE.

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Learning in a War Zone: Education in Northern Uganda
Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, February 2005
“In September 2004, staff from the Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children went on a mission to northern Uganda. One focus of the mission was to look at the education situation in the north given that the region has been and is currently in a situation of violent conflict. With 1.6 million people displaced, learning systems and structures have been altered significantly, even with the Ugandan government's pledge of Universal Primary Education (UPE).

This report is a snapshot of education in two districts, Gulu and Kitgum, based on interviews with representatives from NGOs, youth groups, teachers and heads of schools, local government officials, multinational actors and the children themselves.”

The report is divided into thematic sections, which includes a section on gender.

For the full report, CLICK HERE.

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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Third Congress, Vienna July 10-17 1921
IV.2 How to Interest the Young

Whereas: Permanent peace in the future depends largely upon the convictions opposed to war and the capacity for constructive peace work of the growing generation and

Whereas: Young women could wield enormous power in opposition to the use of violence as a means of settling social, racial, religious, or commercial antagonisms;

Whereas: This Women's International Congress for Peace and Freedom recognizes the valuable contribution in youth, vigour and enthusiastic work which young women might bring to the peace movement, and wholeheartedly invited their active and responsible co-operation; therefore be it resolved that the Executive Committee be urged to make an intensive and deliberate effort to get in touch with young women in all political and social groups through our National Sections, in order to exchange ideas, create a propaganda attractive and convincing to young women and otherwise to formulate ways and means by which young women may be inspired to active work for permanent peace and constructive freedom. We hereby further recommend that each National Section provide for a similar effort.



For more WILPF history, CLICK HERE.

For a comprehensive index of WILPF's resolutions from its triennial Congresses since 1915, CLICK HERE.

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Women and Globalization Conference
27 July-3 August 2005, Center for Global Justice, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
The Conference on Women and Globalization is being held in San Miguel de Allende in the high plains of central Mexico. Here where North meets South, the neoliberal system's effect are clearly manifested. Conference participants will explore this reality not only through discussion of presented papers, activist workshops and artistic performances, but also by meeting with local women's groups struggling to create alternatives, and by making site visits to observe concrete social conditions. Plenaries: Globalization and its Effects on Women: Norma Vasallo (University of Havana), Linda Burnham (Women of Color Resource Network), Pamela Ateka (Community Focus Group , Kenya ); Transnational Feminism: Mary Margarent Fonow (University of Arizona), Angeles Lopez (Frente Authentico del Trabajo, FAT, Leon, Mexico), Martha Zapata Galindo (México); Women's Activism against Corporate Globalization and for Women's Empowerment: Graciela Monteagudo (Argentina Autonomista Project), 2 representatives from Movimiento de Trabajadores sin Tierra MST (Brazil), Soledad Bordegaray (Movimiento de Trabajadores Desempleados (MTD) La Matanza, Argentina ); Globalization, the Environment and Women: Sonia Dávila-Poblete (Mexican environmental activist), Lori Gruen (Wesleyan University), María Consuelo Sánchez González (Mexico) For more information visit or email:

Regional* Programme on Human Rights of Women 2005
29 July 2005: Application deadline
10 October - 4 November 2005: Part 1 in Lund, Sweden
15-19 May 2006: Part 2 in Kiev, Ukraine
During the first phase of the programme, held in Lund, Sweden, participants will be requested to formulate, in writing, an individual plan of action identifying challenges in implementing international human rights standards in their home countries with a focus on a particular issue or area relevant to their respective institution or organisation. Phase two of the programme will take place in Kiev, Ukraine and will follow up on the plans of action formulated during phase one. Phase two is organised in cooperation with the Institute of International Relations (IIR), at the Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University. For the information brochure and the application form, visit the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law website at:

*The following countries are invited to apply for the programme: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia and Montenegro (including Kosovo), Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom U.S. Section 29th Triennial Congress
10-14 August 2005, San Francisco State University, California
The Congress program will focus on the two new national campaigns, with plenary sessions, discussions, and formal workshops. The campaign committees have designed some intriguing and challenging topics and are drawing on their national membership for the most dynamic and thought-provoking speakers to guide the workshops. The Middle East campaign will discuss myths and stereotypes, the role of the U.S. Christian right in the Middle East, transforming “Armageddon,” and working in coalition on issues relating to the Middle East. The “Save the Water” campaign will address ways to inspire our communities to move the water issue into public focus, a newly developed study curriculum to inform our communities about the issues, and reversing the trend toward bottled water. In addition, a panel from these campaigns and the four retiring campaigns will discuss the connections among these issues. For more information, visit:

For the complete calendar, CLICK HERE.

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1. Women, Peace and Security News
2. From Beijing +10 to the September Summit: Millennium +5 Summit Draft Outcome Document Released
3. Feature Contact: Forum Norway 1325
4. Upcoming Event: Seminar on �Women in Conflict Prevention and Crisis Management�
5. UNIFEM Update: Colombian Women Advocate for Protection of Women's Rights in Draft Law on Justice and Peace & Other UNIFEM News
6. A Gender and Peacekeeping Update: UN Security Council Holds First-Ever Public Meeting on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse & New Resource - Gender, Conflict, and Peacekeeping
7. Feature Resources: Conference Report: A Conference on Girl Mothers in Fighting Forces and Their Post-War Reintegration in Southern and Western Africa; Women & Elections: Guide to Promoting the Participation of Women in Elections (OSAGI and DPA); Democratic Republic of the Congo: FDLR Militia Dependents Vulnerable (RI); From Rhetoric to Reality: Afghan Women on the Agenda for Peace (Women Waging); and Learning in a War Zone: Education in Northern Uganda (WCRCW)
8. Listening to Peacewomen Voices from the Past
9. Women, Peace and Security Calendar