International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) Women's Network Portal

Thursday, August 21, 2003


Since the last newsletter, a number of items have been added to the list including:

-Information about the new 25-member Iraqi Governing Council and the 3 appointed women;
-A Human Rights Watch Report on the effects of the insecurity in Baghdad on Iraqi women and girls, entitled Climate of Fear: Sexual Violence and Abduction of Women and Girls in Baghdad;
-UNIFEM's Assessment Mission Report on Iraq;
-A US State Department fact sheet on "U.S. Policy on Iraqi Women's Political, Economic, and Social Participation."

For the updated list, click here.

To ensure that this list remains up-to-date and accurate, PeaceWomen welcomes your input. To provide input, contact
2. 1325 NEWS

Visit our updated news pages on Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Israel-Palestine and Liberia

Women Builders Defy Prejudices
July 29, 2003 – (IWPR'S AFGHAN RECOVERY REPORT, No. 69) Pioneering women put up with stares, dust and fumes to help rebuild the capital's roads.

Afghan Warlords Implicated in New Abuses: Report Details Threats to Women's Rights, Freedom of Expression
July 29, 2003 - (HRW) Afghan warlords and political strongmen supported by the United States and other nations are engendering a climate of fear in Afghanistan that is threatening efforts to adopt a new constitution and could derail national elections scheduled for mid-2004, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. For the full report, click here.

Women Activists Control Nigerian Oil Site
July 29, 2003 - (AP) Toting babies and stirring cooking pots, village women are occupying a Shell Oil installation in a peaceful demonstration amid surging ethnic violence in Nigeria's restive oil delta. For a related IRIN story, click here.

International Women's Voices Heard Loud and Clear at UN Gun Violence Meeting
July 20, 2003 – (IANSA) Women activists from dozens of countries around the world have attended a UN meeting of States on Gun Violence held in New York. The International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) Women's Network, an alliance of women working to prevent gun violence in their communities, have taken their message to the UN to raise awareness and exert pressure on nations to take action against armed violence both in conflict and non conflict zones around the world.

Insecurity Driving Women Indoors
July 16, 2003 – (Human Rights Watch) The insecurity plaguing Baghdad and other Iraqi cities has a distinct and debilitating impact on the daily lives of women and girls, preventing them from participating in public life at a crucial time in their country's history, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. For the full report, click here.

Women Slowly Making Political Inroads
July 14, 2003 – (IRIN) In the past, Somali women have not had a significant role in politics, but there are now signs that the trend is slowly changing. Although they only make up a small minority at the peace talks currently underway in Kenya - with 35 women out of 362 official delegates - this tiny step is seen as progress.

Three Women Named to Iraq's Governing Council
July 14, 2003 – (Feminist Daily News Wire) A 25-member "governing council" made up of Iraqis that will share power with US occupation leaders was announced this weekend. The members of the council, of which only three are women, are from diverse ethnic, political, and religious backgrounds - including Muslim clerics, social activists, former exiles, tribal leaders, lawyers and physicians. The council will work on issues such as the operation of ministries, the appointment of diplomats, the constitution, and the budget. However, all final decision will be under L. Paul Bremer, the US civilian administrator in Iraq.

Dark Side of Peacekeeping
July 10, 2003 – (The Independent – London) It was late at night when the woman farmer came out of her house in the village of Joru in Sierra Leone to go to the lavatory. She saw a large white truck that had stopped about 50 metres from her home. It was an unusual sight, so she hid and watched what was going on. Inside were two white men and a black woman, who was yelling: "Leave me alone."

Chechnya's Female Bombers
July 7, 2003 – (BBC) One of the most shocking aspects of recent Chechen rebel suicide attacks has been that many of the perpetrators were women.

For more 1325 news, click here.

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Refugees and Internally Displaced
Carolina Rodriguez Bello, Women's Human Rights net (WHRnet)
July 2003

Below are excerpts from the overview of an analysis by Women's Human Rights net reviewing the issues faced by refugees and internally displaced populations (IDPs), with a specific focus on women. The analysis includes a review of existing human rights mechanisms to address the protection and promotion of the rights of refugees and IDPs, statistics and additional resources, including links to organizations working on refugee and IDP issues.


Wars, internal armed conflicts, and state-sponsored persecution of marginalized groups and minorities generate the world's most destitute populations -- refugees and the internally displaced people (IDP) -- people whose lives are characterized by poverty, insecurity and dim hope of self-sufficiency.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that there are around 50 million displaced people around the world. Refugees and internally displaced peoples encompass a diverse group of nationalities around the world -- Palestinian, Liberian, Angolan, Sierra Leonean, Sudanese, Kenya, Eritrean, Ethiopian, Ugandan, people from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somali, Chenchen, Bosnian, Kosovo's ethnic Roma people, Haitian, Columbian, Chinese Uigur and Tibetan, North Koreans, Tajikistan (ethnic Turkmen), Afghan, Sri Lankan, Nepalese, Indian Muslims (remember the Gujarat Hindu violence against Muslims), Burmese (Chin, Rohingya and Karen), Vietnamese, Cambodian, Indonesian (such as Acehnese), Muslim Filipinos, Bhutanese, Iraqi, Iranian, Turkish Kurds, and many others. Refugee and IDPs populations generally have no access to schools, employment opportunities, or a source of livelihood; They live unstable and insecure lives, are constantly threatened by the violence around them, and are trapped in the cycle of dependence on diminishing humanitarian aid.

While UN and international relief and humanitarian organizations continue their efforts to respond to the survival needs of most refugees and some IDPs, the continuous increase in refugee and IDP populations inevitably results in diminishing funds, goods and services. Humanitarian efforts are also continually held back by massive looting of refugee supplies, insecurity and violence within and around refugee camps.

Either as a refugee or an internally displaced person, women face more hardships and vulnerabilities. In times of displacement and hunger, women carry the burden of searching for food and other means for their family or children's survival. Pregnant women and mothers and their children suffer or die to due to insufficient health supplies and services. Women suffer gender specific forms of violence such as abduction, rape and enforced pregnancy, slavery, sexual trafficking, enforced sterilization, and infection with sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS.

Within refugee camps, women face various forms of discrimination. They are the ‘invisible' refugees who are left out of processes to design or plan programs that affect them. They are less likely to receive a fair share of food, water and shelter allocations. In the 1980s the UNHCR admitted that assistance was generally distributed to "able-bodied male heads of households".

Women in camps are highly vulnerable to sexual abuse and attacks by other refugees and humanitarian workers. The UN agencies and international community have been alarmed several times by reports about the sexual abuse of refugee women and children by humanitarian workers in exchange for food and other basic needs. Some humanitarian workers have also been accused of pimping or acting as middlemen in the prostitution and sexual trafficking of refugee women.

IDPs face a peculiarly difficult circumstance. They are displaced within their own community or country for various interlocking reasons: they are persecuted because they belong to religious and/or ethnic minorities; they have been displaced from their homes, lands and their means of survival by government projects or multi-national/transnational corporations' development projects, e.g., dams, mining, logging, industrial pollution; they are victimized or flee from government military campaigns that involve summary executions, arbitrary arrests and detention, planting of landmines, and looting and destruction of homes, schools and evacuation centers; and, finally, IDPs flee from the fighting between military and rebel groups among other localised and internal conflicts.

Women oftentimes are specific targets in religious and ethnic hatred and wars. To cite some cases: Burmese military raped women from ethnic minorities as a weapon of war; the Hindu fundamentalists raped Muslim Indian women as a form of attack against the Muslim Indian population; and, Tutsi women were raped, subjected to forced pregnancy, and infected with sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS by Hutu men as part of the state-sponsored genocide against Tutsi minorities.

For the full analysis, click here.

Women's Human Rights net can be found at:

For a comprehensive annotated bibliography of books, articles and analyses on women's peace theory and activities, as well as NGO position papers, reports, speeches, statements and tools for organisational building, click here.

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International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) Women's Network Portal

IANSA's Women's Network recently established a web Portal in English, French and Spanish to provide information on women and gun violence, and to support and network with organizations working on women and gun violence “so that they can effectively organise locally, nationally, regionally and globally.” The Portal provides a contact database, and resources such as campaign material, academic papers, reports, action updates and factsheets, as well as an email list for regular information-sharing and commentary.

The Women's Network is currently looking for the involvement of other organizations who work on, or are interested in working on, the impact of gun violence on women. This involvement might include:

- Informing IANSA what issues you are working on, what you need, want and expect from the Women's Network
- Encouraging organisations in your region to become involved in the Women's Network
- Informing IANSA of events that the Women's Network should be participating in

For more information on the IANSA Women's Network Portal, visit:

To contact the Women's Network, send an email to

To subscribe to the Women's Network email list, send an email to

For a comprehensive annotated bibliography of books, articles and analyses on women's peace theory and activities, as well as NGO position papers, reports, speeches, statements and tools for organisational building, click here.

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New Resources from International Alert's Gender and Peacebuilding Program

UNSC Resolution 1325: South Asian Women's Perspectives – Report of the Regional Consultation
Nicola Johnston, Gender and Peacebuilding Program, International Alert, June 2003

The South Asia consultation on Women, Peace and Security was facilitated by International Alert as part of the Gender Peace Audit Project of the Gender and Peacebuilding Program. It is the fourth consultation to-date, following consultations in Nepal, Caucasus and Nigeria in 2002. According to IA, these consultations with women and women's organizations “aim to bridge the gap between global policy and the practical realities faced by women in regional, national and post-conflict contexts.”

The purpose of the South Asia consultation was to share women's concrete experiences and analyses of conflict and peacebuilding issues, as they relate to the South Asia region, and to discuss them within the framework of UNSC Resolution 1325. The consultation focused on three key themes: border conflicts; ethnic and religious conflicts; and small-arms proliferation.

The report includes: the country-specific, regional, and inter-regional issues that were highlighted by the women during the consultation; the South Asian women's perspectives on existing instruments developed to promote and advance women's rights, such as CEDAW and UNSC Resolution 1325; and examples of strategy-sharing that took place among the women.

For the full report, click here.


Women Building Peace: Sharing Know-How
Judy El Bushra, Gender and Peacebuilding Program, International Alert, June 2003

This report presents the findings to-date of IA's Women Building Peace: Sharing Know-how Project, in particular, the findings from a Sharing Know-how Workshop held in Oxford, England in 2002. The workshop is part of the follow-up to IA's global campaign Women Building Peace: From the Village Council to the Negotiating Table, launched in 1999.

The Oxford workshop brought together women peace activists from South Asia, South America, Africa, the Caucasus and the South Pacific, to “identify, analyze and assess their conflict-resolution work as well as peacebuilding practices and strategies developed by women.”

The report includes: an overview of women's experiences of war; a women's analysis of conflict and peace, developed by participants at the Oxford workshop; a description of what women peace activities “actually do”; and the priority areas for funding and support.

For the full report, click here.

For a comprehensive annotated bibliography of books, articles and analyses on women's peace theory and activities, as well as NGO position papers, reports, speeches, statements and tools for organisational building, click here.

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Conference on Women, Peace, and Security
Registration deadline: August 15, 2003
September 6-10, 2003, Praia, Cape Verde
The 18th Congress of the International Federation of Women in Legal Careers will discuss the theme "Women, Peace and Safety - Women's Human Rights,” by focusing on issues such as Conflict Prevention and Settlement and Women's Role and War: Civil and Penal Responsibilities of Governments. The conference is aimed at judges, lawyers of all fields, law universities and its students, law enforcement and non-governmental organizations. For more information, call 34-93-238 7752, Fax 34-93-238 7751, email, or visit

Call for Submissions: Book on Gender Perspectives on Small Arms and Light Weapons
Proposal deadline: August 30, 2003
The United Nations University's Peace and Governance Programme, the Small Arms Survey and swisspeace are calling on interested researchers and policy-makers to submit proposals for chapters in a book on the gendered implications of this problem. Submissions are welcomed from the perspectives of feminist studies, public health, psychology, peace and conflict resolution, security studies, youth development, and the like. Selected contributors will be contacted by mid-September, and will prepare and present their draft paper (8-10,000 words) at an author workshop to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, early in 2004. The finalised chapters will be presented and discussed at a workshop in South Asia in mid-2004. If interested, send a brief curriculum vitae and an 800-word proposal outline to the project leaders: Dr Vanessa Farr at, and Dr Albrecht Schnabel at

Symposium - Conflict, Peace and Security: What we have learned and where we are going?
October 22, 2003, Ottawa, ON
This symposium is supported by the Gender and Peacebuilding Working Group of the Canadian Peacebuilding Coordinating Committee, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the International Development Research Centre. For more information contact Suzanne Taylor-Forbes, Coordinator of the Gender and Peacebuilding Working Group, at 613-241-4846 or

Un Symposium - Conflit, paix et sécurité: Qu‚avons nous appris et où allons-nous?
le 22 octobre, 2003, Ottawa, Ontario
Le symposium est soutenu par Groupe de travail Égalité entre les sexes et Consolidation de la paix du Comité coordonnateur canadien pour la consolidaton de la paix, Centre des recherches pour le developpement international et le Ministère des Affaires étrangères et du Commerce international. Si vous êtes intéressée, prière de joindre Suzanne Taylor-Forbes , Coordonnatrice, Groupe de travail Égalité entre les sexes et Consolidation de la paix Tél: 613-241-4846 Couriel:

For more calendar events click here.

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This edition of the 1325 PeaceWomen E-News Features:

1. Initiatives to Address Women's Active Participation in Post-Conflict Reconstruction in Iraq
2. 1325 News
3. Feature Analysis: Refugees and Internally Displaced (WHRnet)
4. Feature Initiative: International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) Women's Network Portal
5. Feature Resources: New Resources from International Alert's Gender and Peacebuilding Program
6. Calendar Events