Iraq Constitution 'Big Disappointment' for Women

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


August 29, 2005 - (Feminist Daily News Wire) Iraq's draft constitution was finalized on Sunday and will be sent to voters for a nationwide referendum to be held in six weeks. The finalized draft includes language of grave concern to women in Iraq – namely, that Islam is to be considered “a basic source of law” and that no law may contradict the “undisputed rules” of Islam.

August 24, 2005 – (UNAMSIL) The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General (DSRSG) and UNDP Resident Representative for Sierra Leone, Mr. Victor Angelo, has disclosed that there are serious gender disparities in Sierra Leone which are capable of frustrating any attempt at sustainable development if not adequately addressed.

August 29, 2005 – (Boston Globe) During foreign wars and disasters, women and children suffer egregious abuses. They are raped, killed, or forced into servitude as soldiers, domestics, and sex slaves. They desperately need more protection than the vital but limited food-water-and-shelter response of international aid efforts. A bill in Congress would enhance emergency aid, making the United States a leader in cracking down on sexual violence and abuse as well as in quickly rebuilding educational and economic activities.

4 August 2005 – (UN News Center) Upgrading the drive to eliminate sexual abuse by peacekeepers following reports over the past year and a half of peacekeepers exploiting vulnerable women and girls in their area of deployment, eight United Nations missions have been ordered to immediately establish disciplinary units staffed by senior-level experts on personnel conduct.

August 8, 2005 – (UN News Service) While it is clear that improving the situation of women is key to achieving all the other Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), funding shortfalls have led to inadequate responses for such immediate priorities as ending violence against women and the denial of their property rights, senior United Nations officials say in a new report.

August 17, 2005 – (HRW) As campaigning begins for the September 18 polls for parliament and provincial councils, the Afghan government and international monitors must take special measures to protect women from attacks and intimidation by the Taliban and regional warlords, Human Rights Watch said in a new report.

July 23, 2005 – (BBC News) Elderly members of a US anti-war group called the "raging grannies of Tucson" are due in court following a protest at an Arizona military recruitment centre. They have been accused of trespassing after entering the centre earlier this month, saying they wanted to enlist

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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Kyrgyz Translation Now Available


PeaceWomen recently received a Kyrgyz translation via Alexander Smith, a friend of the PeaceWomen Project.

Kyrgyz is one of the official languages of Kyrgyzstan. It is spoken by about 3 million people in Kyrgyzstan, China, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan.

The Kyrgyz translation was completed by Sadyrova Ainakan and Aida Jolosheva.

The Kyrgyz translation is all available at:

Kyrgyz is among the languages identified as a priority for translation by women, peace and security advocates. Other languages currently on this priority list are:
• Achehnese (Acheh - Indonesia)
• Bari (Sudan)
• Dinka (Sudan)
• Embera (Colombia)
• Hmong (spoken in Laos, Thailand, Burma, Vietnam, and Southern China)
• Igbo (Nigeria)
• Khmer (Cambodia)
• Luganda (Uganda)
• Luo (Northern Uganda, Western Kenya)
• Malayalam (South Indian)
• Mongolian
• Nuer (Sudan)
• Oshiwambo (Namibia)
• Paez (Colombia)
• Pidgin (Papua New Guinea)
• Quechua (spoken in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Northern Chile, Argentina, and Southern Colombia)
• Sangho (Central African Republic)
• Shilook (Sudan)
• Tagalong (major dialect of Philippines)
• Tajik
• Uzbek
• Wayu (Venezuela)
• Wayunaiki (Colombia)
• Xhosa (S. Africa)
• Zande (Sudan)
• Zulu (S. Africa)

If you know of existing translations of 1325 in any of the above languages, to suggest potential translators for any of these languages and to add languages to this list, please contact

View the 70 translations, at:

For information about the translators of the available 70 translations, CLICK HERE.

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Contribute to A Report On Women Preventing Violence, War, Genocide And Armed Conflict
August 2005
The Global Action to Prevent War (GAPW) Coalition is a transnational network of organizations and grassroots activists, active in over 53 countries. The coalition grounds the goal of conflict prevention in specific integrated phases of conflict prevention, peacekeeping and disarmament over a three to four-decade period, and has included Resolution 1325 as a crucial element of preventing conflict since it was adopted in 2000. For more information please visit

GAPW is currently collecting information for a report on what women are doing around the world to prevent violence, war, genocide, and armed conflict. GAPW is contacting grassroots activists around the world to speak with them regarding women and gender-sensitive initiatives to prevent war, genocide, and internal armed conflict- including what strategies and best practices they have used and what the outcomes have been thusfar.

The report is to be published for the fifth anniversary of Resolution 1325 this October 2005. Because of this, GAPW is working under tight deadlines to collect information, and is trying to get in contact with people as soon as possible.

The deadline for contributions is September 9, 2005.
To participate or refer a contact please e-mail or call Anjalina Sen at or Tel: 1.212.818.1861.
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Wear the White Band on 10 September 2005: Ending Poverty and Achieving Human Security
Global Call to Action against Poverty/Llamado Mundial a la Acción contra la Pobreza/Action mondiale contre la pauvreté, September 2005

The Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) asks women, men, girls and boys to wear the White Band to show support and commitment to the global call for the achievement of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) and ending poverty. GCAP is an alliance of both the South and the North comprising unions, religious groups and other civil society actors. GCAP is the largest mobilization of civil society in the world including more than 900 organizations and networks worldwide.

GCAP women's right's organizations and networks have consistently advocated for the achievement of the MDGs in the context of the implementation of governmental commitments found in CEDAW, the Beijing Platform for Action, the Cairo Programme of Action and UNSC Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. Women's rights organizations and networks will continue to urge for the inclusion of women's rights and gender equality in the achievement of the MDGs and actions taken to end poverty.

For more information visit:

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Critical Half Journal: Gender and Constitution-Building: From Paper to Practice
Women For Women International, Bi-Annual Journal, Summer 2005
This journal focuses on gender and constitution building, and the impact they have on each other. It examines issues such as how to enshrine women's rights in constitutions, what constitutes equality and provides specific case studies in Afghanistan and Uganda.

For more information on the Critical Half Journal, please see:

For NGO and civil society reports, papers and statements, UN and government reports, and books, journals and articles on women, peace and security issues, please visit:

Letter delivered to Cindy Sheehan
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom – US Section
13 August, 2005

Dear Cindy Sheehan,

We, who are gathered in San Francisco, CA, for the 29th Triennial Congress of the US Section of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, declare our solidarity with you and the other grieving Gold Star Families gathered with you at George Bush's “Texas White House” in Crawford.

Our hearts and thoughts are with you on your bold journey to seek answers from Bush about the illegal and immoral war in Iraq which killed your loved ones. The motto of this Congress is “Make peace a reality,” and you are putting your bodies on the line to try to do that. We support you in your demand that not one more U.S. or Iraqi family suffer the grief you suffer for a loved one killed in this senseless war based on lies.

Just as WILPF urges, “Listen to Women for a Change”, we call on George Bush to “Listen to Cindy”, and stop sacrificing our children for empire and corporate domination.

For 90 years WILPF women have worked to abolish war, and we send you our love and admiration, Cindy, woman of courage, for your brave step forward in that work. Thank you and all the other Gold Star family members.

You are an inspiration to us.


Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
For more information contact or go to

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Message in Remembrance of 60th Year of the U.S Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
Extract from the WILPF International Statement to the 2005 World Conference on Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs

Dear citizens of Japan, venerable Hibakusha, victims of nuclear weapons testing and production, and all who are united in the commitment to peace and the total elimination of nuclear weapons:

The members of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) around the world in nearly 40 countries and on every continent send you our greetings of solidarity on the occasion of the solemn remembrance of the first, and only, war time use of nuclear weapons. We share with you the urgency of our goal to abolish nuclear weapons from earth and space and to eradicate their threat forever.

In remembrance of the nuclear horror witnessed 60 years ago, and to remind people of that shameful calamity and the years of suffering in the aftermath, WILPF members throughout the world join with others in their communities in public remembrance through silent vigils, demonstrations, shadow drawings, music and art, media programs, seminars, letters to the editors and many other ways of calling everyone in the world to join together so that there will never be another Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

In peace, on behalf of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom,

Regina Birchem
International President
International Secretariat,

For the full statement visit:

For NGO and ciil society reports, papers and statements, UN and government reports, and books, journals and articles on women, peace and security issues, please visit:

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Accountability in UN Peacekeeping Operations: the new model MOU
Kathleen Schneider, UN
August 2005

In the wake of the most recent peacekeeper abuse scandal, there has been progress toward accountability for sexual exploitation and abuse committed in UN peacekeeping operations. The momentum behind this issue must be sustained, but it is vulnerable to a slackening of the political pressure that has been driving it. The next step toward peacekeeper accountability depends on the development of the new model memorandum of understanding [MOU] for troop-contributing countries that will be considered by the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations in early 2006. A model MOU that is drafted with the goal of eliminating sexual exploitation and abuse can go far in addressing the tangle of administrative and legal issues involved. It would also give the UN the reliable leverage it now lacks vis-à-vis recalcitrant troop-contributing countries regarding their responsibilities.

For the full article, visit:

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

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World Leader's Summit : the Peacebuilding Commission
The NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security has been closely following the preparations for the World Leader's Summit which will take place in New York on September 14-16, 2005. Among the many proposals for consideration by the world leaders at the Summit is the establishment of a UN Peacebuilding Commission to assist states in transition from war to sustainable peace. Although the proposal has been met with great enthusiasm by member states as well as civil society, many details related to its composition as well as reporting line are still under negotiations. The NGOWG strongly support the establishment of the peacebuilding Commission and calls for the inclusion of civil society, and particularly women's groups, in its work. We also call for predicable financing for the Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Support Office.

For a more extensive comment on this issue please visit:

For NGOWG's action alerts and updates CLICK HERE

For more information about the NGOWG, CLICK HERE.

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New Japan Women's Association (Shinfujin)
The New Japan Women's Association (NJWA or Shinfujin) was founded on October 19, 1962 at the call of 32 women including Hiratsuka Raicho (pioneer of the Japanese women's movement,) Nogami Yaeko (writer) and Iwasaki Chihiro (artist of pictures for children.) Shinfujin activities are carried out in over 10,000 groups, which are organized all over the country; in workplaces and communities, including rural areas. Shinfujin has a head office that unites chapters working in all the 47 prefectures and branches in 880 municipalities.

Under the five objectives, Shinfujin works to realize all kinds of women's demands concerning such issues as women's rights, equality with men, better working and living conditions, measures to support child-care, education, environmental protection, peace and abolition of nuclear weapons. The five objectives are:

- Protect the lives of women and children from the danger of nuclear war
- Oppose the adverse revision of the Constitution and the resurgence of militarism
- Work together for better living conditions, extended women's rights and children's well-being
- Win genuine national independence, democracy and emancipation of women
- Join hands with women in the world for building lasting peace

Shinfujin is opened to all women who agree with the above five objectives, irrespective of their thought, creed or political background.

Shinfujin publishes a weekly paper "Shinfujin Shimbun" with 300,000 readers, and a monthly magazine "Josei & Undo" ("Women & The Movement".)

Shinfujin is a member of the Japan Federation of Women's Organizations (Fudanren) and the International Women's Year Liaison Group (comprising 46 major Japanese women's organizations.) In May 2003, Shinfujin was granted Special Consultative Status by the U.N. Economic and Social Council.

New Japan Women's Association
Address: Koishikawa MI Bldg. 5-10-20, Koishikawa-cho, Bunkyo-ku,Tokyo 112-0002, JAPAN
Telephone: +81-3-3814-9141, Fax: +81-3-3814-9441
E-mail :

For more on the New Japan Women's Association see their website at:

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Building for the Future: Women's Role in Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington DC, 13 September, 2005,

The conference will provide an in-depth look at the positive roles women have played in peace building and the impact of individual women, women's organizations, and women's civil society networks in aiding reconstruction. The first panel will focus on the activities of women based in areas currently facing conflict, including Iraq and Zimbabwe. The second panel will examine the role women have played and continue to play in countries emerging from conflict, including Afghanistan, Burundi, and Rwanda. Panelists will reflect on women's activism in both formal and informal peace processes, and will provide insight into the most effective ways in which women are involved in reconstruction

This event is cosponsored by the Middle East Program and the Project on Leadership and Building State Capacity (formerly the Conflict Prevention Project).
For more information contact:
Conflict Prevention Project
Phone: 202-691-4187
Fax: 202-691-4184

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Reminder: 10th AWID International Forum: How does change happen?
Association for Women's Rights in Development, 27-30 October 2005, Bangkok, Thailand
Up to 2,000 women's rights leaders and activists from around the world will converge at The International Forum on Women's Rights and Development, which is both a conference and a call to action. Delegates who participate fully in the Forum not only empower themselves with new tools and resources, but they also, collectively, re-politicize the gender and development community, strengthen alliances between women, and engage in work and thinking that is truly transformative rather than simply palliative.
For Forum updates CLICK HERE

For the complete calendar, CLICK HERE.

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1. Women, Peace and Security News
2. 1325 Translation Update: Kyrgyz Translation Now Available!
3. Feature Initiatives: Contribute To A Report On Women Preventing Violence, War, Genocide And Armed Conflict & Wear the White Band on 10 September 2005
4. Feature Resource: Critical Half Journal: Gender and Constitution Building: From Paper to Practice
5. Feature Statements: WILPF US Section letter to Cindy Sheehan & WILPF International Message in Remembrance of 60th Year of the U.S Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
6. A Gender and Peacekeeping Update: Accountability in UN Peacekeeping Operations: the New Model Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU)
7. NGOWG Update: World Leader's Summit - the Peacebuilding Commission
8. Feature Profile: New Japan Women's Association (Shinfujin)
9. Women, Peace and Security Calendar