Monday, April 26, 2004

28 April 2004, Church Center for the United Nations, New York

The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), the oldest women's peace organisation in the world, is celebrating its 89th Anniversary. Eighty-nine years ago, 1300 women from Europe and North America, came together in a Congress of Women, protesting the killing and destruction of the war, and founded WILPF.

We hope that you will join us at the Church Center for the UN at 6:30 PM on April 28th as we celebrate WILPF's 89th anniversary. All are welcome to join this anniversary celebration.

There will be a short program during the reception featuring WILPF historians Harriet Alonso and Blanche Weisen Cook and music by the Raging Grannies and their Daughters. Light refreshments will be served.

When: 28 April 2004, 6:30- 9pm
Where: Church Center for the UN: 777 UN Plaza, 2nd Floor (corner of 44th Street & 1st Avenue)

WILPF”s 89th Anniversary falls during the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Preparatory Committee Conference, or NPT PrepCom, being held at UN Headquarters in New York City. WILPF has monitored the NPT since it's entry into force in 1970. For more information about the PrepCom, WILPF's activities during the PrepCom, as well as NGO efforts more generally, see the Calendar section below as well as

April 23, 2004 – (AP) The trafficking of African women and children for prostitution or cheap labor is aggravated by war, poverty and a failure to register births, UNICEF said in a study Friday.

April 20, 2004 – (Refugees International) In 2002, allegations of sexual exploitation of refugees by humanitarian workers in West Africa rocked the humanitarian world. Workers stood accused of abusing their power by trading access to scarce relief supplies for sex. The UN and its implementing partners responded by establishing codes of conduct and stronger performance standards for humanitarian staff. Many organizations also put in place reporting systems and instituted sexual exploitation and gender-awareness training for staff. This scandal drew further attention to the problem of sexual exploitation that has also plagued the peacekeeping world. Two years later, however, despite the increased attention to the issue, conditions are ripe for another public sexual exploitation scandal in Liberia.

April 19, 2004 – (UN News) The violence that brought about the change of Haiti's government earlier this year has had a severe impact on the 2,000 street children in the capital, Port-au-Prince, and on the 120,000 girls who work as domestic servants across the country, according to a United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) assessment mission.

April 19, 2004 – (OMCT Appeal) The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by the Asian Human Rights Commission, a member of the OMCT network, of the imprisonment of two rape victims for attempting to charge their perpetrator in Myanmar.

April 16, 2004 – (BBC) A group of women are to embark on a gruelling bike ride across the Middle East to promote peace.

April 15, 2004 – (UN Wire) Girls who fought in the ethnic conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's northeastern region face ostracism when they return home and often cannot form relationships, according to a U.N. expert on child protection.

April 15, 2004 – (Amnesty International) "In our culture, it is a shame, and women will hide this in their hearts so that the men do not hear about it," a woman interviewed by Amnesty International Alarming reports about the systematic rape of hundreds of women by the government backed armed militia, the Janjawid, have been coming from Darfur region in western Sudan over the past months, demonstrating the need for the international community to step up its pressure on the government.

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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No Women, No Peace: The Importance of Women's Participation to Achieve Peace and Security
NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security
Submitted to the UN Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change
April 2004

The NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security was invited by the UN Foundation to submit the following paper to the UN High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change. The paper makes the case that persistent gender inequality is a significant threat to global peace and security. Drawing on the voices of courageous women organizing for peace, the paper urges a framework for collective action based on the "3 Ps"-conflict prevention, the participation of women in peace and security, and the protection of civilians with consideration to the specific needs of women, men, girls and boys.

Excerpts of this paper are included below, with a link to the full paper at the end of the excerpt:

As head of the UN effort in Timor-Leste, I saw the remarkable impact that promoting the participation of women can have in peace-building and development. We will pay increased attention to the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325, and particularly to the right of women to participate both in decision-making and in human rights activities. Women are a factor of stability and reconciliation; their contribution can improve the quality of decisions and thus the effectiveness of recovery efforts. Above all, we promote women's participation because women have an equal right to be involved in all decisions and because their input brings value added to all decisions. [Sergio Vieira de Mello, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Intervention made before the UN Commission on the Status of Women, New York, 7 March 2003]

The NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security argues that gender inequality is a significant threat to global peace and security. In addressing this and other threats, the Panel must use the framework of the ‘3 Ps'— conflict prevention, the participation of women in peace and security, and the protection of civilians with consideration to the specific needs of women, men, girls and boys— which recognizes these three principles as fundamentally linked. Using this framework, we urge the Panel to make recommendations for collective action among UN, Member States and civil society that take into account the provisions put forth in UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security (2000), the Beijing Platform for Action (1995), and the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979).

Women in Formal Peace-Building: Untapped Potential

Despite the work women do at the grassroots level to organize for peace, the majority of their voices go unheard during formal processes, including: peace negotiations, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR), constitution-creation, elections, reconstruction, rehabilitation, truth and reconciliation, and establishing a judicial system.

We organised a silent march to protest the war and the use of rape as a weapon. One thousand women participated - an extraordinary number given Bougainville's small population. We were stopped by the Papua New Guinea Defence Force twice. They wanted to arrest someone and asked, 'Who is your leader?' We said, 'All of us are leaders. We all own this march.' The soldiers couldn't arrest anyone… We walked silently carrying banners we had sewn by hand, with messages of peace... Our sisters in Rabaul were so moved by the story that they organised a boat and sailed through Buka Passage, singing peace songs. There was shooting on both sides of the passage before the women arrived. As they sailed through, the shooting stopped. Their singing stopped the guns. It was the women who risked going out into the jungle to persuade our sons, husbands and brothers to avert war. It was the women who really made peace, not the menfolk. They were busy killing, destroying and raping women. [Helen Hakena, Leitana Nehan Women's Development Agency, Bougainville, March 2003]

While women are actively engaged in local, national and regional peace-building, they are systematically excluded from formal peace negotiations and agreements. Women community leaders and peace-builders can no longer be excluded from formal peace processes while warlords and leaders of fighting parties, historically all male, have seats at the table. The international community must redefine who are considered legitimate stakeholders in the reconstitution of post-conflict societies, so as to prevent future conflict and to ensure a sustainable peace, founded on human rights and gender equality.

Despite all of their efforts, the women of Somalia were told they could not participate in the final talks, in which a new government would be decided upon, because they didn't constitute one of the traditional bodies for negotiation, called “clans.” The Somali…had agreed on the clan-based power sharing system as the modus operandi for the Transitional National Assembly (TNA). While they were not told directly that they were being excluded because of their gender, it was not difficult for the women to recognise that the 5 clans negotiating in Arta were comprised of men only… [T]he women, representing cross-clans, came back to the mediation team and insisted that they be considered an additional clan… Finding no legal or traditional reason why there shouldn't be an additional clan, it was finally agreed upon that they would be considered the 6th clan and thus be able to participate in the negotiations… The women's agenda for peace and gender inclusion was subsequently incorporated in the final conclusions of the meeting. In addition, the 6th clan succeeded in securing 25 seats for women in the newly formed parliament. [Femmes Africa Solidarité (on the Somali peace process May 2000), EGM/PEACE/2003/OP.1, 7 November 2003]

Moreover, the international community, regional bodies and local governments— frequently due to their lack of an engendered concept of peace and security— do not provide sufficient resources for women and women's organizations to initiate or sustain their work on peace and security issues.

I have often heard that Afghan women are not political. That peace and security is man's work. I am here to challenge that illusion. For the last 20 years of my life, the leadership of men has only brought war and suffering. I am a woman fighting for education. In Afghanistan and Pakistan that is politics. I run a humanitarian NGO. In Afghanistan and Pakistan that is politics… We still face challenges within our families, particularly when men are unemployed, and from some in our community who oppose an active public role for women. We see larger grants channeled through Afghan men's organizations and wonder why? Women's organizations work in the refugee camps and reach out to the refugee communities in Peshawar, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Quetta, where Afghan refugees do not receive UN assistance. We are the role models for our youth; we are working for security and peace. [Jamila, intervention made in an Arria Formula, UN Security Council, October 2001]…

For the full paper, which includes recommendations to the High-Level Panel on its work as well as the work of the UN system and Member States, statistics on women and gender issues in the UN system, and a list of suggested reading, CLICK HERE or visit:

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Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Coordination Segment: 1-7 July 2004

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), one of the six main organs of the United Nations, will hold a review and appraisal during its Coordination Segment, in July, on the implementation of its agreed conclusions (1997/2) on mainstreaming a gender perspective into all policies and programmes in the United Nations system. During the Coordination Segment, the Council will also consider the theme, a coordinated and integrated United Nations system approach to promote rural development in developing countries.

The review and appraisal on mainstreaming a gender perspective follows the adoption of a resolution on the same theme- (E/CN.6/2004/L.6)- at the 48th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), one of the nine functional commissions of ECOSOC, held this past March. In the resolution, the CSW noted that the Coordination Segment is an “opportunity…to consider further measures to strengthen the implementation and monitoring of gender mainstreaming with the United Nations system.”

Moreover, the CSW recommended that the Economic and Social Council:

“incorporate into its review and appraisal…the assessment of the remaining gaps in the frameworks for gender equality policies and strategies and the mainstreaming of gender perspectives into all policies and programmes of the entities of the United Nations, as outlined in the report of the Secretary- General;”

and that the Secretary-General:

“include an assessment of the implementation of the present resolution in his report to the Commission at its forty - ninth session on the measures taken and progress achieved in the follow-up to and implementation of the Fourth World Conference on Women and the special session of the General Assembly entitled Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century, especially in mainstreaming gender perspectives in entities of the United Nations system."

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), Policy Coordination Branch of the Division for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, and Azerbaijan, ECOSOC Vice-President and Bureau member are the two main players in the preparation for consideration of the theme of gender mainstreaming during the Coordination Segment.

The review and appraisal of the progress of gender mainstreaming will take place on 2 and 6 July 2004. A number of Member States and civil society organizations are working to ensure ample time for UN staff, from headquarters, field offices and missions, to hold interactive dialogues with Member States about the successes, challenges and difficulties in mainstreaming a gender perspective in their work, including in all work to ensure peace and security.

The NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security has begun meeting with Member States and UN staff to discuss the preparations for the ECOSOC Coordination Segment. If you have any questions or suggestions, contact

The PeaceWomen project staff will build an ECOSOC page on before the release of the next bi-weekly 1325 E-Newsletter.

For more information on the work of the Economic and Social Council, visit::

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Women's International League Outraged at President's Claim
WILPF, 14 April 2004

In last night's address to the nation, President Bush made reference to the "work of a fanatical political ideology" in the Middle East that seeks "to oppress and persecute women." The elimination of this fanaticism against women, he claims, provides part of the motivation for the slaughter of more than 10,000 Iraqi civilians and a growing number of U.S. deaths.

As part of the oldest international women's peace organization, the United States Section of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom is outraged at the notion that this unjustified war was fought for women's rights. Not only has this Administration pursued an agenda which puts women at risk around the world, but grassroots movements for women's rights already exist throughout the Arab world. To declare that the total destruction of both Afghanistan and Iraq was a necessary step in securing women's equality is as patronizing as it is dangerous. Women from Iraq have said they feel less secure now in a so-called "liberated" Iraq and still must fight to have any voice in decisions about the future of their country.

While terrorism is a genuine threat, it is not the issue defining the lives of most people. Continuing the trend of his State of the Union speech, the President makes no mention of the environment or real solutions for the economy or ideas for dealing with the AIDS epidemic. If the President is truly moved to be an advocate for women's rights, he could start by adhering to U.N. Resolution 1325 requiring women's participation in decision-making. He could help secure adequate funding for health care and education. He could rescind the dangerous Global Gag Rule that prohibits USAID funding for NGOs which use their own non-U.S. money to provide legal abortion services, lobby their own governments for abortion law reform, or even provide accurate medical counseling or referrals regarding abortion.

We at the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, United States Section, call on our elected officials to remedy the policies of the current U.S. Administration which also seek "to oppress and persecute women."

For the full statement, 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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“Women – Essential to Peace”: Resolution proposed by the Canadian Federation of University Women International Relations Committee
August 2003
(Modified for submission to the International Federation of University Women 2004 Triennial Conference, August 2004)

The Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) adopted a resolution on UNSC Resolution 1325 in August 2003, of which excerpts are included below. The CFUW has modified this resolution for submission to the International Federation of University Women (IFUW) Triennial Conference this August in Perth, Australia. The Australian Federation of University Women (AFUW) has also adopted a resolution on UNSC Resolution 1325 that they have submitted to the IFUW. The CFUW and AFUW will merge the two resolutions together into one resolution for the IFUW Triennial Conference. We will include information about this process and the outcome as soon as it becomes available.

In addition to their resolution on UNSC Resolution 1325, the CFUW also has a sub-committee on women, peace and security that is focused this year on UNSC Resolution 1325. For more information about the work of the CFUW's sub-committee, contact

RESOLVED, That the Canadian Federation of University Women urge the Government of Canada:

1. To continue to support Canada's implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, Women, Peace and Security;

2. To provide sufficient funding to further its work and facilitate regular meetings and consultations towards fully implementing UN Resolution 1325 in Canada, encouraging and assisting implementation in other countries;

3. To provide opportunities in the conflict resolution processes to incorporate women's voices and representation with a view to:
a. Preventing armed conflicts
b. Facilitating an early end to conflicts
c. Assisting humanitarian operations and reconstruction processes
d. Protecting women and girls from gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse
e. Working towards ensuring that at least 50 percent of the participants
in the processes are women

RESOLVED, That the Canadian Federation of University Women urge the Government of Canada to provide regular reports to the Canadian public on the number of women's groups consulted and represented in official delegations and committees in the government's work on UN Security Council Resolution 1325.

For the full resolution, including the ‘Background' provided for the resolution, visit: (see “Resolutions Information Book 2003-2004,” page 19 of the PDF document).

For more information about the CFUW, visit:

For more women, peace and security initiatives – in country, regional, global and international, CLICK HERE.

WILPF and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Preparatory Committee Conference
26 April – 7 May, 2004, UN Headquarters, New York
WILPF has monitored the NPT since it's entry into force in 1970. WILPF's work during the NPT includes: generating the definitive report on nuclear weapons holdings and policy; generating a daily newsletter and commentary of the process; and leading the NGO community in keeping up the pressure on the nuclear weapons states to abide by the first resolution of the General Assembly, which was to disarm atomic weaponry. WILPF is coordinating a number of events during the NPT, including:

4 May 2004: Women, Weapons of Mass Destruction and Preventing War. A panel highlighting the gender dimensions of conflict prevention and the relation to WMD. Invited speakers include: Ms. Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Director of UNIFEM, and Mr. Nobuyasu Abe, Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs.

For the full calendar, a daily NGO newsletter, the latest statements, and analyses, visit:

Call for applications: The Women PeaceMakers Program/Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice (IPJ)
Deadline: 28 May 2004
25 September - 19 November 2004, University of San Diego, San Diego, California, USA
The Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice is pleased to announce its 2004 Women PeaceMakers Program is now accepting applications. The Women PeaceMakers Program at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice (IPJ) is a program for leaders who want to document, share, and build upon their unique peacemaking stories. Selected peacemakers will receive roundtrip airfare, housing, and a small stipend to cover expenses for the eight-week residence (September 25 November 19, 2004) in San Diego, California. Women from anywhere in the world who have assumed the leadership role in peace and conflict resolution with an emphasis in human rights in their own society or our global community are invited to apply for this unique residency in San Diego. Assistant writers and a film assistant will help each peacemaker document her unique peacemaking experience. You will find all the program details as well as the down-loadable application on our website, Please Shelley Lyford at

3rd Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues: Indigenous Women
10 - 21 May 2004, Economic and Social Council, United Nations, New York, USA
The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues is a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). It was established by ECOSOC in its resolution 2000/22 of 28 July 2000. The Forum is one of the expert bodies of the Council composed of members serving in their personal capacity. The Forum serves as an advisory body to ECOSOC with a mandate to discuss indigenous issues within the areas of expertise of the Council relating to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights. Contact Mr. Yao Ngoran, Chief NGO Unit, Division for Social Policy and Development, 2 United Nations Plaza, Room DC2-1324, New York, NY 10017; e-mail; Tel: +1 (212) 963 3175; Fax: +1 (212) 963 3062.

For the complete calendar items as well as more calendar events, CLICK HERE.

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1. The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom is Celebrating its 89th Anniversary
2. Women, Peace and Security News
3. Feature Analysis: �No Women, No Peace: The Importance of Women's Participation to Achieve Peace and Security,� the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security
4. Mainstreaming a Gender Perspective: Progress in the UN? Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Coordination Segment (1-7 July 2004)
5. Feature Statement: �Women's International League Outraged at President's Claim,� WILPF
6. Feature Initiative: �Women � Essential to Peace�: Resolution proposed by the Canadian Federation of University Women International Relations Committee
7. Women, Peace and Security Calendar