October 2005: 5th Anniversary Recap & Follow-Up (Part Two)

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


This is the second part of our two-part “Recap & Follow-Up” of the 5th Anniversary of Resolution 1325. In our first part we highlighted a number of events that took place and publications that were released to mark this anniversary. Here we take a closer look at the Security Council Open Debate and the UN System-Wide Action Plans.

We continue to welcome any feedback, information, analysis and comment on the 5th Anniversary. This can be sent to: enewsresponse@peacewomen.org with “Recap & Follow-Up in the subject line.

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The PeaceWomen Team
As mentioned in “Part One”, this Open Debate held on 27 October 2005 saw the participation of all 15 members of the Security Council, 26 Member States, 3 UN Agencies and 2 intergovernmental bodies and two civil society speakers. The civil society speakers were Hélène Dandi Lou (President of Vision and Action of African Women Against Wars, Côte d'Ivoire) and Sweeta Noori (Country Director - Women for Women International Afghanistan).
The focus of the Open Debate, organized by the Permanent Mission of Romania (which held the presidency of the Security Council for the month of October) was on the participation of women in peace-making and peace building processes.

Supporting and promoting a broad and co-ordinated strategic approach to the implementation of SCR 1325, the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, in the lead up to the Open Debate, encouraged Member States also to consider addressing a number of critical areas for implementation beyond the focus of women's participation in peace-making and peacebuilding processes. These included, inter alia, the establishment of a focal point and expert level working group within the Security Council to ensure the integration of the resolution in its work; the articulation of the relationship of the proposed Peacebuilding Commission to civil society organizations, including women's organizations, in the mandate of the Commission; the provision by the Secretary General in 2006 of recommendations on systematic information provision and accountability measures in relation to the use of gender-based violence by parties to armed conflict; commitment to the development of national action plans for the implementation of SCR 1325; and the UN System-wide action plan and its monitoring and review.

For the NGO Working Group's letter to Member States click here

The detailed recommendations of the NGO Working Group can be found on page 101 of its report “From Local to Global – Making Peace Work for Women: NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security - Five Years On Report.” For the full report CLICK HERE

In this analysis the PeaceWomen team seeks to highlight the manner and extent to which the Member States in the Open Debate dealt with the overall theme of the debate as well as some of the thematic areas reflected in the NGO Working Group's recommendations. The overarching and crucial issue of the UN System-Wide Action Plan is dealt with in a separate analysis below.

Establishment of a Security Council Mechanism

“Today, my country, Côte d'Ivoire, remains divided. The social climate is characterized by a crisis of confidence and visceral hatred…there are thousands of women who have been raped since 2002. They live alone, completely bereft, and until now have not received any medical, psychological or material assistance. In spite of it all, resolution 1633 (2005) on the Côte d'Ivoire, adopted by the Security Council on 21 October 2005, does not mention the role of women, nor does it even consider gender. I would like to know why not.” Helene Dandi-Lou, Côte d'Ivoire

A particular recommendation of the NGO Working Group is that the Security Council establishes “a working group on women, peace and security in order to fully mainstream a gender perspective into all other relevant Security Council resolutions and to include gender perspectives in the mandates of all UN peacekeeping missions.”
The idea of a Security Council mechanism is not a new one and, as noted in our review of last year's debate, it was first raised in 2002 and has been reiterated in Open Debates since that time. Not as many Member States mentioned this mechanism in this year's debate, but some made clear reference to the establishment of a “focal point” and a “working group.” Some statements (Fiji and Sri Lanka), at least tacitly, linked these proposed Security Council mechanisms to broader developments in implementation by the UN System. The Human Security Network (a cross-regional group of 14 countries, which includes Austria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Greece, Ireland, Jordan, Mali, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Switzerland, Thailand, and South Africa as an observer), on whose behalf Canada addressed the Council seemed to follow this approach. It was supportive of the Secretary General's recommendation (paragraph 25(f) of the SG's Report) that there be the appointment of “a focal point or a group of focal points at high levels to monitor the progress of implementation of Resolution 1325 within the UN System.” It then went on to say that:

“in addition ….the members of the Network call on the Security Council to strongly consider establishing a mechanism to monitor its own actions in integration Resolution 1325, and other related Resolutions, into its daily work through a focal point or expert level working group…..Members of the Network urge the Security Council to systematically incorporate gender considerations in all aspects of mission planning and execution, particularly from the outset.”

It seems correct that the establishment of focal points at high levels within UN entities be carried through to the Security Council. The timeliness of establishing such mechanisms, in light of the release of the system-wide action plan, was also emphasized by others and Fiji was particularly clear on this, stating that: “For five years, the Security Council has been seized with the issue on "Women, Peace and Security" and now that we have an Action Plan, we ought to move forward and establish a focal point and an expert level working group to ensure the integration of resolution 1325 in the Council's work.”

While the Security Council Presidential Statement does make a commitment to integrate gender perspectives “into the terms of reference of Security Council visits and missions and to include gender specialists in its teams wherever possible,” it makes no mention of any formal mechanism to ensure that this is the case. It would seem that to make real France's idea to have what it, in its statement, termed “the ‘1325 reflex' in the Council's day-to-day work” steps need to be taken to establish a formal mechanism within the Council – a working group on women, peace and security would ensure that this “1325 reflex” is proactive rather than reactive.

For extracts from the Open Debate on this theme click here

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National Level Implementation

In last year's Open Debate, the Council in its Presidential Statement made specific reference to national level implementation welcoming the efforts of Member States “including the development of national action plans, and [encouraging] Member States to continue to pursue such implementation.” The endorsement of national level implementation seen in last year's Open Debate continued this year and was reiterated in this year's Presidential Statement but there were, again, minimal explicit references by Member States to their own action plans. There were a number of references to laws or isolated initiatives but such examples do not indicate significant progress on developing comprehensive women, peace and security strategies on a national level.

Just as the implementation of SCR 1325 at the UN level needs to take place strategically and in a co-ordinated fashion, so too on a national level. As the United Kingdom (on behalf of the European Union) noted, “Member States need to take responsibility for the success of SCR 1325 and ensure that it is integrated into their national policies and training programmes if there is to be real progress.” Denmark, Canada and Sweden also emphasized the importance of national action plans and Denmark, in particular, encouraged fellow members of the Security Council to lead by example on this issue. Each of these Member States has done work on a focused national action plan and there was reporting on progress in this regard:

“As member states, we also have an obligation to implement the resolution in the best and most effective way. In June the Danish government launched a National Action Plan for implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325. It is a firm Danish commitment to implement all elements of 1325. The Action Plan is a result of fruitful cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defense in Denmark. It outlines a series of political and operational actions engaging foreign, defense and development cooperation policies. Each of equal importance for the full implementation of the recommendations in 1325.”

“[A]n interministerial working group is now finalizing a Swedish Action Plan to intensify our implementation of SCR 1325. Work is - and will be - carried out in co-operation with government agencies, as well as with civil society. We look forward to sharing good practices with states and organisations in the process of developing or implementing their plans, methods and tools.”

Other Member States, such as France and the Philippines, highlighted alternative approaches whilst still taking a broad approach to incorporating policy on women, peace and security at a national level:

“Some States have already taken the initiative for national action plans. I suggest the launch of regional action plans, on the European Union model. France for its part has developed a national plan of action for gender equality : "la Charte pour I'égalité". Resolution 1325 is one aspect of it. We pledge to turn the implementation of resolution 1325 into a specific and detailed chapter for action by the Government when the Charter is updated in 2007.”

“In short, the fundamental strategy of the Philippines for pursuing resolution 1325 lies in enabling more women to systematically participate in conflict prevention, management, resolution and post conflict peacebuilding, while at the same time, rehabilitating their communities and ensuring basic services and livelihood.”

While there is no set formula for integrating SCR 1325 at a national level, the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security have identified certain key components and strategies based on an analysis of the experiences of States that have already begun developing National Action Plans (for these see Chapter 2 of the 5 Years On Report mentioned above).

For extracts from the Open Debate on this theme click here

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Women's participation: Peace-making, peace-building & the Peacebuilding Commission
“We urge that the Security Council and the international organizations such as UNIFEM to support Afghan authorities and women's groups in the peace-building in Afghanistan. We should have a full partnership that develops the capacity of women and protects their human rights.” Sweeta Noori, Afghanistan

Women's participation in peace-making and peace building, an important aspect of SCR 1325 was, as mentioned above, the focal theme of the debate. There was significant comment on this by Member States and overwhelming support for ensuring women's involvement in both formal and informal peace processes. The importance of participation for ensuring lasting and secure peace and for ensuring “women's needs” are taken into account was acknowledged by many. Austria noted, in particular, the positive effect for participation in the long-term of ensuring participation in peace processes: “a determined policy of the international community in the immediate post-conflict phase in favor of women's participation, inter alia by ensuring that post-conflict legislation gives them a right to participate, can increase the long-term participation of women in political processes in their countries.”

While the general statements of support are welcome, more significant are the concrete suggestions by Member States to ensure that women's participation becomes real and effective. Some of these suggestions were made in relation to peace-making and peace-building broadly speaking. Others were directly linked to the proposed Peacebuilding Commission and Member States' support of this body partnering with civil society, and in particular women's organizations, in the fulfillment of its mandate.

Measures to ensure the appointment of women to positions in which they could participate in peace processes, was something raised by a number of Member States. Here the need for the appointment of women as Special Representatives and Special Envoys was highlighted (by Austria, Sweden, Lichtenstein and Brazil). Linked to this was the need to identify women candidates to fulfill relevant positions (Brazil, Canada, Namibia (for SADC), Italy and Lichtenstein) with Lichtenstein inviting “all interested States and NGOs to join forces in gathering the necessary information to make the appointment of women to such posts not only a high priority but a recurring reality.” The invitation to Member States to provide the Secretary-General with candidates to serve as Special Representatives was extended in the Presidential Statement (which also urged the Secretary-General to proceed with the appointment of a gender adviser within the Department of Political Affairs.) Namibia (for SADC) also noted the need for such deliberate efforts: “[t]he inadequate representation of women in decision-making is not a phenomenon experienced in peace building processes alone, but rather is extended to all other areas. In this regard, we urge the UN system organizations, within their respective mandates and Member States to address the barriers faced by women to move up to decision-making positions.” A further aspect given some mention was the need for the provision of firm guidelines to enhance participation.

Support of the Peace-Building Commission as a vehicle for ensuring women's participation was reflected in most statements, including the Presidential Statement. Although this support was there on a general level, disappointingly only a few states acknowledged the importance of formalizing a mechanism for consultation within the mandate of the Commission:

United Kingdom (on behalf of EU)
The EU believes that the Peacebuilding Commission should, as part of its mandate, ensure that women and women's groups are represented in peace processes, thus enabling them to play an essential role.

The creation of a Peacebuilding Commission provides us with a unique opportunity to ensure the involvement of women in UN-led peacebuilding processes. The Peacebuilding Commission should ensure, as parts of its mandate, that women and women's groups are represented in peace processes, thus enabling them to play a meaningful role.

[W]e are also of the view that the mandate of the Peace-Building Commission should explicitly commit to partnering with civil society, including women's organizations, through format mechanisms at headquarters and at the country level. This would go a long way towards ensuring that women's needs, priorities and roles in peace processes are duly taken into account in the Peace-Building Commission's activities and programs.

Today, with the steady, and sure evolution in the establishment of a Peace-Building Commission, the role of women in initiating, nurturing and entrenching post-conflict peace-building, is a given. In our own remarks during recent informal consultations, Kenya stressed the need to incorporate early, this important element within formal architecture of the Peace-Building Commission.

We consider the decision to establish a Peace Building Commission as one of the greatest achievements of the summit. It is of vital importance that a gender perspective is integrated in the Peacebuilding Commission and that this perspective should be reflected in the mandate of the Commission as well as in its structure. The Outcome Document stresses tie importance of inclusion of civil society in country-specific meetings. Germany believes that the inclusion of women's organizations will be of particular importance

Both Austria and Norway expressed support for the inclusion of a Gender Advisor in the Peacebuilding Support Office in order to ensure the integration of a gender perspective in the work of the Commission.

Further specific ideas on integrating a gender perspective in the design and work of the Peace Building Commission are reflected in the letter to the Secretary General and the President of the General Assembly by 14 women foreign ministers.

This letter was featured in Issue 68 of 1325 PeaceWomen E-News and a copy is available HERE

For extracts from the Open Debate on Women's Participation in Peace Processes Click here

For extracts from the Open Debate on Women and the Peacebuilding Commission Click here

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Gender-Based Violence
One of the recommendations of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security was that the Security Council request the Secretary General to consider and report on ideas to the Security Council (by October 2006) on:

• Different means by which the Security Council could be more systematically informed of the use of gender-based violence by parties to armed conflict, paying special attention to the mechanism already developed to monitor and report to the Security Council on violations against children in armed conflict,
• Different means by which the Security Council could do more to hold parties to armed conflict accountable for these violations by considering, for example, the imposition of targeted sanctions against such parties.

This recommendation was, unfortunately, not taken up by the Security Council in its Presidential Statement despite the fact that it, and a number of Member States, explicitly condemned the use of sexual and other forms of violence and called for an end to impunity. The first aspect of the above recommendation, that of a systematic manner of informing the Security Council of the use of gender-based violence by parties to armed conflict, was barely taken up at all. It was not reflected on any level in the Presidential Statement. There was, however, an allusion by France to the usefulness of the new Human Rights Council in this regard and a link drawn by the Philippines to the system-wide action plan and its potential usefulness: “As developments on the ground continue to be fluid, the Philippines would like to see the action plan used also as a tool for gathering accurate information on the status of women in conflict areas, including the scope and gravity of gender-based violence and the progress on the empowerment of women in the area of peace and security. Certainly, this information would serve to guide the Council on the way forward on implementation and monitoring.” If, as seems to be the case, Member States feel strongly about condemning and addressing the continuing use of gender-based violence by parties to armed conflict it is hoped that there will be more concrete actions taken to ensure it is something that the Security Council can deal with effectively.

For extracts from the Open Debate on this theme CLICK HERE

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For the index to the Open Debate statements and to access the full statements CLICK HERE

For the Presidential Statement click here

For index and links to the thematic compilation of statements developed by the PeaceWomen Team CLICK HERE

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The PeaceWomen Team

On October 10 2005, the Secretary General released his report on Women, Peace and Security, accompanied by a UN System-Wide Action Plan on the implementation of SCR 1325. This Action Plan comes in response to a request by the Security Council, in a Presidential Statement adopted at the 2004 Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security, calling on the Secretary-General to submit to the Council “… an action plan, with time lines, for implementing resolution 1325 (2000) across the United Nation's system, with a view to strengthening commitment and accountability at the highest levels, as well as to allow for improved accountability, monitoring and reporting on progress on implementation within the United Nations system.”

Since the adoption of SCR 1325 in 2000, the lack of a coordinated strategy for the implementation of the resolution across the United Nations system has been repeatedly cited as an impediment to the effective realization of the goal of bringing gender perspectives to the centre of all UN efforts in peace and security. While progress in implementation has been made by various UN Agencies, civil society groups and some member states have consistently highlighted the gap in systematic planning, monitoring and reporting of measures being taken to ensure full implementation of the resolution by all UN entities and departments at headquarters and country level.

In that regard, the development of a System-wide Action Plan is a definite step forward. The Plan was prepared by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Women, Peace and Security, chaired by the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and comprising representatives from 22 UN system entities and observes from inter-governmental organizations and civil society. It is envisioned as a basis on which UN entities can formulate concrete strategies and ensure support to member states in advancing the role of women in peace and security, as well as strengthen system-wide accountability and co-operation. The Plan is based on a matrix of recommendations taken from the articles of SCR 1325 and subsequent Security Council Presidential Statements on Women, Peace and Security, with various UN departments and agencies providing information regarding their projected activities related to these articles up to the end of 2007.

The NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security has long advocated for the creation of this action plan, and had emphasized the importance, in preparing the plan, of an extensive and dynamic consultation process among different UN entities, with high-level involvement to ensure a coordinated work-plan. Additionally, the effectiveness of this Action Plan is greatly dependant on ensuring accountability for its implementation, including concrete time lines, and an appropriate mechanism to coordinate, monitor and report on progress in implementation. In this regard the Plan recommends the coordination and monitoring of system-wide implementation through the UN's High Level Committee on Programs while holding heads of entities and focal points accountable for implementation at the UN entity level.

The 2005 Security Council Open debate on Women Peace and Security concluded with a statement from the Council's Romanian presidency, endorsing the UN System-Wide Action Plan and requiring the Secretary General to review its implementation on an annual basis, starting in 2006. Additionally, the open debate provided an opportunity for UN member states to comment on the System-Wide Action Plan. Below is a cross-section of Member States' comments:

Iceland warmly welcomes the United Nations Action Plan for implementing resolution 1325 across the United Nations system which has been presented to the Security Council today. The System-Wide Action Plan is an important tool for better coordination and building on the synergies of the United Nations system. With adoption of the Action Plan, the United Nations are creating a good precedent which should encourage member states to mainstream gender perspective in their own policies.

At the inter-governmental level, I would appeal for closer co-ordination. The idea of working through the High-Level Committee on Programmes with participation of all concerned organizations and components of the UN Secretariat, is a good one. Our experience in using a system of lead agencies; to ensure dialogue as envisaged in the report, has to be very carefully implemented. Institutional jealousies arise that can hamper long-term gains for women. The same can be said for co-ordination within the United Nations itself. Appointing a group of focal points instead of one focal point may diminish the institutional rivalry that so frequently manifests itself in our work.....Kenya supports the recommendations by the Secretariat to biennialize reporting on implementation of the Action Plan. This can be interspersed with thematic reports which we agree will balance the implementation and policy-making cycles and make for a more rigorous implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000).

We commend the remarkable work undertaken by the 37 UN entities which have contributed to the elaboration of the system-wide action plan. The action plan provides a wealth of information on activities being carried out for women in conflict and post-conflict situations. This information should facilitate the review of the impact of resolution 1325. In order to make this possible, it will be necessary to provide for interaction and consultation with civil society, in particular women's non-governmental organizations. At the national level, such interaction could form the basis of the establishment of action plans for the implementation of the resolution, it would help raise awareness of the need to promote the active participation of women in the decision-making regarding all aspects of conflict prevention and resolution as well as peace-building.

Namibia (for SADC)
The action plan has provided us with a framework by which progress on the implementation of resolution 1325 can be coordinated, monitored and evaluated. It is important that the action plan does not "reinvent the wheel" but rather builds on the achievements already made. In this regard, we welcome the recommendation to review the adequacy of existing operational tools, guidelines and manuals for gender mainstreaming.

Sri Lanka
[I]t is essential that the Security Council... request the Secretary General to update, monitor and review the UN System-wide Action Plan, on an annual basis.

We are encouraged by the adoption of a system-wide action plan on the implementation of the resolution… Requisite resources, both financial and human, need to be made available for the successful implementation of the action plan.

For extracts from the Open Debate on this theme click here

For the full report CLICK HERE

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November 22, 2005 - (Sapa-AFP) On becoming Germany's new Chancellor on Tuesday, Angela Merkel joined a club of women leaders whose members can still literally be counted on the fingers of one hand. Along with Helen Clark of New Zealand, Begum Khaleda Zia of Bangladesh, Luisa Diogo of Mozambique and Maria do Carmo Silveira of tiny São Tome and Principe, all prime ministers, Merkel is henceforth one of only five women worldwide to head their country's government.

November 25 , 2005 - (UN News Service) The United Nations today marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women with calls for states to take legal action against the global scourge, for societies to change a mindset that permits such abuse, and for women themselves to stand up and speak out against a culture of shame.

November 24, 2005 – (IRIN) Although the plight of Afghan women has improved somewhat following the collapse of the hard line Taliban regime in late 2001, acts of intimidation and violence against them have continued unabated, with many women - particularly in rural areas – believing that their situation remains unchanged.

November 25, 2005 - (UNHCR) Violence is a common thread in the lives of refugees and displaced people all over the world. War, torture and persecution provide the grim background to their flight, while displacement and exile often engender more violence. For women refugees, the situation can be even worse than it is for men, and on Friday UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said combating violence against refugee women was one of his top priorities.

November 16, 2005 - (IRIN) Victoria [not her real name] thought she had the law on her side when she left her abusive partner and successfully applied for a protection order against him. According to provisions set out in South Africa's 1998 Domestic Violence Act and reinforced by recently enacted firearms legislation, the order gave the police powers to confiscate the gun that had repeatedly been used to terrorise her.

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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16 DAYS Of Activism Against Gender Violence
November 25 - December 10, 2005

"For the Health of Women, For the Health of the World: No More Violence"

What is the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign?
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is an international campaign originating from the first Women's Global Leadership Institute sponsored by the Center for Women's Global Leadership in 1991. Participants chose the dates, November 25, International Day Against Violence Against Women and December 10, International Human Rights Day, in order to symbolically link violence against women and human rights and to emphasize that such violence is a violation of human rights. This 16-day period also highlights other significant dates including December 1, which is World AIDS Day, and December 6, which marks the Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre.

The 16 Days Campaign has been used as an organizing strategy by individuals and groups around the world to call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women by:

∑ raising awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, regional and international levels
∑ strengthening local work around violence against women
∑ establishing a clear link between local and international work to end violence against women
∑ providing a forum in which organizers can develop and share new and effective strategies
∑ demonstrating the solidarity of women around the world organizing against violence against women
∑ creating tools to pressure governments to implement promises made to eliminate violence against women
Since 1991, approximately 1,700 organizations in 130 countries have participated in the 16 Days Campaign!

Submit your materials!

Participants in the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign have been instrumental in bringing issues of violence against women to the forefront in local, national, regional and global arenas. The strategies employed by groups and the activities organized during the 16 Days Campaign period continue to be unique and innovative. The Center for Women's Global Leadership asks that all participants of the 16 Days Campaign - past as well as present participants - send documentation of their events i.e. posters, pictures, t-shirts, video footage, poems, songs, statements, reports, etc. to the Global Center for the campaign archives (see contact information below). If you have photographs, documents, or other examples of your work that you can send in an electronic version, please do so and we will post it on the website.

Join the 16 Days electronic discussion!
We invite you to join the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence electronic discussion taking place in the form of a listserve. The discussion allows activists to collaboratively develop themes and strategies for the annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence Campaign. In addition, it can be used to discuss how groups are raising awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, regional and international levels, to uncover and learn from the ways in which activists have strengthened local work around violence against women, to continually resurface the link between local and international work to end violence against women, to share and develop new and effective strategies, to show the solidarity of women around the world organizing against violence against women, and to help develop further tools to pressure governments to implement promises made to eliminate violence against women.

If you are interested in joining the discussion or if you have any questions, please contact Sara Nordstrom at the Center for Women's Global Leadership at cwgl@igc.org.

Join the 16 Days movement!

Become part of an already existing student, community, national or international activity for the 16 Days or take actions on your own. Submit your planned activity to us for posting to the International Calendar of Campaign Activities and become part of the growing global movement organizing during this time. Your submissions will also enable the Center to refer other individuals and organizations that are interested in your activities to you. Please send a description of planned activities for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence to the address below.

Center for Women's Global Leadership
160 Ryders Lane, Rutgers University,
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8555, USA
Phone (1-732) 932-8782
Fax: (1-732) 932-1180
E-mail: cwgl@igc.org

For more on this initiative CLICK HERE

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White Ribbon Campaign– Men Working To End Men's Violence Against Women
In 1991, a handful of men in Canada decided to speak out against violence against women. Wearing a white ribbon is a symbol of men's opposition to men's violence against women. Wearing a white ribbon is a personal pledge never to commit, condone nor remain silent about violence against women. Each year, we urge men and boys to wear a ribbon for one or two weeks, starting on November 25, the International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women.

For more on the White Ribbon Campaign visit: http://www.whiteribbon.ca/

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Justice in cyber space redraws colonial boundaries
Johannesburg 21 November: The Cyber Dialogues, piloted during last year's Sixteen Days of Activism on Gender Violence, are set to redraw the map of Southern Africa through chat rooms in six languages that cut across artificial colonial boundaries. Under the banner “Making IT work for gender justice” the cyber dialogues that start with a “taking stock” session on 24 November are the culmination of training workshops around the region conducted by Gender Links (GL) in partnership with the Gender and Media Southern African (GEMSA) Network.

For more on this initiative click here

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Fact Sheet for Distribution: Adolescent Girls Affected by Violent Conflict
Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, and the Gender and Peacebuilding Working Group of the Canadian Peacebuilding Coordinating Committee
November 25, 2005 - Today, on the International Day Against Violence Against Women, we urge you to recognize the specific situations of adolescent girls affected by violent conflict and to support adolescent girls' participation in conflict prevention, peacebuilding, and community development. In armed conflict situations, adolescent girls have distinctive experiences that are often different from those of older women, younger children and adolescent boys. Yet, adolescent girls tend to fall through the cracks of programming, in part because they are not women, and not children. In producing this fact sheet on Adolescent girls affected by violent conflict, the Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, and the Gender and Peacebuilding Working Group of the Canadian Peacebuilding Coordinating Committee, urge you to recognize the roles and capacities of adolescent girls and to give increased policy and program attention to adolescent girls as a distinctive group. Doing so will help to protect girls from violence and its effects, and foster their participation in conflict prevention, peacebuilding, reconstruction and development processes.

We ask that you distribute this fact sheet widely and post (wherever possible) to your website.

Find the fact sheet at: http://www.peacewomen.org/campaigns/global/Adolescent_girls_E.pdf

Surendrini Wijeyaratne, on behalf of the Gender and Peacebuilding Working Group
Working Group Coordinator, Canadian Peacebuilding Coordinating Committee
Comité coordinateur canadien pour la consolidation de la paix
Ottawa, Ontario, CA.
Tel: (613) 241 - 3446
E-mail: surendrini@PEACEBUILD.CA

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For more women, peace and security initiatives – in country, regional, global and international, visit: http://www.peacewomen.org/campaigns/global/index.html

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WILPF Statement on the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence
November 2005
The 25th of November is the date of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. On that day the 15th annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence start and continue until the 10th of December, the United Nations International Human Rights' day. The observance began at the first Feminist Eucuentro for Latin America and the Caribbean held in Bogota, Colombia, in 1981. In 1999 the United Nations officially recognized the observance.

We are in the year of Beijing +10; 180 countries have now ratified the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW); and, we have just celebrated the 5th anniversary of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
All this indicates that women's rights should be respected. All over the world violence against women is nevertheless increasing – in families, in society and most of all during war and armed conflict.

Every day we get horrifying examples of that increase in violence:
∑ One out of three women have been beaten, sexually abused or raped.
∑ Systematic rape, sexual violence and abuse documented in Darfur, Sudan, is widespread.
∑ This year 314 women in El Salvador have been murdered.
∑ Every year 14,000 Russian women die as a result of violence in the home.
∑ Every fifth day a Spanish woman is killed by her partner.
∑ Every fourth minute a woman in the USA is raped.
∑ In fourteen countries a man can get mitigation of his sentence or impunity if he perpetrates violence or kills a woman in order to protect the so-called honour.
∑ According to law in nine countries a rapist gets impunity if he marries his victim.

Violence against women in war areas has, according to UNDP, reached epidemic heights. The common denominator for the 1990's conflicts and the conflicts in this millennium has been comprehensive sexual abuse, forced pregnancy as a tool in ethnic genocide, kidnapping, intentional infection with HIV/AIDS and trafficking in women and children for sexual purposes.

Change in the pattern of sex roles is one of the consequent conditions in a country in conflict, war or under occupation. Violence and aggression get integrated in everyday life. When killing becomes legitimate, it also becomes legitimate to rape or buy and sell human bodies, and a systematic brutalization of the whole society will occur. The brutalization and the change in the pattern of sex roles will constitute numerous and grave assaults on women who are abused by family members as well as by unknown men, civilians as well as soldiers.

In Women's International League for Peace and Freedom we have testimonies from women in many countries in war, crises or conflict. And we know from them that women's conditions have deteriorated and their rights are under pressure. Furthermore, the militarization of societies generates violence against all people; violence against women is extensive and varied in its manifestation. Everywhere women are working for respect of their rights and for better conditions.

Five years ago the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. Here the Council focused on the impact of war and conflict on women's and girls' lives. Furthermore it recognized that the contributions of women in negotiation processes and decision making are underestimated and not utilized, and it underlined that women ought to be recognized as active and full parties.

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom calls on all UN member states and all UN bodies to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325 as one of the means to act against gender violence.

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For further WILPF resolutions and statements please visit: http://www.wilpf.int.ch/statements/sindex.htm

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5. FEATURE resource

Cycles of violence: gender relations and armed conflict
El-Bushra, J.; Sahl, I.M.G./ Agency for Co-operation and Research in Development (Acord) (2005)

This book describes ACORD's research "Gender-sensitive design and planning in conflict-affected situations", carried out during 2000 and 2001 in five communities living in the shadow of violent conflict in Juba (Sudan), Gulu (Uganda), Luanda (Angola), Timbukta (Mali) and the Lower Shabelle region (Somalia). It also includes analysis of data collected in Eritrea and Rwanda and addresses the challenges in methodologies and tools for research in turbulent environments. The authors examine the impact of war on gender relations and whether gender relations contribute to conflict. The analysis explores the term "gender relations" and unpacks it into several sub- categories: gender "roles", "identities", "ideologies", and "institutions/power structures," examining how each of these changes are as a result of war. The authors find that, while gender is a factor in perpetuating violence, it is also a factor in rebuilding social relations and peace.

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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: http://www.peacewomen.org/resources/resourcesindex.html

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New Publication: Securing the Peace
In celebration of the 5th Anniversary of Security Council Resolution 1325 and the creation of a new United Nations Peacebuilding Commission, UNIFEM completed a new Peace and Security publication, “Securing the Peace: Guiding the International Community towards Women's Effective Participation throughout Peace Processes.” This publication highlights the importance of women's involvement at all stages of peace processes in order to ensure sustainable long-term peace. The opportunities afforded in the transition from war to peace open a window to address root causes of conflict and to transform institutions, structures and relationships within society. “Securing the Peace” provides concrete recommendations to support women's effective participation at all stages of a peace process, promote gender-sensitive peace negotiations and agreements, and encourage the mainstreaming of a gender perspective throughout the implementation of peace accords.

An electronic version of the publication can be found at:

For more information on women's participation in peace processes please visit:

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Kigali workshop on Strengthening Demobilization and Reintegration Programmes by Taking a Gender Perspective.
Co-organized by UNIFEM and the Multi-Country Demobilization and Reintegration Programme (MDRP)

From 31 October to 2 November 2005 UNIFEM and the World Bank-administered Multi-Country Demobilization Programme (MDRP) Secretariat held a consultation in Kigali, Rwanda. The consultation brought together representatives from seven national demobilization and reintegration commissions in the Great Lakes region, UN practitioners, experts, NGO representatives and women ex-combatants. The group examined how gender is currently being addressed by national programs and special projects supported by the MDRP, and identified gaps and areas to be strengthened. Participants concluded by formulating principles and recommendations for applying a gender perspective throughout the MDRP and associated DDR processes. The workshop began on the fifth anniversary of resolution 1325, which calls on “all those involved in planning of DDR to consider the different needs of female and male ex-combatants and to take into account the needs of their dependents.” One female ex-combatant participant from Burundi remarked after the workshop: “I was happy to meet with women ex-combatants from other countries. I was relieved to see that my problems and aspirations were not peculiar to me.”

UNIFEM and the MDRP Secretariat have commissioned a report of the workshop, which will be available in early 2006.

For more information on the workshop visit: http://www.unifem.org/news_events/story_detail.php?StoryID=355

For more information on women, gender and DDR and UNIFEM's response, visit:
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UNIFEM's Web Portal on Women, Peace and Security, CLICK HERE

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Gender, Guns and Peace Processes
5 December 2005, Geneva, Switzerland
This meeting, convened by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue as part of the project “Negotiating Disarmament,” will feature experts on gender, guns, and peace processes. Seeking to contribute to the implementation of Resolution 1325 through knowledge exchange and debate, a small group of advocates, analysts and practitioners from several disciplines will discuss the influence, relevance and impact of gender on the negotiation of disarmament, as well as weapons control issues in peace processes and in the implementation of peace agreements.

For more information email Cate Buchanan at cateb@hdcentre.org

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Better Offices: A Panel Discussion on Bolstering U.N. Peacemaking
30 November, 3:30-5:30 pm, UN Department of Political Affairs, UN Headquarters NY, Dag Hammerskjold Auditorium
In keeping with the decisions of the 2005 World Summit, the Department of Political Affairs is advancing proposals to bolster the ability of the Secretary-General to bring his “good offices” to bear in preventing and resolving deadly conflicts around the world. The Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Ibrahim Gambari, will lead a panel discussion on this subject, joined by three veteran U.N. peace envoys.

Speakers will include:

∑ Ibrahim A. Gambari, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs
∑ Lakhdar Brahimi, Special Advisor to the Secretary General
∑ Alvaro de Soto, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process
∑ Ibrahima Fall, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region

U.N. Staff, delegations of Member States, UN-affiliated non-governmental organizations and media representatives are welcome to attend.

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Developing Communities: Practicing Theater for Transformation
9 - 11 December, 2005, The Grail Women's Inst. for Social Transformation, The Grail in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York
The Grail Women's Institute for Social Transformation invites you to a new, exciting and energizing workshop where passion for social justice meets the arts: A workshop for women who are social activists, union organizers, teachers, faith-based workers, artists and performers, community builders, concerned citizens--any woman committed to creating a world of justice and peace.

Deadline for registration 2 December 2005.

To register please contact Simonetta Romano at: sromano.poped@grail-us.org or call (845) 534-2031

For more information please on this event, visit: http://www.peacewomen.org/frame/calendar/transformative_theater.html

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For the complete calendar, CLICK HERE.


1. Fifth Anniversary Recap & Follow-Up (Part One): Analysis of Open Debate Themes & the UN System-Wide Action Plan
2. Women, Peace and Security News
3. Feature Initiatives: 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence & White Ribbon Campaign
4. Feature Statements: WILPF Statement on the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence
5. Feature Resource: �Cycles of violence: gender relations and armed conflict� El-Bushra & Sahl, I.M.G./ Agency for Co-operation and Research in Development (Acord) (2005)
6. UNIFEM Update: A new publication: �Securing the Peace� and Kigali workshop on �Strengthening Demobilization and Reintegration Programmes by Taking a Gender Perspective.�
7. Women, Peace and Security Calendar