Reflections on the Women, Peace and Security Agenda on International Women's Day

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


Any Progress for the Lives of Women in Burma Since Beijing?
Women's League of Burma, February 2005
Ten years have passed since the Beijing Conference. Some sisters around the world have acknowledged that there has been some progress related to commitment towards the BPFA on the part of governments. But for women from Burma, nothing has changed...The SPDC's reports on the implementation of the BPFA completely ignored the extreme poverty in Burma resulting from their ongoing military expansion, excessive army expenditure and gross mismanagement of the economy, which has had a grave impact on women and children. Moreover, there was no mention of the half-a-century long civil war between the military regime and the ethnic groups. Instead they state: "The area of Women in Armed conflict is not relevant to present day-Myanmar, since the country has been in peace for decades." Regarding Critical Area of Concern D - Violence Against Women, they responded that "very few cases exist regarding violence against women" in Burma, and "it is not a major issue".

For the full report, CLICK HERE.

Women, Armed Conflict and Occupation: An Israeli Perspective
Implementation of the Beijing Platform of Action (Section E): A Shadow Report
Isha L'Isha-Haifa Feminist Center, March 2005
Over the past 10 years, in formal reports submitted by the State of Israel to the United Nations, references to Section E [of the Beijing Platform for Action] were extremely brief in nature. They included, for the most part, reporting on the status of women who serve in the Israeli army, and a very brief reference to the lack of involvement of women in conflict resolution processes. This report by Isha L'Isha-Haifa feminist Center is a first and unique attempt by a non-governmental organization in Israel to add more details and information. The report examines Israeli policy regarding the six-point Strategic Objectives as set out in the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA), and as such, touches upon women and violent conflict and the occupation. Both the BPfA and UN Security Council Resolution 1325 serve as a framework, an opportunity and a stepping stone, for writing this report. To request a hard copy, email

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Women's Media Pool
The Women's Media Pool was initiated to distribute information regarding the assessment and appraisal of the full spectrum of the Platform for Action and the Declaration, by way of producing press releases, features for electronic networks, newspapers, reports, TV, community and commercial radio and internet during the Beijing + 10 process.

For women's news on Beijing +10 visit:

PeaceWomen is currently preparing a compilation of women, peace and security references from governments' statements during the two-weeks of CSW. It will be available shortly at: /beijing10index.html.

The WILPF delegation is currently preparing reports from its side events and other activities during CSW. These reports will be available shortly at: /beijing10index.html.

For information on the recent Review and Appraisal of the Beijing Platform, CLICK HERE.

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Demanding Accessibility and Accountability: Women, Peace and Security Advocates Seek More Translations

PeaceWomen has added a new feature to its 1325 Translation Initiative webpage – a list of languages that have been identified as priorities for translation by women, peace and security advocates. The list, to-date, consists of the following languages:

• Achehnese (Acheh)
• Bari (Sudan)
• Dinka (Sudan)
• Embera (Colombia)
• Ganda (Uganda)
• Hmong (spoken in Laos, Thailand, Burma, Vietnam, and Southern China)
• Igbo (Nigeria)
• Khmer (Cambodia)
• Kyrgyz
• Luganda (Uganda)
• Luo (Northern Uganda)
• 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, please contact

To suggest potential translators for any of these languages, and to add languages to this list, please contact


March 11, 2005 – (UN News) The United Nations, pursuing its zero-tolerance policy against sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeeping operations and mission personnel around the world, announced today that it was conducting an inquiry into alleged sexual abuse of minors by troops in Burundi.

March 10, 2005 (IRIN) - Women are still under represented at decision-making levels in the Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC's) institutions, reduced to the role of house help and have even become victims of repeated sexual violence, women's representatives said on Tuesday during the International Women's Day.

March 8 2005 - (IRIN Nairobi) In a report released on Monday, the eve of International Women's Day, Medecins Sans Frontieres, MSF, reported that between October 2004 and mid-February 2005, doctors in several locations in North and South Darfur had treated almost 500 women and girls who had been raped. "These women come to us for treatment of sexually-transmitted diseases, physical injuries and psychological trauma," Paul Foreman, MSF Head of mission in Khartoum, told IRIN on Tuesday. "The problem is massive."

March 4, 2005 - (IPS) In an inspiring victory for African women -- and women everywhere -- Rwanda has surged to first place on an international scorecard for gender equality in political representation.

March 3, 2005 - (Guardian) It has been just a month since the brutal murder of Robert McCartney, a father of two, by IRA members in a pub in the Short Strand area of Belfast - a month that has seen extraordinary changes. According to reports, on the night of January 30, as McCartney and his friend Brendan Devine lay bleeding in the street, IRA men cleaned up the crime scene and threatened witnesses, who were too intimidated to call an ambulance. In the days immediately following the murder, police questioned people who had been drinking in the pub at the time, who claimed to have seen nothing. So far, so predictable. But then, something happened: in this community of 3,000 staunch republicans, six women defied the IRA. One month on, it looks as though this murder of a man who had no paramilitary connections, might be a real catalyst for change.

March 3, 2005 - (Interfax) No negotiations should be held with Chechen guerillas, says a resolution released by a conference entitled Women for Peace and Stability in the Chechen Republic. The conference, organized by the Women's Dialog organization, took place in Grozny on Thursday.

March 2, 2005 – (UN News) With violence against women rife throughout Mexico, including murders, forced prostitution, sexual assaults, domestic violence and gender-based discrimination, a senior United Nations expert has voiced concern over the criminal justice system in addressing such crimes.

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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Position Paper of the Women in Peacebuilding Network, WANEP - Togo
8 March 2005, Lome, Togo

WIPNET TOGO* appreciates the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the international community for their intervention and sense of purpose that has prevailed on the former Togolese authorities and the opposition to uphold constitutional legality.

WIPNET Togo appeals to all political leaders to seize the opportunity presented to demonstrate their responsibility in leading the people of Togo out of the present crisis.

1- Our appeal to the opposition is that they should stop their internal squabbles one and for all and find collaborative strategies for ensuring good and transparent elections. We appreciate their decision to participate in the election

2- Women cannot continue to follow male politicians without a clear analysis of the political situation. Consequently WIPNET Togo makes a clear appeal to all women to mobilise themselves en masse to engage not just in the political process but to serve as agents of reconciliation between the former regime and the opposition in order to end the crisis and create an enabling environment for peace and human security.

3- In addition WIPNET Togo call on all peace an justice women without any ethnic religious or political distinction to join forces in pressurising the two parties former government and opposition, to a mediation

4- WIPNET Togo calls on the international community to put in all efforts to ensure that the elections are held in a transparent, free and fair manner…

*Women in Peacebuilding Network Togo: The women in peacebuilding network is a programme of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding that is currently operational in 9 WANEP national networks across West Africa.

For the full position paper, CLICK HERE.

For WIPNET's concept paper on “WIPNET Peace vigil - expressing solidarity with the women in Togo,” 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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The Impact of Guns on Women's Lives
Stop Violence Against Women campaign and Control Arms, a campaign jointly run by Amnesty International, Oxfam and the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA)
7 March 2005

Below are excerpts from the Introduction:

Women, men and guns
The relationship between women and guns is a complex one. Women are not only killed and injured by the use of weapons, they also play other roles – sometimes as perpetrators of armed violence, sometimes encouraging the use of guns, and sometimes as activists for change.

Women in many countries have become powerful forces for peace and human rights in their communities. This report includes the experiences of women who have been affected by gun violence and have decided to do something about it by calling for tougher arms controls, for safer communities, and for respect for women's human rights. Their campaigns are working to rid not only their own lives, but also those of their families and communities of the ravages of gun violence.

However, women's attitudes can sometimes contribute to the powerful cultural conditioning that equates masculinity with owning and using a gun, and regards gun abuse by men as acceptable. Women sometimes overtly encourage their men to fight, and, more subtly, support the attitudes and stereotypes promoting gun culture. Women and girls also actively participate in many of the world's conflicts, either willingly, through coercion, economic pressure, or because they have been abducted and forced to serve. For some women and girls in armed groups having a gun is seen as a way of protecting themselves and acquiring greater status. However, this is frequently illusory; and many girl and women combatants continue to be abused and are forced to commit abuses themselves…

For the full report, visit:

For the press release announcing the new report, CLICK HERE.

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Gender, peace and security agendas: Where are the girls and young women?
By Jackie Kirk and Suzanne Taylor
Gender and Peacebuilding Working Group, Canadian Peacebuilding Coordinating Committee
March 2005

Excerpts of the Summary are below:

This study aimed to a) further explore and better understand the particular issues relating to girls and young women within women, peace and security agendas, and b) inform policy development relating to gender, peace and security. These agendas and policy development processes are very much linked to UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which does talk about women and girls and indicates the need to consider the experiences and needs of girls in conflict and post conflict situations. However, the study finds that this attention remains quite superficial, and there is little in-depth consideration of the particular implications of conflict for girls and young women, or of involving them in peacebuilding processes. Although Security Council resolutions relating to children and armed conflict also recognize some of the particular conflict-related issues for girls, the range of issues is quite narrow, and adolescent girls remain somewhat invisible. They fall between the quite separate UN agendas for women, peace and security, and for children and armed conflict. Yet adolescent girls and young women make up large sections of conflict-affected population, and are often mothers and heads of households. They are crucial actors in post-conflict reconstruction and in the rebuilding of peaceful communities and societies. The study also highlights the fact that although Canadian women and women's peace movements are active in the promotion of SCR 1325, their activities and messages do seem to have not targeted Canadian girls and young women; there are few young women activists on these issues.

The full study is available at:

For additional resources from the Gender and Peacebuilding Working Group, visit:

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Gender and Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration: Building Blocs for Dutch Policy – Occasional Paper
Tsjeard, Bouta, Conflict Research Unit, Clingendael, Netherlands Institute of International Relations
March 2005

This paper highlights a number of critical issues in the discussion on gender and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR). Apart from giving an impression of women's participation in warfare, the paper analyses four key roles of women in (ir)regular armies, namely that of combatant, support worker, abductee, and dependant. It elaborates on the (im)possibilities of DDR programmes to assist all women who have been involved in (ir)regular armies. Finally, the paper outlines a number of building blocs for a possible Dutch policy on gender and DDR. The annexe of the paper includes a checklist on gender and DDR, which donors could use to address gender issues in the planning and implementation of DDR programmes.

This paper was prepared as part of the Conflict Research Programme (CRP), which is conducted by the Conflict Research Unit at the request of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

For a copy of the report, email Carola van der Heiden at, or email

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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Reflections on the Women, Peace and Security Agenda on International Women's Day
8 March 2005

Ms. Rachel Mayanja, Assistant Secretary-General, UN Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women:
…The final report on the high-level panel on Threats, Challenges and Change has surprisingly very little to say in terms of gender perspectives. It deals with addressing the root causes that lead to instability and bad governance. It takes the view that democratic societies are least likely to suffer from many of the threats and challenges, which lead to breakdown in peace and security. Yet, it fails to see the connection between the exclusion and marginalization of women from and in the political process as a factor in the democratic deficits, which heighten the risks of internal violence and instability.

Security Council resolution 1325 has provided an important tool to bring women into the process of transforming potential conflicts into peaceful negotiations.

Women all over the world now have to engage strenuously in this debate and we must link it to respect for the rule of law and human rights, gender equality, dialogue and transparency. We have no choice, because unequal access to resources, authoritarian political systems and corruption increase instability and lead to conflict…

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Dr. Nafis Sadik, Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific, and Member of the UN High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change:

…Members of the Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change had no doubts about the importance of gender equality for global security. We just had difficulty articulating actionable recommendations. The great majority of current conflicts are internal rather than international; they involve whole populations. There is an additional threat from groups of criminals, who can operate with or without state support, within and across national borders. These groups may be ideologically motivated, or they may be drug dealers or traffickers in human beings. They thrive in conditions of political chaos, economic deprivation and human insecurity. In all these cases, the human rights of women and girls are disproportionately at risk.

Women have special needs in conflict and post-conflict situations; they have a stake and a contribution to make in peacemaking and peace-building; and they are essential agents in longer-term development. Institutional arrangements at international and national level should reflect these realities.

All this is very well-known. The Security Council's resolution 1325 of 31 October 2000 covered much of the ground. Three of the Millennium Development Goals refer to women directly. The first MDG, halving poverty by 2015, cannot be achieved without gender equality…

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Mrs. Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN-HABITAT, and Commissioner on the Blair Commission for Africa:
…Another area which requires urgent attention is the militarization of political conflicts, peacekeeping and security as they affect gender policies. The defense forces and other groups working in the area of peacekeeping should be sensitized to women's human rights and the consequences of violence against women in all its various forms. There is a need to engage in constructive discussions with all stakeholders including communities, defense forces, the police and the leadership in conflict areas and peacekeeping operations to address sexual exploitation and abuse of women and children. The international human rights standards that protect women against rape and sexual violence should be upheld and sanctions must be put in place for offenders…

The above statements can all be found at:

UN Commission on the Status of Women IWD events:

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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Report on the 49th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women
The NGOWG held two interactive workshops on “SCR 1325 in Action” during CSW, which enjoyed widespread participation. Women from civil society globally shared their best practices regarding using SCR 1325 as a tool to support their work on women, peace and security at the local and national levels.

Action: Visit soon to read the NGOWG's report from the interactive workshops.

In addition, the NGOWG was invited to conduct a training session on SCR 1325 with the International Indigenous Women Forum to raise awareness among civil society CSW participants.

The NGOWG also had the opportunity to intervene at International Women's Day to ask panelists about SCR 1325 and to present a statement to the CSW Plenary on 9 March. The NGOWG reminded Member States that the participation of women in political decision-making, prevention of conflict and protection of women and children must be incorporated into resolutions at CSW this year and lamented the valuable time lost because of the United States' proposed amendment.

Our statement is available online at:

For the webcast, visit:

Questionnaire: Results to be included in Five Years On Report
The NGOWG wishes to thank the more than 75 respondents who filled out the Questionnaire to gauge civil society's awareness of SCR 1325. The results of the survey will be included in a SCR 1325 Five Years On Report to be released this October.

Action: Visit soon to fill out the new questionnaire, designed to measure civil society initiatives presently underway.

The NGOWG's action alerts and updates are now posted on the NGOWG website at:

For more NGOWG updates, CLICK HERE.

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UNIFEM at Beijing +10

UNIFEM Executive Director Noeleen Heyzer addressed the 49th Commission on the Status of Women at the Beijing Plus Ten and issued a statement for International Women's Day praising the many gains that have been achieved in the past 30 years of women's world conferences. Noting the passage of 1325 as an important validation of women's experiences of war and their many efforts to bring peace, Ms. Heyzer highlighted the many positives steps that have been taken in the areas of legislative reform, CEDAW implementation and HIV prevention.

However, Ms. Heyzer also emphasized that the pace of change has been too slow, especially with regards to the epidemic levels of violence against women in many conflict and post-conflict zones, trafficking in women and the increasing burden of care that is imposed on women and girls by the unabated HIV/AIDS crisis, which is being continually fueled by poverty, insecurity and sexual violence that are endemic in today's conflicts.

Outlining UNIFEM's innovative Trust Fund to Eliminate Violence Against Women, Ms. Heyzer argued that support to implementation and accountability are necessary to achieve the objectives set out in resolution 1325 and the Beijing Platform for Action. Such support must include strengthening the “gender architecture” within the UN so that gender experts and advocates have adequate human and fiscal resources with which to mainstream gender into international institutions.

UNIFEM sponsored and co-sponsored four events on Women, Peace and Security at the CSW entitled, “Widows, Inheritance and Human Rights, Women's Leadership During Conflict and Crisis,” “Women Building Peace Through Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration,” and “Gender Justice and Inclusive Security,” where International Alert and Women Waging Peace's “Inclusive Security, Sustainable Peace: A Toolkit for Advocacy and Action” ( and UNIFEM's publication on its September 2004 Gender Justice Conference (, co-sponsored with ILAC, were launched. The proceedings from “Widows, Inheritance and Human Rights” will be made available on and the proceedings and statements from “Women Building Peace Through Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration” will be shortly available at

For Noeleen Heyzer's statement on International Women's Day, visit: (Spanish and French translations available here).

UNIFEM's Portal on Women, Peace and Security:

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Recent NGO Statements on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by UN Peacekeepers

Open letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan regarding sexual exploitation by peacekeeping forces
Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation, 10 March 2005
The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation wants to grasp the opportunity given by the ten year review of the Beijing Platform for Action and the forthcoming UN report by H.H.R Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein, your adviser on Addressing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Committed by All Categories of Personnel in Peacekeeping Contexts, to express our outrage and deep concern on this issue…

For the full letter, which includes recommendations, CLICK HERE.

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Haiti: Sexual Exploitation by Peacekeepers Likely to be a Problem
Refugees International Bulletin, 7 March 2005
On Friday, February 18, a radio station in Gonaïves, Haiti claimed that three members of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Haiti, MINUSTAH, had raped a young Haitian woman. By February 19, MINUSTAH had sent an investigator to Gonaïves to investigate. On February 21, MINUSTAH aired the findings to the Haitian local media at a press conference. While these speedy actions are a welcome change from the way that other UN peacekeeping missions have dealt with allegations of sexual exploitation by peacekeepers, MINUSTAH is still not adequately prepared to address and fight sexual exploitation by UN peacekeepers…

This Bulletin is based on research undertaken during a two-week assessment mission to Haiti by Sarah Martin and Peter Gantz.

For the full bulletin, which includes concrete recommendations, CLICK HERE.

For media coverage of the case of the 3 MINUSTAH peacekeepers accused of rape, visit PeaceWomen's Gender and Peacekeeping news index at:

For more gender and peacekeeping resources, CLICK HERE.

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2005 INCORE International Summer School: Gender, Conflict and Education Course
Application deadline: 4 April 2005
The Annual INCORE Summer School is an intensive week of discussion, reflection, learning and networking, facilitated by leading academics and practitioners. The courses reflect the state of the art in conflict resolution thinking and practice, bringing people involved in conflict management together to enhance their practice and to avail of cutting-edge learning. INCORE invites participants to reflect on their varied experiences, to contribute to collective knowledge of those attending, whilst also increasing their individual learning through the skills and insights of the facilitators. For more information about the 2005 session, including the other courses offered, and how to apply, visit:

Call for Nominations: John Humphrey Freedom Award
Deadline: 15 April 2005
Rights and Democracy/Droits et Democratie (International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development), Montreal, Canada
Rights and Democracy presents this award each year to an organization or individual from any country or region of the world, including Canada, for exceptional achievement in the promotion of human rights and democratic development. The award consists of a grant of $25,000 USD. For more information on how to nominate, visit; email; tel: 514 283 6073.

WILPF's 90th Anniversary Celebration
23 April 2005, the Hague, Netherlands
For 90 years the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom has worked to empower women to participate in political processes in order to create a just and lasting peace. WILPF will celebrate it's 90th anniversary with many events this year, including an event in our birthplace (the Hague) on 23 April, which will feature a panel discussion on implementing Security Council Resolution 1325. For more information, see:

13th International Conference of Women in Black
13-16 August 2005, Jerusalem, Israel
Deadline: 1 July 2005
The theme of the conference is “women and peacemaking,” though the concept for the conference is still being discussed. The conference will include lectures and workshops, fact-finding tours and a vigil. For more information, visit: or email:

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1. Beijing +10 Update: Reports on Peace and Security, Plus Women's Media
2. 1325 Translation Update: Demanding Accessibility and Accountability - Women, Peace and Security Advocates Seek More Translations
3. Women, Peace and Security News
4. Feature Resource: Position Paper of the Women in Peacebuilding Network, WANEP � Togo
5. Feature Reports: �The Impact of Guns on Women's Lives� (Stop Violence Against Women campaign and Control Arms), �Gender, peace and security agendas: Where are the girls and young women?� (Gender and Peacebuilding Working Group, Canadian Peacebuilding Coordinating Committee) & �Gender and Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration: Building Blocs for Dutch Policy� (Clingendael)
6. Feature Statements: Reflections on the Women, Peace and Security Agenda on International Women's Day
7. Action Alerts from the NGOWG On Women, Peace and Security
8. UNIFEM Update: UNIFEM at Beijing +10
9. Gender and Peacekeeping Update: Recent NGO Statements on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by UN Peacekeepers
10. Women, Peace and Security Calendar