Status of Implementing the Recommendations of 1325 by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign

Friday, June 13, 2003

1. 1325 NEWS

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

Palestinian, Israeli Women Seek New Peace Track
June 12 – (Reuters) An unprecedented session of Middle East face-to-face talks opened in the Norwegian capital on Thursday -- an organised group of Palestinian and Israeli women seeking a greater role for women in achieving regional peace.

Women Activists Call for Peace
June 10, 2003 – (IRIN) Sixty women peace activists in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, have appealed for the restoration of peace and stability in the city.

Peacekeeping's Unsavory Side
June 9, 2003 – (UN Wire) Among the uglier stories surrounding international peacekeeping in recent years is that U.N. operations too often fuel booms in local prostitution, frequently involving women abducted or duped by criminal trafficking gangs to be forced into brothels. Sadly, there are also documented cases of peacekeepers -- a minority, to be sure -- who sexually abuse local people whom they are sent to protect.

Concern Over Reported Arrest of Women Activists
June 9, 2003 – (IRIN) The Swiss-based human rights group, World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), has expressed concern over a recent incident in which Sudanese security forces reportedly arrested a group of women activists, and it urged the authorities in Khartoum to conduct a "thorough and impartial" investigation. For the OMCT appeal, click here.

Cases of Ugly Sexual Assaults Emerge During Testimonies
June 9, 2003 - (African Church Information Service) A Kenyan lawyer, Binaifer Nowrojee of the Coalition on Women's Human Rights in Conflict Situations (CWHRCS) told the Sierra Leone's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) that sexual violence has remained Sierra Leone's invisible war crime.

Congo's Warring Factions Leave a Trail of Rape
June 9, 2003 – (NYT) They had walked through the banana groves and up the empty red dirt roads. Among them was a mother of two, clutching a child at her breasts, a pregnant woman holding her belly, a girl in a tattered blue school uniform skirt.

Security Council Reminded of its Commitment to Put Gender Issues at the Centre of Peace Efforts
June 6, 2003 – (DPI/OSAGI Press Release) - In a briefing note to the Security Council released yesterday in preparation for its upcoming missions to Africa, Angela King, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, reminded the Security Council of its commitment to put women and girls at the centre of peace efforts and indicated concrete steps to be taken by the two missions to ensure a greater participation of women in the peace processes in these regions. Two Security Council missions are scheduled to travel to West Africa and to the Great Lakes region later this month.

Africa's Women Beginning To See Progress in Politics
June 6, 2003 – (Washington Post) Her head held high and her body balancing six yellow containers -- one atop her head, three on her back and two looped around her arms -- Rachel Adhimabo glided over the mounds of fuming trash, along the rocky footpaths and through the labyrinth of metal shacks that make up her muddy slum neighborhood. It's a two-hour journey to collect water for her family, and she makes it every day. For the full story, visit:

Small Arms – the Real Weapons of Mass Destruction
June 5, 2003 – (International Alert Press Release) The real weapons of mass destruction are not the ones sought by weapons inspectors in Iraq. They're everywhere - in the form of small arms and the ordinary people around the world who have access to them.

As Peace Talks Get Underway In Akosombo: Women Stage Another Round Of Demonstration
June 2, 2003 – (AllaboutLiberia) As delegates of the Liberian government and rebel factions gather in the West African State of Ghana to discuss the future of Liberia, hundreds of women have staged another anti-war demonstration in the Liberian capital, Monrovia.

For more 1325 news, click here.

Back to Top


Status of Implementing the Recommendations of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000), ‘Women, Peace and Security' by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence
May 2003, Netherlands

In 2002, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defense established a joint civil service working group to review the “degree to which existing policy was in line with UN Resolution 1325.” The findings of the working group were compiled into a report and submitted to the Speakers of the House of Representatives and Senate in May.

Following the principal issues addressed in Resolution 1325, the working group looked at its national policy and the implementation of direct responsibilities by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence.

Below is an excerpt from the report:


Gender Issues in Prevention and Reconstruction

…In the context of actual conflicts, such as Afghanistan, but also in Eritrea, the Mano River Basin and the Great Lakes Region (Central Africa), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has applied itself in several ways to ensure that gender expertise and/or resources are available to support important multilateral actors (UN, World Bank) in building up a gender perspective in the conflicts. In cases of demobilisation, for example, the UN and the World Bank now use a quick-scan to identify vulnerable groups and take necessary measures. In the specific case of Eritrea, the Netherlands contributed by providing gender expertise in the identification of the DRR programme.

In addition to multilateral efforts, the Netherlands also supports international NGOs, such as International Alert and the International Fellowship for Reconciliation (IFOR), who, with a keen eye for gender and gender relations, work on conflict resolution and lobby at the local and international levels, and organisations such as the Network University, which aims to disseminate expertise and skills in the area of gender and conflict via the Internet and distance learning.

Modern conflicts have an enormous impact on civilian populations, possibly greater than was the case in the past. Violations of the rights of women in war situations, for example, through sexual violence against women and girls seems endemic. As refugees, women and girls often have fewer rights and authority than under normal circumstances.

Conflict and Women's Human Rights

In the 3rd Commission of the General Assembly of the United Nations and in the United Nations Human Rights Commission (HRC), the Netherlands regularly stands up for the rights of women and girls in conflict situations. Recent examples include the General Assembly Resolution 56/176 "Question of Human Rights in Afghanistan", the United Nations Human Rights Commission Resolution 2001/50 "Integrating the Human Rights of Women throughout the United Nations System", and the HRC Resolution 2001/49 "Elimination of Violence against Women". The designation of sexual violence as an indictable war crime is included in the charter of the International Criminal Court (ICC), of which the Netherlands is the host-country. That makes the ICC crucial in the protection of women's and girls' rights in conflict situations.

During the term of office of the previous government, for example, guaranteeing refugees' reproductive rights was one of the emancipation points of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The accent was on a financial contribution to UNFPA dedicated to that specific policy objective. In addition, the Netherlands was working on a coherent and alert stance by the EU in the UN where various parties (including the United States, the Vatican and several Islamic countries) attempt continuously to weaken the reproductive rights of women as laid down in the final declaration of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD/Cairo). In respect of concrete violations of women's human rights, an analysis is done on a case by case basis to see whether Dutch embassies and—in EU-context—Permanent Representatives should play a role in monitoring and publicizing violence against women (as happened in the recent past in the case of the Sudan and Afghanistan).

For the full report, click here.

For the letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs and State Secretary for Defence to the Speakers of the House of Representatives and Senate sent with submission of the report, click here.

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

Back to Top


Athens Forum Statement on Gender, Peace and Foreign Policy: the EU Perspective
May 28-30, 2003, Athens

At a two-day forum last month in Athens, Greece, more than 500 women and men – peace activists, policy makers, academics, and students – gathered to strategize about how to move forward the European Union agenda on women's roles in conflict prevention, resolution, reconstruction and peace-building.

Below is an excerpt from the statement:


We, the participants of this Forum,

…-Expect that women will actively participate in all policy decisions and actions now shaping the future of the EU, a global power of over 450 million citizens. This includes developing in the enlarged European Union a common defense and foreign policy for the protection of civilians from threats to human security, trafficking, violence - particularly gender-based violence - and war.

-Demand that the European Convention and Intergovernmental Conference of 2004 ensures that gender equality is enshrined as one of the principles and values of the European Constitution. We ask the Member States of the European Union to commit themselves to gender mainstreaming in all emergent European foreign policy, and to achieving gender balance in all advisory and decision-making bodies in the critical area of external relations in the next Treaty or Constitution of the European Union.

…-Call on the Member States of the European Union to take account of the active role and treatment of women in their bi-lateral relations with developing countries.

-Ensure that Member States, within the context of the on-going harmonization of asylum systems in Europe, will take due account of the protection needs of refugee women and girls; and that gender related issues are fully considered.

…-Call upon the European Union to support the national and growing international peace movement now challenging the very legitimacy of war and to develop strategies to protect human rights defenders and peace activists.

-Encourage international commitment to structuring more just, equitable and peaceful societies, through support for the implementation of instruments such as the International Criminal Court and the international criminal tribunals of former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone, and other efforts to promote women's human rights and justice.

-Further support the development and implementation of innovative approaches to conflict prevention through peace education, education in schools to address the structural causes of conflict and promote communication and dialogue. This should include evaluation of language on which concepts are based, creating a new language on which to base a culture of peace.

-Develop a programme, which addresses the negative impacts of economic globalisation for women, combats poverty and other root causes of violence and through support of a gender perspective on globalisation.

-Respond to the dramatic rise in religious fundamentalism and militarisation, which has discriminatory and violent impact on women, through renewed emphasis on human rights, social justice and respect for diversity.

-Ensure that gender analysis becomes an integral part of all conflict analysis, through the development of gender sensitive early warning indicators and response strategies, recognising that micro and macro levels of violence are interlinked.

For the full statement, click here.

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

Back to Top


Checklist of Key Gender Dimensions for Iraq by Sector
Compiled by UNIFEM
June 2003

The UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) has compiled this Checklist, from various UN and non-UN sources, to be used in assessment and fact-finding missions in Iraq. The objective of the Checklist is to ensure that “the gender components of all elements of the peace-building and recovery process are identified and mainstreamed into planning procedures and programme implementation.”

The Checklist is divided into 16 mini checklists consisting of questions covering a variety of issues, including health and nutrition, water supply and sanitation, cultural heritage and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR).

Below is an excerpt from the General and Cross-Cutting Issues checklist:


1. General and Cross-Cutting Issues

-How have men and women, girls and boys been affected differently by the conflict? Have women and men been affected differently by specific events such as the destruction of schools, roads, sanitation facilities, markets, homes, etc.?

-What specific power structures can be identified within communities? What are the specific threats or risks facing women and girls in the current environment? What can be done to remove these threats or minimize them in the immediate, medium, and long-term? Threats could include increased violence including domestic violence, marginalization in the political realm/exclusion from political processes related to peace building, etc.

-Do leadership training and capacity building programmes for women's groups already exist? How are women organizing in their communities and in society at large? Are networks emerging among civil society groups, particularly among women's organizations?

-How can information be gathered and disaggregated to account for widows and female-headed households who may account for a larger proportion of the population during and after conflict?

-Is there gender balance on the needs assessment team, and has a gender focal point been designated to monitor and provide technical support to the needs assessment team?

For the full Checklist, click here.

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

Back to Top


Why are women being excluded from Iraq's reconstruction processes - and what needs to be done quickly to rectify this?: An 'ante-post-mortem' Open Discussion
June 30, 2003, 1.30-3.30pm, St Ethelburga's, London, England
Eyecatcher Associates/Shevolution and the Centre for Reconciliation and Peace are organizing a discussion on (the scarcity of) women in post-conflict reconstruction after the devastating conflict in Iraq. The organizers hope to brainstorm positive and practical outcomes; “what needs to be done, how can this be done, what are the moves required to ensure women are quickly included in on-going turbulent places, especially Afghanistan and Iraq.” Guest participants will include Elisabeth Rehn, former Minister of Equality Affairs and Minister of Defence of Finland and one of the author's of UNIFEM's Independent Experts' Assessment on the Impact of Conflict on Women and Women's Role in Peace-building. For more information about the meeting, contact Steve Alston at or call (020) 7496 1610.

International Women's Development Agency Think Tank: "Gender Mainstreaming and Intersectionality in the Region: Forging the Future"
July 3-4, 2003, Brisbane, Australia
The Think Tank has two themes: 1) Gender mainstreaming: beyond the rhetoric and; 2) Intersectionality and gender: forging ahead. This gathering is intended to promote wider discussion and analysis at a national and regional level, leading to a conference in 2004 and publication in 2005 of strengthened frameworks for gender and development in the Australian development sector. For more information, contact Suzette Mitchell, IWDA Consultant, at

International Training Institute: "Leading Change: The Power to Act"
July 8-10, 2003, Brisbane, Australia
The Institute comprises a series of workshops to be held immediately following the World YWCA World Council and International Women's Summit. The objectives of the workshops include exploring international trends and challenges facing women and identifying elements of a world agenda for and by women between now and 2005 (Beijing+10). For more information, please contact the World YWCA in Geneva at or visit

For more calendar events click here.

Back to Top


The PeaceWomen is a project of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). Please visit us at

Previous issues of 1325 PeaceWomen E-News can be found at:

At this time 1325 PeaceWomen E-News is only available in English. The PeaceWomen Team hopes to translate the newsletter into French and Spanish in the future. If you would not like to receive the English newsletter but would like to be placed on a list when translation is possible, please write to:

To unsubscribe from the 1325 PeaceWomen News, send an email to with "unsubscribe" as the subject heading.

Questions, concerns and comments can be sent to 1325 E-News and other submissions should be directed to

This edition of the 1325 PeaceWomen E-News Features:

1. 1325 News
2. Feature Report: Status of Implementing the Recommendations of 1325 by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence
3. Feature Statement: Athens Forum Statement on Gender, Peace and Foreign Policy: the EU Perspective
4. Feature Resource: Checklist of Key Gender Dimensions for Iraq by Sector
5. Calendar Events