Women's International League For Peace and Freedom: 90 Years Old and Going Strong

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


April 11, 2005 - (Toronto Star) Four days after naming John Bolton, a bombastic critic of the United Nations, as America's 25th ambassador to the organization, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice quietly appointed Shirin Tahir-Kheli, a highly regarded diplomat, as her senior adviser on U.N. reform.

April 7, 2005 - (Afrol News) Violations of women's rights escalates the rate of HIV infections throughout the continent. Sexual oppression combined with a high biological receptiveness of viral transmission, put women at risk. As a consequence, the violence against women threatens to destroy whole communities

April 4, 2005 - (WOMENSENEWS) In the West Bank, a Palestinian woman in labor waits over an hour for an ambulance to take her to the hospital. After it picks her up, it is stopped at a military checkpoint by Israeli soldiers, who refuse to let her pass through. She ends up giving birth right there. In the Gaza Strip, a woman beaten by her boyfriend does not report the abuse to the Palestinian police because she knows they are incapable of helping her.

April 2, 205 - (AlterNet) Laura Bush's visit to Afghanistan focused media attention on the still-struggling country. But not a single news article dared to question her empty talk of solidarity with Afghan women.

March 30, 2005 – (BBC) Several hundred Kenyan women who say they were raped by British soldiers stationed in their country in the 1980s and 1990s are bringing their claim to the United Nations. The women's lawyer said Kenyan and British authorities have not taken sufficient action to help the women; the British Royal Military Police said some reports of rape had been faked but that it continues to investigate others.

March 26, 2005 – (Reuters) Women in Indonesia's devastated Aceh province who lost their homes in the Dec. 26 earthquake and tsunami face sexual attacks in relief camps, Oxfam said, as it warned of long-term social dislocation.

For the Oxfam report, CLICK HERE.

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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2. feature SCR 1325 initiative

SCR 1325 on Trial in Northern Ireland - Report
Northern Ireland Women's European Platform, 17 November 2004
A unique event took place at Stormont, the parliament buildings of the Northern Ireland Assembly [17 November 2004]. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 was put on trial for its effectiveness. The trial was organised by the Northern Ireland Women's European Platform, NIWEP, an umbrella NGO with membership groups across a wide range of civil society and social partners in Northern Ireland. NIWEP works with its members to strengthen the place of women in civil society in policy and decision-making and in all women's roles in their communities.

The trial selected two elements of 1325 for scrutiny:

• Increased representation of women at all decision-making levels in national, regional and international institutions and mechanisms for the prevention, management and resolution of conflict
• Adopting a gender perspective when negotiating and implementing peace agreements

The question posed to the jury:

"Have the United Kingdom Government, the Northern Ireland Executive and Northern Ireland Assembly (when in being) and Northern Ireland's political parties, demonstrated sufficient commitment to the implementation of Resolution 1325 in Northern Ireland, and in particular to those elements of the Resolution that have been highlighted here today?"

Three witnesses gave evidence on policing and the machinery in place, women in [non-departmental] public bodies and on peace building and politics.

See the evidence below and then see how you agree with the jury's verdict…

For the full summary, CLICK HERE.

Following the Trial, NIWEP received positive feedback from many of those who had attended the event, including women politicians, NGOs, and academics. In addition, in a number of different fora following the Trial, questions relating to the implementation of SCR 1325 were raised by those who had participated in the event.

NIWEP is now prioritizing the need to disseminate information about SCR 1325 to women and men in Northern Ireland. They have sought support for their work on SCR 1325 by becoming a partner of the UK Joint Working Group on SCR 1325, a network that shares good practices regarding SCR 1325, and works toward its full implementation.

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Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations Releases Policy Statement on Gender Mainstreaming
29 March 2005

Excerpts are featured below:

1. The issuance of this policy statement is a first step towards the elaboration of a comprehensive gender policy for DPKO. It provides an operational framework for implementing the mandates issued to the Department by the Security Council, ECOSOC and the Secretary-General.

2. As part of my personal commitment to ensure a transformation of the institutional culture and practices of DPKO, I am issuing this policy statement to guide implementation of key gender mainstreaming objectives.

…4. In line with recommendations of the Security Council and the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, all offices will contribute to the development of a Department-wide Action Plan for implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325, under the coordination of the Department's Gender Advisor, by December 2005. As part of this effort, a training programme will be initiated for staff in all offices as a basis for defining objectives, actions, targets and indicators.

5. Based on the Action Plan, all thematic and functional units will develop specific guidelines for gender mainstreaming in their respective operational activities, in coordination with the Gender Advisor, these guidelines should provide staff with skills for integrating gender perspective in their daily work…

For the full Policy Statement, CLICK HERE.

The Policy Statement identifies five UN documents, serving as the mandate for mainstreaming gender:

1. Windhoek Declaration and the Namibia Plan of Action On Mainstreaming a Gender Perspective in Multidimensional Peace Support Operations (May 2000)

2. Security Council Resolution 1325 (October 2000)

3. Report of the Secretary-General to the General Assembly on Gender Mainstreaming in Peacekeeping Activities (February 2003)

4. ECOSOC Resolution on mainstreaming a gender perspective in all policies and programmes in the United Nations (July 2004)

5. Report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council on Women, Peace and Security (October 2004)

PeaceWomen will provide updates on the development of the DPKO action plan in upcoming issues of the newsletter, as information becomes available.

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Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C-34) Reconvenes to Discussion Prince Zeid's Report
4-8 April 2005, UN Headquarters
The C-34 met from 4 – 8 April in a reconvened 2005 session to review Prince Zeid's report on "A comprehensive strategy to eliminate future sexual exploitation and abuse in UN peacekeeping operations" (A/59/710), which the C-34 had requested in their February 2005 report (A/59/19). The C-34 is expected to complete the review and submit their recommendations to the General Assembly's 5th Committee (administrative and budgetary committee) before the end of May, to enable “appropriate action” by the General Assembly at its 59th session.

PeaceWomen will monitor the actions being taken on the recommendations from Prince Zeid's report and the follow-up from the C-34 reconvened 2005 session, and include information in upcoming issues of the newsletter.

Related Media Coverage

April 4, 2005 - (UN Press Release, GA/PK/186) Meeting today in a reconvened 2005 session to consider the United Nations first-ever comprehensive report on the problem of sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations peacekeeping personnel, the Special Committee on Peacekeeping embarked on a tight timetable for reviewing the report and submitting its findings to the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) before the end of May to enable appropriate action by the General Assembly at its fifty-ninth session.

April 4, 2005 - (IPS) As charges mount of sexual abuse and child molestation by U.N. peacekeepers, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) has drawn up a list of "no go" zones barring visits by blue-helmeted soldiers and civilian staff.

March 25, 2005 - (Refugees International) Faced with repeated problems of sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations peacekeepers, the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has issued an honest and far-reaching report, “A comprehensive strategy to eliminate future sexual exploitation and abuse in United Nations peacekeeping operations.” The report, written by His Royal Highness Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein, Jordan's
Permanent Representative to the United Nations, makes numerous important and bold recommendations, notably that troop-contributing countries hold on-site court martials for guilty parties and adopt formal memoranda of understanding in advance of deployment to forward the cases of sexual exploitation and abuse to their competent national or military authorities.

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

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New Gender Advisory Capacity in the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Kate Burns joined the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in March 2005 as the Senior Humanitarian Officer for Gender Equality. Kate's mandate is to provide technical support and guidance for the implementation of OCHA's Policy on Gender Equality*. OCHA also has a detailed action plan for mainstreaming gender into all aspects of its work and Kate will assist the offices and the field in implementing the action plan. A series of tools to assist in the implementation of the policy and the action plan are also under development.**

Kate's other tasks include working to ensure that gender concerns are integrated in OCHA's work in natural disasters, and developing and implementing a capacity-building initiative on gender equality and the advancement of women within OCHA. Kate will also work within an inter-agency context to improve the prevention and response to gender-based violence in emergency situations. In addition, Kate will co-chair with the World Health Organization (WHO) the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Taskforce on Gender and Humanitarian Assistance.

Previously, Kate worked with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) where she was the Senior Health and Reproductive Health Officer and worked intensively on reproductive health and gender-based violence issues. Most recently Kate worked with the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI) and assisted the Secretary-General's Special Advisor on the implementation of SCR 1325. Kate has worked for the last 30 years in international health, development and humanitarian assistance programmes and resided long-term in Tunisia, Brazil, the Philippines, Somalia, Kenya and Geneva.

To contact Kate Burns, email: burns@un.org.

* OCHA's Policy on Gender Equality is currently being re-launched and will be accessible by May on ReliefWeb and OCHA's website.

** OCHA's action plan for mainstreaming gender and the tools to accompany the plan and Policy on Gender Equality will also be online shortly (see above websites).

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Terms of Reference
In the previous issue of the newsletter, we featured the recommendations prepared by the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security for incorporating SCR 1325 into the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the upcoming Security Council Mission to Haiti (13-16 April 2005). Since the last issue, the TOR for the SC Mission have been finalized and made public. The gender language in the TOR is as follows:

…2. The mission has the following objectives:

…(c) To review the progress achieved so far and to assess the needs and requirements in the following areas:

…(iii) Human rights. To assess the human rights situation, including the activities of the Haitian National Police, cases of unlawful detention and the special needs of women and children;

For the full TOR in all 6 official UN languages, visit: http://www.un.org/Docs/journal/asp/ws.asp?m=s/2005/220

The NGOWG's recommendations are available at: http://www.peacewomen.org/un/ngo/ngostatements/HaitiSCMissionTORrecs.html

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Arria Formula* on Haiti
8 April 2005, UN Headquarters, New York
In preparation for the Security Councils Mission to Haiti, the Permanent Mission of Argentina to the UN hosted an Arria Formula meeting on Haiti last week. Four civil society organizations were invited to brief Security Council members: Amnesty International; Médécins Sans Frontières; Fondasyon Mapou (FondMapou); and World Vision, USA. The Arria began with an introductory briefing by Mr. Louis Joinet, the Independent Expert appointed by the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights in Haiti**. While the speakers highlighted a variety of different issues including the situation of prisoners, the lack of access to health care, the violence being perpetrated by the Haitian National Police, and
disarmament, they all emphasized the critical concern of sexual and gender-based violence being perpetrated against women and girls.

As soon as the civil society statements are available, PeaceWomen will post them on www.PeaceWomen.org.

*An Arria Formula is an informal, off-the-record meeting held outside the Council chambers, to allow Security Council Members an opportunity to hear from “experts” on matters currently on the Security Council agenda. Conceived by Ambassador Arria of Venezuela in 1992, the Arria Formula has evolved over the years to include briefings by NGO and civil society organizations.

For more information about the development of the Arria Formula, visit Global Policy Forum at:

For an analysis of the role of Arria Formula meetings leading to the adoption of SCR 1325, read Felicity Hill's article “NGO Perspectives: NGOs and
The Security Council” at: http://www.peacewomen.org/resources/1325/HillNGOSC.pdf

**For more information about the Independent Expert appointed by the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights in Haiti, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/english/countries/ht/mandate/index.htm

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The Gender and Peacebuilding Working Group's Submission to Canada's International Policy Statement
Gender and Peacebuilding Working Group of the Canadian Peacebuilding Coordinating Committee
23 March 2005

One of the priority issues of the GPWG is the profile and prominence that will be given to the rights of girls and women and gender equality issues in Canada's upcoming International Policy Statement.

The GPWG prepared this statement which was distributed to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the Standing Committee on the Status of Women and to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of International Cooperation and Minister of National Defence.
As part of their submission, the GPWG sent their October 2004 alternative report on SCR 1325, A Civil Society Perspective on Canada's Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security.

For more information about Canada's International Policy Statement, visit the Foreign Affairs web site at: http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/.

Excerpts of the GPWG statement are below:

Canada has made numerous commitments to the full realization of women's rights and equality between men and women is a cornerstone of Canadian foreign policy. Internationally, Canada is a signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination (CEDAW) and was on the Security Council when UN Security Council Resolution (2000) on Women, Peace and Security was passed. The Government of Canada states that “gender equality is not only a human rights issue but also an essential component of democratic development” (FAC). Foreign policy priorities include the elimination of violence against women, the full and equal participation of women in decision-making, and the mainstreaming of a gender perspective. Domestically, Canada's commitment to gender equality is mapped out in “Setting the Stage for the Next Century: The Federal Plan for Gender Equality”. This commitment is further reinforced in CIDA's development assistance programming priorities where the government pledges “to support the full participation of women as equal partners in the sustainable development of their societies” (CIDA). Still much remains to be done to ensure that such commitments and priorities are translated into effective, concrete action.

…Concrete action to be taken in support of policy recommendations:

…5. The Government of Canada should require all organizations (military and civilian) involved in humanitarian aid and peacebuilding to adopt and adhere to Codes of Conduct compliant with the Secretary General's bulletin on Special Measures for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (2003).

6. The Government of Canada should increase its financial support for women's organizations both in Canada and in conflict and post-conflict zones to further promote the equal participation of women in conflict prevention and peacebuilding activities.

…8. Systematic gender training should be provided for peace support operations personnel (military and civilian) at all levels. This will require the inclusion of gender training in all mission budgets.

For the full statement, visit: http://action.web.ca/home/cpcc/en_whatsnew.shtml

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The Gender and Peacebuilding Working Group of the Canadian Peacebuilding Coordinating Committee are currently preparing a report of a workshop they recently hosted on “Sexual Abuse and Gender Based Violence in Conflict and Post-Conflict Contexts: Examining the Canadian Response” (21-22 March 2005). The workshop brought together representatives from the Government of Canada, and from Canadian and international non-government organizations to assess Canadian responses (policy, programming and advocacy) to sexual abuse and gender-based violence in conflict and post-conflict situations. PeaceWomen will feature this report in a upcoming issue of 1325 PeaceWomen E-News.

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Israel/Occupied Territories: Women Carry the Burden of Conflict, Occupation and Patriarchy
Amnesty International, 31 March 2005
The spiraling violence and killings in Israel and the Occupied Territories in the past four and a half years has brought untold suffering to the Palestinian and Israeli civilian populations. More then 3,200 Palestinians, including more than 600 children and more than 150 women have been killed by Israeli forces, and more than 1,000 Israelis, including more than 100 children and some 200 women were killed by Palestinian armed groups. Most of the victims were unarmed civilians who were not taking part in any armed confrontations. Thousands more have been injured, many of them maimed for life. Amnesty International has repeatedly condemned and campaigned against the killings of civilians by both sides.

For the full report, CLICK HERE or visit AI's website at: http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engmde150162005

This report was issued as part of Amnesty International's Stop Violence Against Women campaign. For more information about the campaign, visit: http://web.amnesty.org/actforwomen/index-eng.

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Naga Women Making a Difference: Peace Building in Northeastern India
Rita Manchanda, Women Waging Peace Policy Commission, January 2005
This report chronicles the vital role of Naga women in sustaining the ceasefire, strengthening the formal peace process, and encouraging the pursuit of long-term stability in northeastern India.

Based on primary field research, Manchanda concludes that creative efforts to support and involve women systematically in the formal talks would be a crucial, yet simple, way to bring Naga one step closer to peace. Women have played a critical role in stopping violence throughout Naga history. As socially sanctioned peacemakers, women have historically intervened in the midst of battle and appealed for an end to violence. This cultural and traditional role has enabled Naga women to protect their communities through informal mediation among armed actors, to mobilize for peace and reconciliation, and to shape the formal peace process.

For the full report, 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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Workshop in Nairobi: Enhancing Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Populations Affected by Armed Conflict
25-28 January 2005, Nairobi, Kenya
This workshop, held from 25 to 28 January 2005 by UNIFEM, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Reproductive Health Response in Conflict Consortium, enhanced planning and coordination by bringing together key staff in the Africa region to assess progress so far and to begin mapping next steps for increasing collaboration in addressing gender-based violence (GBV) in populations affected by armed conflict. Among the participants were a number of UNIFEM's local NGO partners from Africa, including recipients of the UN Trust Fund to Eliminate Violence Against Women.

Representatives from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), and additional partner NGOs joined the discussions mid-way and identified opportunities to strengthen country-level work to address GBV. Action plans for 11 countries in the region were discussed. These plans will be further developed within the countries in question, with broader coordination and collaboration within the UN Country Team, and with government representatives and civil society.

The workshop closed with participants committing to carry forward key messages from the workshop, among them: pressing for well-coordinated, integrated multi-sectoral, inter-organizational and interdisciplinary action; calling for policy and accountability support from the highest levels; providing appropriate, compassionate services to survivors; and implementing prevention strategies that address short-term situational factors and long-term behaviour change.

Numerous background documents, tools and other resources shared with workshop participants are now available online. The workshop report will be posted once it has been finalized to: http://www.womenwarpeace.org/issues/violence/nairobi_conference.htm.

Recent event: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, UNIFEM and the Norwegian Institute for International Affairs co-hosted a Sudanese Women's Symposium in Oslo on 10 April 2005. It brought together Sudanese women from both North and South, policy makers from the government of Sudan and the government of South Sudan, government and regional organization delegates and international partner organizations, including the United Nations and the World Bank. Outcomes of the conference will be posted on http://www.WomenWarPeace.org/.

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New Resource:

Women Building Peace Through Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration
Report of the Panel held at the Ten Year Review of the Beijing Platform for Action, 9 March 2005
The panel was an opportunity to hear the voices of women working in DDR process from four different sectors, namely the perspective of civil society (Liberia), former combatants (Rwanda), national institutions (Sudan) and the international framework (UNIDIR). The panel was atypical in that it was a conversation amongst the panelists as much as it was a conversation between the panel and the audience. The Liberian and Rwandese women outline the lessons learned from their experiences and offered guidance and mentorship to the Sudanese women who are at the very genesis of the process, especially through emphasizing the importance of women's organizing and self-reliance in the recovery process.

For the full panel report, CLICK HERE.

UNIFEM's Issue Brief on DDR: http://www.womenwarpeace.org/issues/ddr/ddr.htm

UNIFEM's Web Portal on Women, Peace and Security: http://www.womenwarpeace.org/

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Now accepting applications for the 2005 Women PeaceMakers Residency Program at the Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice in San Diego, CA.
24 September – 18 November 2005
1 April – 31 May 2005: Application period
The Women PeaceMakers Program at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice (IPJ) at the University of San Diego in San Diego, California is a selective program that invites four women from conflict-affected countries around the world who have been involved in human rights and peacemaking efforts and who are seeking ways to have greater impact in peacemaking efforts in their society to participate in an eight-week residency at the IPJ.

…The Women PeaceMakers Program involves learning, teaching, and taking the time to narrate a personal unique story of peacemaking. Along with scheduled time when the woman peacemaker will work in small groups and/or one-on-one with her peace writer, there will be programs in which she will share her experiences in her respective country and conflict setting with others. She will learn from and also develop new skills with fellow peacemakers. Through better understanding of an individual's experience, the program seeks to build greater cross-cultural understanding, and to document the challenges and successes of women who have been involved in peacemaking efforts.

For more information, visit http://peace.sandiego.edu/ or contact Program Officer, Shelley Lyford, at slyford@sandiego.edu.

Gender and Conflict Transformation; an online learning course
30 May-24 June 2005
This course brings together worldwide expertise on the relationship between gender and conflict transformation. This course will empower women to become key agents in conflict transformation. The course uses a variety of interactive methods that stimulate thinking and exchange. Please visit the demonstration site at http://www.netuni.nl/demos/genderconflict. The specific aims of the course are to: Develop strategies to overcome gender specific barriers in conflict transformation; Provide inspiring examples; Share experience; Address gender relations; Connect the local and international level; and Create a network of gender and conflict experts. For more information and registration details, visit: http://www.netuni.nl, register at http://www.netuni.nl/courses, or contact Bart Overbeek at conflict@netuni.uva.nl.

Global Consultation on the Ratification and Use of the Optional Protocol to CEDAW
27-30 August 2005, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
As the OP-CEDAW reaches its fifth year of being in force, it is a crucial time to increase awareness and skills so that the OP-CEDAW may reach its full potential. It is also time to assess and consolidate the various initiatives and strategies employed with regards to ratification and use of the OP-CEDAW.

In this regard, the Consultation has the following objectives: to provide information/knowledge on CEDAW and the OP-CEDAW and their uses; to identify strategies for ratification; to identify strategies for access to justice; to create opportunities for regional processes in relation to ratification and use of the OP-CEDAW; and to launch the CEDAW toolkit. For more information, contact: IWRAW Asia Pacific (Janine Moussa or Lee Wei San) Tel: (603) 2691 3292 F: (603) 2698 4203; Email: op-cedaw@iwraw-ap.org; Website: http://www.iwraw-ap.org.


1. Women's International League For Peace and Freedom: 90 Years Old and Going Strong
2. Listening to Peacewomen Voices from the Past
3. Women, Peace and Security News
4. Focus on Sudan: Women Demand Inclusion of Gender on the Agenda at the Oslo Donors' Conference on Sudan
5. Update from the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security: Response to the Secretary-General Report, In Larger Freedom & Summary of SCR 1325 Workshops at CSW 2005
6. A Gender and Peacekeeping Update: Documentation from the 2005 resumed session of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (4-8 April 2005) & More
7. Feature Resources: A Gender Approach - Home Truths For Girls Returning From the Armed Forces and Groups (Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers) & Sexual Violence and its Consequences among Displaced Persons in Darfur and Chad (HRW)
8. Women, Peace and Security Calendar