Period of time and topic: Updating the Security Council on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 30 December 2014; national commitments under the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region; and MONUSCO’s mandate implementation
Women, Peace and Security
The report focused on the protection aspects of the women, peace and security agenda, as armed groups and elements of the national security forces continued to commit human rights abuses, including rape (S/2015/172 para. 62). The report included some sex-disaggregated data on women who were killed and abducted, in addition to reporting multiple rapes in several regions throughout the country (S/2015/172 para. 19, 20). The Sexual violence section reported further on MONUSCO recording information on rape cases and the suspected perpetrators (S/2015/172 para. 53). The sexual violence section also included information on efforts by MONUSCO to address sexual violence, including supporting the establishment of a committee overseeing the implementation of the FARDC action plan against sexual violence; a three-month training programme on the instruction and investigation of sexual violence cases for 60 judicial police officers assigned to a special force for the protection of women and children, as part of a joint project with UNDP in North Kivu, Orientale and South Kivu (which was also reported on in the National processes and the good offices role section); and supporting a technical meeting of the FARDC Commission on Sexual Violence, with the Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict and UNDP, to review and adopt the FARDC action plan on combating conflict-related sexual violence (S/2015/172 para. 32, 54). The Child protection section included some sex-disaggregated data on girls who escaped or were separated from armed groups (S/2015/172 para. 55).
References in Need of Improvement
The references to women, peace and security could have been stronger if they fully responded to resolution 2147 (2014). The reference to armed groups and national security forces committing rape should have been expanded to provide more information broadly on the impact of conflict on women and girls, as well as gaps and challenges for MONUSCO’s work on protection of women and next steps to prevent sexual and gender-based violence (S/RES/2147 (2014), OP 40). While the sexual violence prevention training program for police officers was reported on twice, the references to it could have been much stronger if the report had used the opportunity of reporting on it twice to go into more detail about the program, including which officers participated and how they were selected, if any female police officers participated and how the program incorporated women and women’s civil society organizations in its design and implementation to ensure it reflected women’s concerns (S/RES/2147 (2014), OP 4(a)(iii)). The reporting on MONUSCO recording rape cases should have also included what MONUSCO is doing to reduce sexual and gender-based violence against civilians, including men, and what all actors are doing to combat impunity and provide psychosocial, sexual and reproductive health services for survivors to ensure women’s and men’s human rights concerns are incorporated into the mission (S/RES/2147 (2014), OP 3(a), 29). The report also could have been stronger if it consistently referred to survivors of sexual and gender-based violence instead of victims. The use of sex-disaggregated data, finally, could have been stronger if it was used consistently throughout the report to provide more information on women’s protection concerns and allow MONUSCO to incorporate women’s protection and the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence more effectively in their operations.
The inclusion of information on FARDC action plan against sexual violence could have been much stronger if it was not listed with the police training and provided more detail on the plan, including how the plan will be implemented; if the plan includes the action plan to prevent and end sexual violence against children; if the composition of the FARDC Commission on Sexual Violence includes women; and how women and women’s civil society organizations were included in the design of the action plan and its implementation (S/RES/2147 (2014), OP 4(a)(iii), 5(l), 26). If women were not included in the action plan, the report should have detailed next steps for their meaningful involvement.
Although this report was submitted pursuant to paragraph 39 of resolution 2147 (2014) which did not include the women, peace and security agenda, it still missed the opportunity to fully incorporate the numerous women, peace and security agenda requests throughout the resolution as part of its enhanced reporting (S/RES/2147 (2014), OP 27, 40). There was no broader discussion of sexual and gender-based violence in the reporting on rape, including accelerating implementation of monitoring, analysis and reporting on conflict-related sexual violence; and no discussion of combating impunity, providing services for survivors, or prevention of SGBV through the gendered implementation of the PSC Framework in the Progress in the implementation of national commitments under the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework section (S/RES/2147 (2014), OP 4(a)(iii), 17, 29, 35). Expanding reporting on sexual violence to incorporate women and women’s civil society in the design and implementation of any programs, and to ensure women’s human rights and concerns was missing from the report. The report made no mention of Women Protection Advisors or Gender Advisors in any section of the report, despite the calls in resolution 2147 (2014) for both to ensure that women’s protection concerns and gender mainstreaming were incorporated into MONUSCO (S/RES/2147 (2014), OP 4(a)(iii), 27). The report, further, failed to address the zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse to ensure MONUSCO did not become part of the problem of sexual violence (S/RES/2147 (2014), OP 32).
In regard to the report’s failure to integrate women’s participation, the discussion of elections was completely gender-blind and did not include information on women as candidates, voters or monitors, or the safety and freedom of movement for civil society, including women (S/RES/2147 (2014), OP 11, 27). The report failed to incorporate gender as a cross-cutting issue in stabilization activities; national political dialogues; security sector reform; disarmament, demobilization and reintegration in its sections on those topics to build women’s capacity to promote and protect their human rights (S/RES/2147 (2014), OP 27).
Ideal Asks for WPS Transformation
The report should be improved with an explicit reference to and analysis of all genders, emphasizing diverse masculinities and femininities, including the dynamics between and among genders as well as the power relations and hierarchies at play, and the intersection of gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, class, and age across all political, peace, and security processes.