Afghan women call for International support for nine female members of the Afghan High Peace Council, created following the Peace Jirga in June 2010, which provides the framework for negotiations with the Taliban, including:
Working with the Afghan government and policy makers to ensure women's effective participation in the high peace council and in all decision-making aspects of the peace process;
Providing capacity building support for the effective participation of female members of the High Peace Council (learning how to negotiate with armed opposition, develop confidence building measures; and providing mentorship programs for women to use their knowledge and skills in peace process);
Working with the different stockholders to promote the substantive participation of women in all stages of the reconciliation and reintegration process from the decision making at the policy making level to the implementation of the programs.
They further call on the international community to ensure transparency, accountability and monitoring in the Afghan peace process plan in 2010 to ensure the inclusion of women and gender perspective and 1325, including:
Support Afghan local civil society organization (especially women's organizations) to establish monitoring mechanisms to ensure transparency, accountability and gender mainstreaming of the peace process at all levels;
International community should support civil society initiatives to evaluate the Afghanistan Peace & Reconciliation Plan and help ensure that gender perspectives and Resolution 1325 are considered in the reconciliation and reintegration process and are properly incorporated into this policy paper;
Work with the Afghan government and Afghan civil society to make sure that women's rights, which are guaranteed by the Afghan constitution would not be violated in the process and the process monitoring include the protection of the rights of women and girls.
Resolution 1820 has been important in drawing attention to security issues affecting women, notably sexual violence. Women were relatively protected when UN troops were on the ground in Sierra Leone, however many rural women spend their lives in abusive relationships and have limited protection or support from state or community authorities, despite legal reforms. Incidences of rape, beating, sexual exploitation, harassment, sexual slavery, forced marriage etc. continues unabated. Support for gender-based violence response projects and national legal reforms that will give poor/ rural women equal access to justice are urgently needed.
Supporting women requires various strategies aimed at raising their social status and to help restore dignity, and includes:
Sustained economic empowerment programmes that target women and girls in rural communities
Initiatives aimed at strengthening women's voices in decision-making processes, including capacity building aimed at advocating to and holding the government accountable for its commitments
Civil society-led initiatives aimed at raising the status of women
Programmes that focus on strengthening the security and protection of women and countering impunity for sexual and gender-based violence
Without economic empowerment and security for women and girls in Sierra Leone, peace has no meaning and 1325 will remain a glass ceiling.
Today, the women of Burundi call on the government and international community to:
Develop and coordinate frameworks and allocate resources at the national, regional and international level towards the full implementation, coordination and monitoring of Resolutions 1325 and 1820 and to ensure women's participation in all decision-making processes, including peacebuilding initiatives;
Strengthen the voice and capacity of civil society organizations to monitor government implementation of Resolutions 1325 and 1820, incorporate their input into decision-making more systematically, and increase awareness;
Fight impunity for war crimes and crimes against humanity, particularly where women are used as tools of war;
Strengthen legal codes and women's access to justice, including in transitional justice and other mechanisms; and
Increase funding for post-conflict community-based development programmes.
SUNDUS ABBASS HASSAN (IRAQ)
Iraqi women have lived all their lives preparing for, living in, or recovering from ongoing war. Our ambition is that Resolution 1325 become an integral component of the United Nations Mission in Iraq. Peace is not only the end of conflict, but also means equitable opportunities to access resources, services and finance, and reaching decision-making positions. Getting to this point requires a serious review of applied laws and regulations as well as public policies. It also requires adopting new policies taking into consideration the conditions of women.
We call on the UN to play a key role in combating trafficking in women and children, the killing and abduction of women and the increasing poverty amongst women, including the two million widows and female-headed households (11% of Iraqi families), and destitute women. Despite these challenges, our voices as survivors remain unheard or ignored because we are women and because we are viewed as only victims who have no role to play in designing Iraq's future. We are yet not seen as part of the solution where our opinion has a real added value for peace building. We call on the UN to partner with us in ensuring that:-
Iraq adopts a national action plan for SCR 1325 in 2010-2011
The UN mission in Iraq fully implements SCR 1325 in all aspects of operations
More support and capacity building is provided for civil society organizations working to address sexual and gender-based violence, and to fighting impunity
Initiatives for Gender budgeting for Iraq are adequately supported
The GAT finds 1325 to be an effective tool for engaging the UN and the two leaders, and is encouraged by the UN's active and vocal support of 1325, which has been essential in cultivating acceptance by the leaders. We have worked on two tracks so far: policy-making and awareness building, which included recommendations for power-sharing and governance that were shared with the Leaders. UNDP is supporting the GAT through
capacity-building projects and assisting with the development of recommendations on specific issues to ensure that women across Cyprus are engaged towards identifying their expectations of the peace process. This landmark initiative can serve as a ‘best practice' for integrating gender concerns into the policy-making processes and we call on the international community to continue to support these initiatives aimed at strengthening the voice of women in all decision-making and peacebuilding processes.
Serious efforts to strengthen institutional capacity building for both government and civil society on institution building, strengthening the capacity of; government, and fully engaging on the implementation of Resolutions 1325 and 1820, including in the development of gender-disaggregated data and analysis; and
Strengthening awareness and resources dedicated to implementing Resolution 1325, including research, documentation and advocacy on the need for the inclusion of women and gender perspectives.
The current situation in the DRC is that women's participation remains low with women representing only 15% of parliamentarians (58 out of 550), despite government initiatives; legal texts exist, but are largely on paper and are usually not implemented; measures on the prevention of violence and protection of women remain ineffective because impunity persists, especially in the eastern part of the country. Gender considerations often remain afterthoughts in policy implementation, such as during the demobilization and economic reintegration processes where the criterion was to have a weapon, which many women did not have. Yet the DRC has committed to developing a National Action Plan on Resolution 1325. How effective this will be in changing the situation of women remains to be seen. Resources so far have been grossly inadequate.
Recommendations for strengthening forward-looking implementation of Resolution 1325:
The UN should install mechanisms of follow-up of the indicators of Resolution 1325 and actions to pressure the Congolese government. Lack of political will is limiting the impact of the resolution and change for women recovering from and living with conflict;
The UN must support the DRC in repatriating the Rwandan Patriotic army and all the other foreign armies on our country;
Sexual violence must be addressed and aggressively prosecuted, along with other crimes against humanity;
Support capacity building for courts and justice mechanisms to strengthen action in addressing sexual violence and recognize challenges facing women in rural communities where traditional mechanisms do not recognize or support women's rights; and
To actively reform the security sector so that we have a strong, unified and credible army.