9th Anniversary of 1325: A Year of Accountability Ahead

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sam Cook

In this edition of the PeaceWomen E-News rather than honing in on a particular issue, we present some of the broader work being done to advance gender equality concerns. As usual the women, peace and security news (Item 2) reflects the continuing issues of conflict and inequality across the globe. But there are many encouraging stories indicative of the incredible work being done for social change and peace. In our Resources section (Item 7) we have some general resources – “Steps for Action to Promote Gender Equality” and a very useful “Glossary of Gender-related Terms” – each of which look to be very useful tools for advocates and practitioners.

September 2009 has been a particularly busy month at the UN and there have been significant developments on many fronts. As readers of the PeaceWomen E-News are aware, WILPF has been engaged for several years now in advocacy for the establishment of a new UN entity for women. Our efforts were taken a step further by a General Assembly resolution on system-wide coherence adopted in the closing hours of its 63rd session that allows for the establishment of the new entity to be headed by an Under Secretary-General. As noted in our Feature Statement (Item 3) by the Gender Equality Architecture Reform Campaign: “[w]omen and their allies from around the world have been advocating for three years for a stronger better resourced agency on gender equality and women's empowerment, and look forward to its creation early in 2010 - during the fifteen anniversary year of the historic UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.” There are many details to work out and much work to be done. One of the critical steps will be the appointment of the Under-Secretary General to head the entity – an issue dealt with in our Feature Letter (Item 6) from Aids-Free to the Secretary-General. Also significant will be the commitment by Member States of the resources to ensure the entities success.

To properly fund the new gender equality entity, Member States will certainly have to show a degree of commitment to gender equality issues beyond that which they expressed in the opening session of the 64th Session of the General Assembly. The PeaceWomen and Reaching Critical Will Projects of WILPF's UN office monitored this debate and produced gender and disarmament indices of the statements made (Item 5). Of the 191 Member States and 2 Observer Missions that made statements in the General Debate, a mere 49 made any mention at all of women, girls, gender or related terms. And that of course says nothing of the low number who said anything of any substance in support of gender equality goals. There were countries like Estonia who rightly noted that: “no security, development or human-rights related goal can be achieved without the full participation of women.” Unfortunately not many saw things that way. The Secretary-General had one rather irrelevant sentence on the matter and the President of the General Assembly and the representative of the African Union said nothing at all. Interestingly, most of those who addressed gender equality addressed women, peace and security issues. There were several mentions of sexual violence in conflict and of the then still anticipated new Security Council resolution on women, peace and security which was subsequently adopted on 30 September 2009.

Resolution 1888 is the latest resolution of the Security Council on its agenda theme of women, peace and security and follows the adoption in 2008 of SCR 1820 and SCR 1325 in 2000. The SCR 1888 is in many ways a follow up to SCR 1820 in that it addresses several of the issues and recommendations from the Secretary-General's report on 1820 that was debated in early August. The PeaceWomen team provides a brief summary of the Resolution in this month's Security Council Monitor (Item 4) along with a copy of the Resolution and reference back to last month's Open Debate and our NGOWG advocacy in this area. The NGOWG response to the resolution can be found in the Update (Item 8). Significantly the resolution calls for the appointment of a Special Representative of the Secretary General to lead and drive the UN's work on addressing sexual violence in conflict – a call long made by NGOs and advocates within the UN system. It also outlines plans for so-called “women protection” officers and for teams of experts to be deployed to strengthen national responses to sexual violence. As with SCR 1820, SCR 1888 is primarily focused on sexual violence in conflict but does, in fact, contain far stronger language on participation in some of its operative paragraphs than that seen in SCR 1325. In the session at which the resolution was adopted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the important point that “[w]e must also recognize that ending conflicts outright is the most certain path to ending sexual violence in conflict. So pursuing peace and successful post-conflict transitions should be our highest priority.”

Even though SCR 1820 and 1888 are important steps in addressing the very real problem of sexual violence in conflict, it is vital that we not allow the holistic approach to women, peace and security – that of participation, protection and prevention – to be lost. It certainly seems, with the adoption of a plethora of resolutions, that the Security Council is indicating increased support women, peace and security issues. It is, however, important that all of these resolutions be seen as interconnected aspects of the women, peace and security agenda within the Security Council and not treated as separate silos of activity.

It may be the case that there will be some advances in this in the outcome of the SCR 1325 9th Anniversary Open Debate on women, peace and security that will be presided over by Vietnam on Monday 5th October. It is anticipated that this will see the adoption of another women, peace and security resolution. We look forward to this resolution bringing forward some of the participation aspects of the women, peace and security agenda and proposing some concrete measures for progress and accountability.

What is needed now is implementation of all of these women, peace and security commitments expressed in SCR 1325 and those that build on it. We are after all approaching the 10th Anniversary of that resolution and despite some reluctance and fear of sinking into “anniversary advocacy” I will admit that October 2010 and the year leading up to it offer opportunities for pushing Member States and the UN to go beyond the rhetoric. Next month's edition will focus more on this and we encourage you to send us information on women, peace and security projects or activities you may be launching in the lead up to that occasion.


Security Council Backs Advocate for Women in War Zones
October 1, 2009 - (IPS) The U.N. Security Council Wednesday called on Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to appoint a special representative to intensify efforts to end sexual violence against women and children in conflict situations. Speaking as the current chair of the Security Council, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stressed that, "The dehumanising nature of sexual violence does not just harm a single individual or a single family or even a single village or a single group - it shreds the fabric that weaves us together as human beings, it endangers families and communities, erodes social and political stability, and undermines economic progress."

UN demands end of sexual violence as tactic of war
September 30, 2009 - (AFP) With US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the chair, the UN Security Council on Wednesday unanimously adopted a resolution urging member states to take effective steps to halt the use of sexual violence as a tactic of war.

Ban calls for boosting women's participation in peace efforts
September 30, 2009 – (UNnews) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has highlighted the need to strengthen the involvement of women in peace processes worldwide, noting that nine years after the adoption of a landmark United Nations resolution on the issue, obstacles to their full participation remain.

Palestinian women prisoners return to new worlds
September 30, 2009 - (AP) Women make up only a tiny minority of more than 7,000 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons, but they often pay a high personal price for what has largely been a supporting role in the Palestinian uprising. Some have raised babies behind bars, and others have watched their families torn apart in their absence.

LIBERIA: President Sirleaf on Resolution 1325 - Describes Implementation as Too Slow
September 28, 2009 — (allAfrica) President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is back in the country following a meeting in New York of leaders of sub-Saharan African countries, hosted by United States President, Barack Obama. The meeting, among other issues, discussed opportunities to increase trade and investment, strengthen institutions and improve agricultural practices.

Uganda Women Seek Gender Recovery Plan
September 26, 2009 - (IPS) After two decades of war during which thousands of children were used as child soldiers and many women raped, northern Uganda's recovery plan is to be spent on building roads rather than helping the country's most

Women Fighters in Nepal
September 26 2009 - (FinancialTimes) In some ways, the problem is pure math. During the 11-year Nepalese civil war, which ended three years ago with the overthrow by Maoist guerrillas of the country's monarchy, about 40 per cent of the 19,000 Maoist cadres were women.

UN reaches out at police conference to try to recruit more female officers
September 24, 2009 – (UNnews) Female police officers serving in United Nations peacekeeping missions around the world have taken part in a training conference this week as part of the world body's ongoing efforts to try to recruit more females to the ranks of its police.

Honduran Women Under Siege After President's Return
September 22, 2009 - (OneWorld.net) Hours after Honduras' ousted president returned to the country and sought refuge in a foreign embassy, the military-backed regime launched a brutal attack against supporters of the former leader.

ARGENTINA: Women Judges Not Enough; Gender Awareness Training Needed
September 21, 2009 - (IPS) For Argentina's justice system to truly incorporate a gender perspective, more important than overcoming the male-female imbalance in the higher rungs of the judicial branch is providing gender-awareness training for judges of both sexes so that it is reflected in their rulings, experts say.

New UN women's agency good news for "feminized" AIDS epidemic
September 18, 2009 - (PlusNews) AIDS activists around the world have welcomed a new UN General Assembly resolution to create a single agency to promote the rights and wellbeing of women, which they say is good news for women, who are bearing the brunt of the global AIDS pandemic.

Yemeni Embassy Responds to Child Bride's Death
September 17, 2009 - (Feminist News Daily) The Yemeni Embassy in Washington, DC is responding to media coverage of the death of a 12-year-old child bride last week. Fawziya Abdullah Youssef died in a hospital of the Hodeida province of Yemen after struggling to give birth for three days. Her child was stillborn. The story made headlines on several news outlets and was reported here on Tuesday.

GLOBAL: Post-Conflict Security in Need of Women
September 17, 2009 - (IPS) Women need to get involved more actively and more equally in the reform of the security sector in post-conflict states, says Ecoma Alaga, a Gender and Security Sector Reform (SSR) expert of the Women Peace and Security Network Africa.

Young Feminist Speaks Out About Honduran Coup
September 16, 2009 - (JASS) In the midst of a women's human rights mission to Honduras, August 17-21, Carrie Wilson of JASS interviewed Lidize, a young Honduran member of Feminists in Resistance. This alliance of feminists and women's organizations is actively resisting the coup of June 28 and demanding a return to democratic institutions.

U.N. Scrutinizes Women's Rights in East Timor
September 16, 2009 - (WeNews) The tiny new nation of East Timor came to the United Nations last month for its first women's rights checkup and picked up a few kudos.

In Uganda, Rioters Strip Women Wearing Trousers
September 15, 2009 - (WOMENSENEWS) Male rioters in a suburb here on September 11 attacked about 20 women wearing trousers.

Daughter of first Myanmar prime minister forms political party
September 14, 2009 - (EarthTimes) A daughter of Myanmar's first and last democratically-elected prime minister, U Nu, has set up a political party to contest a general election planned for 2010, party sources said Monday.

LIBERIA: The Fight Against Rape a Brutal Wait
September 14, 2009 - (IPS) From Monrovia's highest hill, the long sliver of Atlantic Ocean shoreline at the mouth of the Mesurado River, with its aqua blue waves, golden sand and wooden fishing boats, looks like paradise. But this is West Point; one of Monrovia's most impoverished and polluted slums, and it is not paradise. It is a world where justice is slow to react to the rapes and abuse of women and children. And it is here that women have been left with no choice but to come together and fight for their most basic of human rights – their safety.

U.N. Approves Long-Awaited New Women's Agency
Sep 14, 2009 - (IPS) After more than three years of political foot-dragging, the 192-member General Assembly adopted a historic resolution Monday aimed at creating a new U.N. agency for women.

PAKISTAN: Where Swat women fear to tread
September 13, 2009 - (IRIN) There has been some return to normality in Pakistan's troubled Swat District since the army's military campaign in the area, but fear of Taliban militants persists and is affecting people's - especially women's - lives.

GLOBAL: Migiro warns that economic turmoil has exacerbated violence against women
September 9, 2009 – (UNnews) The scourge of violence against women has worsened as a result of the global financial downturn over the past year, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro said today as she urged some of the world's richest countries to lead the way in turning the many international pledges to support women and girls into concrete results.

Sudan Detains Supporters of Women on Trial
September 7, 2009 - (AP) Sudanese police rounded up about 40 women protesters Monday outside a courthouse where they were showing support for a female journalist on trial for wearing trousers in public.

MP, Fatemeh Alia, nominated as Iran's education minister
September 6, 2009 - (Mehr News Agency) Female lawmaker Fatemeh Alia said on Sunday that her nomination as education minister has become certain. "In the light of my 20-experience in education… I have been selected as the final choice for the ministry of education," Alia told the Mehr News Agency. Alia represents the people of Tehran at the parliament.

U.N. May Shelve Creation of New Women's Body
September 5, 2009 - (IPS) A coalition of over 300 international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) is "outraged" that an impending decision to create a new women's entity at the United Nations is being postponed once again.

SUDAN: Women, children increasingly targeted in Southern clashes
September 4, 2009 - (IRIN) Women and children are being increasingly targeted in the escalating attacks against communities in Southern Sudanese states, exacerbating the dire humanitarian situation, say officials.

CHILE: National Action Plan to Implement UN Women's Rights Resolution
September 3, 2009 - (The Advocate for Human Rights) On 3 August 2009, President Michelle Bachelet of Chile signed the National Action Plan to implement the United Nations Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, making Chile the first Latin American country to do so.

Honduran Military Coup Reverses Women's Gains in Human Rights
September 3, 2009 - (AWID) The military coup d'état in Honduras on June 28 has seriously eroded democratic institutions and hard-fought gains in women's human rights and human rights in general.

GLOBAL: Women Need Rights, Not Rescue
September 3, 2009- (MADRE) With a tagline like “Saving the World's Women,” we knew to be suspicious of the recent New York Times Magazine cover story on global women's rights. Reading on, our suspicions were confirmed.

GLOBAL: Promise of Resolution 1325 is a dream deferred
September 2009 - (INSTRAW) The preparations for the 10th anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security are starting, but critics say there is not much to celebrate.

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3. FEATURE Statement

GEAR Campaign Statement on Adoption of SWC Resolution by the UN General Assembly
September 14, 2009

The GEAR campaign is pleased that the General Assembly expressed strong and unanimous support in adopting a resolution today that will enable the creation of the new gender equality entity to be headed by a new Under Secretary- General (USG). Women and their allies from around the world have been advocating for three years for a stronger better resourced agency on gender equality and women's empowerment, and look forward to its creation early in 2010 - during the fifteen anniversary year of the historic UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.

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Security Council Adopts Resolution 1888 on Women, Peace and Security – 30 September 2009
Kristina Mader – PeaceWomen Project

On September 30th 2009 under the Presidency of the United States and chair of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1888 – the third resolution adopted by the Council under the agenda item of “Women, Peace and Security”, following resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1820 (2008). Like SCR 1820, SCR 1888 is primarily focused on addressing and preventing sexual violence in conflict. It follows the August 2009 Open Debate on women, peace and security that considered the Secretary-General's report on resolution 1820 (2008) and takes up many of the recommendations contained in that report.

The August 2009 Debate was monitored by the PeaceWomen Project and information on this and the Secretary General's report on 1820 can be found here.

To view the full report of the Secretary-General, please click here.

Resolution 1888 outlines actions the UN and Member States can take to prevent conflict related sexual violence and end impunity and calls for various structural changes within the UN system to meet these aims.

Specifically, resolution 1888:

Calls for the appointment of a Special Representative to lead, coordinate, and advocate efforts to end conflict-related sexual violence against women and children. This Special Representative will work closely with UN Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict as well as other relevant parts of the UN system to enhance cooperation and information system on this issue;
Requests that the Secretary General identifies and deploys a “team of experts” to situations of particular concern with respect to sexual violence. This team will assist governments in preventing conflict-related sexual violence and address impunity, through strengthening civilian and military justice systems and enhancing national capacity, responsiveness to victims and judicial capacity;
Requests that existing gender advisors and human rights protection units within UN Peacekeeping Operations are identified as “women's protection advisers” as needed;
Urges the inclusion of sexual violence issues into all stages of peace processes from the start as well as on all United Nations-sponsored peace negotiation agendas;
Requests that the Secretary General ensure that there is more systematic reporting on incidents of sexual violence, particularly in regards to trends, emerging patterns of attack, and early warning indicators of the use of sexual violence in armed conflict in all relevant reports to the Council;
Requests that within three months, proposals on ways to ensure monitoring and reporting on more effective and efficient ways to protect women and children from rape and other sexual violence in armed conflict and post-conflict situations, with the assistance of various actors, including civil society organizations is submitted to the Security Council;
Requests subsequent annual reports on the implementation of 1820 (2008), with the next one to be submitted by September 2010 to include detailed coordination and strategy plan on the timely and ethical collection of information, information regarding parties to armed conflicts that are credibly suspected of committing patterns of rape.

This resolution fills some gaps left by resolutions 1820 (2008) and 1325 (2000) in several ways.

Special Representative: Civil society organizations have long advocated for the appointment of a Special Representative to reinforce, support and help drive existing UN efforts forward to address the needs and interests of women in conflict-affected situations. Although the focus of this Special Representative's mandate is on sexual violence, they will be positioned to advocate broadly on other issues on the women, peace and security agenda within the UN System.

Mediation / Peace Processes: Ensuring that sexual violence is integrated into peace processes is crucial in order to not only provide survivors of sexual violence with access to justice and reparations but also to build the foundations of a sustainable peace within a society that is sensitive to gender issues and addresses sexual violence with the full force of the law.

Reporting on Sexual Violence: The systematic reporting of sexual violence is integral in order for sexual violence to truly be addressed, and resolution 1888 emphasizes the need for this reporting through the inclusion of sexual violence in all reports submitted on peacekeeping missions, other Special Representatives and Rapporteurs, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Chairperson(s) of UN Action, and other thematic reports to the Council.

In addition, the resolution calls for an additional report to be submitted within 3 months on how to more effectively address sexual violence both on the field and within the UN system. This report in particular will be an opportunity to keep these issues on the agenda of the Security Council and the UN and ensure that sexual violence continues to be prioritized.

Gender Architecture: This resolution also identifies the link between the new UN gender architecture established in a recent General Assembly resolution and ending impunity for perpetrators on sexual violence, which is an important part of the overall goal of coordinating UN efforts on these issues in order to more effectively address them.

Women Protection Advisors: The creation of the position of “Women Protection Advisors” (WPAs) within UN peacekeeping missions mirrors the already established “Child Protection Advisors.” It is believed that WPAs will serve the same function and ensure systematic training for peacekeepers as well as support for missions in reporting incidents of sexual violence and implementing the resolutions on the ground.

Team of Experts: The resolution creates a new mechanism called a “team of experts” as needed to situations of particular concern with respect to sexual violence in armed conflict. Once deployed to a specific country, the team will:

1. Work closely with national officials to address impunity by strengthening national judicial and legal capacity to deal with the issue of sexual violence;
2. Identify gaps in the national response to sexual violence and encourage a holistic approach to the issue by enhancing criminal accountability, responsiveness to victims, and judicial capacity;
3. Make recommendations on how to coordinate existing efforts domestically and internationally to reinforce the government's ability to address sexual violence;
4. Work with all UN offices present in the country as well as the newly established Special Representative to fully implement resolution 1820 (2008).

With the adoption of resolution 1888 (2009), sexual violence in conflict is once again recognized as an issue of the highest importance that must be addressed immediately and comprehensively .Although the resolution leaves some holes left to fill, it is a step forward in ensuring that sexual violence in conflict is prevented and responded to systematically by the Security Council, UN System, and Member states.

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To view other Security Council analysis, please visit PeaceWomen 1325 Monitoring, here.

September 23-30, 2009
PeaceWomen & Reaching Critical Will – Projects of the Women's International League for Peace & Freedom

The PeaceWomen & Reaching Critical Will teams monitored statements delivered during the General Debate of the 64th Session of the UN General Assembly. The indices contain relevant excerpts and links to full statements.

The PeaceWomen Gender Index includes all references to gender, women, females, girls, gender equality, violence against women and women's participation.

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Reaching Critical Will Disarmament Index is an index of all references made to issues of disarmament, peace, and security, made in the 64th General Debate of the United Nations General Assembly. This index is a tool to gauge the issues that will be detailed during the First Committee of the General Assembly, starting 5 October 2009. Included in this Index are all references made to arms control, disarmament, multilateralism, nuclear energy, security, proliferation, terrorism, cluster munitions, the US-India Deal, and nuclear and conventional weapons.

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Extracts from Gender Index

United Nations Secretary General
For full text, please click HERE
H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General

“In the Democratic Republic of Congo, I met an 18-year-old girl raped by soldiers. Her hope for a new life is the United Nations.”

President Of The 64th General Assembly
For full text, please click HERE
H.E. Ali Abdussalam Treki

No references

African Union /Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
For full text, please click HERE

No reference

European Union / Sweden

“The European Union will continue to stand up for the empowerment of women and gender equality. Without this, it will be impossible to draw on all those talents that are needed for a nation to move from poverty to development and prosperity.”

“We speak out on injustice on the African continent: The use of sexual violence as a weapon of intimidation and terror is appalling. The attacks on women and girls in Eastern Congo and other places are unacceptable. To protect we must empower. And so, to empower women in conflict situations, Security Council resolutions 1325 and 1820 have to be implemented.”

“Education, also for young girls and women, is indispensable.”

Antigua and Barbuda

“Further, with a growing number of female parliamentarians plus key high-level political positions occupied by women, we continue to improve on our record of female empowerment. The advocacy work of the UN System on gender issues has been instrumental to the progress we've made thus far, and we look forward to the continuing support as we continue to break down the traditional barriers to the active participation of more than fifty percent of our country's human capital.”


“Austria has been working actively with others on the expansion of the monitoring and reporting of serious child rights violations. Austria fully supports Security Council resolution 1820 and the follow-up resolution to be adopted next week as a decisive response of the international community to sexual violence in conflict situations. At the same time, Austria attaches great importance to the participation of women in the promotion of peace and security: Women must have a voice in every peace process throughout the world.”


“The government of Benin has decided to entrust the rationalization of its efforts in this area to a woman's institute which we recently established. We therefore welcome the establishment and the operationalisation in the near future of a single entity within the U.N. System for the advancement of woman. It will make it possible to ensure coherence and efficiency within the United Nations system towards member states.”

Democratic Republic Of Congo

“Sexual violence perpetrated against women and girls in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo are, in our view, the most shameful crimes and the most serious crimes that humanity has seen in the 21st century. In terms of statistics, 80% of these crimes that have been committed in the DRC essentially have taken place in two provinces in the eastern part of the country most affected by the effects of war; that is South Kivu and North Kivu. In actual fact, 60% of the rapes have been committed in North Kivu and 20% in South Kivu. Justice must be restored to the raped women and girls. I can already assure the firm resolve of his Excellency, President Joseph Kabila Kabange, to put an end to impunity to the perpetrators of these heinous crimes. Be they civilian or military.”


“The work of the UN in the area of gender, and of women's rights and development, has for too long been fragmented and underfunded. In this light, the recent decision by the General Assembly to create a new gender architecture within the UN is of great significance. We will support the Secretary General in his efforts to ensure the swift establishment of such an entity in every possible way. The rapid creation of a new gender entity will represent a milestone in the important work of reforming the UN system.”


"During the current session, the General Assembly must take strategic and important decisions for Ecuador, as well as for the rest of Member States. Decisions that will make the actions of the Organization much more effective towards the promotion and defense of human rights of people with differential capacities; the recognition and implementation of indigenous peoples' rights; gender equality and the struggle against human trafficking, among other important issues."


“Regarding another reform area, gender reform, considerable progress that is also relevant to achieving Millennium Development Goals has been made recently. No security, development or human-rights related goal can be achieved without the full participation of women. Estonia has been a dedicated supporter of the United Nations' funds and programs that foster gender equality. It is our common obligation to ensure that the reform becomes a reality without delay.”


“Climate change will affect especially seriously the lives and livelihood of women, but they are also powerful actors in combating it. We need to ensure their full participation in the negotiations and in the implementation of the new agreement.

“Gender, food production and climate change are all interlinked. We know that 70 percent of the world's poor are women and girls. We also know that the majority of agricultural labourers are women. If we really want to combat climate change and avoid a global food crisis, we need to pay close attention to the role of women, especially in the least developed countries.”

“Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820 on women, peace and security were important achievements. Their implementation in all countries and in all situations is urgently needed."

“Appointment of a Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Women and Armed Conflict would in our view enhance the implementation of Resolutions 1325 and 1820. We hope that all member states will support this proposal. I want to thank Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for bringing up the question of violence against women in his opening address at the General Assembly yesterday.”


“But developing countries must also live up to their responsibilities. Responsible governance, respect for human rights, environmental protection, the fight against epidemics, the strengthening of the rights of women - these are the challenges that each country must meet on their own responsibility.”


“Next year marks the fifteenth year after the adoption of the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. However, the huge gap between policy and practice and the uneven progress in implementing the international commitments on gender equality and empowerment of women heightens the importance of creating an enabling environment, through a more coherent, integrated and multi-sectoral approach."

"Over the years, Ghana has spared no effort in implementing the Beijing Platform goals and has amply demonstrated its commitment to promoting and ensuring gender equality and women's empowerment through concrete administrative, legal and constitutional means."

"In our efforts to achieve full and accelerated implementation of these goals and objectives, the Government is actively pursuing an Affirmative Action Policy which seeks to ensure 40 percent representation of women in decision-making positions. We have made gains to this end as lucidly testified by the appointment of the first female Speaker of Parliament, female Ministers with responsibility for Women and Children Affairs, Justice and Attorney-General, Trade and Industry, Environment and Science, Information and Tourism as well as many Deputy Ministers."


“My government has strongly endorsed the rights of women. We have especially taken to our heart the Security Council's resolution 1325 on the rights of women to take part and be active in the peace processes in war-torn regions. Next year is the 10 anniversary of 1325, and I urge the UN to actively use it to promote the role of women as peacemakers all over the world. In this context the unanimous decision of the General Assembly to create a new and consolidated UN gender unity to be headed by an Under-Secretary was also very helpful. We thank you all for these important steps and urge the Secretary-General to move forward as expeditiously as possible.”


“As one example, we are engaging actively in Timor Leste, using lessons derived from our peace process to help to increase confidence in policing and security arrangements in that country. I am also proud that the Irish Government is sponsoring a major lessons-learned exercise in relation to Security Council Resolution 1325, which involves interactions between women from Timor Leste, Liberia and Northern Ireland.”


“ The Parliamentary elections in my country, Kuwait, which were held during the month of June of this year, represent a quality transformation in the Kuwaiti Parliamentary life, where four women obtained the trust and the support of the Kuwaiti voters. They now join their brothers in representing the Kuwaiti people, and express their ambitions under the dome of the People's Congress. This civilized accomplishment comes after Kuwaiti women achieved success in the fields of private enterprise, public as well as private government work, including holding Ministerial positions in the Kuwaiti Cabinet.”

“We express our pride and appreciation for the significant achievements of Kuwaiti women, and will continue to support their role as active partners in the political, economic and social ambits.”


“We are pleased to report that Liberia has continued to make significant strides in the administration of justice and rule of law, in spite of daunting obstacles. We have established a special sexual and gender based violence crimes court, which has begun hearing cases and encouraging victims to come forth and report in the spirit of confidentiality and justice. Concomitantly, the government has further adopted several gender-sensitive policies and framework in pursuance of Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000).”

“The post-conflict reconstruction and development require all Liberians to participate in the ongoing recovery and sustainable development. Government is therefore promoting and encouraging women involvement at the leadership level and all other spectrum of society, with emphasis on the education of the girl child.


“Another conflict area that has been occupying us for a long period and where our hopes of lasting peace were once more called into question during the last year is the Democratic Republic of Congo. Once again civilians suffer the consequences. We are strongly concerned about the crimes committed against civilians, especially women and children.”

“In this context I welcome the draft Security Council Resolution that gives a concrete follow-up to resolution 1820 on women, peace and security: Luxembourg fully supports this text. I also welcome the personal commitment of the Secretary General in the fight against sexual violence. It is important that the UN system as a whole address the phenomenon of sexual violence, which is used increasingly as a weapon of war in armed conflict and even after hostilities have ended. It is essential to strengthen efforts to prevent such acts from happening and to bring those to justice who commit these horrible crimes.”


"In particular, I would like to stress the importance of ensuring equality of women and men, not just in name but in practice as well."


“The appalling rise of rape and other forms of sexual violence reveal an ugly story of men around the world still regarding women and children as secondary citizens. My fellow delegates, we must never rest as long as women are denied the services and rights that we men take for granted. Nothing less than our claim to civilization is at stake.

“Here in New York, we welcome the decision to establish a new and enhanced gender entity and hope to see it operational as soon as possible. We will pursue the reform agenda of system-wide coherence and the delivering as one agenda. The UN will be subject to more public scrutiny and reform must be an ongoing effort.”

Papua New Guinea

“We note that great strides are being made in reforming the global gender architecture. We applaud the strong but cautious consensus reached in the 63rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly to support the creation of an Under-Secretary General's posts to assist in the better management of the various UN entities dealing with the gender issues.”

“We therefore strongly support the on-going reform as the gender issue in its entirety remains one of the key policy issues of my Government.”


"We are convinced that issues such as conflict prevention cannot be seen in isolation. They are connected with the respect for human rights, protection of civilians, gender equality, protection of children in armed conflict, etc. As a serving member of the UN Human Rights Council, Slovakia works on promoting universal respect for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, both at national and international level."


“Firstly, multilateralism is inseparable from faithfulness to democratic values, to human rights, and to effective equality between men and women throughout the world. And I'm very happy to see in this respect the last resolution approved by the General Assembly, which will make it possible for one single body to deal with all gender issues.”


“Promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women are also important to Thailand. Besides our national effort on this matter, I am pleased to add that ASEAN is also in the process of establishing an ASEAN commission on the promotion and protection of the rights of women and children. This mechanism would play an important part in enhancing and strengthening the ASEAN human rights framework as a whole.”


“Our parliament recently considered ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Parliament voted not to ratify CEDAW because to do so would cut across or cultural and social heritage that make up our unique Tongan way of life. We take the ratification of International Treaties very seriously. We did not want to ratify CEDAW as a matter of international convenience. We would rather be judged on our actions of empowerment of women than by a ratification of convenience. And we make no apologies for our stance. We admit that there are issues to be addressed. But rather than ratify CEDAW, we prefer to address those specific areas of concern for women in our own way. We maintain that our women are among the most highly cherished and respected in the world.”


"The United Nations must become a much more effective institution on matters such as climate change, sustainable development, the struggle against poverty, gender equality and the protection of human rights and dignity. We fully support the reform efforts in this direction."

United Arab Emirates

“Women and children occupy an important rank among the priorities of the UAE government. This is especially with regard to education, health, human develop and knowledge development. The empowerment of women and care and protection of children are among the major success stories of our national development project, where women today have achieved significant successes in the legislative, executive and political fields in the UAE as well as the private sector and in the areas of culture, creativity and sustainable development of the UAE.”


“Vanuatu is deeply concerned that like climate change the crisis is caused by outside influential forces and its rippling effects are quickly reaching our nation's most vulnerable population i.e. children, women, the disabled, the working poor, who will be the one's hardest hit and least able to cope with dramatic changes.”
6. FEATURE Letter

Aids-Free World addresses Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the creation of a new UN Women's Agency

September 29, 2009

An open letter

Mr. Secretary-General:

AIDS-Free World is both exhilarated and watchful in the wake of this month's resolution to create a new United Nations women's agency.

You and your staff have been anticipating and preparing for this moment for almost three years. Your actions now will help determine the success or failure of this agency.

You have the opportunity to part ways with old, flawed UN systems, and usher in a new era of transparency, equity and effectiveness.

The leader of the women's agency will either continue the UN tradition of declawed proclamations and halfbaked interventions concerning women's issues, or she will galvanize the world by actually listening to women, and providing the wherewithal for real change.

The brave and correct way to identify the Under Secretary-General is to get rid of the entrenched, unwritten rules that now govern the process of selecting many (albeit not all) of the UN's leaders. Governments, predominantly donor nations, lay claim to UN funds and programs, and proffer candidates behind closed doors for the Secretary-General's consideration. These ways have never served women. We should not select our top international civil servants according to political expedience. The world would be shocked to learn that the UN, with all its talk about good governance, runs on a system of lobbying and patronage.

It is time to break the pattern. We strongly encourage you to ensure that both the selection process and the new Under Secretary-General meet some basic standards.

First and foremost, candidates must be selected through a global search and an open, fair, transparent process that pays particular attention to qualified candidates from developing countries. Preferential consideration should not be given to UN insiders. Women do not need a leader who has learned to accept the UN's shortcomings and play by its unspoken rules. She must be frankly skeptical of calcified systems that do not serve half the world's citizens. If there were women within the system with the capability to change it, they would have done so already.

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7. FEATURE Resources

Steps for Action to Promote Gender Equality
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), 2009

Gender equality is a necessary element to secure sustainable livelihoods of women, men and their
children. Gender Equality is not only a goal in itself, but is also necessary to achieve all eight Millennium Development Goals.

The aim of this publication is to demonstrate the value of proven methods but also to add new ones. These methods were developed as part of a system of knowledge management, built by gathering hardearned knowledge and feeding it back into the development community for further application.

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Glossary of Gender-related Terms
Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies
Compiled by Josie Christodoulou, August 2005 and updated by Anna Zobnina, August 2009

This glossary aims to contribute towards a general and clearer understanding of some of the frequently used terms and concepts in relation to gender. It is addressed to policymakers, researchers, students and/or anyone interested in such issues. MIGS fully acknowledges that the glossary is neither definite nor complete and that the reader's understandings of these terms will depend on her/his background and experiences. The terms listed below are constantly being developed and changed and we welcome additions.

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8. NGO Working Group UPdate

September 30, 2009


Resolution 1888 on sexual violence in war, adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council today, could substantively improve the situation of women in conflict, the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security said.

"Nine years ago, the Security Council first recognized specific international obligations to women in conflict situations by adopting resolution 1325. But, these women continue to be targeted for sexual violence, and have largely been excluded from the talks to end conflicts,” said Sarah Taylor, Coordinator of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security.

Today's resolution establishes a system of added protection and support to end sexual violence in war. This includes a team of experts which can be deployed immediately to conflict affected situations, and a new leader, a Special Representative, to bring the UN's response together.

"Coordination is key. Both the Special Representative and the team of experts will hopefully be a catalyst for change. They need to take cohesive and meaningful action in countries such as Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, Sudan, and all conflicts where sexual violence against women is rife.” said Taylor.

The Security Council has asked the Secretary-General for urgent proposals to dramatically improve the UN's response to sexual violence. A key question is how to ethically gather timely information on sexual violence, thus allowing the Council to effectively and fairly address the issue.

"We look forward to analysis that draws significantly on the expertise of civil society working with survivors on the front line in the struggle against sexual violence,” said Taylor.

In a nod to the fact that perpetrators of sexual violence rarely are brought to justice, the resolution also requests the UN system to name warring parties responsible for using rape as a weapon of war.

Impunity is the name of the game when it comes to rape in war. We could see real reductions in the use of sexual violence in conflict if commanders and their soldiers are held accountable for their crimes,” said Taylor.

In its resolution, the Security Council rightly emphasizes that all UN Member States treat survivors of sexual violence with dignity, and that these survivors are provided with effective protection and support throughout the justice process, as well as full reparation for their suffering.

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MADRE: Film Screening of Rethink Afghanistan
October 4, 2009
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Quad Cinema, New York, NY

Join MADRE for the NYC premiere of the film Rethink Afghanistan, a devastating look at the consequences of war in Afghanistan. Following the screening, a panel discussion featuring the film's director, Robert Greenwald, and director of the Gender Equality Program of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)-Afghanistan, Indai Sajor, will focus on the impact of war on Afghan women's human rights.

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Women' 2nd Metropolis Women International Network Forum - Visions and Challenges for a Women-Friendly City
October 21-24, 2009
Shilla Hotel, Seoul, Korea

Participants: Representatives from 104 Metropolis member cities, Women Politicians, Administrators, Scholars, NGO activists, Students, and anyone who are interested in the Forum.
Co-host : Seoul Metropolitan Government, Metropolis Women International Network
Organizer : Seoul Foundation of Women & Family

Major issues on the agenda:

1. Mainstreaming Gender in City Policies and Administration
2. Empowering Women during Economic Crisis
3. Building a Safe City for Women
4. Fostering Diversity and Women's Creativity

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October 26th-30th, 2009
Delta Chelsea Hotel, Downtown Toronto

The workshop will be delivered by Karen Craggs, Director of Gender Equality Incorporated. It is designed to be highly participatory and interactive to maximize dialogue, learning and networking. Participants will be encouraged to share their own experiences, best practices and challenges. The focus of the workshop will be building capacity of participants to apply tools and concepts to their actual work and to address challenges that they currently face in their day to day work.

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1st Global Conference on Women's Participation in Politics
6 - 9 October 2009, Collectif Femmes Politique et Pouvoir
Yaoundé, Cameroun, Palais des Congrès

The 1st Global Conference on Women's Participation in Politics will be held from October 6-9, 2009 in Cameroon. This conference will allow a space of exchange of strategies to improve women's participation in politics and decrease the democratic deficit in the next five years. Delegates worldwide will meet to debate ways to improve women's participation in politics and their access to electoral mandates and elective functions.

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Call for Applications: Africa Youth Trust: Training Program on The Equal Status and Human Rights of Women in East Africa (EAHUWO)
November 2 - 13, 2009
November 23 – December 4, 2009
Nairobi, Kenya

The program aims at strengthening the human rights of women in the East African region, by promoting awareness of applicable international human rights standards among advocates, government officials and academicians working on gender equality issues. The program seeks to undertake two similar trainings that will target sustainable development by building the capacity of participating organizations to advance policies and actions on women human rights.

Deadline for applications: October 12, 2009.

Course Content: During the 2009 EAHUWO trainings, particular attention will be placed on regional mechanisms for the protection of women rights as human rights, and the role of women in national peace-building and democratic governance.

The approach of the training is interdisciplinary and involves aspects of law and social sciences. The program will provide an opportunity for participants to exchange experiences and ideas from their national context, while offering a forum for discussions from a regional perspective.

Target countries: Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Applications from candidates from other countries other than those mentioned above will not be considered, due to budgetary limitation.

Target audience: The training is open to representatives from civil society organizations and government agencies, both men and women, preferably in middle to senior level management, with the proven ability (or demonstrated potential) to design and influence the policy-making and national processes on issues of human rights of women.

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Improving Sustainable Impact and Effectiveness in Peacebuilding, Development and Post-War Recovery Programs and Operations – Strategy, Design & Implementation – Advanced Certificate Program (ACP)
November 16th – 20th, 2009
International Peace and Development Training Centre (IPDTC), Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Improving Sustainable Impact and Effectiveness helps agencies, organisations and practitioners working in conflict, crisis and post-war stabilisation and recovery to improve the quality, effectiveness and sustainable impact of their programs – including crisis management and prevention, peacebuilding, social, economic and political stabilization, reconciliation in divided communities, and post-war recovery, rehabilitation and development. Drawing on more than 30 years experience in 40 countries, the program represents the most advanced of its kind for policy makers, practitioners, government officials and donors internationally.

October 12 for Applicants WHO NEED a Romanian Visa
October 26 for Applicants who DO NOT NEED a Romanian Visa

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Gender Sensitive Active Non Violence training, Exploring ‘Masculinities, Violence and Peace building'
Date: TBD

WPP is convinced that in order to change cultures of war and violence, women peace activists need to work together with male allies. Therefore the WPP is in the process of organizing the first one-of-its-kind “Gender-Sensitive Active Non-Violence Training: Exploring Masculinities, Violence and Peace building”. This Training of Trainers will take place late 2009 (probably November-December), and aims to:

* Increase the knowledge on gender-sensitive non-violence of men working in the area of peace building,

* Integrate the topic of masculinities in peace building curricula,

* Increase the pool of male gender-sensitive non-violence trainers.


The issue of accountability is one that we continue to tackle and this 9th Anniversary of 1325 is an important moment to reassert the importance of putting in place systems to ensure that accountability. In a year's time we mark 10 years since the watershed moment of the adoption of 1325 in 2000. In the lead up to that Anniversary, the PeaceWomen Project through its soon to be launched new website and through collaborative efforts as a part of the NGO Working Group on women, peace and security will be engaged in efforts to build systems of accountability. One aspect of these efforts will be the continuing monitoring through our PeaceWomen monitoring of Security Council resolutions, reports and debates. We look forward to providing women, peace and security advocates around the world with information on the Council's work and the extent to which it is integrating women, peace and security issues in its day-to-day work. As will be seen in the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security Update (Item 7), to encourage the Council's efforts, the collective will be engaged in a project (in which PeaceWomen will participate) to produce Monthly Action Points – “recommendations to each United Nations Security Council President on how it can provide leadership on, and how the Security Council as a whole can systematically meet its obligations to women in conflict.”

Since then we have seen the adoption of 3 additional resolutions on women, peace and security – all of which build the 3 P's women, peace and security framework of participation, protection and prevention. Each of these aspects is integrally related to the others in myriad ways – women's participation is essential to the success of conflict prevention and to addressing protection concerns. If protection concerns are not met then participation in everything from politics to day-to-day life is negatively affected. Without stronger conflict prevention efforts women, and of course all of society, continue to experience the devastating effects of war. For all of these reasons we look forward to integrated approaches to implementing SCR 1325, 1820, 1888 and 1889.

Resolution 1325 was of course the first resolution under the Security Council's women, peace and security agenda item and this edition of the PeaceWomen E-News focuses on the 9th anniversary of its adoption and on the issue of post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding. Post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding is a broad theme and covers issues ranging from the participation of women in peace processes and planning for recovery to reconciliation, transitional justice and security sector reform. Several of these issues are dealt with in the resources highlighted in this month's Feature Resources (Item 6). These issues were also addressed in the Security Council Open Debate held (unexpectedly earlier than usual) on 5 October 2009 to mark the 1325 anniversary. The PeaceWomen Project monitored the debate and compiled an online thematic index of statements – extracts from which can be found in our Feature Event section (Item 5). Our web pages on the debate – part of our developing Debate Watch resource – also contain links to relevant advocacy material and resources, government statements and outcome documents.

Held under the presidency of Vietnam, the October 2009 Open Debate focused on the theme of “responding to the needs of women and girls in post-conflict situations for sustainable peace and security.” As was noted by Austria in that debate, “[n]o society can afford not to make full use of women's potential contribution to peace-building and post-conflict recovery.” They went on to reference the research presented by UNIFEM that evidences the effect of excluding women and neglecting their needs from these processes – such neglect “imposes serious costs on recovery, undermining efforts to reassert the rule of law and restart the economy.” As has become standard practice, a member of civil society (here representing the NGO Working Group on women, peace and security) was invited to make a statement in the debate – this month's Feature Statement (Item 3). Somali advocate Asha Hagi Elmi Amin spoke of her participation in Somali peace efforts as part of the women's “Sixth Clan” initiative that resulted in important gains for women. She also noted, however, that women for the most part remain excluded from peace and post-conflict processes, “to the detriment of society as a whole.”

In response to this problem and as an outcome of the Open Debate, Vietnam led the adoption of a resolution on women, peace and security (SCR 1889). This seeks to address various aspects of post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding. As will be seen in our analysis in the Security Council Monitor (Item 4) SCR 1889 is an important building block in furthering the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda first expressed in SCR 1325. It not only addresses concrete and essential issues such as post-conflict needs assessments and resource allocation but also contains provisions that could lead to improvements in monitoring and reporting on implementation and, hopefully, improved accountability. As Ms Amin noted, “without accountability [being provided for in the various women, peace and security resolutions] persistent impediments to their implementation will remain.”

In the coming months we will be launching several exciting and participatory projects leading up to the 10th Anniversary of 1325 in October 2010 and we look forward your engagement in these.