April 2021 WPS Monitor: Sexual Violence in Conflict and Arms Flows

Friday, April 16, 2021

Our Analysis: UN Security Council Open Debate on Sexual Violence in Conflict

“A focus on protecting women and girls and addressing rights violations during conflict and humanitarian settings alone is insufficient. The roots of women’s victimisation during armed conflict lie in structural and gender inequality that existed before the conflict.” UNSCR 1325 at 20 Years Report, pg. 30

The annual Security Council open debate on sexual violence in conflict was held on 14 April 2021, under the presidency of Viet Nam. The open debate focused on examining the challenges in preventing and responding to sexual violence in conflict, particularly on services and support for survivors of violence. 

As in previous years, WILPF monitored the debate focusing on key themes, including prevention, arms proliferation, accountability mechanisms, and policies and programmes to support survivors.

Civil Society Briefer: Caroline Atim

Ms. Caroline Atim, Executive Director of the South Sudan Women with Disabilities Network, briefed the Council on gender-based violence facing women and girls in South Sudan, particularly those with disabilities. She urged all actors to ensure that rights, inclusion and accessibility for women and girls with disabilities are at the heart of all efforts to prevent and respond to GBV.

Read her briefing.

Recommended Reading on Sexual Violence

Sexual violence by force of arms against women in Syria

This policy brief presents a feminist approach to understanding sexual violence and weapons in Syria, based on gendered analysis. It is a product of collaboration between Dawlaty and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), as well as extensive and continuous coordination with Syrian feminist and women-led partner organisations working in Syria and in neighbouring countries to achieve justice within society. 

Read in Arabic and English



The Correlation Between the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons in Iraq and Rates of Violence Against Women

As a result of rapid proliferation, small arms and light weapons (SALW) are now among the primary weapons used in conflicts, interpersonal violence and criminal activity around the world. This report seeks to understand and highlight the impact on women of the proliferation of firearms in Iraq, where intimate partner violence is common yet poorly recorded or examined. Six researchers focused on collecting information from a range of stakeholders in Iraq and KRI. 

Read in Arabic and English



UNSCR 1325 at 20 Years: Perspectives of Feminist Peace Activists and Civil Society

The annual open debate on sexual violence in conflict is one of two annual debates under the theme of women, peace and security at the Security Council. In October 2020, WILPF published a report on 20 years of WPS implementation, showcasing the perspectives of our global network of feminist peace activists.

Read in Arabic and English.


Generation Equality Forum and CSW65

March was a busy month for gender equality and WPS, with the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women taking place online, followed by the virtual Generation Equality Forum Mexico. WILPF advocated during both gatherings for the full implementation of the WPS agenda, conflict prevention, and disarmament to be central in global gender equality agendas. WILPF Afghanistan President Jamila Afghani spoke at a special session of the Generation Equality Forum, focused on protection of women human rights defenders.

In case you missed any of our events, you can watch the recordings below!

CSW65 Parallel Event: It is Not About Counting Women, but Making Women Count

Generation Equality Forum Special Session: Protection of Women Human Rights Defenders - An Imperative for the Achievement of Equality