Celebrating the 1st Anniversary of 1325 PeaceWomen E-News

Tuesday, June 3, 2003


On October 31st 2000, the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. Without the persistent advocacy efforts of civil society organizations, this resolution would never have been written or adopted. In this way, its unanimous adoption was an important acknowledgement of the years of advocacy work by civil society organizations and of the importance of women's contributions to the UN's discourse on peace and security issues.

In addition, Resolution 1325 marks the first time that the Security Council, the UN's international law-making body, addressed women's distinct experiences of armed conflict and recognized their crucial, yet under-utilized roles as peace-builders within their communities.

In response to the adoption of Resolution 1325, a number of projects were initiated to actively work toward its full implementation. The 1325 PeaceWomen E-Newsletter, an initiative of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) UN Office, is one example.

One year ago, the PeaceWomen team began sending out the e-newsletter as a means of promoting the visibility of Security Council Resolution 1325, advocating for its implementation, and informing people of the scale and range of activity to promote Resolution 1325.

Twice a month, the PeaceWomen team sends the newsletter to almost 3000 people in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and Oceania. Our subscribers include UN staff, government representatives, civil society organizations, university professors, academics, journalists and students.

As one of PeaceWomen's tools for advocacy, the newsletter serves as an ongoing record for the community of organizations working on women, peace and security issues and Resolution 1325 in particular, a document of the many events and advocacy efforts carried out by civil society organizations, the UN, governments and academia. This document not only records a history, but also serves as a means to strategize future advocacy efforts.

As an ongoing historical record, the newsletter has covered a range of activities and events over the past year, including: the Open Security Council Debate on Gender and Peacekeeping; the first and second anniversary of Resolution 1325; the release of the Secretary-General's report and study Women, Peace and Security; UNIFEM's Expert's Assessment Women, War and Peace; the new website for the gender unit of the UN Peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC); the formation of new organizations and projects such as Coalition 1325 in Azerbaijan and the women's peace march in Israel-Palestine; the PeaceWomen Translation Initiative which increased the number of available translations of Resolution 1325 from 6 to 21; and, most recently, the numerous international efforts to address women's equal participation in post-conflict reconstruction in Iraq.

Surveying the many activities and advocacy efforts covered in 1325 PeaceWomen E-News over the past year it is clear that this first anniversary is much more than a celebration of the newsletter. It is also, and more importantly, a celebration of the work of countless individuals and organizations committed to raising the visibility of women, peace and security issues, and implementation of Resolution 1325.

PeaceWomen Team

Back to Top

Since PeaceWomen first started circulating the list, a number of initiatives have been added to the list including:

- The Afghan Women's Network ‘Open Letter to the Women of Iraq'
- A Letter to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Ministry of Defense (MOD) concerning ‘International Obligations in Iraq on Women's Human Rights'
-The' Findings and Conclusions' outcome document from the late April meeting, ‘Winning the Peace- Women's Role in Post-Conflict Iraq,' organized by the Woodrow Wilson International Center Conflict Prevention and Middle East Projects and Women Waging Peace.

For the updated list, click here.

To ensure that this list remains up-to-date and accurate, PeaceWomen welcomes your input. To provide input, contact sarahshteir@peacewomen.org.

Back to Top


May 30, 2003 – (PeaceWomen) In June, the Security Council members will travel to Central and West Africa to witness the current armed conflict and post-conflict situations in countries in the respective regions. On June 7, the Council members- led by the French- will depart for the Great Lakes region, where they will spend a week visiting six countries, including Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. Later in the month, on June 28, the British will lead a Council mission to West Africa, where the Council members will spend six days visiting Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone.

In order to support the Council's compliance with paragraph 15 of the UNSC Resolution 1325, the Inter-Agency Taskforce on Women, Peace and Security, led by the Office for the Special Advisor on Gender Issues, has submitted the names of local and national women's organizations that should be contacted by the Council members and has provided a list of gender issues and concerns that should be taken into consideration by the Council in each country. Based on past practices of the Security Council members on mission, there is a concern among advocates for women's participation in peace and security matters that the quality of and quantity of time allotted to consultation with women's organizations while on mission is insubstantial and inconsistent with the Security Council's mandate in UNSC Resolution 1325.

One such example is the Security Council Mission to Kosovo in December 2002. Kosovar women were very outspoken in response to the Security Council mission, sending the delegation a memo concerning their failure to acknowledge women's organizations:

"Last year in June, when the Delegation of the Security Council visited Kosovo, UNMIK didn't plan for the delegation to meet with women's groups, which reflected that all the UN's resolutions about the role of women in peace and post-conflict decision-making, are nothing more than lip service. If it wasn't for the Ambassador Chowdury's persistence to meet with us, which we highly appreciate, we would have no chance to give any of our views face to face."

PeaceWomen will report on the Security Council missions to the Great Lakes and West Africa as soon as information becomes available.

For information on today's Open Security Council Meeting on "Conflicts in Africa: Security Council Missions and United Nations mechanisms to promote peace and security,” click here.

Back to Top

4. 1325 NEWS

Visit our updated news pages on Iraq, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Israel-Palestine

Women Want Immediate Deployment of International Troops
June 2, 2003 - (The NEWS -Monrovia) The Coalition of Women of Political Parties in Liberia has called for the immediately deployment of international stabilization force in the Country.

An Update from the Fiji Women. Peace and Security Committee
May 2003 – (fem'TALK E-News) On May 14th 2003, 16 years after Fiji experienced its first military coup, women peacemakers, representatives of a range of women's NGOs, came together under the auspices of UNIFEM Pacific's Women Peace and Security Project for Melanesia.

Secretary-General Introduces UN Human Rights Chief as Special Representative for Iraq
May 27, 2003– (UN Press Conference Transcript) When Secretary-General Annan introduced Sergio Vieira de Mello as the new Special Representative for Iraq during yesterday's press conference, both the new SRSG and the Secretary-General made brief comments about the importance of ensuring the human rights of Iraqi women.

(PeaceWomen has heard that the new UN Special Representative for Iraq will have a gender advisor on his team when he goes to Iraq, however, there has been no additional information circulated.)

The Women of Kosovo and Afghanistan Urge Iraqi Women to 'Organize and Raise their Voice' During Reconstruction
May 25, 2003 - (US Advocacy Project) 'According to reports, Iraq's women have been apprehensive to emerge in public because of the violence and looting, and support seems to be growing for Islamic fundamentalism in the south. Equally disturbing, the US and British occupation forces appear to have made little effort to appoint specialists in women's affairs or make women's rights a priority in the reconstruction effort. All of this seems ominously familiar to the women of Kosovo and Afghanistan, who have had to fight hard for a seat at the table of reconstruction.'

Women Talk of Rape Before the Sierra Leone Truth Commission
May 22, 2003 - (Coalition for Women's Human Rights in Conflict Situations- News Release) The Coalition on Women's Human Rights in Conflict Situations testified today before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) at special hearings on sexual violence during Sierra Leone's decade-long war. The TRC is dedicating two days to thematic hearings on sexual violence.

UNIFEM Urges DRC President To Involve Women In New Government
May 22, 2003 – (UN Wire) U.N. Development Fund for Women Executive Director Noeleen Heyzer met yesterday with President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and urged him to involve women in the war-torn country's political transition and economic reconstruction.

Activists Tout Kurdish Women's Rights
May 21, 2003 – (Associated Press) Iraqi women are studying the Kurdish-controlled north to see how women there have improved their status in the male-dominated Muslim society.

UNIFEM Head Calls For International Commission On Violence
May 19, 2003 – (UN Wire) Noeleen Heyzer, head of the U.N. Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), called Friday for the creation of an international commission to probe violence and brutality committed against women. At the launch in South Africa of a UNIFEM-commissioned report released last year, Heyzer highlighted a recommendation on establishing such a commission, saying it could be modeled on South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

A Saharawi Woman Speaks Out
May 19, 2003 – (Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara -Oslo) In May/June 2003 a representative of the Saharawi people, Fatima Mahfoud, will visit Australia and New Zealand to tell the story of the Western Sahara conflict from a Saharawi woman's point of view.

For more 1325 news, click here.

Back to Top


Winning the Peace: Women's Role in Post-Conflict Iraq – Conclusions and Findings
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Women Waging Peace

The April 21-22 meeting ‘Winning the Peace: Women's Role in Post-Conflict Iraq,' was organized by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Women Waging Peace for Iraqi women from the diaspora, US policy makers, and international and national NGOs to discuss the role of Iraqi women in transition and post-conflict reconstruction. Below are the Key Conclusions and Findings in Brief from the final outcome document:

Following two days of meetings, participants found that:

-Women in Iraq are currently underrepresented in bilateral and multilateral efforts to structure and manage the transition to democracy and reconstruction.

-Women are available to lead; they comprise some 55 percent of the population of Iraq. Many women in Iraq and in the diaspora are well-educated professionals who have a great deal of experience to bring to bear on reconstruction.

-As a result of over a decade of intermittent conflict, widows and women-headed households have long assumed a great deal of responsibility for managing families and communities in Iraq. Their role and expertise ought to be recognized and capitalized upon in fostering the transition to a pluralistic, democratic Iraq.

-The extensive involvement of Iraqi women will be critical in sustaining peace and democracy, both because they broaden the talent pool, and because their presence is a deterrent to religious extremism.

-Women need to be involved in the earliest drafting of key instruments to ensure that the Iraqi transition process does not permit the erosion of women's rights.

-Several important steps will make certain that women are integral to the democratic transition:

* Immediate, explicit support and proactive efforts by policymakers within the international community, the United States, and Europe to ensure ample women's leadership and participation in all discussions regarding transition and reconstruction;
* Recognition and endorsement of a guarantee that women ought to represent no less than 30 percent of all committees, bodies, and structures that are convened to advance reconstruction, including parliamentary and executive governing structures;
* Drafting of an interim constitution that is secular and guarantees, among other rights, separation of powers, equality of all individuals in society, freedom of religion, a bill of rights, secular jurisdiction over family law, and the subjugation of religious law to civil law;
* Appointment of a gender focal point to the U. S. Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance of Iraq to see that the needs, concerns, and priorities of women are considered in decision making.
* Creation of an inclusive, participatory approach to governance to ensure that women, who often are most active in non-governmental organizations, participate in decision making in contrast to the centralized, authoritarian model of decision making typified by Saddam Hussein's regime.

The final outcome document consists of Findings and Conclusions on:
-Advancing Women's Participation in Civil Society
-Advancing Women's Interests in Constitutional Law and Legislation
-Advancing Women's Participation in Democracy, Governance, and Public Decision-Making
-Advancing Women's Economic Rights and Empowerment

For the full document, click here.

For a comprehensive annotated bibliography of books, articles and analyses on women's peace theory and activities, as well as NGO position papers, reports, speeches, statements and tools for organisational building. Please go to: http://www.peacewomen.org/resources/resindex.html

Back to Top

6. FEATURE STATEMENTS: In Celebration of 1325 PeaceWomen E-News

To mark this first anniversary, PeaceWomen asked all of you, as members of the community of organizations working on women, peace and security issues, and Resolution 1325 in particular, to offer your reflections on how the newsletter has contributed to your own work and has informed your own advocacy efforts over the past year.

PeaceWomen has included two of these reflections below:


The NGO community has played a very important and effective role in raising awareness about Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) of 31 October 2000 and keeping it high on the international agenda. The WILPF team should be congratulated for the diligent work they have done in producing the electronic PeaceWomen Newsletter over the last year and being a central gathering point for information exchange and sharing. I especially appreciate the work they have done to translate the SC resolution 1325 into many different languages - now over 20 - so that women the world over can read this historic resolution.

Angela King
Assistant Secretary-General, Special Advisor on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women


For me, 1325 PeaceWomen E-News is a channel for the transmission of information and the exchange of experiences between women working in peace and security. PeaceWomen's E-News is important because it disseminates information about peacewomen initiatives in the world which are not disseminated by the traditional media. PeaceWomen's E-news is an opportunity to increase peacewomen's visibility.

Aningina Tshefu Bibiane
PeaceWoman, Democratic Republic of Congo

To read others' reflections, click here.

For a comprehensive annotated bibliography of books, articles and analyses on women's peace theory and activities, as well as NGO position papers, reports, speeches, statements and tools for organisational building, click here.

Back to Top

7. FEATURE RESOURCE: Key Actors in 1325 Implementation

The PeaceWomen.org project is currently formulating a list of key UN and governmental actors in the implementation of UNSC Resolution 1325. We hope that this new resource, which will be accessible on the website, will serve as a tool for advocacy for groups working on women, peace and security issues.

The list will include the divisions, departments and offices of the UN that are pro-actively involved in implementation and those which could potentially be involved or should be involved in 1325 implementation. The list will include a work description, particularly as it relates to gender issues and women, as well as a description of the potential role of these actors in 1325 implementation. Furthermore, we plan to include contacts- with permission- so as to allow for transparency of the decision-making structures and accessibility to those responsible for 1325 in the respective offices. Some of the UN bodies included in the list of UN actors that have a key role in 1325 implementation are the Executive Committee on Peace and Security (ECPS), Office for the Special Advisor on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women (OSAGI), Department for Disarmament Affairs (DDA), World Food Programme (WFP) and the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights.

The list will also feature nation-state actors that have promoted 1325- whether proactively or rhetorically- through the domestication of 1325 in legislation or foreign policy, involvement in multilateral, collaborative efforts to promote 1325 or mention of 1325 in national statements. Some of the nation-state actors or nation-state groups include the Netherlands, Canada and Friends of 1325.

We expect to have this advocacy tool finished by the release of the next 1325 PeaceWomen E-Newsletter. Please provide input to this list by contacting kara@peacewomen.org. Look for the link to the Key Actors in 1325 Implementation list in the next edition.

For a comprehensive annotated bibliography of books, articles and analyses on women's peace theory and activities, as well as NGO position papers, reports, speeches, statements and tools for organisational building, click here.

Back to Top


13th Annual Women's Studies Conference: Women, War and Peace
October 17-18, 2003, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, Connecticut
Submissions due June 23, 2003
This conference will focus on all aspects of women in war and peace. Suggested topics range from weaponry and manufacturing to sexual violence and war crimes. The conference seeks to promote interaction among academics, community leaders, activists, professionals, artists, and others interested in Women, War and Peace studies. Possible session formats include roundtable discussions, workshops, art exhibits and panels. For more information, email womenstudies@southernct.edu, call (203) 392 6133 or fax (203) 392 6723.

Global Exchange Trip to South Africa: Women Building a Nation
August 15-19, 2003, South Africa
This trip organized by Global Exchange will be a special women's delegation, centered on South African Women's Day, celebrated on August 9th. According to Global Exchange, “perhaps no other liberation movement in the world can boast the level of active involvement of women as South Africa.” The delegation will participate in rallies and other celebrations, hear speeches and examine issues of women's access to resources, poverty, the AIDS crisis and other challenges. For more information, contact sarah@globalexchange.org.

Women PeaceMakers Program
September 29-December 5, 2003, San Diego, California
Application deadline: June 27, 2003
The Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice is hosting a residency program for women from 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.” The 10-week program will include workshops, roundtable discussion, outreach to the IPJ community, including faculty and students, and to the San Diego community. The program will provide the women residents with a student-writer to assist each in writing her story, a stipend to cover expenses while in San Diego, and living accommodations. Shorter-term residency is possible. For more information, visit http://peace.sandiego.edu, or contact Dr. Dee Aker at: daker@sandiego.edu.

For more calendar events click here.

Back to Top


The PeaceWomen is a project of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). Please visit us at http://www.peacewomen.org.

Previous issues of 1325 PeaceWomen E-News can be found at: http://www.peacewomen.org/news/1325News/1325ENewsindex.html.

At this time 1325 PeaceWomen E-News is only available in English. The PeaceWomen Team hopes to translate the newsletter into French and Spanish in the future. If you would not like to receive the English newsletter but would like to be placed on a list when translation is possible, please write to: 1325news@peacewomen.org.

To unsubscribe from the 1325 PeaceWomen News, send an email to 1325news@peacewomen.org with "unsubscribe" as the subject heading.

Questions, concerns and comments can be sent to 1325news@peacewomen.org. 1325 E-News and other submissions should be directed to 1325news@peacewomen.org.

This edition of the 1325 PeaceWomen E-News Features:

1. Celebrating the 1st Anniversary of 1325 PeaceWomen E-News
2. Initiatives to Address Women's Active Participation in Post-Conflict Reconstruction in Iraq: Reminder and Update
3. Upcoming Security Council Missions to Africa: Will there be a Gender Perspective?
4. 1325 News
5. Feature Analysis: Winning the Peace: Women's Role in Post-Conflict Iraq � Conclusions and Findings
6. Feature Statements: In Celebration of 1325 PeaceWomen E-News
7. Feature Resource: Key Actors in 1325 Implementation
8. Calendar Events