The Feminine Face of United Nations Civilian Police (CIVPOL) in Haiti (MINUSTAH)

Monday, October 4, 2004


The UN Strategy of the Global Conflict Prevention Pool, a joint enterprise between the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Ministry of Defence, and Department for International Development (DFID), has agreed to fund, and the FCO Translation and Interpreting Services to translate, 1325 into 9 new languages.

These 9 languages were among a list of priority languages submitted by WILPF's PeaceWomen Project upon invitation by the FCO. These priority languages were chosen after consultation with a number of our partner organizations, and after having sent a request for suggestions through 1325 PeaceWomen E-News and UNIFEM's 1325 E-Discussion.

Translations of these nine languages will be available on 21 October 2004:

Amharic (Ethiopia)
Kirundi (Burundi)
Kinyarwanda (Rwanda)
Shona (Zimbabwe)
Punjabi (India)
Swahili (E. Africa)

PeaceWomen has recently learned that the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) has translated 1325 into Dioula, Hausa and Krio for their work with Resolution 1325 in the West Africa region. We are awaiting copies of these translations. We are also awaiting a Wolof translation of 1325, that should be available online shortly.

To view the 48 available translations, CLICK HERE.

If you know of existing translations or potential translators, please contact

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September 30, 2004 - One out of every nine women gets breast cancer. There are doctors who say that statistic has worsened lately and now stands at one out of every eight. The disease is particularly violent in younger women and the primary growth in the breast spreads rapidly to the liver, the lungs, the bones and the brain. Is there anything worse than being a young woman with cancer whose chances are slim? It turns out that there is - being a young Palestinian woman with cancer whose chances are slim.

September 30, 2004 – (HRW) Tens of thousands of Rwandan women were raped during the genocide and in the decade since, but only a few perpetrators of sexual violence have been prosecuted, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. See Feature Reports below for excerpts of the new HRW report.

September 27, 2004 - (UN Information Service) - Yakin Ertürk, the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, issued the following statement today...

September 27,2 004 - (Reuters) HIV/AIDS rates in northern Uganda are nearly twice as high as the rest of the country because of an 18-year war with the brutal Lord's Resistance Army rebel group, an aid agency said on Monday.

September 22, 2004 - (IRIN) Female civil servants and qualified Afghan women will be trained in leadership and decision-making skills through a joint UN-government programme.

September 20, 2004 - (The Guardian) It began with a phone call. In November last year 39-year-old Huda Alazawi, a wealthy Baghdad businesswoman, received a demand from an Iraqi informant. He was working for the Americans in Adhamiya, a Sunni district of Baghdad well known for its hostility towards the US occupation. His demand was simple: Madame Huda, as her friends and family know her, had to give him $10,000. If she failed to pay up, he would write a report claiming that she and her family were working for the Iraqi resistance. He would pass it to the US military and they would arrest her.

September 14, 2004 - (IRIN) Chaltu Jeylu will never forget the day she was 'married.' As the 13-year-old made her way to school, her would-be suitor and 14 of his friends dragged her off the road. Forcibly married for two months, she suffered repeated rape.

For more country-specific women, peace and security news, CLICK HERE

For more international women, peace and security news, CLICK HERE

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Here is a sampling of the events being organized for the 4th anniversary of Resolution 1325. PeaceWomen has developed an October events calendar, available at:

As events are finalized, and new events organized, PeaceWomen will update the above online calendar.

14 October:
Rethink! – A Seminar for Sustainable Peace
Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation
Stockholm, Sweden
The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation invites you to a seminar to discuss women's equal participation in peace negotiations and the post-conflict reconstruction process. The major obstacles to be overcome are lack of knowledge about the impact of conflict on women and women's role in peace-building and genuine interest in change.

Using The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation report, “Rethink! A Handbook for Sustainable Peace”, the seminar will be focusing on what has and can be done. We want to reach beyond the obstacles to create real changes. The seminar's discussion will be sparked by looking at three different conflicts: Georgia, Israel/Palestine and Liberia. Experts on these conflicts will present their views and ideas on women's role in the peace building process. With this practical focus grounded in conflict situations we aim towards an outcome of practical guidelines for how to ensure women's access to the peace building processes and how to use and develop UN Security Council resolution 1325.

The seminar will contain both panel discussions and workshops. Speakers will include practitioners from the above-mentioned conflicts, the United Nations and the Swedish government. The roster of participants will include actors in missions, institutions, organisations and NGO practitioners in the areas of peace and conflict, rebuilding, developmental aid and human rights.

For more information about the seminar and The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation visit:

22 October:
Panel on the newly launched Gender Resource Package
Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Peacekeeping Best Practices Unit
1:15-2:45, Church Center of the UN, 8th floor
The panel will provide an opportunity to launch DPKO's newly-issued Gender Resource Package for Peacekeeping Operations. The package provides step-by-step guidance for mainstreaming gender in most functional areas of peacekeeping and is targeted to all staff working in peacekeeping mission. The panelists will each focus their interventions on one thematic issue area addressed in the package, and will highlight good practices as well as outstanding challenges for addressing gender issues in that particular sector/thematic area. The areas expected to be reviewed are: gender and elections, gender and DDR, gender and civilian police, gender, reconstruction and recovery.
To view DPKO's new Gender Resource Package, visit:

26 October:
Inventory of Resources on Women, Peace and Security
Organized by the UN Inter-Agency Taskforce on Women, Peace and Security
1:15-2:45pm, UN Conference Rm A
This event is to provide an opportunity for UN, governmental and civil society actors to drop off their own resources on women, peace and security and view others'.

UNIFEM is preparing an online calendar for their own events as well as events they are involved in. It will be available shortly at:

For PeaceWomen's 4th Anniversary index, CLICK HERE.

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The Feminine Face of United Nations CIVPOL in Haiti
Nadine Puechguirbal, Senior Gender Advisor, MINUSTAH, in collaboration with MINUSTAH's CivPol and Public Information, Port-au-Prince, August 2004

The United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) began deployment in June 2004. In order for it to successfully carry out its mandate in accordance with Resolution 1542 (2004), the mission is composed of military, Civilian Police (CIVPOL) and international and local civilian staff.

Among its other tasks, CivPol is mandated to assist the Transitional Government in the restructuring and reform of the Haitian National Police and in the implementation of a disarmament, demobilization and reintegration program “for all armed groups, including women and children associated with such groups.”

As of 1 August 2004, the CivPol contingent in Haiti comprises 206 police officers, four of whom are women (around two percent of the contingent's total size). Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, which was adopted by the Security Council on 31 October 2000, “Urges the Secretary-General to seek to expand the role and contribution of women in United Nations field-based operations, and especially among military observers, civilian police, human rights and humanitarian personnel.”

With women only making up two percent of the entire CIVPOL contingent in Haiti, MINUSTAH has yet to meet the requirements of Resolution 1325. The figures are not much better in other peacekeeping missions. As the UN Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Jean-Marie Guéhenno, pointed out in a speech to the Security Council in October 2003, women constitute a mere four percent of the total number of civilian police in UN peacekeeping missions worldwide.

Why are there so few women in the civilian police contingents of UN peacekeeping operations? What are the obstacles they face? How can these obstacles be removed? This is what we tried to find out by talking to the four women who were selected by their respective countries to serve in MINUSTAH.

For the full article, CLICK HERE.

For the French version of this article – “Le visage féminin de la Police Civile des Nations Unies en Haïti,” CLICK HERE.

To contact Nadine Puechguirbal, MINUSTAH's Senior Gender Advisor, email:

For more resources on gender and peacekeeping issues, visit:

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Letter to UN Member States on Security Council-Civil Society Relations
17 September 2004

In response to the recommendations to strengthen Security Council-civil society relations in the Cardoso Report* and the Secretary General's Report**, the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, wrote an open letter to UN Member States on the integration of the Council's commitments to UNSC Resolution 1325, in light of the recommendations put forward in the reports.

Dear Ambassador:

The NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security notes with appreciation the spirit of the Cardoso report, We the Peoples (A/58/817), and the Report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of the Report of the Panel of Eminent Persons on United Nations–Civil Society Relations (A/59/354).

Pursuant to sections 1 (b) (13-14) of the above mentioned Secretary-General's report, we urge you to put forth the following recommendations to the Security Council:

• Require that all country-specific and thematic reports and briefings from the Secretariat include a gender analysis and input from women's groups, organizations and networks.

• Institutionalize meetings with women's groups, organizations and networks during Security Council missions to the field.
Not only should these meetings be institutionalized, but they should also be structured efficiently to enable women adequate time to prepare. Further, these meetings should be held at appropriate hours and in appropriate venues. Monies should be available to women from the proposed UN Trust Fund (see Section 2 of the SG report), or other regular budget and voluntary funds, in order for the women to travel to meet the Council members. In preparation for UNSC missions to the field, New York and Geneva-based NGOs and UN departments, agencies and programmes should be approached for names of civil society partners in the field.

• Hold regular seminars between Council members and civil society organizations in addition to regular Arria Formula meetings.
Council members should insist that the seminars, as well as the Arria Formula meetings, are characterized by Mission participation at the highest level, gender balance among the speakers, as well as an integrated gender perspective in the presentations. Funding should be available to bring women from conflict-affected regions to participate in both the seminars and Arria meetings.

We applaud the work of the Council in recent years to strengthen its relationship with civil society. We further commend the recent initiative of the Philippines to ensure that civil society representatives had the opportunity to speak formally to the Council and the efforts of the United Kingdom, Chile and Canada (non-SC member) in co-sponsoring, with the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, two Security Council-focused roundtables*** (January and July 2004), which addressed the integration of Security Council thematic resolutions into the country-specific work of the Council.

Yet, we believe that in order for the Council to achieve more effective work on international peace and security, it should pursue a stronger and more systematic working relationship with civil society organizations, and in particular, women‘s organizations and networks.

Thank you for your careful consideration of our recommendations during your deliberations in the General Assembly.


NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security

*Cardoso report, We the Peoples: Civil Society, the United Nations and Global Governance (A/58/817)

**Report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of the Report of the Panel of Eminent Persons on United Nations–Civil Society Relations (A/59/354)

***For the Roundtable reports, CLICK HERE.

For the pdf version of this letter, CLICK HERE.

For information about the NGO Working Group, CLICK HERE.

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Advancing UNHCR's Five Commitments to Refugee Women and the UN Millennium Development Goals
Summary of A Workshop
Co-hosted by Afghan Women's Network (AWN), Afghan Women's Resource Center (AWRC) and Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children
15 June 2004, Peshawar, Pakistan

In June 2004, the Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, in collaboration with the Afghan Women's Network and the Afghan Women's Resource Center (AWRC), co-sponsored a half-day workshop in Pakistan entitled Advancing UNHCR's Five Commitments to Refugee Women and the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The workshop brought together representatives from civil society, UNHCR and the government of Pakistan to understand the eight MDGs and suggest concrete actions to take collectively, and individually.

Recommendations for the international community to advance the rights of Afghan women refugees in relation to the MDGs include:

* Establish periodic meetings with refugee women to provide an opportunity for them to express their views and concerns.
* Increase self-sufficiency programs for refugee women, such as income generating activities, vocational training and rotating funds established by the community.
* Build upon existing HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns and extend them to refugee populations. This could include awareness-raising in schools, women's and community centers, basic health units, and among traditional birth attendants.
* Include vocational skills training in school curriculums.

Recommendations for UNHCR and implementing partners to advance the Five Commitments include:

* Establish periodic meetings with refugee women to provide an opportunity for them to express their views and concerns.
* Ensure that more than one woman is on a committee and that women work on the same issues as men, including security, camp management, food distribution and issues related to return.
* Widely distribute among refugees, police and other officials the tripartite agreement signed between the governments of Afghanistan, Pakistan and UNHCR as it provides the legal framework for refugees to remain in Pakistan at least through March 2006.
* Play a more active role in screening and monitoring of security and service providers, including the broad dissemination and implementation of the UN's Inter-Agency Codes of Conduct and training among District Coordinators, local police and other authorities.
* Monitor existing implementing partner effectiveness in promoting women's protection, and exercise more flexibility in selecting implementing partners.

The AWRC, with support from the Women's Commission, is planning a follow-up workshop in Pakistan, and similar workshops on the Millennium Development Goals in Kabul, Jalalabad and Herat in late 2004.

For the full report, CLICK HERE.

For more information about the workshop, please contact Jenny Perlman, Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, at

For more information about the Afghan Women's Network, please visit

For more information about the Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, please visit

Struggling to Survive: Barriers to Justice for Rape Victims in Rwanda
Human Rights Watch
30 September 2004

This 58-page report investigates the persistent weaknesses in the Rwandan legal system that hamper the investigation and prosecution of sexual violence. The report also documents the desperate health and economic situation of rape survivors. Many of the women who were raped became infected with HIV. Excerpts of the Summary are below:

Ten years after the 1994 genocide, many of the tens of thousands of Rwandan women who were victims of sexual violence have remained without legal redress or reparation. Perpetrators of the genocide employed sexual violence against women and girls as a brutally effective tool to humiliate and subjugate Tutsi and politically moderate Hutu. Grieving for lost family members and suffering physical and psychological consequences of the violence, women and girls who were victims of sexual violence are among the most devastated and disadvantaged of genocide survivors.

This report documents the inadequacy of Rwandan government efforts to ensure legal redress and medical assistance and counseling to these victims, including those suffering from HIV/AIDS. The report also examines the continuing problem of sexual violence in Rwanda and shows that victims of these crimes face obstacles to accountability and health care similar to those faced by women and girls who suffered sexual violence during the genocide.

Mechanisms for legal redress have disappointed women who were raped during the genocide. Domestically this includes the regular court system (commonly referred to in Rwanda as the “classic” court system), which has it origins in the colonial period, and the recently instituted gacaca system, an adaptation of participatory, community-level truth-telling and accountability intended to handle the overwhelming caseload from the genocide period. Given the massive number of rapes during the genocide, an extraordinarily small number of cases have been prosecuted at the domestic level.

Rape survivors intent on seeing those responsible prosecuted face a two-tiered system, which normally begins with pre-trial gacaca proceedings and is expected to end with trial and judgment in the classic courts. Although the laws governing genocide trials and the gacaca process give serious attention to sexual violence, deficiencies in the law and in its implementation greatly discourage reporting and proper investigation and prosecution of these crimes.

Weaknesses in the legal system include gaps in statutory law, insufficient protections for victims and witnesses who wish to report or testify about sexual violence, lack of training for authorities with respect to sexual violence crimes, and poor representation of women among police and judicial authorities. At the time that the research for this report was conducted, the lack of procedural protections in gacaca proceedings seriously impeded legal redress for rape victims.

…This report is based on a five-week research mission to Rwanda by Human Rights Watch in February and March 2004 and on prior and subsequent
research. Our team conducted research in the capital, Kigali, and five provinces: Kigali-rural (central Rwanda), Gitarama (central Rwanda), Kibungo (southeastern Rwanda), Butare (southern Rwanda), and Gisenyi (northwestern Rwanda). Human Rights Watch researchers interviewed more than fifty women between the ages of eighteen and fifty, including both victims of sexual violence and others familiar with such crimes perpetrated upon members of their families or their friends. Twenty of these women had been raped during the genocide, and ten were assaulted following the genocide. Seven women were under eighteen at the time of the rape. The women we interviewed resided in towns and rural areas and were located through contacts with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and service providers.

We also spoke to government ministers, local and national police, prosecutors, and other government officials; representatives of local and international NGOs with such mandates as women's rights, human rights, and health; health providers; and United Nations (U.N.) officials. Further, we reviewed over 1,000 judgments in genocide trials and eighteen judgments in post-1994 rape cases. We also relied on the accumulated research and experience of local and expatriate staff in the Human Rights Watch field office in Kigali, established in 1995.

For the full summary and report, CLICK HERE.

For the report on HRW online, visit:

For a related HRW press release, CLICK HERE.

For NGO and civil society reports, papers and statements, UN and government reports, and books, journals and articles on women, peace and security issues, CLICK HERE.

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Women, War and Peace: Mobilizing for Security and Justice in the 21st Century
The Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture 2004
Noeleen Heyzer, UNIFEM Executive Director
22 September 2004, Uppsala, Sweden


I am deeply touched by this great honour to deliver this year's Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture. I was in the Democratic Republic of the Congo last year, invited by women leaders who were frustrated by the inadequate implementation of the Peace accord and by the violence that had broken out in Ituri and Bunia. Even though we had facilitated their participation to influence the official peace process in Sun City, South Africa from February to April 2002, resulting in Article 51 of the Transitional Constitution on the involvement and rights of women, the women were not being taken seriously in its implementation. They knew that the United Nation's Development Fund for Women, UNIFEM, had provided much of the technical support to the Namibian Presidency of the Security Council in October 2000 and facilitated women in conflict zones to meet, for the first time, members of the Security Council. All this had contributed to Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. At that time, I had promised to work with women in conflict zones to ensure accountability and implementation of this resolution on the ground. These women now wanted to know what could be done to amend this, and how their own efforts in organizing and mobilizing their communities could be recognized and supported by this process…

In this lecture dedicated to the memory of Dag Hammarskjöld, I would like to address how the United Nations has been engaged and, indeed, challenged, by women around the world to urgently and effectively respond to the realities, needs, and priorities of women in situations of conflict. Specifically, I will consider how women, based on their experiences of war and conflict, have mobilized for the formulation and adoption of Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security, an agreed upon mechanism by which to ensure that women's rights are protected during conflict, and their participation is supported at all stages and levels of peace-making, peace-keeping, and peace-building.

I shall first examine some of the root causes of conflict, as well as the forms of mobilization taken by various groups in these contexts. I will then look at how the nature of warfare has changed, the impact of contemporary conflict on women's lives, and the role of the United Nations in establishing, in accordance with international norms and standards, frameworks and processes for bringing about an end to violence, enhanced protection, the realization of justice, and broad-based peace-building for women and men affected by conflict.

I will then examine some of the issues that resolution 1325 helped open up for analysis: protection of women during war, ensuring women's participation in peace processes, and the challenge of building the foundations of justice during post-conflict reconstruction. I will look at some of the work that UNIFEM has done and is doing to support the implementation of this landmark resolution. In conclusion, I will consider some of the gaps that remain, and suggest some ways forward in our mission for peace, justice, and dignity for all people.

For the full statement, CLICK HERE.

For NGO and civil society reports, papers and statements, UN and government reports, and books, journals and articles on women, peace and security issues, CLICK HERE.

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A Sampling of Civil Society Initiatives Featured in the Upcoming Alternative Civil Society Report on 1325

In preparation for the alternative civil society report on implementation of 1325, the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security developed and circulated a Questionnaire on Women, Peace and Security, requesting information from civil society about, among other things, their initiatives on Resolution 1325.

Featured below is a sampling of initiatives from the Asia-Pacific region that are among the initiatives featured in the NGO Working Group's upcoming alternative civil society report:

PACIFIC: fem'TALK 1325: a women and peace community magazine project
FemLINKpacific, Fiji
This magazine project, supported by UNIFEM Pacific is intended to enhance the advocacy and action towards the full implementation of 1325, and to provide a regular and coordinated approach to the developments and stories surrounding UNIFEM Pacific's regional Women, Peace and Security project. While the primary audience is women and peace advocates, in order to support and encourage their work, it is also sent to the military's media cell, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Women, as well as mainstream media.

“[fem'TALK 1325 women and peace community magazine project] is founded on “1325”; in order for women to actively be in decision-making positions, especially to ensure conflict prevention, we need to celebrate our capacity to rise to these levels …questions, interviews and stories are centered around “1325” and women and decision-making as much as possible.”

FemLINKpacific has also developed fem'TALK 89.2FM: A Mobile Women's Community Radio Project
Resolution 1325 has been the focus of the ‘women and peace hour,' which is based on the concept of taking the radio to the women – “women speaking to women for peace.” The aim of the Project is to create a space to share women's stories of peace, and provide opportunities for women from community groups to facilitate the peace discussions.

SRI LANKA: Taking 1325 to the Village
Association of War Affected Women
AWAW is holding one-day workshops in all 25 districts of the country for women leaders of various organizations/clubs, junior administrative officers, women police and army officers, and school principals. The workshop includes a briefing on 1325 – history and content –and the UN. Participants are asked to brainstorm ideas for implementing 1325 within the context of the Sri Lanka peace process and the obstacles for implementing 1325. AWAW will be expanding the workshop participants to include women and men parliamentarians, secretaries of Ministries, women officers of diplomatic missions in Sri Lanka, and women combatants from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

THAILAND-BURMA: Training on 1325, Masters Program in Women's Studies
Foundation for Women, Law, and Rural Development (FORWARD)/Women's Studies Center, Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiang Mai University, Thailand
The 1325 Training, for Thai and Lao students, consists of:

1. Regular special sessions: Students interact with women's NGOs working on issues of armed conflict and violence against women, and displaced women from the neighboring war-torn country (Burma). The students are required to submit reports and term papers on topics addressed by the women, analyzing, theorizing and recommending actions to be taken;

2. Field visits: Students are provided with grants to visit "refugee camps" where women from the troubled areas of Burma reside; and

3. Participation in public campaigns: Students are asked to write statements, join public rallies on violence against women in the situation of armed conflicts.

Watch for the alternative civil society report on 1325 at:

For more women, peace and security initiatives – in country, regional, global and international, CLICK HERE.

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1. 1325 Translation Update: 9 New Translations Coming Soon
2. Women, Peace and Security News
3. Preparations for the Fourth Anniversary of Resolution 1325: Women, Peace and Security Month Has Arrived
4. Feature Analysis: The Feminine Face of United Nations Civilian Police (CIVPOL) in Haiti (MINUSTAH)
5. NGO Working Group on Women Peace and Security Update: Letter to UN Member States on Security Council-Civil Society Relations
6. Feature Reports: Advancing UNHCR's Five Commitments to Refugee Women and the UN Millennium Development Goals - Summary of A Workshop (WCRWC) & Struggling to Survive: Barriers to Justice for Rape Victims in Rwanda (HRW)
7. Feature Statement: Women, War and Peace: Mobilizing for Security and Justice in the 21st Century, The Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture 2004, Noeleen Heyzer, UNIFEM Executive Director
8. Feature Initiatives: A Sampling of Civil Society Initiatives Featured in the Upcoming Alternative Civil Society Report on 1325