Focus on Africa

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

1325 PeaceWomen E-News
Issue #72
13 December 2005


The Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, 31 October 2000. CLICK HERE for the full text of the resolution.

To receive the 1325 PeaceWomen E-Newsletter, send an email to with "subscribe" as the subject heading.

For past issues of the newsletter, CLICK HERE.


1. Women, Peace and Security News
2. 1325 Translation Update: Yoruba Translation Now Available
3. Feature Statement: Women in Law and Development in Africa: Statement on the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights relating to Women's Rights in Africa
4. Feature Events: Angola: UNDP Gender Development Workshop & DRC: Gender Sensitive Electoral Law Campaign
5. Feature Resources: Forced Migration Review: Sudan: Prospects of Peace & Publication on Increasing Participation of Adolescent Girls
6. Feature Initiatives:World Social Forum participation opportunities, SADC Gender Campaign & 88 Days Campaign
7. Gender & Peacekeeping Update: Q&A – African Peacekeeping Operations
8. Women, Peace and Security Calendar

The PeaceWomen is a project of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. Please visit us at

Due to the upcoming holiday season, this is the last issue of 1325 PeaceWomen E-News before the New Year. The next issue will be circulated in mid-January 2006. We wish all of our subscribers a peaceful and joyous New Year.

November 30, 2005 - (UNHCR) As a Ugandan police detective, Gladys Friday has taken reports of "painful cases of violence" against women almost every day, but she was never sure how best to help the victims. Now, after undergoing special training sponsored by the UN refugee agency to encourage Uganda's police to eliminate violence against women, Detective Friday says: "I feel I am together with the women and girls in fighting violence against them. I will no longer disregard them as refugees but I will fight to protect them. I am now closer [to refugee women] and will better handle cases of sexual and gender-based violence."

December 3, 2005 - (UNIFEM) Kinshasa - In a one day information exchange and training on the core principles of gender equality, 250 political party leaders in the DRC have agreed to mainstream gender equality principles in their political party manifestos, activities, protocols and procedures.

December 2, 2005 - (Reuters) Darfuri rebel commander Mariam Abdallah saw her husband murdered in front of her and took to arms dealing to look after the 15 children in her care before joining a revolt to fight the government she says is racist.

November 29, 2005 – (BuaNews) The world is far off from the goal of achieving global peace and security if women and children are still being subjected to abuse, says Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Sue van der Merwe.

December 1 2005 - (Urgent Action Fund) Hon. Wangari Maathai blazed the trail for African and Kenyan women in regard to international recognition for peace activism. Betty Kaari Murungi has now followed in those footsteps. On November 11th 2005, in New York, Betty received the annual International Advocate for Peace Award which honours individuals who embody passion through their work in international conflict resolution.

December 9, 2005 - (Reuters) - The U.N. relief coordinator urged the Security Council on Friday not to water down its resolution on protecting civilians subject to abuse, whether in Northern Uganda, Sudan or the Ivory Coast. The 15-member council, in an all-day debate among dozens of U.N. ambassadors, is considering a document on how to stop atrocities against women, men and children in war zones. "The eyes and ears of the world community and human rights and humanitarian workers are on you," Jan Egeland, the humanitarian relief coordinator, told the council, citing the 26 million people forced out of their homes."This is not the time to end up with a weak resolution on the protection of civilians," he said. "It would be the ultimate irony when faced with the mass of information of tens of thousands of deaths, and tens of thousands of rapes, and tens of thousands of children being abused."

December 9, 2005 - (IPS) A leading international women's rights group has launched a campaign calling on the U.N. Security Council to consider a woman candidate for the post of the next secretary-general. With Kofi Annan's tenure as U.N. secretary-general ending next year, Equality Now drew up a list with the names of highly-qualified women leaders who should be considered for the position. "The question is not whether or not women will do a 'better job' at the helm the of U.N., the question is why, since the founding of the U.N. 60 years ago, has a woman never been selected -- or at least publicly considered -- to serve as secretary-general, despite the fact that there are many qualified candidates and despite the promises made by governments to reach gender equality within the U.N.?"

December 5, 2005 (Amsterdam News) – The recent election in Liberia is momentous in more ways than one. Most remarkable is the fact that the election itself took place at all in the wake of a long and bloody civil war. Equally significant is the emergence of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as the victorious candidate and thus, the first elected African female president. We must congratulate Mama Ellen on her victory and learn from her perseverance given the fact that this was not the first time she contested elections. For me, the salience of this historic event is the fact that Liberian presidency is no longer out of bounds for women, or to use the language of Nigerian political discourse, the Liberian presidency is no longer a no-go area for women.

December 2, 2005 - (AWID Resource Net) On November 21, 2005, after a five-year constitutional review process, Kenya held a referendum to approve or reject a draft constitution. Sixty-seven percent of the voters rejected the draft. AWID interviewed Winnie Guchu, a Nairobi based women's rights activist and consultant, about the country's constitutional review process and what it has meant for women's rights.

November 25, 2005 – (Pambazuka News) British-based charity Survivors Fund (SURF), which represents and supports survivors of the Rwandan genocide, called on the international community to do more to prevent the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war to mark today's UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

November 17, 2005 - (Reuters) A culture of impunity for rape in Sudan's Darfur region means women like Mariam, assaulted and left for dead, say they don't even bother to report the attacks to police, aid workers and officials said. Mariam, who was too afraid to give her full name because she was worried about reprisals for discussing the taboo subject, says women are most at risk when they leave the refugee camps that house around 2 million mostly women and children.

November 28, 2005 – (AFP) Current and former female rebels from guerrilla armies across Africa have just met in Ethiopia for an unusual course on human rights aimed a promoting women's empowerment during conflict and post-war situations. About 35 female active and ex-members of rebel groups from Angola, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda and Zimbabwe gathered at African Union (AU) headquarters for the unprecedented week-long conference, officials said.

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

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

Back to Top


PeaceWomen recently received a Yoruba translation.

Yoruba is the language of the largest ethnic group in Nigeria. It is spoken by about 30 million people, mainly in southwestern Nigeria, but also in Benin, Togo and Sierra Leone.

The Yoruba translation was completed by Oluseye Adesola, Lecturer, African Languages Program, Yale University

Yoruba is among the languages identified as a priority for translation by women, peace and security advocates. Other African languages currently on this priority list are:

• Bari (Sudan)
• Dinka (Sudan)
• Igbo (Nigeria)
• Luganda (Uganda)
• Luo (Northern Uganda, Western Kenya)
• Nuer (Sudan)
• Oshiwambo (Namibia)
• Sangho (Central African Republic)
• Shilook (Sudan)
• Xhosa (S. Africa)
• Zande (Sudan)
• Zulu (S. Africa)

If you know of existing translations of 1325 in any of the above languages, please contact

To suggest potential translators for any of these languages, and to add languages to this list, please contact

To view the 71 translations, click here

For information about the translators, click here

Back to Top

Extracts of Statement on the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights relating to Women's Rights in Africa
Women in Law and Development in Africa (WILDAF)
Femmes, Droit et Dévelopment en Afrique (FEDDAF)
25 November, 2005

This 25 November, 2005, the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights relating to Women's Rights in Africa enters into force.

It is with a great delight that we celebrate the event, which marks a significant turning point in the history of African women's struggle for the recognition and the respect of their basic human rights. From this 25 November, 2005, date that we wish to engrave in gold lettering in the history of our continent, this instrument likely to do justice to women and girls of the continent will apply from now on.
On this occasion, WiLDAF would like to pay a deserved tribute to all women wherever that they are, and to women's rights activists in general, for the work, the support, courage and perseverance they showed during these last ten (10) years so that the protocol relating to women's rights has today legal existence and has force of law.

WiLDAF salutes those States that have ratified the protocol and in which the instrument can thus be applied. These are: Benin, Cape Verde, Comoros, Djibouti, The Gambia, Libya, Lesotho, Mali, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Senegal and Togo.

Why the protocol is so important?
For African women, the entry into force of the protocol is an essential stage towards the recognition of rights whose daily violations cause huge sufferings. The protocol provides, as the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), a reference legal framework enabling various stakeholders and populations to daily work towards the respect of women's rights.

But more than the CEDAW, the legal framework of the protocol is the reflection of the specific violations against African women. The preamble justifies the adoption of the protocol by the maintenance of discrimination against women and harmful traditional practices, and this despite the commitments made by States on international and regional levels. It also expresses in a solemn manner the accession of leaders to the principle of gender equality.

Beyond these declarations, the protocol will allow, through its provisions, for addressing as crucial issues as the multi-sided violations of rights in marriage, violence, serious attacks to life, physical and moral integrity to women and girls security, of which no one can deny the telling reality in our societies. While its entry into force coincides with the launching of the 16 days activism on violence against women, it is necessary to outline the particular place that the protocol as legal framework and tool must occupy from now on for the fight against gender violence in Africa. The entry into force of the protocol provides an irreplaceable framework to put an end to violations of which women and children, particularly girls, are victims in period of conflict, as civilians, refugees or soldiers, and to take up the challenge of peace in Africa, indispensable condition for development. The struggle against traditional practices harmful to the health of women and girls has to be backed by the protocol, which provides guidelines for their elimination. The economic and social rights, also vital as the right to health, including reproductive health, the right to education and the rights to succession of widows and girls, which are daily scorned by ignorance or intentionally, would be better protected if the actions taken could be built on adequate measures like those recommended by the protocol. Ultimately, there is no doubt that in the interest of hundreds of thousands of women and girls in Africa, the protocol relating to women's rights will provide a priceless support to the work of women's rights organisations in the daily fight for a fairer world.

Finally, the entry into force will enhance the credibility of AU, which showed its commitment to promote women's participation and gender equality, particularly parity within the AU Commission and equitable representation of Judges at the African Court of Humans and Peoples' Rights in order to show consistency and constancy.

The entry into force of the protocol marks, all things considered, a decisive stage towards the rooting of a culture of respect and exercise of women's human rights in African societies. We are conscious that the work must be pursued so that the protocol experiences a full application and that it truly serves for the protection of women's rights on the continent. We therefore commit ourselves to pursue the mobilisation at all levels. From now on, our work will aim at ensuring that all the 53 African States ratify the protocol, that legislative reforms start, that the provisions of the protocol apply in our courts and finally that the settlement of any dispute involving a woman is based on the provisions of the protocol in order to do justice.

Then, we call on those countries, which did not ratify to date the protocol, to do it without delay and reservation so that all women of the continent can effectively profit from this instrument likely to encourage their full development and participation in a sustainable development

We urge Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mauritania, and Zambia which have already caused their Parliament to adopt the law authorising the ratification of the protocol to take all actions to submit with the African Union Commission the instrument of ratification.

We call on those States who have ratified the protocol with reservations to withdraw these reservations.

We invite all the stakeholders who worked so far and others who will want to join us to do every thing possible to provide women's rights and human rights organisations in general, with capacities necessary so that they can monitor and evaluate the implementation of the protocol.

Finally we want to seize the opportunity to welcome the election of Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as President of Liberia. This election is of good sign for the application of the provisions of the protocol, particularly its Article 9.1a which states that women shall take part in all elections without any discrimination.

B.P. 7755, Lomé, Togo – Téléphone (228) 222 26 79 - Fax (228) 222 73 90
Email : - Site :

For the full statement Click here

Back to Top

Malanje: UNDP Runs Gender, Development Workshop

December 8, 2005 – (Angola Press Agency) A workshop on gender and development opened Thursday in Angola's northern Malanje province under the UN Development Programme (UNDP), as part of Government strategy on women participation in decision making organs.

The information was released by the event facilitator, Idalinda Rodrigues, with UNDP, who added that the meeting will last for two days and aims at contributing to the development and women participation in the process of local development and decision making.

The event is also intended to publicise the Government's local gender strategy on the resolutions from the Southern Africa Development Programme (SADC) and Beijing, the source said.

The event is discussing such topics as gender and history of socialisation, identification of the gender matters in the development and introduction of the model of gender analysis.

The practices of gender analysis model, planning of activity related to gender, personal evaluation of the work and planning on the next workshop are also being tackled at the meeting.

The workshop is being attended by representatives of provincial department of education, health, family and woman promotion, social communication and members of the provincial government.


• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Over 20000 People Reached by Successful Advocacy Campaign on a Gender Sensitive Electoral Law in the Democratic Republic of Congo
UNIFEM, November 25, 2005
A two weeks high level advocacy campaign to promote equal access of women and men to electoral mandates and electoral offices has concluded in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The campaign was organized by different women networks and organizations, working together under a ‘Coalition for Gender Equality' and supported by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), MONUC, the Independent Electoral Commission and the Ministry of Women and Family Affairs. The campaign received the endorsement of numerous government leaders including the personal representative of the President and Head of State, Yerodia Abdoulaye Ndombassi, Vice President in charge of the Commission of Reconstruction and Development, welcome and encouraged by the Vice President in charge of the Commission of Politics, Defence and Security as well as the Vice President in charge of Socio-Cultural issues.

The campaign was organized less than two months before the upcoming parliamentary debate on the draft electoral law that would guide elections and the holding of a national referendum on the Constitution. Its main aim was to target government officials, leaders of political parties, private and public institutions and civil society networks to call for an electoral law and constitution that would be gender sensitive and that would equal opportunities for men and women to claim their civic rights and participate in their country's development.

For more on this campaign CLICK HERE

Back to TOP

Forced Migration Review: Sudan: Prospects of Peace
30 November 2005
'Sudan: prospects for peace' offers a wide range of opinion on the inclusiveness of the peace process, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement's prospects for success, feasibility of plans to assist the return of IDPs and refugees and recovery and development strategies. Many of the 38 authors regret the inability to negotiate peace in Darfur, the ongoing crisis in Eastern Sudan, exclusion of women from the peace process and the significant delays in merging the northern and southern armies and delivering funding pledged by the international community in Oslo in April.

The Editors express qualified optimism: "If Sudanese can return home with dignity, if gross inequalities in distribution of wealth and provision of services can be redressed, if Sudanese women are given space to contribute to its recovery and if Sudan can leap up the human development ladder to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, the Sudanese will have much to teach other countries emerging from the shadow of war."

Nine thousand copies will be distributed in Sudan thanks to financial assistance from the US Institute of Peace, UNDP and UNICEF. The FMR Editors are grateful for logistical assistance from the Government of National Unity, the Government of Southern Sudan and the UN.

The full text of articles is now online at: (English edition) & at (Arabic edition).

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

New Publication: Increasing the Participation of Adolescent Girls
For more information, contact: Surendrini Wijeyaratne, Working Group Co-ordinator Gender and Peacebuilding Working Group Canadian Peacebuilding Co-ordinating Committee 1 Nicholas St. Suite 1216, Ottawa, Ontario, CA K1N
7B7 Tel: + 1 613 241 3446; Fax: + 1 613 241 4846 Email: Website:

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

For NGO and civil society reports, papers and statements, UN and government reports, and books, journals and articles on women, peace and security issues, please visit:

WILPF-US - Call for Participation: Panel Discussion on UNSCR 1325 at 2006 World Social Forum
WILPF-US in association with LIMPAL will present a panel discussion on UN Resolution 1325, "Women, Peace and Human Security: United Nations Resolution 1325" at the Caracas Polycentric World Social Forum to be held January 24-29, 2006.We welcome participation from people who are active on UN 1325 to offer their analyses and experiences. We wish to discuss 1325 and its impact or lack of impact on women in conflict zones; the feasibility of UNSCR 1325; how is 1325 being implemented in various conflict zones; what could make 1325 better; etc. This is a continuation of the dialogue we began during WSF 2005 on 1325 and we hope to be able to assess its effectiveness to date in several world arenas in order to determine what women and others have experienced regarding its implementation. Those who have worked with 1325 and have an interest in participating on this panel please contact Pat Willis,, or Laura Roskos,

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Journal of International Women's Studies: Call for Papers
For this special issue of the Journal of International Women's Studies we are seeking contributions in a range of genres from women who have direct experience with organizing or attending one or more of the World Social Forums or regional/local forums organized under the auspices and according to the principles of the Fórum Social Mundial.

Submissions might include theoretical or analytical essays, reflective narratives, activity reports or evaluations, manifestos, press releases, posters or other ephemera. JIWS's intention is to collect materials documenting the range of experiences and activities occurring under the tent of the WSF so that feminist practice within the Social Forums can gain in effectiveness. We also believe it is important to begin to archive this activism as it happens.

Please submit your contribution to the editors no later than April 30, 2006 following the guidelines posted on the JIWS's website at:

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

The SADC and Gender 2005 Campaign
Gender Links, Fall 2005
The SADC and Gender 2005 Campaign is a civil society initiative in partnership with the SADC Gender Unit and the SADC Parliamentary Forum to raise the current target of women in decision-making from thirty to fifty percent, and to elevate the SADC Declaration on Gender and Development to a Protocol.

For more on this initiative please visit:

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Who can change the world... in 88 days?

Campaign 88 Days is an effort to raise awareness, take action and mobilise resources for women's rights worldwide. In the 88 days between December 10, 2005, International Human Rights Day and March 8 2006, International Women's Day, you can help keep women safe from domestic and sexual violence, guarantee them equal treatment in the work force, push governments to do what's right for women, and support groundbreaking initiatives. Together with you support we can change the world in 88 days.

What can you do?
Share your vision, courage, hope and voice in any – or all – of these five ways. You will join thousands of women around the world in the Mama Cash Campaign 88 Days.

Vote for the (she changes the world)-award. From around the world, six pioneering organizations, supported by Mama Cash, are nominated. The winner will receive €20.000 from Mama Cash to help change the world where they live.

Be informed by registering for 8 times Mama Cash e-news with Campaign 88 Days progress reports, ways to take action, stories of brave and inspiring women who are changing the world.

Contribute €1 every day for 88 days, or whatever amount is right for you, and help raise €1 million that Mama Cash turns into grants to make the world a better place for women, men and children. Mama needs cash!

Send an e-card! Send everyone you know the Campaign 88 Days e-card. Energize your friends, family and colleagues. Together with you, we can make this campaign known around the world!

Petition the European Commission to do what's right for women! In 2003, only 0.04% of the total European Commission aid supported women-specific projects. This is unacceptable! As of December 20th, sign the world-wide petition to the European Commission asking them to increase their support for women.
Source: report “Where is the Money for Women's Rights Work?”- Zed Books, October 2005.

For more on this initiative visit:

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

For more women, peace and security initiatives – in country, regional, global and international, visit:

Back to Top

December 7, 2005 - (New York Times) Some of the most challenging conflicts in the world at the moment are in Africa: the crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan and less-than-transparent governments and ongoing uncertainty in Sierra Leone, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are just some examples. In many cases, the developed world watches these conflicts develop; in the worst cases, as in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, it does nothing to intervene. When it does intervene- most often in the form of a United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission- the results have been mixed, experts say. Below is a look at peacekeeping missions in Africa.

November 29, 2005 ( The crime of Rape has become endemic in the Liberian society to the extent that nearly everyday a female child falls prey to the nefarious desire of certain unscrupulous men who have the tendency of satisfying their sexual desire to the detriment of children including babies in some instances. It would seem that the snail pace adopted by the security forces and judicial workers in bringing rapists to book, continues to impart negatively on the society as the commission of rape is commonplace.

For PeaceWomen's Peacekeeping Watch index, visit:

For more gender and peacekeeping news, visit PeaceWomen's Gender and Peacekeeping News Index:

Back to TOp

Conference: Peacekeeping, Reconstruction and Stability Operations in Africa 2006: Deploying Successful Support, Peacekeeping and Developmental Missions in Africa
27-31 March 2006, Indaba Hotel, Fourways, Johannesburg, South Africa

Organised by the International Quality and Productivity Centre, this conference will highlight case studies and solutions to challenges in AU and UN Peace Support Operations, Post-Conflict Reconstruction and conflict prevention in Africa.

Keynote Speakers:
Honourable Mr Aziz Pahad, Deputy Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs, South Africa
Honourable Mrs Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, Deputy Minister, Department of Health, South Africa
Ambassador Gertrude Mongela, President, Pan African Parliament
Theresa Whelan, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs
Theo Kaspers, Deputy Head of Unit for the African Peace Facility in Europe Aid, European Commission

For more information on this event , please visit:

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Presentation on Women, Peace and Security by Cora Weiss of the Hague Appeal for Peace
15 December 2005, 2:00 pm, 777 UN plaza, New York
Peace Action International and the Peace Caucus present a talk on women peace and security by Cora Weiss president of the Hague Appeal for Peace and a long time activist in the movements for human rights, women's rights and peace.

Conference Room of the Presbyterian Office
7th fl., 777 UN Plaza
NY, NY 10017

A holiday reception will follow after the presentation.
UN ground passes not needed.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Central Asian Regional Consultation on Violence Against Women
14 - 16 December 2005, Kazakhstan
The UN Development Fund For Women (UNIFEM) will be hosting a Central Asia Regional Consultation on EVAW (ending violence against women) in Kazakstan with the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women.

For more information please contact

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

For the complete calendar, CLICK HERE.


1. Women, Peace and Security News
2. 1325 Translation Update: Yoruba Translation Now Available
3. Feature Statement: Women in Law and Development in Africa: Statement on the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights relating to Women's Rights in Africa
4. Feature Events: Angola: UNDP Gender Development Workshop & DRC: Gender Sensitive Electoral Law Campaign
5. Feature Resources: Forced Migration Review: Sudan: Prospects of Peace & Publication on Increasing Participation of Adolescent Girls
6. Feature Initiatives: World Social Forum participation opportunities, SADC Gender Campaign & 88 Days Campaign
7. Gender & Peacekeeping Update: Q&A � African Peacekeeping Operations
8. Women, Peace and Security Calendar