Gender, Conflict and Peacekeeping

Friday, July 26, 2002


Women Call for Neutral Force
July 26, 2002 - Thousands of women under the banner of the Christian Women Initiatives (in Liberia) are calling for a neutral force and the creation of a peaceful and conducive security environment for free and fair elections in 2003. The entire article can be found at:

Security Council urged to incorporate gender perspective in approaches to peace
July 25, 2002 - Women are increasingly playing a role in preventing wars and fostering peace but more remains to be done to fully incorporate a gender perspective into conflict resolution and reconstruction, senior United Nations officials told the Security Council today. For more news:

NGO Working Group Roundtable Discussion
July 25, 2002 - The NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security held a roundtable discussion on the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325. The importance of collaboration between NGOs and amplifying the voices of women within international discussions were underlined. The NGO Working Group will continue working towards a gender unit at the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) until they are successful.

International women's conference opens in Kampala
July 23, 2002 - KAMPALA: Over 2,000 women from around the world gathered in the Ugandan capital Kampala on Monday to share views on discrimination and rights violations in normal and war-torn societies. For more information visit:

"ECOSOC 2002 takes up new sub-item 7(e) on gender mainstreaming"
July 18, 2002 - In order to ensure gender mainstreaming as an integral part of all its activities, the Economic and Social Council, in 2001, established a new regular sub-item (7e) on its annual agenda on "Mainstreaming a gender perspective into all policies and programmes of the United Nations system" under the agenda item on "Coordination, programme and other questions". The purpose of this item is to monitor and evaluate achievements made and obstacles encountered by the United Nations system, and to consider further measures to strengthen the implementation and monitoring of gender mainstreaming within the United Nations system (ECOSOC resolution 2001/41). On 11 June 2002, the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women and the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women, in collaboration with the Division for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, organized a panel discussion on "Gender mainstreaming in the functional commissions of ECOSOC", to support preparations for the Council's deliberations under the new sub-item 7(e). The Council took up the new sub-item 7(e) for the first time on Thursday 18 July, 2002.

For More News please go to:

2. ANALYSIS OF 1325:

Background and Position Paper on Gender Unit at DPKO
NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security
July 2002

In Security Council Resolution 1325, member states urge the incorporation of a gender perspective into peacekeeping operations and urge the Secretary-General to include gender components in field operations. In the same resolution, the Security Council calls on all actors to adopt a gender perspective in peace negotiations and post-conflict reconstruction, and expresses its willingness to ensure that missions take into account gender considerations. In addition, the Security Council requests that the Secretary-General provide training for civilian and military personnel involved in peacekeeping operations on the particular needs of women and the importance of women in peacekeeping and peacebuilding. Moreover, the Resolution calls for regular reporting by the Secretary-general on gender mainstreaming in peacekeeping missions.

Taking into account the Brahimi report and the report of the Special Committee on Peacekeeeping Operations, the Secretary-General presented a Programme Budget Implication asking for resources for three posts in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) to work on gender and peacekeeping issues. Unfortunately, the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) rejected this request because they perceived a lack of coherent policy in the Secretariat regarding the role of Departments on gender issues. In response, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations and the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women mapped out the mandates and responsibilities of various offices for gender mainstreaming and the specific need and role for a gender unit at DPKO.

Gender expertise is needed at UN Headquarters as well as in field missions to incorporate gender perspectives into all missions from the mandates and terms of reference to operating manuals and training programmes. A Gender Unit based at DPKO Headquarters is an appropriate and necessary mechanism to coordinate and support effective gender mainstreaming from Headquarters to the field missions. Since turnover is high among field and military personnel in missions, senior gender advisors also ensure sustainability.
A consultant has been hired by DPKO to develop tools and guidelines for gender mainstreaming in peacekeeping missions. She will focus on resource development, capacity building at Headquarters, and capacity-building and evaluation in a participatory process with partners in the field. The Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues also hired a consultant to examine the issue of ACABQ and budgetary allocations for the Gender Unit, emphasising the need for appropriate resource allocation to move from the rhetoric to practice.

The perception of a lack of coherent policy on gender mainstreaming in peacekeeping highlights the need for more understanding and integration of gender perspectives at DPKO. This would be a key role for the Gender Unit. In the field, the absence of women and their perspectives in peace negotiations, post-conflict reconstruction, disarmament, humanitarian relief and peacebuilding may mean the absence of sustainable peace and any chance of human security.

Impact of Gender Mainstreaming
The positive outcome in the UN peacekeeping missions in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC), Kosovo (UNMIK), and East Timor (UNTAET) was made possible thanks to the efforts and dedication of three outstanding senior gender advisors, despite the lack of institutional support.

In East Timor, the Gender Affairs Unit of UNTAET was directly responsible for facilitating an incredible increase of women's participation in decision-making from the local to the national level. At least one third of candidates elected to the national assembly were women, in addition to two female cabinet members, 50 percent women chosen for Village Development Councils, and 30 percent women in the police forces. The Gender Affairs Unit offered training workshops for potential women candidates in elections. Moreover, the Unit provided training for civil police and larger networks of actors to build the capacities to integrate gender into their work.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the senior gender advisor in MONUC enabled the participation of women as part of civil society meetings with visiting ambassadors of the Security Council. Moreover, the advisor facilitated women's groups being able to organize and prepare for peace negotiations. She also facilitated exchange with the women from the DRC and women from other conflict regions.

In Kosovo, women's organizations received some attention and were able to communicate their stories of conflict and perspectives on peacebuilding with visiting Security Council ambassadors to feed into the peace process due to efforts of the gender advisor in UNMIK.

Gender advisors can also create mechanisms to include gender perspectives and women in training and other aspects of peacekeeping. For example, including women of civil society in training of peacekeeping and military personnel helps address issues of sexual violence and cultural and gender sensitivity.

There is no official channel of communication between the Senior Gender Advisors in missions and DPKO Headquarters; as a result, these Gender Advisors do not know to whom to turn to when they are in need of support or to request information and advice. In addition, there is no clear picture of what is going on as regards gender-related issues in other peacekeeping missions that do no have a Gender Advisor. This is the critical gap which needs to be filled by the Gender Unit.

The DPKO Training and Evaluation Service has developed a training of trainers package for gender training in peacekeeping operations that was done in several missions. Acknowledging the need for training materials, the DPKO drew upon and significantly adapted training courses created by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) to use in training military personnel and civilian police participating in United Nations' peacekeeping operations. The objective was twofold: designing materials for pre-deployment training delivered by Member States and providing a gender training to be incorporated in to induction courses conducted by the Training Cells at the mission level. The gender training was field-tested in Bosnia, East Timor, and Eritrea before being consolidated and delivered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Sierra Leone last year.

Without the proper support, expertise, and follow through of a high-level gender advisor and a Gender Unit, the gender module may be taken off the compulsory induction training in the field. For example, this happened recently when the gender training module of the induction course was recently removed from the mission in Eritrea. A Gender Affairs Unit at Headquarters and in the field can ensure the gender mainstreaming standards and mandates that have been adopted by 189 Member States since 1995 and unanimously adopted by the Security Council in 2000 through Resolution 1325.

Interim Measures
Pending the creation of a Gender Affairs Unit at UN headquarters through its budget approval, DPKO should allocate resources and senior staff to work on gender issues on a full time basis. A Gender Expert could be assigned to the Under Secretary-General's Front Office to start working on developing a mechanism for consultation between the Senior Gender Advisors in peacekeeping missions and DPKO HQ, in cooperation with all key partners (DPA, OSAGI, UNIFEM, NGO Working Group etc.).
As NGOs, there are many ways we can facilitate, support, and monitor commitments made to work towards gender balance and gender mainstreaming in the realm of peace and security:

- Request representatives in the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly to prioritize the budget issues to enable requested personnel with gender expertise at DPKO in October
- Request representatives of the ACABQ to allocate resources for a Gender Affairs Unit in DPKO prior to March meetings
- Request gender focal points and experts when working with UN offices
Educate and Inform
-Publish shadow reports on gender perspectives on conflicts
- Offer training in the field to build women's capacities to participate in decision-making at all levels and access the UN system
- Disseminate information about the resolution directly to national and regional bodies involved in decision-making, especially those in the prevention, management and resolution of conflict
- Ensure gender-sensitive guidelines for reporting in your organization
- Encourage dialogue on the importance of women's presence as personnel in peacekeeping operations through media
- Subscribe to the 1325 newsletter through to be informed of issues on women, peace and security

Network and share information
- Disseminate best practices in gender-sensitive training
- Encourage women's organizations at all levels to prepare and submit suggested candidates for decision-making positions, especially in conflict zones and including refugee women
- Send information about 1325 related activities and analysis to
- Remain actively seized on the matter with the NGO Working Group Coordinator-Indira Kajosevic (
This document can be found at:

International Alert, Hague Appeal for Peace, International Women's Tribune Center, Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, &. Women's Caucus for Gender Justice. For further information please see
Previous Analysis done on the 1325 PeaceWomen E-news can be found online at

3. Security Council's Open Debate on Gender, Conflict and Peacekeeping

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland holds the Presidency of the Security Council during the month of July 2002. Under the United Kingdom Presidency, the following open session on Conflict, Peacekeeping and Gender was held. Ambassador Greenstock of the UK held a meeting earlier in the week with representatives of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, at which he invited them to raise issues of importance to their organizations that are relevant to the open meeting discussion. At the open session, Ambassador Greenstock said, "I can say that the exchange that I had with the working group was very informative. These groups have done enormous amount of work on the mainstreaming agenda, on the issue of women and families in areas of conflict". The UK mission circulated a short note outlining the main points raised at that meeting.

The meeting will began with a 5-minute presentations from each of the following:

1) Under Secretary-General Jean-Marie Guehenno (DPKO): DPKO's activities under SCR 1325 and other integration of gender perspectives in peacekeeping, both at HQ and in peacekeeping missions;
2) Angela King, Assistant Secretary-General and Secretary-General's Special Adviser on gender Issues: updates on the preparation of the study
commissioned by the SCR 1325;
3) Noeleen Heyzer, Director of UNIFEM: gender issues at the field level, drawing on the emerging conclusions from the "independent expert assessment" (a study commissioned by UNIFEM conducted by two independent experts in conflict and gender).

These short presentations were followed by a dialogue between the speakers and member States. The President gave the floor to three non-Council members, then to two Council Members to make five minute speeches. There was also an opportunity to put questions to the speakers.

STATEMENTS BY MEMBER STATES: Bulgaria, Cameroon, China, Colombia, Guinea, Ireland, Mauricius, Mexico, Norway, Russian Federation, Syria, Singapore, United States of America, and United Kingdom

STATEMENTS BY NON-MEMBER STATES: Australia, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Grenada, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Nigeria, and the Republic of Korea.

For the statements given during the Security Council's Open date please visit:

Summary Points
Sir Jeremy Greenstock, Security Council Ambassador to the United Kingdom (UK) and President of the Security Council, concluded the Open Meeting of the Security Council on Conflict, Peacekeeping and Gender by summarizing the main points made during the course of the meeting. In presenting these points, Greenstock remarked that he hoped the summary points would assist the Secretariat in the Secretary-General's report and get the Security Council "on board" for the report. These are the principal points covered by Greenstock:

1. The need to ensure the integration of a gender perspective in all aspects and operations in the UN at Headquarters and in the field
2. The importance of gender mainstreaming in all peace accords, agreements and mandates
3. Women's inclusion at all levels and in all bodies involved in conflict prevention, conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and reconstruction.
4. The importance of gender training for peacekeeping personnel
5. The appointment of a senior gender advisor in DPKO
6. The full inclusion of women in DDR programs
7. The need for all peacekeeping missions to include gender advisors
8. Codes of conduct for peacekeepers
9. The need for more women Special Representatives of the Secretary General (SRSGs)
10. The importance of a centralized database of gender specialists
11. The important role for regional organizations to play in the implementation of 1325


"Putting Peace into Practice"
In March this year, the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, of which WILPF is a member, held a training on SC Resolution 1325 at the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the oldest UN body working for women's empowerment. Approximately 100 women attended this training. At the end of the session everyone wrote down on a post card one thing they would do to work towards the implementation of SC Resolution 1325. Two months later WILPF mailed the post-cards back to the women. We are just starting to hear responses. PeaceWomen has collected these responses in an effort to continue to promote the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325. If you have any additions please send us an email at This featured campaign can be found at:

For more PeaceWomen campaigns please visit:

Getting it Right? A Gender Approach to UNMIK Administration in Kosovo
by Kvinna Till Kvinna
This report from the Kvinna Till Kvinna (women to women foundation) analyzes the international community in Kosovo from a genderd perspective. How did the entry of the UNMIK Administration affect the work for gender sensitivity in Kosovo? The report can be found at:

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:


International Course: "Gender Identity, Conflict and Development"
1-14 December 2002: Haarlem, Netherlands
This international course organized by The Gender & Development Training Centre, is intended to provide analytical tools to deepen the participants' understanding of the link between gender, development and conflict, militarisation and the construction of masculinity, femininity as well as other identities.The deadline for application is 25 October, 2002. Disponsable en Français. Disponsible en Español. Contact:

For more calendar events please visit:

Centro de Estudios de la Mujer, Honduras (CEM-H)
Issues: 1) To contribute to the elimination of all forms of violence and discrimination against women in Honduran society; 2) promote the well-being and participation of women socially, economically, politically, and culturally; 3) conduct and disseminate research that permits the arrival at a real understanding of the problems and situation of the women.
Activities include: 1) providing psychological and legal counseling services to women victims of violence, 2) providing consciousness raising workshops, training and support to other women's organizations and individuals.
Apartado Postal 3543, Tegucigalpa
Ph #: (504) 232-6301, 232-6153, 239-6101
Fax #: (504) 232-6301, 232-6153, 239-6101

For an extensive database of organizations worldwide working on women and peace issues, go to:

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This issue features:

1. Current 1325 E-News
2. Analysis of 1325: Background and Position Paper on Gender Unit at DPKO, NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security
3. Security Council's Open Debate on Gender, Conflict and Peacekeeping
4. PeaceWomen Campaign: "Putting Peace into Practice"
5. Resources on Gender and Peacekeeping
6. PeaceWomen Calendar Events
7. Feature PeaceWomen Contact