1. COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN 48TH SESSION: UPDATE
March 1-12, 2004, United Nations Headquarters, New York, USA
Expert Group Meeting Reports
The reports from the first two Expert Group Meetings (EGM) have been finalized.
The report of the Expert Group Meeting on The role of men and boys in achieving gender equality will be available shortly at: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/egm/men-boys2003/index.html
Report of the Expert Group Meeting on Peace Agreements as a means for Promoting Gender Equality and Ensuring Participation of Women – A framework of model provisions is available here.
For the official version (PDF), visit: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/eg/peace2003/reports/Finalreport.PDF
For more information about the EGM on Theme #2, visit: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/egm/peace2003/
Upcoming Expert Group Meeting
The next Expert Group Meeting on Theme #2 will be focused on enhancing the role of women in electoral processes in post-conflict countries. It will be held in New York, 20-22 January 2004, organized by the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues (OSAGI).
The experts will consider case studies on: Guatemala; Kosovo; Mozambique; Jordan and the Middle East; Timor-Leste; and Rwanda.
NGO Taskforce on Theme #2: Existing Language Document
Concerned by the hostility shown toward the development of progressive language on both violence against women and women and armed conflict, members of the NGO Taskforce on Theme #2 are developing an advocacy tool for women to use in preparation for CSW and during the language negotiations over the 2-week session.
This advocacy tool is a comprehensive document of all existing language – both agreed and non-agreed – on the CSW theme of women's equal participation in conflict prevention, conflict management and conflict resolution and in post-conflict peace-building. The document is a compilation of language from such documents as UNSC Resolution 1325, the Beijing Platform for Action, UN Commission on Human Rights resolutions, and the Windhoek Declaration and the Namibia Plan of Action On Mainstreaming a Gender Perspective in Multidimensional Peace Support Operations.
We will share this document once it has been completed. If you are interested in contributing to this project, email Kara@peacewomen.org.
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2. WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY NEWS
PHOTO GALLERY: CAMBODIAN WOMEN CLEAR MINES
December 19, 2003 – (AlertNet) Sean Sutton of British-based Mines Advisory Group (MAG) visited Cambodia's first all-women mine-clearance team, took these photographs and wrote about the people he met.
WOMEN STILL SILENCED
December 18, 2003 – (IWPR'S AFGHAN RECOVERY REPORT, No. 88) Although women have gained a higher proportion of delegate seats in the current Loya Jirga compared to the previous one, they still feel that their voice is not being heard.
SECURITY COUNCIL UPDATES MEASURES TO PROTECT CIVILIANS CAUGHT IN WAR
December 16, 2003 – (UN) Seeking to protect innocents caught and even targeted during armed conflict, the United Nations Security Council today updated a list of steps to shield women, children, refugees and other civilians from the ravages of war.
For the Security Council press release and full text of the SC Presidential Statement, visit: http://www0.un.org/News/Press/docs/2003/sc7953.doc.htm
LRA WAR BREAKING WOMEN'S BACKS
December 16, 2003 – (New Vision - Kampala) It is the third day of a peace building and conflict management workshop at Gulu teacher's centre. Most of the participants are women who belong to the Grassroots Women for Development (GWARD), an NGO in Gulu. Others are members of the Uganda Media Women's Association (UMWA).
EX-GIRL SOLDIERS HIDDEN BEHIND A VEIL OF FEAR AND DENIAL
December 12, 2003 – (IRIN Analysis) How many young girls were used by Angola's warring parties during its 27-year war is anyone's guess. Denial - by both sides - and fear of discrimination and stigma among former girl soldiers continue to stand in the way of any effort to come up with precise figures.
WOMEN IDENTIFY FLAWS IN DDRR PROGRAM, WANT TO ASSIST
December 12, 2003 – (The NEWS - Monrovia) Women acting under the banner of "Concerned Women of Liberia", say they have identified flaws in the disarmament exercise for which they want the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) to "allow Liberians with the requisite experience to help.
UN MARKS HUMAN RIGHTS DAY WITH APPEALS, MESSAGES AND CEREMONIES
December 12, 2003 – (UN) The United Nations system celebrated Human Rights Day around the world today, with Secretary-General Kofi Annan paying tribute to human rights defenders who “stand in the front lines of protection, casting the bright light of human rights into the darkest corners of tyranny and abuse.” The recipients included the Mano River Women's Peace Network (MARWOPNET) and Ms. Enriqueta Estela Barnes de Carlotto, President of the Asociación Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (Association of Plaza de Mayo Grandmothers).
MEDIA RELEASE #5 ON BEHALF OF THE WOMEN PEACE AND SECURITY COORDINATING COMMITTEE (FIJI)
December 4, 2003 – (femLINKpacific) "It is time to put in place practical action for conflict prevention", said participants at the 5 day training workshop organized by the Women Peace and Security Coordinating Committee (Fiji) on Conflict Prevention and Early Warning at the Lagoon Resort, Pacific Harbour which ends Friday (05 December), "and this must ensure that all stakeholders, especially women, are involved in the current National Security and Defence Review, because we have a stake in peace and we have a stake in security."
GENDER AND PEACEBUILDING WORKING GROUP (GPWG) OF THE CANADIAN PEACEBUILDING COORDINATING COMMITTEE NEWSLETTER (English and French)
December 2003 – This issue includes reports of recent GPWG events, upcoming events and new 1325 fact sheets produced by the GPWG.
1325 ACTIVITIES IN NORWAY
November 2003 – (WILPF Norway) On November 22, 2003 the annual meeting of FOKUS, a network of more than 60 women's organisations in Norway, unanimously demanded that the Norwegian Government initiate a project on how to realise the proposals in the UNIFEM report Women, War, Peace. WILPF Norway, a FOKUS member, had proposed the idea of this project, intended to be part of the preparation for the Commission on the Status of Women 2004.
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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3. FEATURE STATEMENTS
RECENT STATEMENTS ON THE PROTECTION OF WOMEN IN SITUATIONS OF ARMED CONFLICT
Women and war: implementation of the ICRC pledge to the 27th International Conference
Official statement by Dr. Jakob Kellenberger, President of the ICRC, to the
28th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Geneva, 4 December 2003
…Four years ago, the ICRC announced to the 27th International Conference its grave concern about the plight of women in situations of armed conflict. It affirmed the importance of listening to the voices of the victims, such as the words of this woman, tinged with anguish and loss, and to respond to their needs. Four years ago, the ICRC pledged to take action to improve the protection and assistance of women affected by armed conflict whether in relation to programmes providing protection (efforts to reunite separated families; the promotion of the legal protection afforded to women; and in the training provided to arms bearers) and assistance (health care, water and sanitation). Special emphasis was placed on promoting the respect which must be accorded to women and girls, with a focus on the prohibition of all forms of sexual violence.
Today, ensuring the protection and assistance of women in wartime is as crucial as ever. Humanitarian organisations are facing unprecedented dangers and difficulties in securing access to those affected by armed conflict – yet it is vital to do so. I would like to outline some of the ways the ICRC has and continues to fulfill this pledge.
One of the major accomplishments during this period of the pledge has been the publication of Women Facing War, an in-depth study on the impact of armed conflict on women. Although it had been initiated as part of an internal review process, the study acquired added significance as a result of the pledge, and the findings of this research were made public in October 2001.
Women Facing War served four main tasks. Firstly, to assess the impact of armed conflict on women and identify their needs; secondly, to
review the extent to which international law affords protection to women; thirdly, to give a realistic and comprehensive picture of activities undertaken by the ICRC on behalf of women affected by armed conflict; and finally to compile a list of key recommendations…
For the full statement CLICK HERE.
For more information on the ICRC's work on women and war, visit: http://www.icrc.org/Web/Eng/siteeng0.nsf/html/women!Open
In his statement, Dr. Kellenberger refers to a soon-to-be published “Guidance Document” on “protection and assistance for women adversely affected by armed conflict.” This document is intended to serve as an operational tool for ICRC personnel and others working with women in situations of armed conflict.
PeaceWomen will include information about this “Guidance Document” as soon as it becomes available.
Statement of Under-Secretary-General Jan Egeland of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Open Meeting of the Security Council on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict
9 December 2003
On 9 December 2003, the Security Council held an Open Meeting on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Jan Egeland, addressed the Council on the issue of “how better to protect civilians in armed conflict.” In addition to presenting the updated Aide Memoire on the protection of civilians and a 10-point action plan, he outlined a number of major challenges, excerpts of which are included below:
…Fifthly, the challenge of sexual violence in armed conflict. Mr. President, the fact that women and children continue to constitute the majority of civilian victims in armed conflict demands our urgent and vigorous attention. Rape and other forms of sexual violence continue to be used as brutally devastating weapons of war - in the DRC, Burundi, northern Uganda, West Africa and far too many other conflicts around the world. The attention of the Council to these issues is critical, and I ask you to maintain a strong focus on sexual violence in your future missions to areas of conflict. I wish to draw particular attention to eastern DRC, where extreme crimes of sexual violence – described by some as “sexual torture” – have taken place on a chilling scale. The transitional process, increased MONUC presence and improved security situation in parts of eastern DRC has improved humanitarian conditions where MONUC is deployed, but more physical protection is needed. Given the cultural sensitivities, the most effective response is to work with and support local initiatives to assist the victims. We also need to address the special needs created by the increase in female-headed households…
…My eighth and final challenge relates to charges of sexual exploitation of civilians in conflict by our own United Nations personnel. Mr. President, since the last briefing on protection of civilians, there has been progress on a protection issue on which the United Nations itself has been called to account – sexual exploitation and abuse. The Secretary-General's Bulletin on special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse was promulgated last month. At the Secretary-General's behest, all parts of the UN system with field presences are working very closely, together with our NGO partners and the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, to establish a coherent system for implementation of the Bulletin at the field level. The Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Political Affairs are an integral part of this joint effort, as the Bulletin applies equally to UN staff serving in peace operations.
We all agree that acts of sexual exploitation and abuse perpetrated by UN-affiliated personnel do irreparable damage both to the image of the United Nations and – more importantly – to our ability to serve and protect war-torn communities. We also agree that any such act by anyone affiliated with the UN – be they soldier, political officer, aid worker or police officer – affects all of us. While over the coming year we establish better systems of redress and managerial oversight, we must not lose sight of the need for vigilance and follow-through, in which I hope troop-contributing countries will also wish to play a part.
For the full statement, CLICK HERE.
On 15 December 2003, the Security Council adopted the updated Aide-Memoire, presented by Under-Secretary-General Egeland in his statement to the Security Council on 9 December. Links to the Security Council Presidential Statement and press release announcing the updated Aide-Memoire are included above in Women, Peace and Security News.
The Aide Memoire can be found at: http://www.un.org/Docs/sc/unsc_pres_statements03.html
(Click on S/PRST/2003/27 of 15 December 2003 Protection of civilians in armed conflict)
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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4. FEATURE INITIATIVE
Women without Borders Declaration and Online Petition
Vienna Declaration following the conference Women Included!
November 13-15, 2003, Vienna
The first Women without Borders conference took place in Vienna, Austria on November 13-15, 2003. Attending the conference were women leaders and representatives of women's organisations from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Kosovo, Senegal and South Africa under the title “Women Included!”.
Recalling the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on the participation of women in conflict resolution and participation in the political transition and recalling the UN Decade of Women commitments made in Mexico, Copenhagen, Nairobi, Beijing and New York to achieve equality, development and peace.
1. We wholeheartedly support the UN Security Council Resolution 1325.
2. We strongly urge the full implementation of all the provisions that were made in the above resolution.
3. We call upon the United Nations and all signatory governments to create mechanisms for the implementation of the resolution.
In particular we, the women meeting in Vienna, call for the urgent implementation of this resolution globally, to enable the women worldwide engulfed in conflict or undergoing political transition in one form or another, to be actively involved in finding a durable peace.
Having met in Vienna under the auspices of Women without Borders, believing that the real power balance lies in the inclusion of women, we
hereby commit ourselves to establish a network of women to continue to pursue the discussions we started on the involvement of women in political decision making processes and to ensure that the voices of women are heard more loudly. Women without Borders and women's organisations throughout the world will undertake to mobilise, coordinate and monitor the efforts for the complete implementation of the
Resolution 1325 globally.
Addressees of the Women without Borders Vienna Declaration are the UN Security Council as well as the 191 foreign ministers of all UN member states, the UN Women's Commission and UNIFEM.
The international press, NGOs, politicians as well as women's organizations all over the world will be informed and called upon to sign the declaration by the 8th of March 2004.
This statement can be found HERE.
To sign the online petition, visit: http://www.women-without-borders.org/deklaration/endex.php
For more information about Women Without Borders, visit:
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5. WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY CALENDAR
1325 Three Years On: Gender, Security, and Organizational Change
January 20, 2004, Simmons School of Management, Boston, USA
The Boston Consortium for Gender, Security, and Human Rights*, is hosting a panel on Resolution 1325 to address the following questions, among others: …has the rhetoric been followed by a transformation of UN policies and practices? What are the barriers to institutional change at the UN, and in other security organizations? Speakers will include Carol Cohn, Senior Fellow with the Boston Consortium for Gender, Security, and Human Rights; and Cynthia Enloe, Research Professor of Government and International Relations at Clark University. For more information, and to reserve a space, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 617-521-3824.
*The Boston Consortium for Gender, Security, and Human Rights is a group of researchers from five academic centers at Harvard University, the Tufts Fletcher School, the Simmons School of Management, and Wellesley College.
Gender and Human Security Conference - McGill University, Montreal, Canada
February 5-7, 2004, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Organized by the Centre for Developing-Area Studies (CDAS) at McGill University, this international conference will address “human security from the perspective of the rights and needs of people in societies confronted by political violence.”
The Gender and Peacebuilding Working Group of the Canadian Peacebuilding Coordinating Committee is coordinating a session on “Canadian Perspectives on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325." For information about this session, including how to become involved in preparations for it, contact Suzanne Taylor at email@example.com or call 613-241-3446.
For a list of the speakers and sessions at the conference, visit: http://www.mcgill.ca/cdas/genderconf/
For more information about the conference, including registration information, visit: http://www.mcgill.ca/cdas/
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