Period of time and topic: Updates on the significant humanitarian, development, and human rights efforts from 27 February 2015 to 10 June 2015.
The report on the Secretary-General (S/2015/422) provides information regarding broad declarations concerning women in politics and detailed descriptions of violence inflicted upon women.
On several occasions, the report states that the Government of Afghanistan proclaimed its dedication towards forwarding women’s rights to participation in politics. Including specific numbers, the report highlighted that of the 24 ministerial positions filled in the National Assembly, four had been filled by women (S/2015/422, para. 4). President Ghani assured the citizens of Afghanistan in a public speech that he would assure the rights of women (S/2015/422, para. 12). Later, the report, states that the Government of Afghanistan openly committed itself to fundamentally changing the country in regards to women’s participation in decision-making, economic empowerment, education, and health (S/2015/422, para. 38).
In regards to addressing violence inflicted upon women, the report detailsboth the reporting of these incidents and the response from the UNAMA. This UNHRC and UNAMA backed report, entitled, “Justice Through the Eyes of Afghan Women” (S/2015/422, para. 36). Not only does this report document cases of violence against women, it also details the legal process undertaken to address them. The report displays that not only did UNAMA report on violence inflicted upon women, but also made sure to catalogue the measures of accountability undertaken. On several instances, the report provides information on the specifics of violent incident involving women. The death of a 27 year old woman by a mob is highlighted within the report (S/2015/422, para. 37, 70).
The report of the Secretary-General (S/2015/422), also, provides information on the integration of women’s concerns regarding security sector reform. Highlighting the fact that besides integrating women in the security sector, the report highlighted the training administered to female officers (S/2015/422, para. 47).
References in Need of Improvement Section
In order to report on the situation in Afghanistan with regards to the women, peace and security agenda in a more holistic manner, the report should focus on providing detailed information. Even though the report did provide information on women’s ascension to ministerial positions and the Ghani administration’s overall stance on women’s rights, more detail should be provided. Rather than just reporting on how many women were elected to the ministerial position, the report should strive to also report on the party affiliations of these women and what ministerial positions they took up. While it is a positive development that women are being elected to ministerial positions, it is important to provide these details so to discern the level of influence they have on political dialogue and whether they support women’s rights. Regarding the report’s coverage of President Ghani’s statements concerning the advancement of women, the report should include whether any specific actions were mentioned.
Missed Opportunities Section
The report of the Secretary-General (S/2015/422) missed opportunities to clarify whether the Government of Afghanistan and UNAMA sincerely integrated women’s concerns in political processes and the security sector.
Missing opportunities to detail training administered in the security sector, the report does not properly report on SSR within the context of the women, peace and security agenda.The report highlighted that training provided by NATo to troops. Failing to clarify whether gender sensitivity training, the report does not explicitly state whether gender concerns had been taken into consideration.
The report’s description of the undertaking by the Afghan Led Political Dialogue to assist in the implementation of national and provincial road maps for peace included the fact that civil society was included. However, the report does not indicate whether women’s civil society was included nor if any women’s concerns. By neglecting to mention this, the report does not answer whether women’s concerns were integrated.
Ideal Asks for WPS Transformation Section
The report should be improved with an explicit reference to and ideally an analysis of all genders, emphasizing diverse masculinities and femininities, including the dynamics between and amongst genders as well as the power relations and hierarchies at play, and the intersection of gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, class and age across all political peace and security processes.