On January 24, the World YWCA and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) met with the United Nations CEDAW Committee to discuss recommendations for a stronger link between the CEDAW reporting process, human rights and the peace and security agenda.
These issues are particularly important as 2010 marked the 10th anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security and the World YWCA and WILPF have been engaged in various consultations, analysis and dialogues as part of the ten year review. World YWCA General Secretary, Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, is also a member of the UN Civil Society Advisory Group on 1325.
During the dialogue with the Committee, the World YWCA and WILPF called for CEDAW monitoring mechanisms to integrate a stronger approach to women's rights promotion and protection in situations of conflict and post conflict. The World YWCA specifically encouraged greater attention to the sexual and reproductive health rights of women in conflict situations and monitoring of the allocation of budgets to these issues. Both organisations encouraged the Committee to consider how it can assist in the prevention element of 1325, and particularly in promoting women's role in conflict prevention. The necessity of providing for economic, social and cultural rights for women in the immediate post conflict setting was also stressed in order to create an environment in which participation in governance is possible.
Specific recommendations made to the CEDAW Committee included:
That CEDAW monitoring mechanisms integrate a stronger and more rigorous approach to women's rights promotion, protection and fulfillment in situations of conflict and post conflict.
That CEDAW monitoring and reporting processes have a stronger role in advancing sexual and reproductive health rights and HIV as critical issues related to the discrimination against women, and to monitor how budgets are allocated to these issues, particularly in conflict and post conflict situations.
To continue to strengthen collaboration and partnership with civil society organisations, and especially women's rights organisations, in exploring approaches and methodologies for a stronger link between CEDAW, Peace and Security mechanisms and HIV.