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IT is both ironic and tragic that policy debates on the need to reform the security sector in post-conflict societies such as Zimbabwe do not address gender-based injustices, especially the trials and tribulations of women in conflict situations, yet at the turn of the 21st Century, a lady parliamentarian invigorated this critical debate.
The Security Council today debated the need to reform the security sector in African countries emerging from conflict, with the United Nations peacekeeping chief calling it crucial to ensuring stability, reducing poverty and promoting sustainable development.
Several women organizations and groups have been motivated to assist the security sector in consolidating the peace as the United Nations Missions draws down its troops from the country.
The United Nations Security Council will focus on security sector reform and women's role in peace and security in October, a senior official said here on Tuesday. Joy Ogwu, permanent representative of Nigeria to the UN and the president of the Security Council for October, made the remarks at a press briefing. Nigeria is one of the 10 non-permanent members of the UN Security Council. The first council open debate slated for Oct.
Lebanon may be used as a regional base for the spread of gender equality, a representative from the Council of Europe (CE), a Europe-wide organization concerned with the promotion of human rights and the rule of law, revealed Tuesday.
Lebanon's repeal of a criminal code provision that mitigates sentences for so-called honor crimes is an encouraging step to address gender-based violence. The Lebanese parliament should remove and amend other criminal provisions that discriminate on the basis of gender, and enact a law to protect women from domestic violence, Human Rights Watch said.
Nawal Al Saadawi has been at the lead of the fight for rights for women for decades, and like many here was exhilarated when women and men united in Tahrir Square to lead protests against dictator Hosni Mubarak.
But more than a year after Mubarak's ouster, not much has changed for women, she laments.
"Things didn't improve for women, and we are going backward," said Nawal, 81, an author and activist.
On 12 October 2011 the Security Council convened under the Presidency of Nigeria to discuss, with a particular focus on Africa, progress on and challenges associated with SSR. The open debate saw almost 30 speakers take the floor, including Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations and the Permanent Observer for the African Union, Téte António.
“ We women, in International Congress assembled, protest against the madness and the horror of war, involving as it does a reckless sacrifice of human life and the destruction of so much that humanity has laboured through centuries to build up.”
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has correctly warned that women's rights in Tunisia and Egypt risk being undermined, endangering reforms to gender discriminatory laws and jeopardizing the vital social, economic and political contribution of half the population.
In this crucial post-coup stage, women who fought for change should heed the betrayals of gender rights in Algeria and Iran during periods of crisis.
The Annual Session of UN Women's Executive Board will be held 27-30 June 2011.