This New Year has begun with continued violence, war and inaction towards Syrian civilians (see WILPF Int President recent statement with recommendations for action). This month the Security Council discussed the current security situation in Central African Republic (CAR). The Special Representative on Sexual Violence, SRSG Zainab Bangura, briefed the Security Council about her first field mission to the Central African Republic in December. SRSG Bangura shed light on an oftentimes neglected conflict; she emphasized the need to focus political will, resources, civil society efforts and reform in CAR. Amidst escalating violence in Mali, attempts to pursue peace talks are also ongoing. Malian women are speaking up for their inclusion and are organizing efforts to demand a seat at the negotiating table. Civil society organizations and women's groups also call for inclusion in talks between Democratic Republic of Congo officials and rebels in Kampala; yet their voices are marginalized and excluded. This participation rhetoric is not being translating into action. These issues collectively underline the challenges ahead and the work to be done.
The brutal gang rape and subsequent death of a young woman in New Delhi was deeply horrifying for us all; yet it reminds us that our efforts to combat violence against women, must be strengthened. The uprisings and protests that followed in India are signs of hope; they show us that people are not accepting the status quo of indifference towards rape and other sexual and gender-based violence. In fact, WILPF-India was one of the organizing NGOs in demonstrations (see photos) and are demanding more security, better policing and effective justice. Read interview with President of WILPF-India, Ila here >>
These rallying calls for action by activists and citizens alike on policy, law and cultural reform will be echoed and reinforced at the forthcoming 57th session of Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). From March 4-15th, governments, civil society organizations, and women's organizations will collaborate, organize, and negotiate around the theme: "Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls". The two-week session at UN headquarters, in New York will include a high-level round table discussion, interactive dialogues and panels, and parallel events. WILPF is planning our engagement. Please read all about WILPF official statement, numerous side-events and more, here>>
In this edition's articles, we include information on an event organized by PeaceWomen on the Arab Spring and Women's Rights, which is part of our Panel Series on Women, Peace and Security (event held on 22 January 2013 at UNHQ). Under news, events and initiatives we feature Women, Peace and Security related material, which include a blog post about helping rape survivors in Mali speak out against their perpetrators and recent news on women seeking peace in Eastern DRC conflict.
2013: Year Ahead in Women, Peace and Security
2013 will see numerous events on women, peace and security around the world. Here are some important dates:
4-15 March: 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women
18-28 March: The UN's Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty will be held in New York
March or April, Security Council will hold an open debate on conflict-related sexual violence (not yet confirmed)
October, Security Council will hold an open debate on Women, Peace and Security (not yet confirmed)
November 25- 10 December, annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign
Commission on the Status of Women
WILPF women from around the world will participate in the 57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women. CSW 57 will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York from Monday, 4 March to Friday, 15 March 2013.
WILPF and CSW Priority Theme
WILPF has issued its official statement on CSW 57's priority theme, "The elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls."
"Violence against women is a manifestation of the workings of power. The two are intrinsically linked and are experienced through both direct physical coercion and the material basis of relationships that govern the distribution and use of resources, privileges and authority within the home and society. Such dynamics shape the institutional and ideological formations of society and hence dictate gender norms, relations, and identity..."
For full statement click here>>
WILPF Events at CSW57
WILPF is organizing and supporting numerous key events during CSW. Speaking at several of our events will be WILPF International members, joining us from around the world and sharing their perspectives on women's issues within their country's context. Events include panel discussions, movie screenings, and interactive dialogues.
Please come join us, all are welcome.
MONDAY 4 MARCH 10:00 AM Salvation Army Auditorium, 221 East 52nd Street
“Investing in Peace? Violence Against Women, Militarism and Budgeting for Security
TUESDAY 5 MARCH 12:30 PM Chapel, Church Center United Nations, 777 East UN Plaza
“Violence Against Women: The Lethal Consequences of War”
THURSDAY 7 MARCH OR FRIDAY 8 MARCH (Date and Time TBC) RSVP Required for Entry
“Ending Discrimination and Implementing Women, Peace and Security in the Middle East North African Region”
FRIDAY 8 MARCH 6:00 PM Vermillion, 480 Lexington Avenue RSVP Required for Entry
WILPF Reception, Launch of 2015 Campaign
SATURDAY 9 MARCH 12:30 PM Fordham Law School, Lincoln Center, 140 West 62nd Street RSVP Required for Entry
“Avenues to Accountability: Militarism, Trafficking, Exploitation and Justice”
For a full list of WILPF Events at CSW57 please click here >>
National Action Plan Initiative
PeaceWomen is continuing our National Action Plan Initiative in 2013. Through this initiative, we are providing analysis of country NAP's and Regional Action Plans (RAP).
The analysis include summaries of key content and information on the development process of each NAP and RAP. For more information on our NAP Initiative please click here >>
If you are working on the NAP process in your own country, or have information, please share with us (send email to email@example.com).
Lecture Series Women, Peace and Security: Arab Spring and Women's Rights
Dr. Alison L. Boden, Dean of Religious Life and the Chapel at Princeton University, is talking about "The Arab Spring and Women's Rights". In the Middle East and North Africa the extraordinary political events since February 2011 have on the one hand opened new opportunities, but on the other hand also created new threats to women's human rights and their participation in political process.
The event is part of a lecture series on Women, Peace and Security organized by the Permanent Mission of the Principality of Liechtenstein to the United Nations in New York in close partnership with the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination (LISD) at Princeton University, and the PeaceWomen Project of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. The series seeks to support implementation efforts and awareness-raising of the WPS agenda through a series of panel discussions in New York followed by lectures at Princeton University. For more information click here>>
Helen Zughaib, Arab Spring 2
© Helen Zughaib
PeaceWomen is pleased to work with Tuohy, Barbara, and Margaret for Spring 2013.
Tuohy graduated from the School of International Training with a Masters in Conflict Transformation. In her thesis, An Analysis of Women's Participation in Peace Negotiations, she highlighted the significant role civil society organizations play in assisting women gain entry to peace talks, through both formal and informal channels. Before joining PeaceWomen, Tuohy worked at Search for Common Ground in Washington, DC and most recently for the Order of Malta in Nairobi, Kenya.
Barbara is currently enrolled in the Master Program in Gender Studies at the University of Oslo, Norway. She has been a visiting student researcher at the University of California, Berkeley where she has been doing research for her master thesis concerning US policy on women, peace and security. Barbara previously obtained her MA in Social Sciences from the University of Wroclaw, Poland, where she examined the relationship between gender equality discourses and multiculturalism in the Scandinavian countries. When it comes to her professional experience, Barbara has worked as a project coordinator for the Norwegian Peace Council for over two years. In Norway she was involved in the projects of the Nordic Women's University and she led a feminist student organization. She is currently a member of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the US National Committee for UN Women. Her primary interests, both academic and professional, focus on gender programming, gender mainstreaming and transnational feminisms.
Margaret received her Bachelors of Arts from Syracuse University In International Relations, Political Science and European Literature. She took an Anthropological senior seminar with graduate students on Women, War and Peace. As an undergraduate student, she was selected as a student delegate for the Model United Nations team to attend the National Model United Nations Conference in NYC at UN headquarters and the Marriott where she represented the Republic of Gabon. Last summer she was the program intern for the African Peacebuilding Network at the Social Science Research Council, where she conducted extensive research on African peace and security issues.