Period of Time and Topic: MINUSCA’s mandate implementation from 28 November 2014 with recommendations ahead of the mandate’s 30 April 2015 expiration.
Women, Peace and Security
The report focuses on women’s participation. For example, local popular consultations include the participation of 35-40% women (S/2015/227, para. 20) and a former minister and female civil society leader led the Preparatory Commission for the Bangui Forum (S/2015/227, para. 21). On a broader scale, the national election plan proposes measures to ensure the participation of women, and MINUSCA establishes a committee to increase awareness on women candidates and women’s effective participation in the Bangui Forum (S/2015/227, para. 34). The report looks forward to the Bangui Forum as an opportunity to incorporate women’s perspectives and priorities in a wide-range of issues to secure peace, including political and economic governance; disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and repatriation; security sector reform; justice, (i.e. combating impunity); and reconciliation (i.e. transitional justice mechanisms) (S/2015/227, para. 65). The report also highlights women’s participation in MINUSCA with women comprising 30% of civilian personnel and 26% at mid-management and senior levels (S/2015/227, para. 59).
Women’s protection and the human rights situation, including on-going sexual and gender-based violence, continue to be a serious concern (S/2015/227, para. 40, 64). MINUSCA assists the Transitional Authorities in the development of a national strategy for monitoring, investigating and reporting on conflict-related sexual violence and providing services for survivors (S/2015/227, para. 45). MINUSCA also provides support for the national police unit to fight sexual violence by increasing their response capacity (S/2015/227, para. 45). MINUSCA, continues to arrest people suspected of committing serious crimes including rape (S/2015/227, para. 49). The report also includes information on the kidnapping of a female MINUSCA staff member, who was released later the same day (S/2015/227, para. 56).
References in Need of Improvement
The inclusion of women, women’s civil society and women’s perspectives in the Bangui Forum should be incorporated as a cross-cutting issue (Resolution 2149 (2014), OP 35). The report should elaborate on how the Bangui Forum is going to achieve women’s full and equal participation across all issues, including stabilization, SSR, DDR, national political dialogues and elections (Resolution 2149 (2014), OP 30(b)(iv), 35). The report could have been stronger if it included women’s participation in the elections, not just as voters but also as candidates and monitors from an early stage (Resolution 2149 (2014), OP 30(b)(v)). The reference to women’s participation in the local popular consultations should have clarified whether women and women’s civil society were involved in their design and implementation, to ensure women’s diverse concerns were incorporated into the consultations (Resolution 2149 (2014), OP 30(b)(iv), 35).
Concerns about sexual violence could have been much more strongly articulated if they reported the broader context of the impact of the violence in CAR on women and on MINUSCA’s strategy for was doing to protect women’s protection and the prevention of sexual violence against all genders, including prosecutions and next steps to address the gaps and challenges in its protection mandate (Resolution 2149 (2014), OP 30(a)(ii), 30(e)(ii)).
The report misses multiple opportunities to respond to resolution 2149 (2014), especially with regards to women’s protection. The report fails to address how MINUSCA could identify and prosecute perpetrators or how the Transitional Authorities are going to hold perpetrators accountable and prevent them from entering the security sector (Resolution 2149 (2014), OP 13, 15, 30(e)(ii)). The report also made no mention of specific protections for women through the use of Women Protection Advisors or by incorporating gender as a cross-cutting issue by appointing Gender Advisors (Resolution 2149 (2014), OP 30(a)(ii), 35). Further, the report fails to mention how the Transitional Authorities are facilitating SGBV survivors’ access to services (Resolution 2149 (2014), OP 15).
Overall, the report fails to incorporate gender as a cross-cutting issue in MINUSCA and detail how it is assisting the Central African Republic in doing the same through enhanced reporting (Resolution 2149 (2014), OP 35).
Ideal Asks for WPS Transformation
The report should be improved with an explicit reference to and analysis of all genders, emphasizing diverse masculinities and femininities, including the dynamics between and among 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.