Second report of the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 6 of resolution 2169 (2014).

Monday, February 2, 2015
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Peace Processes
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
Displacement and Humanitarian Response
Security Council Agenda Geographical Topic: 
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Second report of the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 6 of resolution 2169 (2014).

Time and Topic: Covering the period from 31 October 2014 to 2 February 2015, the report covers the key developments in Iraq and provides an update on the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI).

Women, Peace and Security

In pursuant of Resolution 2169 (2014), the Secretary-General report provides an update on the implementation of the United Nations Support Mission in Iraq (UNAMI).WPS references have increased slightly since the previous report (S/2014/774), both in terms of their number (from eight to nine) and scope. In addition, women’s protection concerns were mentioned Observations section of the report, which is a critical section for shaping future developments of the mission. Reference to women continue to center on women’s protection concerns, particularly concerning the activities of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), though there are several brief mentions of women and civil society participation in peace and political processes. The report does not provide any sex disaggregated data; nor  does it offer any gender analysis on gender and conflict. Overall, the Secretary-General report is gender blind, missing key opportunities to identify women’s protection and participation concerns in Iraq.

Security Sector and Demilitarization and Arms Management [1] 

The report misses the opportunity to provide an understanding of the gender dimensions of the security situation in Iraq. The report notes that fighting continued between ISIL and associated armed groups on the one hand and Iraqi security forces, Peshmerga, allied tribal, and volunteer fighters on the other.[1] The report provides no information on women’s participation in the fight against ISIL, despite known reports of women’s participation in Peshmerga forces. In addition, the report does not mention women’s protection concerned, even regard to the deadly incidents in Baghdad that killed 21 civilians.[2] The report should have provided information on the situation of women living under newly conquered and liberated territories of ISIL[3] as well as provided information on whether or not women have been subject to the strategies employed by ISIL, including kidnappings and use of improvised explosive devices.[4] At a minimum, the report should provide sex disaggregated for cited civilian causalities and injuries, which number 2,026 deaths and 3,745 injured.[5] In the observation section, the report should have called for the participation of women in all efforts to combat ISIL.

Humanitarian Support

The report missed an opportunity to provide an understanding of the gendered dimensions of the humanitarian situation in its discussion of multiple camp sites, including Camp Hurriya, refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), or on how gender-specific needs are being taken into account in the distribution of humanitarian aid. The report also lacks a discussion of the gender-sensitivity of emergency response and contingency planning. The report makes only one references to women, noting that the United Nations Populations Fund is establishing reproductive health-care clinics and women’s spaces.[6] However, no information is provided on the status of these clinics/spaces, outcomes of service provision and/or who (and how many) have been serviced. At a minimum, the report should provide sex disaggregated data on refugees and IDPs as well as for all cited persons receiving aid in the form of shelter, immunizations, medical/health services, education services, water and hygiene services, and vouchers.

Human Rights

The report only provide information on the women’s human rights violations perpetrated by ISIL, with three references in the human rights section dedicated to women’s protection concerns. The report notes that women continue to experience rape and other forms of sexual violence,[7] including sexual enslavement.[8] Escaped women have also reported the use of women as human shields.[9] The report also provides to concrete examples of ISIL executions. On 23 November, ISIL executed two women in Mosul who stood for parliamentary elections. The report emphasizes ISIL targeting of “female community and political leaders.”[10] In addition, ISIL conducted a series of mass killings of members of the Albu Nimr tribe, including women, in Anbar governorate, which resulted in the death of more than 400 individuals.[11]

The report also notes that Iraqi security forces “have failed on some occasions, to ensure civilian causalities are absolutely minimal” and to uphold international human rights and humanitarian law.[12] The report, however, provides no information of Iraqi security activities on women’s human rights.

The report misses an opportunity to recognize the differential impact on the human rights of women in Iraq by ISIL, including in the context of their health, education, and participation in public life. The report also does fails to provide any gender analysis of ISIL activities, despite cited reports and consultations with escaped women.[13] Gender-sensitive research and data on the impact of ISIL on women human rights and women’s organizations must be provided whenever possible to underline the gender dimensions of the organization's strategies to the Council.

Political Process and Electoral Assistance

The greatest number of WPS references (4) in the report appear in sections on UNAMI’s support to political and electoral assistance. The report notes two instances of  support by the Deputy Special Representative of UNAMI. The Deputy Special Representative received a delegation from the Peace Council for Tolerance and Good Governance, which comprises members of civil society.[14] In addition, the Deputy Special Representative addressed the campaign “16 days of activism against violence against women,” which was attended by both the Government and civil society.[15] The report miss an opportunity to provide any information on the outcomes of these engagements and/or how these engagements assist the overall participation of civil society in Iraq.

The report further provides two instances of statistics. On 3 December, the Kurdistan Regional Parliament confirmed the composition of the Kurdistan High Electoral Commission, which included one female member.[16] In addition, a report on voter participation by the Independent High Electoral Commission in 11 of 19 governorates showed increasing rate of voter participation, with a total number of 188,228 voter registered as of 7 December 2014, of which 39 percent (73,969) are women.[17] The report misses an opportunity to provide any analysis of these statistics. There is no indication if the inclusion of one woman in the Kurdistan High Electoral Commission shows improvement on women’s participation. In addition, the report gives no indication as to why women’s voter participation is relatively lower than men at 39 percent and what factors may challenge their participation. Overall, the information provided in the report is inconsistent and does not provide a full picture of the situation of women in the political processes of Iraq, particularly in the larger processes detailed in the section entitled “political situation,”[18] in which there was not one reference to women or civil society.  At a minimum, the report needs to provide information on the outcome of UNAMI engagements in the political sector and how they relate the larger political situation in Iraq.

Rule of Law and Judicial Matters

The report notes significant improvements in the rule of law in Iraq. On 1 December, the Prime Minister issued an executive order prohibiting arbitrary and detentions, mandating electronic registration of detainees.[19] In addition, more than 17,000 detainees were released, during the month of January 2015.[20] The report, however, provides no information on the gender dimensions of the judicial system and/or whether these changes have affected women in any way. At a minimum, the report should provide sex disaggregated data for released detainees.

Ideal Asks for WPS Transformation

In the context of the grave violations to human rights committed by ISIL and its affiliates, reports must advocate for the active protection of women and further engagement and monitoring by UNAMI of the situation of women. It is critical that reports mainstream gender as a cross-cutting issue, providing at a minimum sex-disaggregated data on the humanitarian, security, judicial, and political situation. The situation for women should be provided in all relevant sections of the report. Future reporting must include a comprehensive discussion of SGBV, with a focus on access to justice and health and reproductive services for survivors. Reporting should systematically engage women’s civil society as consultants and participants in humanitarian, electoral and SSR processes.


[1] S/2015/82 (2015) para. 17

[2] S/2015/82 (2015) para. 23

[3] S/2015/82 (2015) para. 20-22

[4] S/2015/82 (2015) 23, 24

[5] S/2015/82 (2015) para. 45

[6] S/2015/82 (2015) para. 67

[7] S/2015/ 82 (2015) para. 46

[8] S/2015/ 82 (2015) para. 47

[9] S/2015/ 82 (2015) para. 47

[10] S/2015/ 82 (2015) para. 47

[11] S/2015/ 82 (2015) para. 49

[12] S/2015/82 (2015) para. 51

[13] S/2015/ 82 (2015) para. 46, 47

[14] S/2015/82 (2015) para. 34

[15] S/2015/82 (2015) para. 40

[16] S/2015/82 (2015) para. 43

[17] S/2015/82 (2015) para. 44

[18] S/2015/82 (2015) para. 4-16

[19] S/2015/82 (2015) para. 9

[20] S/2015/82 (2015) para. 9