Period of Time and Topic: Report covers the conflict from 1 to 30 April 2015
Women, Peace and Security
In the Secretary General’s fifteenth report on the ongoing conflict in Syria, pursuant to S/RES/2139 (2014), 2165 (2014), and 2191 (2014) the Secretary General reports on the ongoing violence, human rights issues, and humanitarian access. This report is almost equally as regressive as the last report in its references to women. While the 14th report digressed significantly from prior reports by eliminating all sex disaggregated data, this report does make three separate mentions of the deaths of women. However, this is in comparison to the scores of references to civilian casualties that do not specify the gender of those killed. The report also makes mention of a female member of the pro-government Syrian National Youth Party being subject to forced disappearance by Syrian security forces.
The only other references to women are in terms of reproductive and sexual health. The Secretary General notes that UNFP delivered “reproductive health services and services related to gender based violence to 107,540 women.” UNICEF also provided midwifery kits in one of their cross border operations.
References in Need of Improvement
All data regarding civilian casualties, provision aid, delivery of services, arbitrary arrests, detentions, and torture should be disaggregated by gender wherever this information is available, and when unavailable, should be sought out. Although this report notes that information contained herein is passed on data available to UN agencies and reports from the Government, it is clear from prior reports that it is possible to obtain sex and age disaggregated data in so far as reporting on civilian casualties, at a minimum. Also, the sole reference to gender-based violence could be improved by specifying whether or not the violence is conflict related. The reference also makes the assumption that only women are subject to gender-based violence. While it may be possible the UNPF only treated female survivors, it is important not to conflate women and gender.
This report, like the prior report, misses the opportunity to provide a gender analysis of the ongoing conflict, and to uphold its commitments under Resolutions 2139 (2014), 2165 (2014) and 2191 (2014). These resolutions at least condemn sexual and gender-based violence and call for an inclusive political solution. Other than the discussion of service provision, the report makes no mention of ongoing conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence, neither to condemn it, warn of its possible constitution of a war crime, or to call for an end to impunity. In discussing the ongoing dire situation in besieged areas, the report fails to inquire as to who is besieged, and whether the siege tactics are disproportionately impacting women. When discussing the barriers to provision of humanitarian aid, the report fail to ask who is most impacted by hindrance to aid provision, or to call for the gender-sensitive provision of such aid. In reference to the Geneva Consultations, no mention is made of women’s participation in conflict resolution, as mediators, negotiators, combatants or members and leaders of civil society. The Secretary General misses the chance to emphasize the crucial role women can and must take in peacebuilding, failing to call for women’s full and effective participation in the process of finding a political solution to this intractable conflict.
Ideal Asks for WPS Transformation
The report should include explicit references to and analysis of all gendered concerns within the ongoing conflict in Syria. At a minimum the report should provide sex disaggregated data on those impacted by the conflict. The report should substantively call for or reflect engagement with women and women’s organizations in order to better understand the impact of the conflict with women, from all sides. This includes information on women’s participation in conflict resolution and peace processes. In doing so, the report will also pave the way for the Council to better incorporate gender concerns in any forthcoming calls to actions.
 S/2015/368 para 11, 14, 19.
 S/2015/368 para 25.
 S/2015/368 para 40.
 S/2015/368 para 43.