“It’s important to be aware of what’s going on in the world and to think about how you can start to make a difference, even when you’re a kid.”
Police used batons to break up angry crowds outside a hospital where the girl had been taken for treatment.
People who were sexually abused in Kenya's 2007 post-election violence are still seeking justice as the next vote nea
In the lead up to Women's Day, on March 8, Liberia has become the latest nation to sign a pledge to end violence agai
A senior United Nations official today welcomed the recent decision by Cambodia's genocide tribunal to annul a previo
This report provides examples of the essential roles that women's rights organisations are playing in advancing women
In corporation with Colombian civil society organizations, the Oidhaco network has produced a factsheet where data co
Article on language used in the ATT.
WILPF's recommendations on the draft Arms Trade Treaty.
For March, in which the Russian Federation has the Security Council presidency, the MAP provides recommendations on t
Ma-Ubin residents said riot police incited the violence that led to rioting in the Irrawaddy Delta township on Tuesda
In the past five months nine civilians were killed and fourteen injured in Kachin State as a result of Burmese milita
Women face greater odds in achieving equal political representation in the Pacific Islands than in any other region o
Protesters have converged across the country demanding justice for the young victim, who died two weeks later, and an
Libya's Supreme Court has overturned a marriage law requiring a husband to secure the approval of his first wife befo
Women in Southeast Asian countries are urged to play more role in the government sector as an effort towards equality
“Make it Binding: Include Gender-Based Violence in the Arms Trade Treaty”
At least 13 women, including teenagers, have been subjected to prolonged rape by Burmese security forces in a remote
Sri Lanka's security forces have used rape to torture and extract confessions from suspected Tamil separatists almost
A senior official with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today warned of the enormous humanit
Doha, Qatar - Far from the glistening glass and burgeoning metal structures that dot the Doha skyline, the Afghan Tal
The first assembly of Ethiopian Women's Federation was held in Adama, in Oromia Regional State at the weekend.
CSW57 will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York from Monday, 4 March to Friday, 15 March 2013.
The 140-page report provides detailed accounts of 75 cases of alleged rape and sexual abuse that occurred from 2006-2
Dozens of Lebanese women dance in front of the home of the country's parliament speaker, Nabih Berri, to send a clear
A second woman died of injuries sustained in an acid attack in Chennai in less than a fortnight, her vital organs col
Park Geun-hye made history Monday by becoming South Korea's first female president, pledging to secure South Korea ag
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Demeke Mekonnen said women have significantly contributed in the effo
In a protest action organised by Avaaz.org and Sonke Gender Justice Network, gender equality activists from across Ca
Men don't cry. Most men don't enter the kitchen or change baby diapers either.
We are now supposed to be in the midst of celebrating the 2nd anniversary of the Arab Spring.
The Kenyan constitution of 2010 requires that a women's representative be elected in each of Kenya's 47 counties duri
Violence against women is a manifestation of the workings of power.
As we anticipate the commencement of the Commission on the Status of Women, PeaceWomen is leading WILPF's involvement
For a very long time women and gender issues remained outside the formal peace forums. Women were absent from the negotiation tables and matters that affect them were marginalised in peace agreements. The adoption of Security Council Resolution 1325 in October 2000 was welcomed by most women activists, NGOs and international organisations as a watershed. The resolution came about as a result of transnational mass mobilisation and alliance building between women with various political and ideological allegiances and interests (Cockburn 2007; Anderlini 2007). The eighteen-point resolution was seen as a revolutionary document that will change the nature of peacemaking (Cohn 2004; Anderlini 2007). Resolution 1325 was perceived to provide women with the necessary political framework and that will allow for their participation in peacemaking and for gender consideration in armed conflicts, peace agreements as well as in peacebuilding and post conflict reconstruction (Shepherd 2008; Anderlini 2007). While the implementation of 1325 has been criticised as patchy and limited, the resolution has effectively led to the debate on gender issues taking stage within the formal channels at the international and national level (Anderlini 2007; Shepherd 2008; Cohn, et al. 2004). More importantly 1325 has proved to be useful tool for global deployment of women around the globe (Cohn 2004). The resolution has been translated into 98 languages and become familiar to grassroots women as well as politicians (Peace women 2009).
Almost ten years after the passage of 1325, it is important to examine whether any gains have been achieved for women in peacemaking. This article provides a review of implementation of resolution 1325 within peace agreements signed since the year 2000 by focusing on three issues: the quantitative review of gender in peace agreements since the passage of the resolution, the representation of women in agreements and the patterns of provisions on women in peace agreements. The first part of this article provides background information on peace agreements and on the place of gender within this peacemaking framework. The second part of this article briefly explains the methodology adopted for the research investigation. The rest of the articles develop each of the research issues in separate sections.
In recent months ICAN's staff have held regular in-person and online consultations with Syrian civil society activists based inside the country or those who have recently left. They are providing relief and development support to refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). They speak of the humanitarian threats, security, political, economic and psychosocial challenges that people are facing and the emergence of a nascent but committed civil society. The international community must recognize their resilience, and aspirations for the future, and support their efforts to withstand the impact of war. Their work is a testament to the dignity and humanity of Syrians and provides a glimpse of a peaceful pluralistic Syria for which they are striving. This brief summarizes key priorities and recommendations on immediate humanitarian issues that must be addressed by the international community.
August 2011 through July 2012 was a time of continuing global political change in some areas, and continued conflict and violence in others. There remained numerous situations in which women were placed in serious risk or remained at risk, often merely for asserting their rights. The so-called “Arab Spring”, sparked in Tunisia in early 2011, evolved across the region from political changes in Libya and Egypt, to more tentative changes in Yemen, and to civil war in Syria. In addition, the period under review in this report saw the arrival of the newest Member State into the United Nations, South Sudan. Ongoing complex situations, such as those in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Afghanistan, continued to present serious security challenges to local populations, and the international community struggled to find ways to constructively support peaceful resolutions and reconciliation.
In all of these situations, and in the many others in which there was often less international attention but continuing insecurity, we see the challenges for women and men that have been identified so often before: prevention work is not undertaken often, early, or consistently enough; small arms and light weapons create instability and violence; peace talks are too often exclusive, not inclusive, of women and their rights; post- conflict rebuilding processes are too often gender-blind, and therefore exclusive of women. This gender dimension of conflict —the fact that women and men tend to experience particular types of conflict, and that women tend to be excluded from the decision-making processes that seek to prevent, end, and rebuild from conflict— is often referred to as “women, peace and security.”
Efforts have been made to make progress on the women, peace and security agenda. Indeed, those who live in areas affected by conflict, particularly women, have long been working without sufficient recognition on these issues. Policy makers at the international level have increasingly recognized the importance of this work, and have begun to embed support for it in international obligations. Frameworks for action, the development of good policy practice, and commitments to end sexual violence in conflict have all been part of national, regional, and global initiatives in recent years.
The United Nations Security Council, with its mandate to maintain international peace and security, recognized the centrality of women, peace and security in 2000 by adopting a resolution on the issue, scr 1325 (2000).1 With this recognition that women's rights are not secondary concerns to the Council's mandate, but rather at its core, the challenge is now to demonstrate true accountability to these obligations, ensuring that they do not remain solely on paper.
It is important to remember that Security Council action and policies have a direct impact on what happens in country situations. The divide between policy makers at United Nations Headquarters and women's rights advocates in Cote d'Ivoire, Afghanistan, or Iraq can seem – and is – vast, but this does not mean the decisions made in New York do not fundamentally affect resources, policies, and access for women in their communities. Though the un Security Council is but one of the actors with women, peace and security obligations, its role is important one on both practical and symbolic levels.
In the situations examined in our report, “Mapping Women, Peace and Security in the UN Security Council: 2011- 2012,” we see that while there are areas of significant normative progress, the necessary and consistent action by the international community remains acutely insufficient. Our report provides an in-depth, qualitative analysis of the women, peace and security work in reports, meetings, presidential statements, and resolutions of the Council over a 12 month period, from 1 August 2011 through 31 July 2012, demonstrating the need for consistent information, analysis and recommendations to flow into the Council, and for the Council to ensure it acts with consistency and with commitment on its women, peace and security obligations.
The Council's addressing of women, peace and security issues was further complicated by broader dynamics in the Council in the period under review. Broader disagreements over the scope of the Council's mandate have meant inaction on immediate issues of concern to women and men in conflict areas. Ongoing tensions over the intervention in Libya, which impacted the Council's internal stalemate and virtual inaction on the situation in Syria, has resulted in, with the most generous perspective, an inconsistent addressing of women, peace and security obligations. However, it is the Council's responsibility to act to truly maintain international peace and security, and this means ensuring that it acts in good faith under its international obligations, including those on women, peace and security. It is this standard to which we hold Council Members.
Under the collaborative leadership of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP); the Human Rights Center at the University of California, Berkeley; the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO); and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute North America (SIPRI North America), this special report is launched to mark the first convening of The Missing Peace Symposium on Sexual Violence in Conflict and Post-Conflict Settings. Over the past eighteen months, this core group of organizations along with others have developed a community of practice made up of scholars, policymakers, practitioners, and military and civil society actors to examine the issues of conflict-related sexual violence, to identify gaps in knowledge and reporting, and to explore how to increase the effectiveness of current responses to such violence. This report summarizes ten major misconceptions about wartime sexual violence, highlighting both advances and gaps in our knowledge. Drawing on social science research, it outlines for policymakers the current state of knowledge about wartime sexual violence, details gaps in existing knowledge, and explores the implications of these findings for policymaking.
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.
Militarization, and cultures of militarism, exacerbate gender roles, further reducing equality, and enabling the legitimatization and continuation of violence. Militarized societies and structures reinforce patriarchal control and power, all of which are incompatible with equal rights and peace. The toxic mix of militarized domination and exclusion of women's rights has severe consequences on the human security of all.
In observation of the 57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) once again stands together to reaffirm our position for a sustainable peace based on justice, equality and disarmament. For 98 years WILPF members and national sections have rejected militarization, domination, and exclusion in all its forms, and exposed the interlinkages among these phenomena. Our objectives challenge the root causes of violence as a means to effectively discuss prevention. Regarding this years' theme, WILPF addresses the undeniable intersections between international order, militarization, disarmament, and the implications of each on Elimination and Prevention of all Forms of Violence Against Women and Girls.
Military spending is one aspect of cultures of militarism, and remains out of control. In 2011, world military spending was estimated to be over $1.7 trillion dollars. This is the equivalent of over 600 years of the core annual UN budget. Globally just six countries export 74 % of the world's weapons: US, Russia, Germany, UK, China and France. The US sells 35% of the global total. This cannot be silenced or ignored. Such emphasis on military spending and arms production is not the path to a culture of peace for which we have been striving.
After the conclusion of this year's CSW, a second conference on a possible Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) will take place. WILPF has consistently called upon Member States – exporters and importers – to negotiate a strong treaty text that includes legally binding gender provisions. The international arms trade treaty should not become a tool to facilitate the arms trade but rather a mechanism to aid in the prevention of armed conflict, violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, and significantly reduce the culture and economy of militarism.
Drawing attention to the intersections of these themes, WILPF cases from our national sections are highlighted below, exemplifying the complexity and range of challenges facing our peace activists.
In the case of Colombia, a highly militarized and patriarchal society, WILPF women are calling for disarmament, ending impunity for violence against women, and the equal participation and inclusion of women rights in the on-going peace negotiations that began in October 2012 between the government and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC). This is a key moment for women and peace in Colombia where the full implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820 are needed, as a means to establish a solid foundation for advancing the prevention and elimination of all forms of violence against women.
We have heard these demands echoed during recent WILPF consultations with women of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). For decades WILPF has stood in solidarity with the women of Palestine. The structural violence and systematic discrimination experienced by women living under occupation is in itself of great consequence. Palestinian women are denied their human rights; citizens are shot on sight, their people are imprisoned without trial, their homes are demolished and land confiscated. The Palestinian woman who stands at the centre of her family and cultural life will remain unable to offer any quality of life for herself or future generations as long as the current status quo of occupation is viewed as acceptable. Occupation is a direct form of violence against women and must be ended. The UN and international community must implement all agreements, including resolutions protecting the unalienable rights of the Palestinian people, as to ensure a path to peace in the region.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the suffering of Congolese women living amid the daily realities of conflict highlights that the use of violence towards women is being used as a part of military strategies as rape is used as war weapon to terrorize, threaten, silence and humiliate. WILPF-DRC calls for strategies confronting violence against women that address root causes including the exploitation of natural resources, the proliferation of weapons and the lack of justice.
In Costa Rica, a country without an army, women experience increased displays of police action that resemble more military oppression than police work. Protection of the culture of peace, which Costa Ricans have identified with, is fundamental in the effort to prevent violence against women.
Economic interests and the international arms trade continue to fuel the massive slaughter of civilians in many contexts today. In Syria, States and the international community have failed to protect civilians, while some continue to profit from selling arms and weapons without accountability. This has deliberately fuelled the conflict while directly impacting civilians, where women and girls face the devastating consequences of conflict, displacement and violence. Women and girls are suffering a range of violations including horrendous acts of torture in the name of “honor”. Preventing violence against women must address these acts and arms must not be sold where such heinous acts are being perpetrated with impunity.
In Pakistan, WILPF members are actively protesting the heinous attack against Malala Yousafazi, while also demanding girls right to education, and the right of women and girls to live free from violence. Education, including peace education, is fundamental to the prevention and elimination of violence against women.
The Elimination and Prevention of all Forms of Violence Against Women and Girls requires a multifaceted and integrated approach. WILPF members are united in urging States, the United Nations and all relevant actors to support us by prioritizing the prevention of violence and conflict, while also challenging militarism and its negative impacts.
WILPF recommends the CSW and international community:
Protect women's human rights and promote the full implementation of all obligations. We demand the participation of women and gender equality, particularly through the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). WILPF also call for the full implementation of all Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security.
Prioritize the prevention of conflict and invest in peace by developing programmes for economic, environmental, political and social justice. This can be achieved through prioritization, support, and funding of nongovernmental organizations and their efforts including: prevention of sexual and gender based violence, guaranteed access to justice, and strengthening a culture of peace.
Reduce Military spending and promote full implementation of Critical Area E of the Beijing Platform for Action which links gender equality and the call for the control of excessive arms expenditure, and Article 26 of the UN Charter calling least diversion for armaments of the world's human and economic resources.
Stop selling arms that inherently violate human rights at home and abroad and support renewed negotiations for an international Arms Trade Treaty, including mechanisms to ensure criteria preventing sale of arms where gender-based violence is perpetrated.
Make disarmament a reality and strengthen and implement disarmament agreements including: the Firearms Protocol, the Programme of Action on small arms, and the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials. This should include efforts to work on gender, peace and security (SCR 1325 & 1820), by ensuring that action plan monitoring and evaluation efforts incorporate gender-equity in decision-making bodies, draw on gender-experts, provide for women to be involved in the process, and compile sex-disaggregated data on provisions, management, use, and impacts of small arms.
Integrate Human Rights, Women Peace and Security, and Disarmament frameworks and mechanism so that prevention can work more effectively. Strengthen work to prevent violence against women and work on gender and women's rights, in all mandates.
Ensure and support women's full and equal participation in all peace negotiations, and processes. It is imperative to increase the number of representative women with all parts of security reform processes and disarmament initiatives, as dictated by SCR 1325. WILPF urges States to refuse to support any peace negotiations that do not have women as legitimate participants around the table.
“Make it Binding: Include Gender-Based Violence in the Arms Trade Treaty”
Joint Oral Statement for the 57th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women on Elimination and Prevention of all Forms of Violence Against Women and Girls
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur Passionists International; Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA); The International Peace Bureau; Center for Women's Global Leadership; International Association of Lawyers; Against Nuclear Arms; Society of Catholic Medical Missionaries; Edmund Rice International; Global Justice Center; VIVAT International; Loretto Community; World Young Women's Christian Association; Femmes Africa Solidarité and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW).
Militarization and the arms trade contribute to the legitimatization and continuation of gender inequalities, discrimination and violence against women. Emboldened by weapons, power and status, many State and non-State actors perpetrate gender-based violence with impunity. In addition to perpetuating violence, weapons are used as a source of intimidation to women's active participation in social and political life. In conflict, parties use sexual and gender-based violence as a weapon of war, and these crimes have been greatly intensified by the proliferation and availability of small arms and light weapons. For example, in my country, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), multiple actors including state security forces and armed rebel groups perpetrate armed gender-based violence with impunity. Unfortunately the lethal and negative consequences of arms are not isolated to conflict zones. Guns, or the presence or threat of guns, are often used to facilitate violence in our homes and communities all over the world.
After the conclusion of this year's CSW, a second negotiating conference for an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) will take place here at UN Headquarters. The ATT could, if strengthened, reduce gender- based violence, save lives and protect our rights.
We have six key recommendations today.
We call on Member States to negotiate and agree on a strong Arms Trade Treaty that includes legally-binding gender provisions. There must be an obligation in the criteria section of the Treaty requiring States to deny an international transfer of conventional arms where there is a substantial risk that the arms under consideration are likely to be used to perpetrate or facilitate acts of gender- based violence, including rape and other forms of sexual violence. In short, the current draft Treaty text must be strengthened. The reference to gender-based violence must be moved into article 4(2) along with IHL and HR law. It must be subject to transfer prohibitions, not voluntary risk mitigation measures.
• Secondly, we demand States to reflect the gendered reality and the gendered impacts of arms in the work and outcome document of the 57th Commission on the Status of Women.
• Thirdly, we call for a reduction in military spending and expenditure on weapons, to shift resources to equality, development and environmental sustainability. Our work as civil society, as women's groups, must be better resourced now not tomorrow.
• Fourthly, States must support the prevention of violence against women with actions and stop the selling of arms that inherently violate human rights.
• Fifth, to improve how the international system functions, there must be implementation and integration of Human Rights, Women Peace and Security, and Disarmament frameworks and mechanisms.
• Finally, women must have space at all tables and forums. States and the United Nations must ensure and support women's full and equal participation in all peace negotiations and processes and in the development of international instruments such as the Arms Trade Treaty.
It is time to address the linkages between arms and violence against women. We believe that all States represented here today have an opportunity to do this in the upcoming Arms Trade Treaty
negotiations. We call on you to take this opportunity.
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