1325 PeaceWomen E-News Issue #80 22 August 2006

CALL TO ACTION: END SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN CONFLICT & BEYOND
The Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, 31 October 2000. CLICK HERE for the full text of the resolution.

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For past issues of the newsletter, CLICK HERE.

THIS ISSUE OF 1325 PEACEWOMEN E-NEWS FEATURES:

1. Editorial:Making the Links: Guns, Sexual Violence & Political Participation
2. Women, Peace and Security News
3. Feature Event:
Small Arms & Light Weapons 2006 Review Conference: An IANSA Analysis
4 . 1325 Translation Update:
Ibo, Ijaw & Tiv Translations Now Available
5. Feature Initiatives: Brussels Call to Action to End Sexual Violence in Conflict & Beyond
6 . Feature Resource: Report on Women in Armed Opposition Groups in Africa
7. Gender & Peacekeeping Update: Peacekeeping Watch
8. NGO Working Group on Women, Peace & Security Update: UN High-Level Mission to Nepal Meets with Women Peacebuilders
9. UNIFEM Update: Elections in the DRC & Gender, Conflict and Early Warning Consultation
10. Women, Peace and Security Calendar


The PeaceWomen Project is a project of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. Please visit us at http://www.peacewomen.org.


1. EDITORIAL
The PeaceWomen Team

Elections in the DRC are currently offering an important opportunity for women in the country to be involved in the political process. UNIFEM has been supporting efforts to ensure women’s participation and representation in and through the process (Item 9). Several of our news stories (Item 2) note the gains made in this worldwide struggle – from Rwanda, Southern Africa and Iraq to Latin America and the Navajo Nation. Unfortunately there remain many obstacles to women’s full and equal participation. One of these is sexual and gender-based violence which, unless addressed will continue to limit women’s capacity and access to political processes.

Several initiatives are being taken by governments and civil society to attempt to address this violence. Some governments have recently enacted legislation and are developing partnerships to take action. A recent International Symposium in Brussels on Sexual Violence in Conflict and Beyond issued the Brussels Call to Action which is this month’s Feature Initiative (Item 5). It calls for specific action and seeks to establish a “broad partnership of governments, civil society, the United Nations and other organizations to prevent and respond to gender-based violence in all its forms in conflict and beyond. We encourage the cross-sectoral readership of this newsletter to take action on this call. One particular issue on which action is sorely needed is that of small arms – their proliferation heightens women’s risk of being subject to sexual and gender-based violence. This and other issues of small arms and gender are covered in an insightful analysis by IANSA Women’s Network (Item 3) which works to ensure that gender is a critical aspect in world-wide work on small arms.

Other women’s networks and organizations continue to make important contributions to peacebuilding and Resolution 1325 has become an important tool in that work. It is thus vital that the resolution be accessible and understandable. Our Translation Initiative, through which the PeaceWomen Project has gathered 77 translations to date, attempts to increase access to the 1325. We recently launched a “Using 1325 in Translation” initiative where we share how translations of the resolution are being used and their impact on the work of women, peace and security advocates. In this e-news (Item 4) we feature the West African Network for Peacebuilding (WIPNET) and how they have used 1325 translations in their peacebuilding work. We encourage others to share their uses of translations with us in the hopes that this will positively impact on the full and effective implementation of Resolution 1325.

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As always we welcome your contributions to the newsletter’s content. The newsletter is sent out at the end of each month. We will feature the deadline for submissions for the next edition in each newsletter. Contributions for the September edition should be sent to enewssubmissions@peacewomen.org by Thursday 21 September 2006.


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2. WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY NEWS

IN AFRICA, WOMEN ARE VANGUARD OF PROGRESS
August 9, 2006 – (Chicago Tribune) Sweden and Norway once claimed the world's highest percentage of female lawmakers. Now that distinction belongs to an African nation: Rwanda. Women in the tiny, land-locked country still recovering from a 1994 genocide hold 48 percent of the country's legislative seats. A woman heads the Supreme Court and half of the country's judges are women, as are half of its college graduates. That, little by little, is bringing real change.

SOUTH AFRICA: WOMEN'S DAY - BALANCING GAINS AND FEARS
August 7, 2006 - (IRIN) South Africa celebrates Women's Day on Wednesday, marking 50 years since a historic march by 20,000 women against apartheid laws, but the remarkable progress made in gender equality has failed to extinguish a resilient culture of violence and abuse against women.

GHANA CALLS ON UN TO BOOST NATIONAL CAPACITIES FOR PEACE-BUILDING
August 10, 2006 – (Ghana) Ghana has called on the United Nations (UN) to build national capacities to fight the root causes of conflict as an essential part of peace consolidation, especially in the areas of political and economic governance and rule of law. She said it was important for the international community to recognize the need for such an approach to attain durable solutions to the conflict in West Africa and to explore ways and means to promote sustainable peace and security. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Cooperation and NEPAD and current President of the United Nations Security Council, made the comments in New York during a debate on Peace and Security in West Africa.

UN STUDY DECLARES VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN A WIDESPREAD PROBLEM IN AFGHANISTAN
August 17, 2006 - (Feminst Majority Foundation) A new report by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) is shedding light on the extent of violence against women in Afghanistan. Uncounted and Discounted is based on over 1,300 incidences of violence against Afghan women between January 2003 and June 2005.

THE MIDDLE-EAST CRISIS: ONE WOMAN'S VIEW
August 4, 2006 - (Open Democracy) In the midst of the destruction of civilian lives in Lebanon, women and families on all sides are trying to build bridges against militarisation and for peace, says Pamela Ann Smith.

IRAN OUTLAWS HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP IN NEW CRACKDOWN
August 11, 2006 - (The Independent) In a new move to stifle dissent, the Iranian government has decided to outlaw a legal support group headed by Shirin Ebadi, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning human rights lawyer.

FATWA BANS WOMEN WORKING WITH NGOS
August 4, 2006 -(IPS) Negative publicity and attacks by Islamist groups on non- governmental organizations (NGOs) working with women have forced several to close their offices and move staff out of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province (NWFP).

IRAQ: LAWYERS KILLED FOR DEFENDING CASES “AGAINST ISLAM”
August 16, 2006 - (IRIN) Many Iraqi lawyers are considering leaving the country for fear of their lives. Defending the rule of law and women’s rights is costing some Iraqi lawyers their lives. Since October 2005, 38 lawyers have been murdered and hundreds attacked for defending cases which their enemies say are “against Islam”, according to the Iraqi Lawyers Association (ILA), a nationwide organisation.

NAVAJO ELECTION HIGHLIGHTS
August 10, 2006 - (Chicago tribune) Navajo pioneer: For the first time, a woman has been chosen as one of two candidates facing off for the presidency of the Navajo Nation, whose 27,000-square-mile reservation spans the northeast corner of Arizona and adjoining areas of New Mexico and Utah. Lynda Lovejoy captured 22 percent, putting her into a runoff against President Joe Shirley Jr., who won 28 percent.

BENIN BANS HARASSMENT
July 29, 2006 – (WeNews) The Republic of Benin's National Assembly voted July 17 to pass the country's first comprehensive sexual harassment legislation aimed at protecting girls and women in schools, workplaces and in homes, according to the Women's Rights Initiative, a program of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

DRC: RAPE VICTIMS HOPE NEW LEADERS WILL HALT VIOLENCE
August 2, 2006 (IRIN) - Large numbers of women took part in Sunday’s elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s South Kivu Province in the hope that the new leaders would clamp down on the violence perpetrated by militants, say civil society organisations.

RAPE WIELDED AS A WEAPON IN MYANMAR
August 10, 2006 (JapanTimes) - Gender-based sexual violence obstructs peace and development, particularly when it is a weapon used by military dictatorships against their own peoples. Myanmar is now permeated by such state-sponsored violence.

NIGERIA: CURBING ARMED VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
August 8, 2006 – (This Day) Reports have revealed that there are an estimated 650 million small arms in the world today. Nearly 60 percent of them are in the hands of private individuals, most of them men. The vast majority of those who make, sell, buy, own, use or misuse small arms are men, which does not portray good for the world's teeming female population. In Africa, small arms, which include rifles, pistols and light machine guns, are filling African graves in ever-increasing numbers, from the killing fields of Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the streets of Lagos and Johannesburg.

ATTACK AND RAPE OF 17 WOMEN OUTSIDE KALMA IDP CAMP
July 26, 2006 (Sudan Organisation Against Torture) On 24 July 2006, approximately 25 armed militias, some in army uniform attacked twenty women outside Kalma internally displaced camp in Nyala, Southern Darfur.

BRAZIL ENACTS LAW ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
August 9, 2006 -(UNIFEM) Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva signed a new law on Domestic and Family Violence against Women on 7 August 2006 in Brasilia. The law is the result of an extensive process of consultation and discussion, in which key women's organizations played a crucial role. The process was promoted by the State Secretariat of Policies for Women and supported by UNIFEM.

LATIN AMERICA: PROGRESS TOWARDS GENDER PARITY IN POLITICS
July 20, 2006 - (IPS) Santiago: What factors continue to prevent women from becoming members of parliament? How well have quota laws worked in Latin America? How close is Chile to passing a law of this kind to fight the continuing under-representation of women in the legislature?

WOMEN CHIEFS PUSH FOR QUOTA SYSTEM
July 25, 2006 (Herald) Women chiefs in Southern Africa are pushing for a quota system in the election of executive office bearers, a move that will guarantee significant representation in national associations. The women chiefs also want stiffer sentences for rape offences. In separate interviews during the just-ended annual chiefs' conference in Kariba, the women chiefs said they are not different from their male counterparts and should therefore get equal respect and representation.

IRAQ: THE NEW POLITICAL PLAYERS
August 2, 2006 - (IWPR) Iraqi women used to play only a limited role in politics, but parliament recently set a a 25 per cent quota for women in positions of political importance.

DISPLACED WOMEN BUILD NEW LIVES, BRICK BY BRICK
August 1, 2006 - (IPS) "The City of Women", in the northern Colombian municipality of Turbaco, 11 kilometres from the fortified walls of this tourist resort city, bears no resemblance to Federico Fellini's 1980 film by the same name, or to the similarly dubbed Buenos Aires neighbourhood of Puerto Madero, where almost all the streets and public spaces are named for famous women. These Colombian women, in contrast, are very real and still alive, and are making their own mark on the country.

JEWISH AND ARAB WOMEN UNITE AGAINST WAR
August 4, 2006 (WOMENSENEWS)- Members of a newly formed group in Israel, Women Against War, say they can't abide the violence taking place in Lebanon and Gaza. Despite animosity and even death threats, they are protesting nearly every day in the northern city of Haifa.

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For more country-specific women, peace and security news, CLICK HERE

For more international women, peace and security news, CLICK HERE

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3.Feature EVENT


Small arms and gender: Where do we go from here?
A Review of the Small Arms and Light Weapons Review Conference, 26 June – 7 July 2006

By Susanna Kalitowski, IANSA Women’s Network Coordinator

Between 26 June and 7 July 2006, UN Member States met in New York to decide the future of the UN process on small arms and light weapons (SALW). In 2001, States negotiated the Program of Action (PoA), a non-legally binding international agreement to tackle the illicit trade in SALW in all its aspects. They agreed to hold two reporting meetings in 2003 and 2005 and to revaluate the content of the PoA at a Review Conference in 2006.

Taking their cue from the successful International Campaign to Ban Landmines, members of global civil society have been closely involved in the small arms process from its onset and have organized themselves under the banner of the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA), which is currently made up of over 700 civil society organizations working in 110 countries.

IANSA members had high hopes for the Review Conference. They have long argued that the PoA fails to address crucial components of the global small arms crisis, which continues to kill 1000 people per day. However, there were signs of real progress during the 2003 and 2005 reporting conferences when a large number of States echoed their concerns in their national statements. IANSA members and a host of likeminded States, mostly from Africa, Europe, and Latin America, reiterated the need for the PoA to address, among other things, human rights, the regulation of small arms in the hands of civilians, the problem of arms transfers to non-state actors, the link between small arms and development, assistance to survivors of small arms violence, and the highly gendered nature of gun misuse and gun injury.

The PoA only makes a single reference to gender in its preamble, where it carelessly lumps women with children and the elderly. However, the global gun violence epidemic affects men and women differently. The vast majority – around 90% – of direct victims and perpetrators of gun violence are men. But women suffer disproportionately given that they are rarely gun owners and users, and they experience gun violence differently to men. For example, they are particularly vulnerable to sexual violence at gunpoint. Unlike men, they are more likely to be killed by someone they know, often in their own homes and with a legally-owned gun. The PoA only addresses illicitly-held guns.

Partly in response to the weakness of the PoA, the IANSA Women’s Network was founded to connect activists, advocates, policy experts, and researchers around the world who are producing much-needed information about the different ways that women, women, girls and boys are affected by and respond to gun violence. Many of these impressive women were present throughout the Review Conference, as NGO delegates on national delegations, speakers at side events (notably the IANSA Women’s Network panel discussion, ‘Women and guns: voices from the front line’) and the IANSA presentation to the plenary, and advocates in governmental meetings.

At the Review Conference, the Women’s Network called for the inclusion of gendered language, including a specific mention of men and the explicit recognition of the role of women’s organizations in preventing, combating and eradicating the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects in the text of the Conference Outcome Document.

It is clear that a large number of States supported our recommendations because a paragraph specifically referring to gender and to Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security consistently appeared in a number of versions of the draft Outcome Document produced by the President, Ambassador Kariyawasam of Sri Lanka, before and throughout the Conference, including in the his last substantial draft of 3 July.

However, despite the efforts of the majority of governments to secure a strengthened PoA, agreement on almost all the major issues was blocked by a handful of states, notably the US. In the end, the Review Conference failed to produce an Outcome Document, leaving the entire small arms process in question. The shape of any future process will now have to be resolved during the First Committee in October 2006.

It is now more vital than ever that States, international organizations and civil society begin to proactively mainstream gender in small arms policy and practice at all levels. Failure to recognize that gun violence affects men and women differently and that men make up the majority of gun violence will mean that projects, activities and interventions will miss the mark when it comes to reducing the suffering.

A wide range of practical information has been generated since 2001 to assist policymakers with this work. The IANSA Women’s Network has produced a resource paper, ‘Gender-specific action to prevent all arms violence,’ which offers nine concrete recommendations on how to integrate gender into small arms policy and practice; the UN Coordinating Action on Small Arms (CASA) has produced detailed guidelines on how to mainstream gender in the implementation of the PoA; and the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue has written a policy brief focusing specifically on men and guns, which also offers policy suggestions and questions for further research.

Now is also the time to utilize existing binding international law to our best advantage. It is essential that States begin to recognize that the full implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 will play a vital role in combating the illicit trade in small arms in all its aspects, and that it should be interpreted to mean that women should be wholly involved in all small arms policy and practice. A number of Women’s Network members are also calling for 1325 to be interpreted to apply to ‘peaceful’ States that are plagued by high levels of armed violence such as Brazil and El Salvador.

The way ahead has been charted, and the IANSA Women’s Network will continue working with States and civil society to make sure that gender is accurately reflected in small arms work all over the world.

To help us accomplish this goal, we are seeking the involvement of all organizations interested in gender and disarmament.

For further information, write to Susanna Kalitowski, Women’s Network Coordinator, at women@iansa.org.

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FURTHER RESOURCES:

Women’s Network Bulletin and Portal
The Women’s Network publishes a quarterly Bulletin, Women at Work: Preventing Gun Violence which contains profiles of a member NGOs, articles on women, gender and small arms, and a listing of news, new resources and events of interest to Network members. It is available by email or on the Women’s Network Portal, the definitive online source for information on gender and small arms, which can be accessed at: http://www.iansa.org/women

Survivors- women affected by gun violence speak out
Launched by the IANSA Women’s Network at the UN Small Arms Review Conference 2006, ‘Survivors’ presents women’s experiences of gun violence in their own words. These experiences range from torture in Central Africa to domestic violence in Europe; from crossfire in Asia to grieving the loss of a murdered child in the Americas. Harrowing and at times hopeful, the 16 stories paint a picture of the impact of guns on ordinary women’s lives.

It is available online at: http://www.iansa.org/women/documents/survivors-for-web.pdf

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4. 1325 TRANSLATION UPDATE: IBO, IJAW AND TIV tRANSLATIONs NOW AVAILABLE


Total number of available translations: 77

PeaceWomen recently received 3 new translations of 1325 – Ibo, Ijaw and Tiv.

Ibo (Igbo) is a language spoken by the Igbo people of South-eastern Nigeria. It is one of the most widely spoken languages in Nigeria.

Ijaw (Izon) is a language spoken by the approximately14 million Ijaw people who live around the Niger River Delta in Nigeria.

Tiv is the language of the Tiv people of Nigeria and Cameroon.

The 3 translations were completed by the Women in Peacebuilding program of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) Nigeria, with support from NOVIB Netherlands.

Contact: Bridget Osakwe, Program Officer
55, Coker Road, Ilupeju Lagos, Nigeria
Tel: +234 - 1 819 8282
http://www.wanepnigeria.org/wp.html

Other languages identified as a priority for translation by women, peace and security advocates are:

Achehnese (Indonesia)
Acholi/Luo (Northern Uganda,South Sudan)
Bari (Sudan)
Bengali (Bangladesh, India)
Dinka (Sudan)
Embera (Colombia)
Hindi
Hmong (spoken in Laos, Thailand, Burma, Vietnam, and Southern China)
Khmer (Cambodia)
Luganda (Uganda)
Malayalam (South Indian)
Mongolian
Nuer (Sudan)
Oshiwambo (Namibia)
Paez (Colombia)
Pashto (Afghanistan)
Pidgin (Papua New Guinea)
Quechua (Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Northern Chile, Argentina, Southern Colombia)
Sangho (Central African Republic)
Shilook (Sudan)
Tajik
Wayu (Venezuela)
Wayunaiki (Colombia)
Xhosa (S. Africa)
Zande (Sudan)
Zulu (S. Africa)

If you have translated UNSC Resolution 1325, know of existing translations, would be interested in translating, or know of others who would, please contact us at: info@peacewomen.org

To view the 77 translations and their sources, please visit:
http://www.peacewomen.org/1325inTranslation/index.html

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“Using 1325 in Translation” Initiative


PeaceWomen is now collecting information on how translations of the resolution are being used and the impact of the availability of these translations on the work of women peace and security advocates. We invite anyone who has used translations of 1325 for outreach, advocacy or other purposes, or who may know how translations of the resolution are being used to provide us with information detailing among other things:

  • Which particular translation(s) of 1325 you have used or know is being used
  • Who carried out the translation (if known) or how the translation(s) was accessed
  • The types of activities for which this translation(s) has been used (e.g. workshops, radio programs) and your opinion about the impact of such activities in promoting resolution 1325
  • What you believe to be the importance of translating Resolution 1325 into local languages
  • Ideas on languages which may require a 1325 translation and whether you or anyone you know may be interested translating the resolution

    Kindly contribute to the “Using 1325 in Translation” effort by responding to these questions or submitting any other information on translating UNSCR 1325 to info@peacewomen.org

WIPNET - NIGERIA: The importance of translating SCR 1325

The women in peacebuilding program (WIPNET) of the West African Network for Peacebuilding (Nigeria) with the support of NOVIB Netherlands, recently translated 1325 into 3 Nigerian languages -Ibo, Ijaw (Izon) and Tiv.

In the article below, Bridget Osakwe, a program officer of the women in peacebuilding program explains the motivation for the organization’s translation efforts and the use of the translations in their peacebuilding work.

The Vision of the WIPNET program is “A West Africa sub- region where women are key to decision making in peace and security while the Goal is “To build women’s capacity to play active and visible roles in peacebuilding in West Africa”.

WIPNET’s work is based on the ideology of “Women’s peace activism” which calls for the cessation of physical violence during conflict and war and also the deconstruction of structural forms of physical violence which exist in everyday society by promoting social justice and fighting patriarchal systems.

In the course of consultations across West Africa, WIPNET learnt that women are excluded either by design or default from the peace process by themale establishment, and also they often suffer from lack of awareness and skills in peacebuilding, and also lack of confidence, exposure and opportunity to get involved.

Preceding WIPNET-Nigeria’s translation of the UNSC Resolution 1325, it has been the key tool and backbone for the activities of the network in Nigeria. Definite effort was made at The Annual "Lessons Learnt" Conference of the network in 2005 which had in attendance over 50 delegates representing different women organizations, policy makers and partners developed an Action Plan on implementing and domestication of the Resolution in Nigeria.

For the rest of this article please visit:
http://www.peacewomen.org/1325inTranslation/using_1325_translations/WIPNET_Nigeria.html

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5. FEATURE INITIATIVe

Brussels Call to Action to Address Sexual Violence in Conflict and Beyond
International Symposium on Sexual Violence in Conflict and Beyond, Brussels, 21-23 June 2006

At the conclusion of this symposium, delegates issued a call for urgent and long-term action against sexual violence in all its forms, in conflict and beyond.

This Call to Action is for governments, European Institutions, the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations, and civil society to prioritize the issue of sexual violence against women and girls, in particular, and also against men and boys, in all humanitarian, peacebuilding and development frameworks and programming in countries affected by conflict. This Call to Action builds on existing agreements and recognizes that these efforts should address not only sexual violence but all forms of gender-based violence that endanger civilians in conflict as well as in peacetime. This Call to Action builds on existing agreements and calls for their immediate and urgent implementation. There must be zero tolerance for acts of sexual and gender-based violence, and zero tolerance for complacency by governments and other institutions responsible for the safety and well-being of women, men and children affected by conflict.

Brussels Call to Action

We, the delegates to the International Symposium on Sexual Violence in Conflict and Beyond, call for urgent and long-term action to:

1. Prevent sexual and gender-based violence by promoting gender equity and equality and the economic, social and political empowerment of women.

2. Enhance mechanisms for regional and subregional collaboration of governments, donors, international organizations and civil society to address sexual and gender-based violence, with special attention to highly volatile areas.

3. Incorporate sexual violence prevention and protection into all aspects of humanitarian assistance including food, fuel, water and sanitation, and shelter as prescribed by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Guidelines for gender-based interventions in humanitarian settings.

4. Prevent and respond to sexual violence in all planning and funding frameworks for humanitarian response, peacebuilding, recovery, development and political dialogue, and link relief and development funding to ensure the continuity of sexual violence prevention and response.

5. Strengthen accountability frameworks and systematic monitoring and reporting on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 and relevant resolutions adopted by the European Council.

6. Intensify international, regional and national efforts to end impunity for perpetrators by strengthening the legal and judicial systems and by enacting and enforcing legislation, and provide national judicial systems with the necessary resources to prosecute cases of sexual and gender-based violence.

7. Recognize the right and ensure access to material and symbolic reparation, including restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition for all survivors.

8. Develop national action plans to address sexual and gender-based violence that identify comprehensive programmes and opportunities for action across sectors, including sexual and reproductive health and the prevention, treatment and care for HIV/AIDS; education and life skills; human rights; justice; security sector reform; and socioeconomic recovery and livelihood support.

9. Ensure the full and active participation of youth, women and other vulnerable populations, including refugees and internally displaced persons, in the development of comprehensive national action plans to address sexual and gender-based violence.

10. Include in national plans the prevention of gender-based violence as an indicator of good governance to be used as an element in determining access to funding, including incentive tranches.

11. Build and strengthen ownership of all national frameworks and develop the capacity of country partners, governmental and non-governmental organizations, particularly women's organizations, and the United Nations system to ensure the centrality of sexual and gender-based violence in poverty reduction strategy papers, sector-wide approaches, country and regional strategy papers, consolidated appeals processes, post-conflict needs assessments and national transitional strategies, and common country assessments/United Nations Development Assistance Frameworks.

12. Ensure specific protection mechanisms for especially vulnerable groups such as unaccompanied and separated children and persons with disabilities.

13. Strengthen behaviour change communication and other measures to preserve and restore positive social values and change harmful beliefs and practices to protect against sexual and gender-based violence and strengthen the protective capacities of families and communities.

14. Incorporate strategies to prevent and respond to sexual violence in disarmament, demobilization and reintegration and in security sector reform processes, and ensure the full engagement of the security sector, including police and army, to prevent and respond to sexual violence in a sensitive and effective manner.

15. Urge all nations providing troops to United Nations peacekeeping operations to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

16. Develop awareness of humanitarian laws, human rights and gender equality for humanitarian workers and peacekeepers and enforce the United Nations code of conduct on zero tolerance for sexual abuse and exploitation.

17. Develop comprehensive awareness-raising strategies on the nature, scope and seriousness of sexual and gender-based violence at all levels to ensure the protection of survivors from discrimination and stigmatization, and engage men and boys, as well as government officials, community and religious leaders, the media, women's groups and other opinion makers in promoting and protecting the rights and welfare of women and children.

18. Develop a comprehensive methodology and tools to assess the scope and nature of sexual and gender-based violence in conflict-affected countries and specify budgetary and cost implications.

19. Undertake comprehensive, ethically and methodologically sound, qualitative and quantitative research on the nature, scope, impact, root causes and contributing factors of sexual and gender-based violence, and develop ongoing data collection, monitoring and evaluation, and reporting systems, including gender budgeting.

20. Invest in the capacity-building of all stakeholders involved in the prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence in conflict and beyond.

21. Empower the media to educate and advocate against sexual and gender-based violence.

Together we call for a broad partnership of governments, civil society, the United Nations and other organizations to prevent and respond to gender-based violence in all its forms in conflict and beyond.

For complete statement or more information, please click visit:
http://www.peacewomen.org/resources/Human_Rights/Brussels_CalltoActionGBV.html

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For more women, peace and security initiatives – in country, regional, global and international, visit: http://www.peacewomen.org/campaigns/global/index.html

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6. FEATURE RESOURCE

Women in Armed Opposition Groups in Africa and the Promotion of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights
Geneva Call and the Program for the Study of International Organizations, Addis Ababa, 23-26 November 2005

The objective of the 2005 Addis Ababa workshop was to identify ways of strengthening the understanding and observance of international humanitarian law and human rights law within the African armed groups and their political wings. At the same time, the workshop sought to contribute to African and international organizations’ understanding of and ability to work with armed opposition groups to promote and uphold international humanitarian and human rights norms. Four topics were discussed during the workshop: humanitarian law, human rights law, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) and transition into governance roles. This report presents information and analyses that came out of these four thematic working groups.

For the full report, please visit: http://www.peacewomen.org/resources/DDR/GenevaCall.pdf

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For NGO and civil society reports, papers and statements, UN and government reports, and books, journals and articles on women, peace and security issues,
please visit: http://www.peacewomen.org/resources/resourcesindex.html

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7.GENDER AND PEACEKEEPING UPDATE

Peacekeeping Watch

UN PROBES PROSTITUTION RING
17 August 2006 (BBC News) - The United Nations is investigating allegations that some of its peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo have used child prostitutes.

UN'S LEGACY OF SHAME IN TIMOR
July 22, 2006 (The Age) United Nations peacekeepers have abandoned at least 20 babies fathered with poverty-stricken Timorese women. A UN investigation has also uncovered a culture of cover-up, in which babies born to peacekeepers and sex crimes committed by UN staff in the past seven years have been kept secret because of a "fear of shame and embarrassment' in the deeply religious country.

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For PeaceWomen’s Peacekeeping Watch index, visit: http://www.peacewomen.org/un/pkwatch/pkwatch.html

For more gender and peacekeeping news, visit PeaceWomen’s Gender and Peacekeeping News Index:

http://www.peacewomen.org/un/pkwatch/pknews.html

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8. NGOWG UPDATE

 

UN High Level Mission To Nepal Meets With Women Peacebuilders

A high-level United Nations assessment team traveled to Nepal from 26 July- 3 August discuss proposed UN assistance for the peace process. The team was led by Staffan De Mistura, the Secretary-General’s former Deputy Special Representative for Iraq. According to Secretary-General Kofi Annan, recent developments have provided an “unprecedented opportunity” to achieve a negotiated solution to the 10 years of conflict in Nepal.

Concerned that women have not played an active role in the peace negotiation process, the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security sent an open letter to Ambassador De Mistura and his team. The NGO Working Group would like to sincerely thank Ambassador De Mistura and the team and commend the mission for organizing a meeting with Nepalese women peacebuilders who discussed their experiences and recommendations with them. It is our hope that this marks the beginning of a process which includes women’s full and active participation in the peacebuilding process and the implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 in Nepal.

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Dear H.E. Ambassador De Mistura,

On the occasion of the high-level United Nations mission to Nepal to discuss United Nations assistance in the peace process, the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security (NGOWG) would like to echo the wide concern that women have not been present at the peace negotiating table. Any reconstruction plan for Nepal will not be effective without the equal participation of women who are champions of peace, human rights and democracy and their inclusion in the design, delivery and evaluation of all development programmes and plans.

The NGOWG endorses the Open Letter on Nepal to the United Nations Secretary-General from the Wilton Park Conference on Security Council Resolution 1325, and respectfully urges the mission to implement the resolution by:
  • Ensuring equal representation of women in all formal peace negotiations, and maintaining support for their involvement in the implementation of the peace accord.
  • Appointing a gender advisor to assist in formal peace processes.
  • Ensuring the appointment of women as special envoys and mediators to assist in negotiation processes.
  • Mobilizing financial and technical resources to convene a women’s peace congress to bring together women from all sides of the conflict, and women’s human rights advocates to ensure Nepal’s full compliance with international law and gender equality commitments.

We also encourage the mission to meet with key women’s organizations working in this field. In order to facilitate this, we are attaching contact information for these groups. They can provide first-hand, field level expertise and recommendations that we believe will greatly benefit the United Nations and help promote its work.

For meaningful and effective dialogue to take place, representatives from these women’s organizations must also be included in joint meetings with United Nations, military, and governmental actors. It is our hope that the high-level United Nations team to Nepal will set this example for others to follow.

Sincerely yours,

Gina Torry, Coordinator
NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security
777 UN Plaza, New York, NY 10003

The NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security (NGOWG) was established in May 2000 to call for a United Nations Security Council resolution on women, peace and security. Following the unanimous adoption of resolution 1325 in October 2000, the group began the difficult work of pressing for its full implementation. The NGOWG currently consists of Amnesty International, Femmes Africa Solidarité, Gender and Security International Research Network, Hague Appeal for Peace, International Alert, International Women’s Tribune Center, Women’s Action for New Directions, the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children, Women’s Division of General Board of Global Ministries, United Methodist Church, Women’s Environment and Development Organization, and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

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For more information about the NGOWG, CLICK HERE.

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9. UNIFEM UPDATE

2006 Presidential and Legislative Elections in the DRC

As the Democratic Republic of Congo experiences this historic elections period, UNIFEM is supporting the National Network for Elections Monitoring and Observation. Part of this support is to document the participation of women in the elections process as well as generate sex-disaggregated data on this issue. In addition to standing for office, women participated in the first round of elections activity by serving as polling station monitors, observers and candidate witnesses. A UNIFEM brief noted that 4 female candidates stood for presidential election, while 1311 “stood for the legislative elections, contesting for 500 parliamentary seats” representing a ratio of 2 women candidates per seat.

For more information on the elections monitoring please visit:
http://www.womenwarpeace.org/drc/docs/Elections_Briefing_2006.pdf

For more information on UNIFEM’s activities in the DRC please visit:
http://www.womenwarpeace.org/drc/drc.htm#unifem

UNIFEM/UNDP Consultation - Gender, Early Warning and Conflict Analysis: Programming for Conflict Prevention

From 17 – 18 August, UNIFEM and UNDP co-organized a consultation on Gender, Early Warning and Conflict Analysis: Programming for Conflict Prevention in New York. This consultation focused on work undertaken by UNIFEM and UNDP in developing gender-sensitive early warning systems as well as gender-sensitive conflict analysis, focusing on experiences in the Solomon Islands, the Ferghana Valley, Fiji, Colombia, and Indonesia. The consultation drew on expertise from UNIFEM and UNDP, as well as other UN partner participants to highlight good practices, lessons learned and ways forward for partnership in this growing area of analysis and programming.

More information on UNIFEM’s work in conflict prevention can be found at:
http://www.womenwarpeace.org/issues/prevention/prevention.htm

For more information on UNDP-BCPR conflict prevention visit:
http://www.undp.org/bcpr/we_do/prevention_risk.shtml

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UNIFEM’s Web Portal on Women, Peace and Security, CLICK HERE

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10. WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY CALENDAR

Online Discussion: The Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination and Violence Against the Girl Child
14 August - 8 September 2006, Sponsored by the UN Division for the Advancement of Women

The purpose of this online discussion is to contribute to an understanding of the causes and consequences of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child and to identify good practices and strategies required to accelerate the elimination of these violations of the human rights of girls.

Contributions to the online discussion will provide the background information to a meeting of experts convened by the Division for the Advancement of Women in collaboration with UNICEF from 25 to 28 September 2006, to discuss this theme. The online discussion and Expert Group Meeting are part of the preparatory process for the 51st session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in March 2007, which will consider "The elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child" as its priority theme.

For information on how to participate in the discussion, please visit:
http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/forum/forum-daw-disc_viol_girlchild.htm

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"Equal Chances in Europe. EU-Enlargement: Gender Equality, Participation"
September 7-8,2006, Germany
Eastern and Western NGOs, scientists, experts and politicians will analyse the new programmes and financial instruments that the European Union will launch in 2007, and how these new opportunities will contribute to gender equality. The conference is open to all organizations and individuals interested in this topic. KARAT Coalition and WIDE, are cooperating partners in this project.

For a copy of the invitation please visit: http://www.peacewomen.org/frame/calendar/fliers/WomnetFlier.pdf

If you have any other questions, do not hesitate to contact Nadine Heller from WOMNET at: nadine.heller@womnet.de

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Institute for Peace and Justice Women Peacemakers Conference
October 18-20, 2006, Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice, University of San Diego, San Diego
Who's making policy? What difference does it make? An international conference on gender-inclusive decision making for peace with justice.

Co-Convened byJoan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice (IPJ) and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)

For more information on this event, please http://peace.sandiego.edu/events/womenpeace/application.php

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Women PeaceMakers Program: 2006 Fall Residency
September 18-November 11, 2006, Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice, University of San Diego, San Diego

The Women PeaceMakers Program is a unique learning and teaching experience in which individuals take time to narrate a unique story of peacemaking from a personal perspective. Women will work both in small groups and one-on-one with a peace writer, offering opportunities to share experiences in their respective country and conflict setting. Participants will also develop new skills to take home from fellow peacemakers. Through better understanding of an individual's experience, the program is intended to build greater cross-cultural understanding and to document the challenges and successes of women who have been involved in peacemaking efforts.

For more information on the program and applications, please visit: http://peace.sandiego.edu/programs/women.html

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For the complete calendar, CLICK HERE.

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