1325 PeaceWomen E-News Issue #81 25 September 2006


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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1. Editorial:Post Conflict Reconstruction: An Opportunity to Advance Gender Equality
2. Women, Peace and Security News
3. Feature Initiative:
1325 Award Winner Announced
4. Feature Event:
CEDAW 36th Session
5 . Feature Resources: Gender & Disarmament Indices, Guide on Women, Peace and Security & Gender, Justice and Truth Commissions Study
6. NGO Working Group on Women, Peace & Security Update: NGOWG Marks the 6th Anniversary of SCR 1325 in October
7. UNIFEM Update: Delegation Of Israeli, Palestinian And International Women Leaders Achieve Historic Agreement On Principles For Middle East Peace And Urge International Support
8. 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.

The PeaceWomen Team

Women often resist the return to traditional gender roles when their society is emerging from conflict; some seize the opportunity and advance gender equality. We highlight several outstanding examples in this edition of 1325 PeaceWomen E-News. The work of Etweda “Sugars” Cooper, the recently announced winner of the “1325 Award” (item 3) shows how women can further women’s rights, particularly in this post-conflict context. Beyond her remarkable efforts to involve women in bringing peace to Liberia, Ms. Cooper also demonstrated how 1325 can be used as an effective tool to empower women in post-conflict settings – she used the resolution as a justification in lobbying for a 30% quota for women in party political nominations. This sort of initiative is a concrete example of what is meant by 1325’s call for a “gender perspective” in post-conflict reconstruction. The vagueness of the term “gender perspective” and the fact that the resolution itself provides little concrete guidance on this is should not be used as an excuse for inaction. This newsletter features two valuable resources (item 5) in this regard. The recent study on gender, justice and truth commissions sets out useful lessons from several truth commissions. The popularity of this form of transitional justice mechanism, and the fact that they are a powerful reconstruction and reconciliation tool, necessitates that truth commissions also incorporate a gender perspective. INSTRAW’s new guide on women, peace and security is another welcome resource. Hopefully governments and other policy makers will take full advantage of the recommendations, practical steps and good examples it provides.

In bringing a gender perspective to post-conflict reconstruction, it is vital that 1325 not be seen in isolation. It can very effectively be used in conjunction with the Convention to Eliminate Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) to promote gender equality. PeaceWomen’s analysis of two recent conflict affected countries reports’(item 4), the DRC and Georgia, to the CEDAW Committee demonstrates the links between 1325 and CEDAW. Post-conflict recovery requires development. It is vital that gender equality be made a top priority from the start for any development to be sustainable.

Regrettably, governments did not make this crucial link between gender equality and development during the recent general debate at the start of the 61st Session of the General Assembly. Although the general debate focused on “Implementing a Global Partnership for Development,” most delegates failed to mention women and gender. PeaceWomen’s 2006 GA General Debate “Gender Index” (item 5) includes all references to women and gender in statements delivered during the debate. We do applaud and look forward to advancing gender with the new President of the General Assembly, Sheika Haya Rashed Al Khalifa. She is the first woman to hold the position in decades and one of only 3 ever to do so. There remains, however, a serious need for increased participation of women at all levels of decision-making (including at the highest levels at the UN) – a fact emphasized by several of our featured news items (item 1). Calls for participation and voices of congratulations when a woman manages to make it to a position of power are, however, not enough. A fully integrated gender perspective is essential in post-conflict reconstruction and in all development. That governments do not even acknowledge this in their rhetoric is disappointing to say the least.

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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 October edition should be sent to enewssubmissions@peacewomen.org by Thursday 12 October 2006.

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September 20, 2006 - (UN News Centre) A United Nations expert on violence against women today highlighted the problems faced by women in Russia, Iran, Mexico, Afghanistan and Sudan’s Darfur region.

September 20, 2006 - (The African Media Network) Liberia's President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is urging member countries of the United nations not to operate on the structures designed sixty-one years ago when the organization was founded.

September 17, 2006 - (Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique) "Women are born to live and not to die", declared Mozambique's former first lady, Graca Machel on Saturday. Machel, who currently heads one of Mozambique's best-known NGOs, the Community Development Foundation (FDC), was speaking at the opening session in Maputo of a meeting of African Women Leaders, and she was referring to the high rates of maternal mortality in Africa.

September 12, 2006 – (UN News Centre) As the General Assembly opened its 61st session today, the body’s new president promised to focus on alleviating extreme poverty and advancing the process of UN reform undertaken during the previous session. Sheikha Haya is the first female General Assembly President since 1969 and the first Muslim woman to hold the post.

September 12, 2006 - (Alternet) Kofi Annan says the world is ready for a female secretary general. So why are there only men on the short list of candidates to succeed him? When the 61st session of the United Nations General Assembly opens this week, its new president, Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa, will have her hands full. The Bahrain lawyer and first woman in decades to serve as president of the General Assembly has said that reform is vital as is agreement on a "comprehensive and practical strategy" to fight terrorism. Her first order of business may well involve the decision of who will replace UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, whose second and last term is up at the end of the year.

September 23, 2006 – (The New York Times) U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice gathered other influential women political leaders on Saturday to promote the empowerment of their gender.

September 5, 2006 – (IRIN) Lasting solutions are needed for the humanitarian problems of gender-based violence, refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), a senior United Nations (UN) official said on Tuesday. This would help restore peace and stability to the region, Ibrahima Fall, the Special Representative for the UN Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region, said in Nairobi, Kenya, at the opening of a three-day regional conference on peace and security.

September 8, 2006 – (UUA) A new peace prize named for the Rev. Dana McLean Greeley, the first president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, was awarded August 26 to the Women’s Desk of the Inter-Religious Council of Liberia. The Dana McLean Greeley Memorial Prize for Peace was presented by UUA President William G. Sinkford to Fatumata Shariff, a representative of the Women’s Desk.

September 8, 2006 – (AP) The U.N.'s humanitarian chief called Friday for an end to the rapes plaguing women in war-battered Congo and said the perpetrators, including those wearing military uniforms, must be severely punished. Jan Egeland, visiting Congo's eastern borderlands where violence continues despite the official end to a 1996-2002 war, said women in the region continue to suffer from sexual violence.

September 10, 2006 – (The New Vision) The United Nations humanitarian chief yesterday talked to the LRA deputy, Vincent Otti, urging him to release all the women and children as they proceed with the peace talks with the government.

September 26, 2006 - (The Associated Press) Men in machine gun-mounted trucks Tuesday quickly dispersed hundreds of women protesting radical Islamic fighters who have taken over this strategic port town and much of the rest of southern Somalia. At least 20 women were arrested, according to relatives of the demonstrators who spoke on condition of anonymity because they feared reprisals.

September 17, 2006 - (The Sunday Times) Here is an inconvenient fact about Africa: our genocides tend to happen away from television cameras. Almost 1m people were killed in Rwanda in 1994; 2m died in southern Sudan in the past two decades; and 4m people in the Democratic Republic of Congo have died since 1997. The totals are staggering, and hardly a column inch or minute of airtime have marked them.

September 13, 2006 - (Alertnet) Four months since the signing of the peace agreement, security is yet to be established. In El Neem, a camp for internally displaced people (IDP) on the outskirts of El Daein town, in the east of South Darfur state, Sudan, the women seeking refuge say they are not safe.

September 15, 2006 - (The Washington Post) The tall, light-skinned man reeking of sweat and cigarettes often gallops his horse right into the nightmares of Darelsalam Ahmed Eisa, 18.

September 14, 2006 - (Angola Press Agency) An international conference on women's participation in public life and politics will take place on 17-19 October in Angola, promoted by the Norwegian People Aid (NPA) and the UN Human Rights Office.

August 29, 2006 – (SW Radio Africa) A Harare Magistrate on Monday threw out charges against 63 members of the group Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) saying giving roses and singing on Valentine’s Day is not a nuisance.

September 2, 2006 – (Ottawa Citizen) Canadian troops and police with the United Nations in Haiti made death threats during house raids and made sexual threats against women while drunk and off-duty, according to Haitians interviewed as part of a meticulous human-rights survey by U.S. researchers in December 2005 published this week in the British medical journal The Lancet.

September, 15 - (IRIN) A weak judiciary, a lack of law enforcement and widespread discriminatory practices against women are fuelling a rise in honour killings in Afghanistan, officials from the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) said on Friday.

August 28, 2006 - (IPS) Nine Nobel Prize laureates have sent a letter to the Iranian government asking it to retract its threat to prosecute Iran's most prominent independent human rights organisation founded by Dr. Shirin Ebadi, winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize.

August 6, 2006 – (IANS) Can women don the role of peacemakers in the strife-torn Kashmir Valley? Can they succeed on the peace table where the men have let them down? Yes and no. While most speakers at a two-day convention on 'Women in Dialogue: Envisioning the road ahead in J&K' drew a picture of near utopia once women became more politically conscious in the state, there were some who were more than a little critical of their roles.

September 12, 2006 – (The Independent) In a setback for women's rights in Pakistan, the ruling party in Islamabad has caved in to religious conservatives by dropping its plans to reform rape laws. Statutes known as the Hudood ordinances, based on sharia law, currently operate in Pakistan. They require a female rape victim to produce four male witnesses to corroborate her account, or she risks facing a new charge of adultery.

September 8 2006 (BBC News) - Under a blazing midday sun, more than a hundred Indian women are being put through their paces in a special training facility north of the capital, Delhi. Smartly attired in brilliant blue battle fatigues, this is an all-female police unit that is shortly to be deployed alongside UN peacekeepers in Liberia.

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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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On 13 September 2006, Etweda Cooper, nominated by UNMIL’s senior gender advisor, was announced as the winner of The Dutch Women in Conflict Situations and Peacekeeping Taskforce 1325 Award.

This award aims to honour and encourage an individual or a civil society organization in a conflict country or region that has developed groundbreaking and effective initiatives to promote the rights of women and to increase their participation at decision-making levels in peace processes. The Women in Conflict Situations and Peacekeeping Taskforce monitors and enhances the implementation of resolution 1325 in the Netherlands. With the 1325 Award the Taskforce wants to honour the important work of civil society women in conflict resolution and peace movements. Women in conflict areas are the first to raise the issue of conflict-related gender problems and bear the greatest risks in forwarding an agenda of peace.

The 1325 Award, comprising prize money, a work of art commissioned for the occasion and a tour through the Netherlands to present the winner’s work, is a one-off prize granted to an individual or a civil society organization that has effectively and innovatively contributed to the promotion of women’s rights and the increase of their participation at decision-making levels in peace processes.
In short, the 1325 Award aims to reward those who have contributed to the implementation of Resolution 1325.

All nominated organizations and individuals do work that is important to the cause of women. Sometimes their work is closely related to Resolution 1325, sometimes organizations address gender or peace issues in a more general way. Sometimes an organization affects the life of many, sometimes the impact is more focused. Comparing the work of very different organizations / individuals to one another is always very difficult. In this case, those nominees with the highest scores on all criteria made it to the shortlist. According to the jury, all shortlisted nominees definitely meet the minimal requirements to be awarded. Yet, after some debate, the jury thought one candidate scored best on all primary and secondary criteria: Etweda “Sugars” Cooper.

Under very difficult circumstances, Ms. Cooper succeeded in advocating women’s voices in peace negotiations, post-conflict processes and political institutions. Furthermore, the jury thinks Ms. Cooper plays an important part in the implementation of resolution 1325 and will continue to do so. She uses the resolution as a legal and international ‘weapon’ for her cause, but she also strifes to have the resolution embedded in legislative and political bodies in her country. Because of that, she inspires local, national and international actors to really act on Resolution 1325. She is firmly rooted in a influential organization, she has the power to influence large and diverse audiences and she has the charisma to unite people into peace.

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Winner’s Profile: Etweda “Sugars” Cooper, Liberia Women Initiative

Etweda Cooper, also called “Sugars” is known for her speaking out: she shows no remorse for her stance on issues of politics and human rights as they relate to women and children. Because of her leadership skills and ability to quickly organize and mobilize she proved to be the right person to let out the frustration of women who were being victimized during the hay days of the civil war in Liberia. In response to that and the stalemate in the peace process, she and other women founded the Liberia Women Initiative in 1994 to advocate for disarmament and free and fair elections but also to bring pressure to bear on stakeholders for the inclusion of women in negotiating a settlement of the Liberian conflict.

“Sugars” was in the vanguard of ensuring that women were represented at fora discussing the return to democratic governance in Liberia. These include the Accra Clarification on the Liberian Peace Process in 1994 and the Liberia Agenda for Peace, Reconciliation and Reconstruction in Monrovia in 1998. Throughout 14 years of civil war she used mass action including picketing, sit ins and marches involving grassroots and professional women and their groups to attract world attention to the plight of women and children and to urge the international community to take action to end the war.

As a strategist for the Liberian Women peace activities under the auspices of Women In Peace building Network, WIPNET, Ms. Cooper was unrelenting in lobbying factional leaders through visits, dialoguing and pleading with them to resolve the stalemate in the Accra Peace Talks in 2003, urging them to agree to a ceasefire and to constitute a transitional administration. At the same time, she worked with and lobbied delegates, the facilitators, representatives of the international community to ensure neutrality of a Liberian to lead the transitional government.

“Sugars” lobbied at the Accra Peace Talks for a woman to be head of the National Transitional Government. Although these attempts proved otherwise, she was undaunted in ensuring a 50/50 representation in the new interim leadership on returning to Monrovia. With little success, but bearing in mind the perspectives women bring to the political life of a country, she began advocating for a woman president for the October 2005 elections. Her participation in the 2005 Women’s Political Forum which outlined 10 sector areas of concern to women, led to the drafting of the Women’s Manifesto to which she provided technical support.

Ms. Cooper was also at the forefront in lobbying the National Elections Commission and Legislature for 30% party nomination of women candidates in political parties using UN Security Council Resolution 1325 as justification and participated in the actual drafting of said Guidelines. Part of the strategy to enhance and increase women’s participation in the election was training women in leadership and campaign strategies. She mobilized women to register as voters and to vote for a woman president and women Legislators in both rounds of the 2005 elections. The result was a 50%+50 women voters and a woman as president.

She served as member of the Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity Liberian and Habitat for Humanity International Board; former chairman of the Board of directors of NGO Women Secretariat of Liberia; former member of Liberia Democracy Research Center; Board member Liberia rural women Association; Board member of the Society for the Conservation of Nature of Liberia; Board member of the Women Development Association of Liberia(WODAL); Advisor to the Coalition of Political Parties Women In Liberia (COPWIL);
Founding member and Regional chairman West Africa Network for Peace WANEP; founding member and Regional Adviser Women In Peace building Network and member of Management Committee of the Mano River Peace Forum. Ms. Cooper is currently the Secretary General of the Liberia Women Initiative, she oversees the management of all the organization’s activities, including fund raising and programming.

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Shortlisted Candidates:

Seven nominated individuals or organizations were selected for the shortlist of the 1325 Award. The other shortlisted candidates were:

Shobha Gautam, Institute of Human Rights Communication, Nepal Nominated by:International Alert, United Kingdom
Yanar Mohammed, Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), Iraq Nominated by: Hivos and Mama Cash, The Netherlands
Isha l’Isha Haifa Feminist Center, Israel Nominated by: The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation, Sweden
Justine R. Mbabazi, Afghanistan Nominated by: Next Generation Connect International, Rwanda
Coalition of Grass Roots Women, Somalia, Nominated by: NOVIB, The Netherlands
Alianza Iniciativa de Mujeres Colombianas por la Paz (IMP), Colombia, Nominated by: Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarollo (UNDP), Colombia

For Profiles and the assessment of all candidates please visit:

For more on the 1325 Award and the Women in Conflict Situations and Peacekeeping Taskforce please visit:

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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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4.Feature EVENT


36th Session,7-25 August, 2006

The thirty-sixth session of the CEDAW Committee took place between 7-25 August 2006. Under new working methods, the Committee sat in parallel chambers in order to conduct a review of the 15 reports submitted for its consideration.

A PeaceWomen Project Review

Among the countries whose reports were under review in the 36th session were the Democratic Republic of Congo and Georgia, both countries affected by armed conflict. In two brief reports (extracts from which appear below) we highlight the ways in which SCR 1325 can support the implementation of CEDAW obligations in these two countries.


Progress and challenges

The government, in its Report to the CEDAW committee, highlighted various steps that have been taken to integrate the provisions of CEDAW into the country’s laws, policies and structures. It was noted that the convention and its principles had been endorsed by the Inter-Congolese Dialogue, the peace negotiations that laid the foundation for the country’s post-conflict transition. As such CEDAW had become part of the policy framework for the establishment of the country’s transitional government. The country’s newly promulgated Constitution requires the State to take measures to ensure the full participation of women in all areas, to combat violence against them, and to ensure the right of women to be significantly represented in institutions at all levels. However, the government acknowledged major hurdles in the achievement of these goals. The process of legislative reform to eliminate gender discriminatory laws is lagging and is not recognized as a priority by the government. There is a major challenge in changing attitudes and stereotypes among leaders and members of society with regards to the right and capacity of women to participate equally in political and economic activities. Further, the government noted, the achievement of women’s rights was hampered by the social and economic conditions brought by two decades of conflict. The war has exacerbated women’s traditionally low status in society, and the high rates of violence against women and impunity for such violence have contributed to their low involvement in public and political life.

For the full report please visit:


The impact of conflict on the status of women
Georgia has undergone three civil wars since its independence. The country is still plagued by ongoing conflicts in the Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions and by political tensions with Russia. As a result, hundreds of thousands of citizens have been forced to leave their homes and live in temporary shelters, under difficult conditions and without much prospect of quick return home. The violence and the situation of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDP) constitute major sources of instability to Georgia. Gender inequality and stereotypes are often exacerbated in countries affected by armed conflict, further subordinating women and making them targets of violence and exploitation. Trafficking, bride stealing and gender based violence are some of the manifestations of women’s victimization in Georgia today. In camps housing displaced persons, living conditions are particularly deprived and insecure, and women are even more vulnerable to violence. Many women in Georgia have lost husbands and male relatives to violence and have been left as sole breadwinners. This heavy economic burden is made worse by a labor market that: discriminates against women; is characterized by big wage gaps between men and women; and lacks legislation concerning sexual harassment at work.

Participation in governance
The report of the Georgian Government to the CEDAW committee noted that public awareness of women’s rights was being progressively achieved, though largely through the work of women’s NGO’s. These organizations have been at the forefront of educational, research and legislative reform campaigns against domestic violence and other issues, though there has been little progress in getting such issues addressed by the country’s legislature and courts. Further, while is clear that women’s organizations are playing an active role in Georgia’s civil society and political life and in raising awareness on women’s rights, the committee emphasized that the state retains the primary responsibility for enhancing the status of its female citizens and providing the social, political and economic infrastructure required to achieve gender equality.

For the full report please visit:

Other countries whose reports were under review were:

Cape Verde; Chile; China; Cuba; The Czech Republic; Denmark; Ghana; Jamaica; Mauritius; Mexico; Philippines; Moldova; and Uzbekistan.

For more information on the 36th session, including links to state party reports, the Committee’s concluding comments and NGO shadow reports, please visit:

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Gender & Disarmament Indices of the UN General Assembly General Debate, September 19-29, 2006
PeaceWomen & Reaching Critical Will – Projects of the Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom

The PeaceWomen & Reaching Critical Will teams have and continue to monitor statements delivered during the General Debate of the 61st Session of the UN General Assembly. The indices contain relevant excerpts and links to full statements via the UN Website.

The Gender Index includes all references to gender, women, females, girls, gender equality, violence against women and participation.

The Disarmament Index includes all references to: arms control, disarmament, multilateralism, ?nuclear energy, nuclear weapon free zones, security, proliferation, terrorism and weapons.

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Guide on Women, Peace and Security
UN-INSTRAW, September 2006

To commemorate the International Day of Peace, September 21st 2006, the United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (UN-INSTRAW) offers a new manual on how to create a successful action plan on women, peace and security. Designed as a resource for governments, international and regional agencies and civil society organizations, the guide-"Securing Equality, Engendering Peace: A guide to policy and planning on women, peace and security"-provides good practices, specific recommendations and a practical six-step model process.

For the full report please visit:

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Gender, Justice and Truth Commissions
PREM Gender and Development Group, ESSD Conflict Prevention and Reconstruction Team, Legal and Judicial Reform Practice Group, LAC Public Sector Group, World Bank, June 2006

Truth commissions (TCs) are formed to investigate human rights violations that occur during armed conflict or under repressive regimes. When their work ends, TCs report their findings, along with recommendations for reparations and prevention of future abuses. By taking a gender-sensitive approach to its work, a commission can differentiate between the causes and consequences of human rights violations for men and women and design a gender-sensitive program of reparations.

This study reviewed the gender-related aspects of the work of TCs in Peru, Sierra Leone, and South Africa, as expressed in their daily work, in the drafting of the commission’s mandate, in the participation of civil society institutions, and in the preparation of the final report. The three country experiences were selected as informative examples. Following a description of the experiences in the three countries, this study focuses on the Peruvian case to illustrate how the formal and informal justice systems1 have responded to the gender-relevant findings of the TC. The study also provides general suggestions for the consideration of World Bank staff, particularly in the incorporation of gender issues into the Bank’s postconflict interventions in relevant sectors. Finally, the study reviews some basic indicators of progress and impact in Bank-financed interventions in post-conflict and transitional settings. in the incorporation of a gender perspective in a TC.

For the full report please visit:

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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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NGOWG Marks the 6th Anniversary of SCR 1325 in October

The NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security will be releasing their SCR 1325 6 Years On Report in October. This year’s report will focus on SCR 1325 & The Peacebuilding Commission. Six years after the unanimous adoption of SCR 1325, the United Nations has established the Peacebuilding Commission – a body intended to advise and propose integrated peacebuilding, development and reconstruction strategies for countries emerging from violent conflict. The establishment of the Peacebuilding Commission has considerable implications for the implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security at the national level and for the participation of local women’s organizations working on sustainable peace and development.

From 23-27 October, the NGO Working Group will also be conducting a week of advocacy at United Nations headquarters and will be joined by women leading the work to build peace in 2 countries affected by conflict. During that week, the Working Group will also be launching their new website: www.womenpeacesecurity.org

For more information on women, peace and security side-events scheduled in October, an online calendar will be posted on www.un.org/womenwatch

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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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Delegation Of Israeli, Palestinian And International Women Leaders Achieve Historic Agreement On Principles For Middle East Peace And Urge International Support.

A delegation of top Israeli, Palestinian and international women leaders arrived at the United Nations on September 20th to meet with President of the Republic of Finland Tarja Halonen, at a time when Finland holds the Presidency of the European Union, in an effort to marshal high-level political pressure to restart negotiations in the region. Joining the President of Finland will be President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, Africa’s first elected woman head of state, who traveled to the occupied Palestinian territory in 2001 to hear the stories of women living in conflict as part of the Independent Experts’ Assessment on the impact of war on women, commissioned by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). It is hoped that together these leaders, representing both the North and the South, can begin to focus international attention on the need to resolve the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict so as to prevent broader conflict in the region. Taking advantage of the opening of the 61st Session of the UN General Assembly, they will also meet with Mr. Amr Moussa, who heads the League of Arab States, and with critical foreign ministers, as well as with high-level UN officials.

The International Women's Commission for a Just and Sustainable Israeli-Palestinian Peace (IWC) convened in 2005 by Noeleen Heyzer, the Executive Director of UNIFEM, at the urging of Israeli and Palestinian women leaders, was established to ensure the meaningful participation of women in mainstream peace negotiations. IWC maintains that implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which mandates women's involvement in conflict resolution, is critical to restarting negotiations and improving their outcomes. The IWC charter stresses the goal of bringing an end to Israeli occupation through immediate final status negotiations, leading to a viable sovereign Palestinian state alongside the state of Israel. Since its inception, IWC has succeeded in joining women living in different realities and experiences to speak out on the most difficult political issues in one voice.
Leading the delegation to New York are Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and Dr. Naomi Chazan, former Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset and professor of political science, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Going forward, the IWC hopes to achieve a breakthrough in negotiations and offer policymakers a stake in resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict with fresh, incisive political analysis and innovative proposals from women leaders for actions and strategies that can serve to advance the peace process.

For more media inquiries and other information on this initiative, please contact Nanette Braun at 212-906- 6829 or visit UNIFEM’s website at:

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

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Conference on Gender and Migration
September 28th, 2006 at The Church of the Holy Trinity, Toronto
For all interested in critical thinking about migration and all who love justice, FCJ Refugee Centre is holding a day-long event. Facilitators and Commentators include Maureen Silcoff, Kemi Jacobs Francisco Rico-Martinez, Alejandra Priego, and Sister Lois-Anne Bordowitz.

For more information, please visit:

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"Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence." - Book Tour
September 21. 2006 - November 16, 2006, Canada & USA.

Afghan Women's Mission Co-Directors, Sonali Kolhatkar and James Ingalls have written a new book about US policy in Afghanistan, "Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence." The books will be available in bookstores across the US and Canada by mid-October. The authors are embarking on a book tour to Toronto, Halifax, Vancouver, Austin, Boston, Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles, Hollywood, and more. All proceeds from book sales will benefit the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (www.afghanwomensmission.org)

For further details and dates, please visit:

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Who speaks for the common good?
October 5-8, 2006, Manhattan College, New York City

Highlights include: Opening Plenary, ‘The role of religion in seeking the Common Good’. The conference features Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, in New York; Ibrahim Malik Abdil-Mu’id Ramey, Coordinator of the Peace and Disarmament Program at the Fellowship of Reconciliation and Board Member of the temple of Understanding and of the Muslim Peace Fellowship; Dara Silverman, Executive Director, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice; M.P. Mathai, School of Gandhian Thought and Development Studies of the Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, India. Challenging Authority: How Ordinary People Change America; Frances Fox Piven, Distinguished Professor of Politics and Sociology, CUNY. Film from Japan, “Marines Go Home!” and discussion.

For more information, please visit:

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Feminist Legal Theory and Practice Training of Trainers
October 9-15, 2006, Chiang Mai, Thailand

APWLD has been conducting Feminist Legal Theory and Practice (FLTP) Training since 1994. The training seeks to challenge the traditional notion that law is a neutral, objective, and rational set of rules, unaffected by the perspective of those who possess the power inherent in the legal institutions. It seeks to address the social, cultural and political contexts that shape the legal system. The basic thrust of the training is: feminism as its core, human rights as its foundation and law as an arena of women's struggle.

For more information, please visit:

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The World Bank Institute: Gender, Health and Poverty E-learning Course for South Asia
October 18 - November 28, 2006

The course is designed for senior and mid-level officials and policy makers working on health or poverty issues in national governments, national and international NGO's, and bi-lateral and multi-lateral donor agencies in South Asia. This course will review the analytical base and examine global best practices to better address gender, health and poverty issues in national policies and programs.

For more information, please visit:

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WomenLead in Promoting Peace and Stability
October 23 – November 17, 2006, Washington, D.C.

This workshop is organized by CEDPA WomenLead in Promoting Peace and Stability strengthens the technical expertise, leadership abilities and program management skills of women working to transform post-conflict societies. When countries emerge from conflict, there is a window of opportunity to advance women’s leadership, foster democratic culture and create new policy frameworks, governing structures and institutions. Enhancing the leadership, management and advocacy skills of women ensures that they are able to effectively participate in and shape peace processes and post-conflict reconstruction. Their involvement improves stability, ensures accountability and fosters government inclusiveness.

For more information on this event, please visit:

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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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For the complete calendar, CLICK HERE.

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