1325 PeaceWomen E-News Issue #84 December 12 2006

FOCUS ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

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:Time to act on Violence against Women
2. Women, Peace and Security News
3. Feature Statement:
Make Police and Military Best Allies in Combating Violence against Women
4. Feature Resource:
The Girl child and Armed conflict
5. Feature Event: Claiming Our Rights, Defending Our Future: Celebrating 16 Years of 16 Days of Activism on gender violence
6. Feature Initiative: Call for Input: Global Report on Sexual Violence in Conflict
7. Gender & Peacekeeping Update: Peacekeeping Watch & Peacekeeping Resources
8. NGO Working Group on Women, Peace & Security Update: Letter regarding Fiji Coup
9. UNIFEM Update: Gender, Peace and Security Consortium and 2007 Consolidated Appeal
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

This time of year is always particularly poignant for women’s human rights advocates around the world. It is a time that includes a number of days dedicated to highlighting three issues that affect many women closely: Violence against Women, HIV/AIDS and violations of human rights in general.

The news stories featured in this edition of the E-news range from Colombia to Afghanistan, from Kashmir to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and they all indicate that violence against women continues to be a persistent, and in some cases, escalating reality in women’s lives (see item 2). While the experience of violence varies depending on the differing circumstances that women are in, their vulnerability is greatly aggravated in armed conflict and post-conflict situations. This vulnerability is particularly acute in the case of girl children, as indicated in this edition’s feature resource, a UN report focused on the impact of conflict on the girl child (see item 4). The report notes the urgent need for better documentation, monitoring and reporting on the extreme suffering that armed conflict inflicts on girls, as well as on the many roles girls play during conflict and its aftermath. It is hoped that this issue can be brought to the fore during the 51st Commission on the Status of Women, whose focus in 2007 is the elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child. (see item 10)

The need for documentation of the impact of conflict on women is echoed in our feature initiative, a general call for input for a Global Report on Sexual Violence in Conflict, by the Geneva center for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (see item 5). Among other things the report will seek to identify good practice in security sector responses to sexual violence in conflict. The role of the security sector is also highlighted in our feature statement, from the UN’s Institute for Training and Research on the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), which addresses the need to make allies of the police and the military in combating violence against women (see item 3). Ensuring awareness and accountability on this issue among those trained to protect civilians is clearly of paramount important, given continued reports of sexual exploitation and abuse of women and children by UN peacekeepers and other field personnel (see item 7). It is hoped that various measures discussed, and commitments made at a December high-level conference on combating sexual exploitation and abuse by UN and NGO field personnel will be fully and rapidly implemented in the coming year. The PeaceWomen Project will continue to monitor and report on developments on these issues.

The last word however, rests with the women across the globe who are speaking out and mobilizing against violence in their communities and around the world. Some of these women’s voices are highlighted in this month’s feature event, a celebration of 16 years of the “16 Days of activism on gender violence” campaign. (see item 6). As indicated in some of our featured news stories, the work of such activists is often done under conditions of grave peril and threat. PeaceWomen salutes them all for their courage, and for their contributions to the goal of making justice, peace and security a reality for all women.

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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 January 2007 edition should be sent to enewssubmissions@peacewomen.org by Thursday 18 January 2007.


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2. WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY NEWS


FIJI: WOMEN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS THREATENED
12 December 2006 - (FWRM Press release) Human rights organizations and individuals have been threatened with violence, including rape, for speaking out on the current impasse in Fiji.

WOMEN DEMAND END TO DARFUR RAPES
10 December 2006 - (BBC News) International stateswomen have made a joint call for an end to rape and sexual violence in Sudan's conflict-torn region of Darfur. Peacekeepers must be sent to protect women there, the group said in a letter published by newspapers worldwide. It says rape is being used "on a daily basis" as a weapon of war in Darfur.

GENDER EQUALITY IN ARAB WORLD CRITICAL FOR PROGRESS AND PROSPERITY, UN REPORT WARNS
December 7, 2006 – (UN News Centre) Women in the Arab world are still denied equality of opportunity, although their disempowerment is a critical factor crippling the Arab nations’ quest to return to the first rank of global leaders in commerce, learning and culture, according to a new United Nations-sponsored report released today.

PAIN OF AFGHAN SUICIDE WOMEN
December 7, 2006 -(BBC News) Gulsoom is 17-years-old and married. Last year she tried to commit suicide - she failed. She set fire to herself but, against the odds, survived with appalling injuries. Her plight reflects that of a growing number of young Afghan women, campaigners say. Driven to desperation by forced marriages and abusive husbands, more and more are seeking release through self-immolation.

NEPAL-WOMEN THREATEN POLL BOYCOTT
December 7, 2006 – (Kantipur Report) Women political leaders on Wednesday warned that they would boycott polls and would not even vote if the political parties fail to ensure 33 per cent women's participation in the upcoming election for Constituent Assembly (CA).

WOMEN'S RIGHTS ACTIVISTS ARRESTED
December 6, 2006 - (Green Left) Sixty-three Women Of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) members were arrested on November 29 during a peaceful launch of its People’s Charter. They were taken to Bulawayo Central Police Station. WOZA leaders Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu were among those arrested.

A PROUD IRAQI LAMENTS VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN FROM HER SPANISH EXILE
December 6, 2006 - (UNHCR) Taiseer* thought things could only get better in her native Iraq after a United States-led invasion force toppled President Saddam Hussein in March 2003. She never dreamed that life would soon change for the worse for the country – especially its womenfolk.

IACHR RELEASES REPORT ON THE IMPACT OF THE COLOMBIAN ARMED CONFLICT ON WOMEN
December 5, 2006 -(ReliefWeb) The actors in the Colombian armed conflict, in particular the paramilitary groups and the guerrilla, employ physical, sexual and psychological violence against women as a strategy of war. This is one of the most alarming conclusions of a report prepared by the Rapporteurship on the Rights of Women of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) that becomes public today.

UN HOSTS MEETING AIMED AT TACKLING PROBLEMS OF SEXUAL ABUSE BY FIELD PERSONNEL
December 4, 2006 – (UN News Centre) DNA samples, new international pacts and assistance to victims were among the measures discussed today at a conference on preventing sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations and non-governmental organization (NGO) personnel, where Secretary-General Kofi Annan set a strict tone by declaring that no one should be above the law.

CALL IN FIJI FOR WOMEN TO MEDIATE BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AND MILITARY OVER CRISIS
December 4, 2006 - (Radio New Zealand) There's a call in Fiji for women to mediate between the government and the military as unease continues with threats of a military coup. A key NGO, the Citizens Constitutional Forum, says there's a clear absence of women being used as mediators despite offers of help during the impasse.

WOMEN WORST SUFFERERS IN JAMMU AND KASHMIR
December 1, 2006 – (Hindustan Times) Women in Kashmir are caught between two guns - terrorists and troops - Prof Seema Shekhawat, research assistant PoK Project said on Friday at Centre for Strategic Studies and Regional Studies, Jammu University.

PRESS CONFERENCE BY EMERGENCY RELIEF COORDINATOR ON SEXUAL VIOLENCE
December 1, 2006 - (United Nations Department of Public information) Jan Egeland, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, today denounced the use of rape as a weapon of war and called upon the authorities in one of the most affected countries, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to ensure that rape victims - including those traumatized by fistula - no longer find themselves ostracized in their communities, as is now so often the case.

ZIMBABWE: WOMEN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS BEAR BRUNT OF GOVT OPPRESSION
December 1, 2006 – (Zimbabwe Independent) As the world commemorated International Women Human Rights Defenders Day this week, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) takes the opportunity to highlight some of the hazards faced by such activists in their work to protect and promote human rights.

MANY TO BLAME FOR WAR CRIMES AGAINST CONGO'S WOMEN
November 29, 2006 – (afrol News) In the fertile hills of eastern Congo Kinshasa (DRC), the region's women tell tales of war crimes crueller than others can imagine. They are angry with brutal rebels groups, Rwandans, the national army, mineral companies and the US, which they say supplied the arms. And the greatest war crime of all, they warn, is not letting their voices be heard even today.

UNHCR CHIEF CONDEMNS CULTURE OF NEGLECT AND DENIAL ABOUT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
November 24, 2006 – (UNHCR) UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres on Friday said there was a "massive" culture of neglect and denial about violence against women. "That culture of neglect and denial exists everywhere," Guterres told staff of the refugee agency during a ceremony to launch the annual 16 Days of Activism to Eliminate Violence Against Women.

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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 statement

 

Make police and military best allies in combating violence against women:

Message by UN-INSTRAW Director Carmen Moreno on the International Day for the Elimination of the Violence Against Women, observed on 25 November

One of every three women in the world has been a victim of violence in her lifetime. Violence against women is one of the four major causes of death on the planet today.Countries where 30 percent of women are being physically injured by their partners are rather the rule than the exception. Yet, even the most horrific of those statistics still largely underestimates the harsh realities. How many millions of women will never report a case of rape because of their fear of being the ones blamed instead of the perpetrator? How many complaints will never be reported because the police officers refuse to mingle into “domestic matters”?How many crimes against women will remain unpunished because the voice of men is louder than theirs?

Although figures reveal that a majority of the crimes are perpetrated at home, UNINSTRAW agrees with those who believe that domestic violence goes far beyond the sphere of the household. When a woman is assaulted, the whole society gets hurt. The enormous costs resulting from violence against women affect us all. Both men and women are part of the problem; both of them must be part of the solution. Ignoring this problem as a serious crime and human rights violation makes the eradication or even reduction of violence against women impossible. It has become increasingly clear that police and military can play a crucial role in this context, either positive or negative. Continuous education programs such as gender training sessions aimed towards the security sector’s stakeholders, including police officers, military units, lawyers, judges could help to prevent and respond to gendered insecurities and provide a better access to justice for the victims.

Unless police and military are willing and fully equipped to adequately deal with female specific needs, there will be no relief for the millions of women who suffer. Making security institutions our best allies in combating violence against women must be one of the priority concerns of UN agencies, governments and civil society. It should be unacceptable that those who are educated and trained to protect civilians, especially vulnerable groups, may pose a threat to women’s rights and security. The zero tolerance policy towards perpetrators of sexual exploitation and abuse as well as other forms of gender-based violence is resolutely supported by UN-INSTRAW. Increasing female recruitment and addressing the under-representation of women in decision-making positions within the security sector could also help achieve more gender sensitivity in the police armed forces and court rooms.

Therefore, UN-INSTRAW is advocating the full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 among other binding international agreements concerning women’s security. Having recently published a guide on how to create national action plans for the full implementation of this resolution INSTRAW gives concrete and practical support to State actors in order to reduce violence against women and to create an environment where men AND women feel safe.. In this context, further cooperation between UN agencies, governments and NGOs is one key for success. A couple of years ago, UN-INSTRAW initiated the creation of a global network on gender and security reform issues.

Now over 150 NGO practitioners, researchers and policymakers regularly post and share information on how to integrate a gender perspective into the policies and institutions that are responsible for the security of nations, communities and individuals. Earlier this month, UN-INSTRAW and Geneva Center for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) jointly launched a new Gender and Security Sector Reform (SSR) Working Group. This venue for highly-specialized experts from all over the world plans to develop collaborative projects, such as training materials, reports, workshops and assessment tools in order to mainstream gender issues into SSR.Furthermore, UN-INSTRAW takes part actively in the sixteen days campaign on violence against women and produces ongoing research regarding this topic. New publications on violence against women are planned for 2007. Yet, building bridges between the different stakeholders of the security sector shouldn’t stop from raising consciousness at the grassroots level.

On the occasion of the United Nations-backed “16 Days Campaign of Activism to End Violence against Women”, UN-INSTRAW joined other UN agencies to sponsor a theatre performance organized by the Women’s Minister in the Dominican Republic, country where the three Mirabal sisters were killed more than 45 years ago. Artistic ways of expression can effectively help gender activists reach a broader audience by conveying the message in a clear, meaningful and eye-catching way.People must understand that no one is immune when it comes to violence against women. We are all at risk, either being victims or being perpetrators. Every one of us, men and women, can decide to make a difference to end violence against our mothers, our sisters and our daughters.

Press contact:
Mr. Laurent Duvillier
Media & Communications Specialist
Tel: 1 809-685-2111 ext. 227
E-mail: lduvillier@un-instraw.org

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4. FEATURE RESOURCE


The girl child and armed conflict: Recognizing and addressing grave violations of girls’ human rights

UN Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) in collaboration with UNICEF, September 2006

During armed conflict, girls are subject to widespread and, at times, systematic forms of human rights violations that have mental, emotional, spiritual, physical and material repercussions. These violations include illegal detention with or without family members, abduction and forced removal from families and homes, disappearances, torture and other inhuman treatment, amputation and mutilation, forced recruitment into fighting forces and groups, slavery, sexual exploitation, increased exposure to HIV/AIDS, and a wide range of physical and sexual violations, including rape, enforced pregnancy, forced prostitution, forced marriage and forced child-bearing.There is urgent need for better documentation, monitoring and reporting on the extreme suffering that armed conflict inflicts on girls, as well as on the many roles girls play during conflict and its aftermath.

For the full report, please click HERE

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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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5.Feature EVENT

Claiming Our Rights, Defending Our Future: Celebrating 16 Years of 16 Days of Activism
Center for Women’s Global Leadership, December 7, 2006, New York City

For many women’s right advocates this time of year is one of bearing witness through awareness-raising and advocacy. Over the past sixteen years the period between 25 November and 10 December- - has been characterized by international and inter-regional solidarity among women’s rights defenders, organizations, and networks through an international campaign called 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.

The 16 Days of Activism Campaign was initially birthed by the participants in the Center for Women’s Global Leadership’s first Leadership Institute in 1991. Participants chose the dates, November 25, International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women, and December 10, International Human Rights Day, in order to symbolically link violence against women and human rights and to emphasize that such violence is a violation of human rights.

To mark the sixteenth anniversary of the Campaign, the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) hosted an event, entitled Claiming Our Rights, Defending Our Future: Celebrating 16 Years of 16 Days of Activism, in New York City on the evening of Thursday, December 7, 2006. During the event, a number of leading advocates for women’s rights reflected on the successes in and challenges to the work to eliminate violence against women. The speakers included CWGL Executive Director, Charlotte Bunch, Radhika Coomaraswamy, Madeleine Rees, Mónica Alemán, Vahida Nainar, and Cynthia Rothschild.* In addition, a number of women around the world who have participated in the 16 Days Campaign contributed messages to the anniversary event. The messages, which include the two extracts below, were read aloud at the event.

The first year of the 16 Days Campaign in Belgrade, Serbia was in 1995, in the midst of the fascist regime, just after the Dayton Peace Agreement, which ended the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Before that all the street manifestations were in connection to anti-war or anti-regime actions. Some of us thought, “Ok, let’s fill streets with feminists against male violence,” and we organized the first Take Back the Night demo!...Ever since that day, with 16 Days, we have been in the street. From 2001 on we have organized feminist piazza theater in a dozen towns in Serbia, as well discussions in public, on TV and radio, in parliament and social work centers.
Lepa Mladjenovic, Autonomous Women's Center, Belgrade, Serbia

The primary message of the Campaign is that violence against women (VAW) is a human rights violation. Women’s rights defenders have reiterated this message as they have pushed for stronger bodies of law and practice at various levels of governance and advocated on numerous issues related to violence against women (VAW), such as HIV/AIDS, reproductive and sexual rights, human security, and peacebuilding. Further, participants in the Campaign have highlighted the connection among different types of violences in the continuum of violence against women and those of differing natures, including emotional and verbal violence. Throughout the sixteen years of the 16 Days Campaign, women in militarized societies and situations of armed conflict and post-conflict have found leverage from the Campaign to make their voices heard on peace and security issues within their respective societies. For example, this year organizations in Haiti and Colombia celebrated women’s rights defenders; an organization in the United States showed a film on violence against women on the US-Mexico border; another in Nigeria held an event on women’s strategies against political intimidation; and another in Lebanon sponsored an exhibition to raise awareness on honor killings.

The 16 days of activism campaign has the potential, to assist women like our sisters in rural and isolated communities…there are many violent experiences which women [have] faced and which have to be taken into account as part of Fiji's national reconciliation and peacebuilding process. I have to say, that I am looking forward to the opportunity ahead of us in 2007 to strengthen our own rural community radio networks and broadcast systems; to strengthening our young women's empowerment programme using community radio, and also reviving our regional media initiative on UNSCR 1325 in Fiji, Bougainville, Solomon Islands, and Tonga to assist in using information and communication channels to add to the empowerment of women in our communities.
Sharon Bhagwan Rolls, femLINKPACIFIC, based in Fiji [written prior to the recent military coup in Fiji]

The Campaign’s message that violence against women is a human rights violation was first articulated at a time when women’s rights had little traction on the human rights agenda. Two years later, in 1993, governments at the Vienna World Conference on Human Rights met women’s rights advocates demands to name women’s rights as integral to the human rights agenda. After significant development in the field of human rights and humanitarian law, the recently-released United Nations Secretary-General’s Study on Violence Against Women affirms that VAW is unequivocally a critical human rights violation. Moreover, in light of international standards and norms, the report states that VAW invokes State responsibility, which includes the due diligence of States to prevent violence against women by State agents and non-State actors (para 367). In addition, the report highlights the role of the women’s movement in identifying and addressing violences against women, and supports the role of women’s rights organizations in informing State action on issues of VAW (paras 370-1).

The work of women’s movements, including that related to the 16 Days Campaign, has advanced understanding of multiple intersectionalities of discrimination, the relationship between sexuality and violence, and the integral links between human rights and security. It’s these achievements that the UN Secretary-General and General Assembly note, and that we celebrate as we enter a new year with the determination to eliminate violence against women.

Kara Piccirilli, Consultant
Center for Women’s Global Leadership
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

* Charlotte Bunch (Founder and Executive Director, Center for Women’s Global Leadership, The State University of New Jersey)
Radhika Coomaraswamy (UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict)
Madeleine Rees (Head of the Women’s Rights and Gender Unit, UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights).
Vahida Nainar (Vice President, Urgent Action Fund-Africa)
Mónica Alemán (Program Director, MADRE; Coordinator, International Indigenous Women’s Forum)
Cynthia Rothschild (Senior Policy Advisor, Center for Women's Global Leadership, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)

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For more information on the 16 Days of Activism Campaign visit http://www.cwgl.rutgers.edu/16days/about.html


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6. FEATURE INITIATIVe

Call for Input: Global Report on Sexual Violence in Conflict, December 2006

The Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) is preparing a Global Report on Sexual Violence in Conflict. The objectives of this Global Report are to provide a global overview of the prevalence and nature of sexual violence in conflict by collating existing data, and identify good practice in security sector responses to sexual violence in conflict. In particular, the centre seeks:

- qualitative and quantitative data to be used in the report; and
- examples of good practice in responses of the police, military, peacekeepers, prisons, border authorities and the judiciary to sexual violence.

For more information, please contact:
Megan Bastick, Special Programmes Coordinator
Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
Email: m.bastick@dcaf.ch

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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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7.GENDER AND PEACEKEEPING UPDATE

PEACEKEEPING WATCH: News

Fears over Haiti child 'abuse'
30 November 2006 (BBC News)- A BBC investigation commissioned as part of Generation Next - a week of programmes focusing on people under 18 - has uncovered fresh allegations of the sexual abuse of children by United Nations peacekeepers.

UNMIL to deal with sexual exploitation

December 1, 2006- (The Inquirer, Monrovia) The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) says it takes the issue of sexual exploitation and abuse in the country very seriously and is at the moment implementing measures to prevent and deal with the issues.

GENDER AND PEACEKEEPING Resources:

Reform or more of the same? Gender mainstreaming and the changing nature of UN Peace Operations
Karen Barnes, York Centre for International and Security Studies, Working paper No. 41, October 2006

The last fifteen years have been a time of dramatic change in terms of reform of UN peace operations, major shifts in academic thinking around the issues of conflict, security, and development, and the recognition of women’s roles in conflict and their right to participate in peacebuilding processes. These three concurrent changes all have the same goal of creating the conditions for a more inclusive and sustainable peace in the face of the post-Cold War instability experienced in many parts of the world. However, the ongoing failure
to effectively integrate gender issues into peacebuilding discourse and practice would indicate that this has not been achieved. This paper will explore the evolving rhetoric of the UN’s peacebuilding agenda,explaining the continuing exclusion of women as a result of the failure to see gender issues as a security concern, despite the increased recognition of the links between both gender and development and development and security.

For the full document please visit:
http://www.peacewomen.org/resources/Peacekeeping/Academic/reform_or_more.pdf

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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 and resources, visit PeaceWomen’s Gender and Peacekeeping Index:
http://www.peacewomen.org/un/pkwatch/pknews.html

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8. NGOWG UPDATE

call for restoration of democratic process and rule of law in fiji

NGO Working Group Letter to Pacific Region governments regarding December 5th coup d’état in Fiji

8 December 2008

Dear Ambassador,

The NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, a coalition of NGOs working for the full implementation of Security Council resolution 1325, expresses its alarm at the December 5th coup d’état in Fiji.

As a leader in the Pacific Region, we urge you to ensure that the concerns and recommendations of Fiji’s civil society, especially women and women’s groups, are included in attempts to diffuse this crisis and to restore democratic processes.

Women and women’s groups in Fiji and in the Pacific Island Region have played an active, vital role in the building and maintenance of peace, democracy and human rights. Their experiences and resources must be urgently called upon and utilized, as called for in Security Council resolution 1325, which recognizes “the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and in peace-building, and…the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security.”

The NGO Working Group joins Fiji women’s NGOs and civil society in urgently calling on decision-makers to:

- Insist that the rule of law, lawful democratic processes and institutions and the constitution be respected, including a demand for an immediate end to the military coup d’état and a return to legitimate rule;

- Establish a binding Commission of Truth, Justice and Resolution in Fiji under the Commission of Inquiry Act, with powers to obtain all relevant evidence;

- Call for a peaceful reconciliation of differences within the constitutional framework, exploring all domestic and democratic means of resolving the conflict;

- Request the United Nations, Member States and the Secretary-General to support national and regional efforts to overcome the crisis through dialogue.

Attached to this letter are the names and contact details of civil society leaders in Fiji with extensive peacebuilding experience. We encourage decision-makers to consult with these leaders in order to effectively resolve the current crisis and to prevent any further escalation of conflict.

Sincerely yours,

Gina Torry, Coordinator

Signed : The Members of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace & Security

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For more information visit: http://www.womenpeacesecurity.org/

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9. UNIFEM UPDATE

Gender, Peace and Security Consortium

On November 13th UNIFEM met in New York with 12 other organizations to discuss the possibility of developing a Consortium on Gender, War and Peace. The organizations in attendance represented the areas of research, advocacy, and political analysis of conflict. A steering committee, representing each of these areas, will be formed to further this partnership as well as develop initial fundraising activities to move the initiative forward. This Consortium will enhance and coordinate collaboration between like-minded organizations working in the field of human rights, gender equality and security. The intent is to link the existing research, data and action in the area of gender equality and security for more focused advocacy and analysis. UNIFEM has subsequently begun an exercise to map organizational advantages, gaps, dissemination strategies, and geographic coverage to better understand similar existing work. Periodic communication will be sent regarding the progress of this initiative and ways in which other organizations can participate.


2007 Consolidated Appeal

UNIFEM is requesting more than US$4.1 million as part of the 2007 Consolidated Appeal which was launched today in New York. The requested funding will go to support a total of eight projects in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Uganda, Somalia and the Great Lakes Region. Several initiatives are planned to be carried out in partnership with other agencies and NGOs. Of the US$4.1 million asked for, more than US$1.4 million would go to support regional networking and advocacy on the rights of women affected by crisis in the Great Lakes Region. A particular focus would be on promoting ratification and implementation of legislation to protect women from sexual and gender-based violence and ensure the property rights of returning women refugees and internally displaced persons.

Another US$1.25 million has been requested for four projects in the Occupied Palestinian Territories to: i) provide academic counseling for rural women to increase their level of education and enhance opportunities on the job market; ii) establish and support psychosocial teams for family outreach as well as socio-legal defence centres to enhance the response to and protection against violence and abuse of children and women; iii) establish women's food production units to generate income and improve the nutrition of children; and iv) provide medical, psychosocial and legal assistance to Palestinian female prisoners and detainees in Israeli prisons. For both Somalia and Uganda, UNIFEM has asked for US$650,000 and US$725,000 respectively to help protect women and young girls from gender-based violence in IDP settlements as well as areas of return and improve services and response mechanisms. Another US$100,000 has been requested to help facilitate effective mainstreaming of gender in all aspects of the humanitarian response for Somalia.

For more information please visit http://unifem.org/gender_issues/governance_peace_security/ and

http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/KHII-6VS92C?OpenDocument

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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

CoMMITTEE on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), 37th Session
15 January - 2 February 2007, UN Headquarters, New York
The 37th session of the CEDAW Committee will be held between 15 January and 2 February 2007. During the session the Committee will examine the reports of the following 15 States parties: Austria, Azerbaijan, Colombia, Greece, India, Kazakhstan, Maldives, Namibia, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Peru, Poland,Suriname, Vietnam, and Tajikistan.
For more information, please visit
http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/37sess.htm

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Transforming Democracy: Feminist Visions and Strategies
17-19 January 2007, Nairobi, Kenya
The third Feminist Dialogues, "Transforming Democracy: Feminist Visions and Strategies" will be held from 17-19 January 2007, in Nairobi just prior to the next World Social Forum. This two and a half day meeting will bring together around two hundred and fifty women from different parts of the globe to deepen the intensive dialogues on feminist perspectives and strategies in addressing fundamentalisms, militarism and neo-liberal globalisation.
For more information, please visit
http://www.feministdialogues.isiswomen.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=38&Itemid=40

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TRANSCEND Advanced International Training Programme - Gender and Peacebuilding
January 29 - February 2, 2007 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
A Five-Days International Training Programme for Practitioners, Policy Makers, International and National Agency Staff and NGOs working in peacebuilding, conflict transformation and post-war recovery. Organised by TRANSCEND and the Peace Action, Training and Research Institute of Romania (PATRIR)
For more information, please visit
http://www.peacewomen.org/frame/calendar/events/Romania.html

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Commission on the Status of Women, 51st session
26th February - 9th March, UN headquarters, New York
The fifty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place from 26 February to 9 March 2007. In accordance with its multi-year programme of work for 2007-2009, the Commission will consider “The elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child” as its priority theme.
For more information, please visit
http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/51sess.htm

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Roadmap to 1325: European Networking Conference: Gender in the European Union’s peace and security policy
4th – 6th of May 2007, Berlin
The German Women’s Security Council in cooperation with The Feminist Institute of the Heinrich Böll Foundation is organising a conference on Gender and the European Union’s peace and security policy. In the first half of 2007 Germany holds the presidency of the European Union. 2007 is also the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All. The German government should utilise the presidency of the European Union to play a decisive role in the implementation of Resolution 1325 of the UN Security Council at the European level.
For more information, please visit
http://www.un1325.de/akt-mai07-plan-en.html

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For the complete calendar, CLICK HERE.

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