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58th Session of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) is Coming Up

3 June 2016

The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights will from the 6-24 June 2016 be reviewing the following countries: Angola, Burkina Faso, France, Honduras, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Fact-boxWILPF shadow reports

WILPF has handed in shadow reports on France, Sweden, and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. These three reports focus on explosive weapons and the right to health, education and adequate housing and the extraterritorial obligations of these three European countries.

WILPF has focused particularly on the export of arms to Saudi Arabia. If we take the case of the United Kingdom, it was found that the government had not rejected a single export license request since March 2015 on the basis that it might be used to repress internal human rights.

Regarding France, it is no better, as the country is the biggest European Union exporter of arms to Saudi Arabia, and has continued to sign arms agreements since it began its military intervention in Yemen.

Finally, concerning Sweden, even thought the state did not renew its military cooperation agreement with Saudi Arabia, this did not imply the end of arms sales.

In the reports, WILPF is denouncing the violation of the rights to adequate housing, health and education outside of European territories. The export of arms to Saudi Arabia is violating the rights of Yemenis because of the conflict situation and the use of these weapons from Saudi Arabia to Yemen. Such exports do not comply with the CESCR and neither with the ATT.

Next step

The reports are now sent to the CESCR Committee and the review will happen on 6-24 June. WILPF will continue to monitor the process and keep you updated on the CESCR outcome.

Watch this webinar to learn more about UN treaty bodies.

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WILPF Afghanistan

In response to the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban and its targeted attacks on civil society members, WILPF Afghanistan issued several statements calling on the international community to stand in solidarity with Afghan people and ensure that their rights be upheld, including access to aid. The Section also published 100 Untold Stories of War and Peace, a compilation of true stories that highlight the effects of war and militarisation on the region. 

IPB Congress Barcelona

WILPF Germany (+Young WILPF network), WILPF Spain and MENA Regional Representative

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WILPF uses feminist analysis to argue that militarisation is a counter-productive and ill-conceived response to establishing security in the world. The more society becomes militarised, the more violence and injustice are likely to grow locally and worldwide.

Sixteen states are believed to have supplied weapons to Afghanistan from 2001 to 2020 with the US supplying 74 % of weapons, followed by Russia. Much of this equipment was left behind by the US military and is being used to inflate Taliban’s arsenal. WILPF is calling for better oversight on arms movement, for compensating affected Afghan people and for an end to all militarised systems.

Militarised masculinity

Mobilising men and boys around feminist peace has been one way of deconstructing and redefining masculinities. WILPF shares a feminist analysis on the links between militarism, masculinities, peace and security. We explore opportunities for strengthening activists’ action to build equal partnerships among women and men for gender equality.

WILPF has been working on challenging the prevailing notion of masculinity based on men’s physical and social superiority to, and dominance of, women in Afghanistan. It recognizes that these notions are not representative of all Afghan men, contrary to the publicly prevailing notion.

Feminist peace​

In WILPF’s view, any process towards establishing peace that has not been partly designed by women remains deficient. Beyond bringing perspectives that encapsulate the views of half of the society and unlike the men only designed processes, women’s true and meaningful participation allows the situation to improve.

In Afghanistan, WILPF has been demanding that women occupy the front seats at the negotiating tables. The experience of the past 20 has shown that women’s presence produces more sustainable solutions when they are empowered and enabled to play a role.

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