PeaceWomen Programme Consultant, Abigail Ruane
It is spring in New York, and there is new life and new growth everywhere. Here at PeaceWomen, we also have much new life! It is my joy and distinct honor to continue the work of Maria Butler as Programme Consultant in WILPF’s PeaceWomen office in New York, while Maria takes time off to welcome a new baby into the world.
On April 28th, WILPF celebrated its 98th anniversary. PeaceWomen celebrates these years of advocacy and is carrying out its work on peace and freedom forward with the next 98 and more in mind. Our New York based team has been working with the WILPF-Geneva office to strengthen the WILPF Integrated Approach in Action.
Recently, PeaceWomen worked with WILPF’s Human Rights program in Geneva and the national sections for the human rights reviews of Colombia and Germany (known as Universal Periodic Reviews (UPRs) of the Human Rights Council). We focused on the links between women, peace and security in the human rights reporting for Colombia and Germany. Read more here>>
The PeaceWomen office has also been working with the Mission of Liechtenstein to continue our Women, Peace, and Security lecture series, which this month features Women’s Refugee Commission Executive Director Sarah Costa. On May 22, Costa reflected on opportunities and gaps for displaced women and girls in the relief and recovery pillar of the Women, Peace and Security agenda. For more information, click here. We look forward to continuing this excellent forum which engages a wide variety of policy makers, civil society, academics, and other advocates.
As this is my first PeaceWomen ENews as Editor, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge Maria’s incredible passion, dedication, and commitment to women, peace and security. Maria’s reputation for excellence universally precedes her, and my experience working at PeaceWomen has only underscored this theme. Thank you, Maria, for your inspiration and leadership, from all of us in the PeaceWomen team!
Over the last month, the PeaceWomen team has used this time of transition to reflect on our accomplishments and goals, and develop our strategy for moving forward. It is exciting to be part of a team that has such a rich “her story” and is doing such inspirational work in promoting gender justice, peace, and freedom.
In this edition, we feature a recent news article on the absence of women in Colombian peace talks and the participation of Pakistani women in the country’s historic election. We also include an upcoming international conference about moving beyond militarism and war and women-driven peace solutions. Additionally, we include a resource on this month’s Monthly Action Points (MAP) on Women, Peace and Security for the UN Security Council and a new report by WILPF’s MENA Agenda 1325 on Women, Gender and Gun Violence in the Middle East.
(Thomas Reutuers Foundation)
SYRIA: Stoking Fire: Addressing the Specific Needs of Female Syrian Refugees
Since the Syrian civil war began in 2011, more than a million people have fled, causing a refugee crisis of enormous magnitude. According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), upwards of 3,000 Syrians a day have registered as asylum seekers in neighboring Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, and Turkey. The lion’s share of these refugees—between 300,000 and 400,000—have ended up in Jordan, with approximately 30 percent of the total settling in the Al Zaatari refugee camp and 70 percent moving into host communities throughout the country. UNFPA further estimates that three-quarters of the refugees are women and children.
INDIA: India’s Women Activists Seeing Red
India’s “Red Brigade” is a group of angry young women with a simple message for the country’s sexual predators: change your ways or be ready to face the consequences.
LIBERIA: After Punishment, Stigmatize Rapists As Deterrence
Throughout the lengthy regime of President Tubman, murder and rape were considered two terrible crimes that warranted not only drastic punishment for perpetrators, but they were permanently stigmatized in society.
(The Journal of Turkish Weekly)
IRAN: Female Candidates Barred to Run for Iran Presidency
A constitutional body in Iran has ruled that women cannot run in presidential elections scheduled for June 14.
(United Nations News Centre)
SOUTH SUDAN: UN Official Urges Key Role for Women in Drafting New Constitution Women must play a greater role in South Sudan’s political life, from drawing up the country’s constitution to translating it into law, a United Nations official has urged, as the African nation prepares to draft its first legal framework.
PAKISTAN: Despite Threats, Pakistani Women Cast Votes in Election
Despite threats from militant groups, many women headed to the polls in Pakistan to vote in the country’s historic elections Saturday.
EGYPT: Egyptian Women Angry After President’s Advisor Says Harassment
Egyptian women are livid after an advisor to President Mohamed Morsi said that statistics on sexual harassment and sexual violence in the country are “exaggerated.” Omaima Kamel, on the Board for Women’s Affairs, said on Wednesday that the Interior Ministry should “provide realistic numbers” on violence against women in the country.
MALI: Mali’s Displaced Women Organise for Long Stay Away from Home, Report The Guardian
Two things, at least, matter more to Ramata Touré than the outcome of the donor conference in Brussels on Wednesday at which representatives of more than 100 countries will be asked for €2bn ($2.6bn) to help bring peace and development to Mali.
(Women News Network)
GUATEMALA: Nobel Laureate Rigoberta Menchu Tum Speaks on Justice & Sentencing in Guatemala
The long struggle for justice has come to a point of resolution this week as the High Impact Court “A”courtroom conviction of Guatemala’s ex-president General Efraín Ríos Montt brings relief and emotional tears to many of Guatemala’s indigenous.
COLOMBIA: “No Justice? No Peace!” The Women Absent from Colombia’s Peace Talks “No Justice? No Peace!” Never has this chant, which I have heard so often at anti-war rallies, felt so real to me as during the last few months observing the ongoing peace negotiations between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas. The talks began in October of last year in Oslo, Norway and have continued in Havana ever since. “No Justice? No Peace!” Never has this belief been more real to women peace activists in Colombia, who, despite the fact that not a single woman is at the negotiating table in Havana, are insisting on justice for achieving real and lasting peace in Colombia. Women peace activists in Colombia are putting their demands for peace into action through grassroots justice initiatives.
May 23, 2013
WPS Panel Series: Relief and Recovery Pillar: Reflections on Opportunities and Gaps for Displaced Women and Girls PeaceWomen Project (PW), Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC)
May 16, 2013
IPI’s Gender and Peacekeeping: Perspectives from the Field
May 20, 2013
Violence Against Indigenous Women: Comparing Testimonies and Strategies MADRE
May 4 – June 1, 2013
ONLINE WORKSHOP: Domestic Violence: Community Problem, Community Impact, Community Solutions
Monthly Action Points (MAP) on Women, Peace and Security for the UN Security Council: May
NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, May 2013 | Download PDF
REPORT: Women, Gender and Gun Violence in the Middle East The International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA), October 2011 | Download PDF
REPORT: Addressing Conflict-Related Sexual Violence: An Analytical Inventory of Peacekeeping Practice
UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), June 30, 2010 | Download PDF
UN Women Sourcebook on Women, Peace and Security: Overview of Contents
UN Women, October 2012 | Download PDF
A Woman’s Guide to Security Sector Reform
Megan Bastick & Tobie Whitman, February 28, 2013 | Download PDF
BLOG/DIALOGUE: To Stop Sexual Violence, it’s Time to Look in the Mirror Online Dialogues & Blogs
CONFERENCE: Announcing Moving Beyond Militarism & War: Women-driven Solutions for a Nonviolent World Conferences & Meetings Nobel Women’s Initiative
ACTION: Egypt: End Sexual Violence Against Women Protestors Campaigns Amnesty International (AI)
STATEMENT: UN Women Calls for Urgent and Effective Action against Femicide Statements
A FRAMEWORK OF HOPE: The Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Region Statements
ARRIA FORMULA MEETING
Arria Formula: Implementing the UN Security Council’s Women, Peace and Security Agenda: Perspectives from the Field: Gender Practitioners in UN Peacekeeping Operations
On May 17th, the Permanent Missions of Australia and Guatemala to the United Nations in cooperation with DPKO organized the Arria Formula meeting. The focus was on the role of gender practitioners in UN Peacekeeping Operations. Panelists included Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Hervé Ladsous; Gaynel Curry, the first women protection adviser (WPA) deployed to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS); Elsie Effange-Mbella, a senior gender adviser in the UN Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO); and Lucien LeClair, a police adviser for the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). Other member states and civil society representatives were also present at the meeting. The aim of this Arria Formula was to demonstrate to Council members how Gender Advisers and Women Protection fulfill different roles and how both add value to peacekeeping operations.
The aim of the event was to assess challenges and provide recommendations on the implementation of Resolution 1325 and subsequent resolutions in the area of gender practitioners in peacekeeping operations. Panelists shared their experiences on working with conflict-related sexual violence in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Haiti. They discussed in particular the importance of building on existing institutional structures in lieu of creating new ones. The necessity of employing Women Protection Advisers is undeniable. Having expertise on sexual violence as well as on country specific settings are crucial to integrate UN responses into sexual violence in conflict. The work of WPAs with governments, prosecutors, and women’s civil society organizations has been recognized as a great asset. Main challenges include endless coordination and inflexibility within the UN system as well as lack of resources. Recommendations included: strengthened focus on results, enhancing the flexibility of the UN system and adequate gender training for deployed peacekeeping forces.
Read the full summary here >>
WILPF INTEGRATED APPROACH SUMMARY
The WILPF Integrated Approach in Action
A Universal Periodic Review (UPR) provides one opportunity to evaluate and hold states accountable for their obligations to respect, protect, and fulfill the human rights of all people, and our WILPF team has worked to ensure that this addresses a holistic and inclusive understandinig of security for all. In Colombia, PeaceWomen worked with WILPF-International and WILPF-Colombia to advocate for increased women’s participation in peace talks, implementation of Colombian court orders to end impunity for crimes of sexual violence against women, create a UN Security Council Resolution 1325 National Action Plan (NAP) and more. Our recommendations received support from governments of both Ireland and Portugal. In Germany, PeaceWomen worked with WILPF’s German Section and WILPF International to highlight gaps in implementation. WILPF regrets that during this pre-session, the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security was not mentioned. Germany has just launched its National Action Plan on the implementation of this resolution, but many loopholes remain in this programme of action.
Learn more about WILPF’s Universal Periodic Review Click Here>>
WILPF SWEDEN BLOG
The Twinning Effect: WILPF Sweden Trip to Nigeria
This month, WILPF Sweden and WILPF DRC visited sister section, WILPF Nigeria, for twinning exercises among the three sections. The process of twinning, or exchanging learning about each other’s similarities and differences across borders, is one way we share experiences and work to make each one of our sections stronger and more efficient.
This month’s twinning exercise builds on a previous meeting in DRC with WILPF Colombia, Costa Rica, and Nigeria, with a particular emphasis by WILPF Sweden on pursuing twinning efforts. During this trip, WILPFers were able to discuss ongoing and future collaborations including work on UNSC 1325 National Action Plans, and also discuss the possible expansion of WILPF’s work in the African region. Learning from each other’s similarities and differences through this regional meeting allowed the different WILPF sections to develop and strengthen each group’s individual capacity. Additionally, the sections were also able to contribute to the broader strength of WILPF’s message and work on peace and freedom as a whole.
For the full blog on the WILPF Sweden and WILPF DRC’s visit to WILPF Nigeria, please click here >>
WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY PANEL SERIES: RELIEF AND RECOVERY PILLAR
Relief and Recovery Pillar:Reflections on Opportunities and Gaps for Displaced Women and Girls
On Thursday, May 23rd, PeaceWomen, along with the Mission of Liechtenstein and Princeton University, hosted the sixth lecture in our Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) lecture series. The lecture, titled Relief and Recovery Pillar: Reflections on Opportunities and Gaps for Displaced Women and Girls, was delivered by Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) executive director, Sarah Costa. The Relief and Recovery Pillar of the WPS agenda focuses on ensuring that relief needs specific to women and girls are met and that special attention is paid to the most vulnerable, including displaced women and girls, survivors of gender based violence, and those with disabilities. It also calls for efforts to support women’s active participation and activities in relief and recovery efforts, including providing women with equal access to livelihoods.
Costa focused on the situation of displaced women and girls and discussed areas where there has been progress, as well as highlighting ongoing challenges and possible ways to meet them. She highlighted key areas and issues including: access to reproductive health care; women’s economic empowerment; gender-based violence; men and boys; adolescents; needs and capacities of women and girls with disabilities; and displaced women’s participation in leadership. The lecture stressed that while there have been improvements and progress made in all of these areas, a holistic approach to the WPS agenda that supports and integrates all four pillars is critical for a successful relief and recovery process. Displacement also needs to be prevented, and multisectoral responses are needed to listen to and support displaced women in their leadership and organizing efforts. She asked all stakeholders to work to keep each other accountable and build interlinkages between each other’s work to strengthen our efforts and impact in making change.
For full summary click here>>
Find more information on WPS Panel Series, click here>>
To view the flyer for this event, please click here>>