LINK TO FULL PEACEWOMEN NEWS SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER:
"With much of the start of the UN General Assembly - 63rd Session - being concerned with the mid-point review of the Millennium Development Goals and the current food (and financial) crises, it was not unreasonable to expect some mention of women and gender concerns. Discussion of the feminization of poverty, maternal mortality or of the crucial link between MDG 3 – gender equality and women’s empowerment – and the attainment of all other MDGs would have seemed fitting topics to be mentioned. It was sobering then to see that fewer than a quarter of the UN’s 192 Member States made any mention at all of women or gender issues (interestingly many of the governments represented by female heads of state or ministers were in the group that did mention such issues). Of those that did mention women or gender equality, few made more than cursory statements. Fewer still noted, as Zambia did, support for the assertion that “women’s empowerment and gender equality are drivers for reducing poverty, building food security and reducing maternal mortality.” There were, however, several very powerful statements and moments of appreciation of the need for tangible commitments to be made. As Norway noted, in linking development and the current financial crisis, "There is something fundamentally wrong when money seems to be abundant, but funds for investment in people seem so short in supply.” Taking this consideration of what investing in peace and development really requires, WILPF’s Peace Day Statement notes the need for a paradigm shift in resource allocation and “calls on all governments to allocate one day of their military expenditures USD 3668493151 towards addressing a real security threat, such as catastrophic climate change.” Imagine the difference one day’s worth of global military expenditure could make to the work being done around the world for gender equality and women’s empowerment.
WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE FOR PEACE AND FREEDOM
1325 PEACEWOMEN E-NEWS
September /October 2008
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE: MAKING IT REAL FOR WOMEN
The Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, 31 October 2000.
For the text of the resolution, visit: http://www.peacewomen.org/un/sc/1325.html
For the printer-friendly version of this newsletter and for past issues, visit:
THIS ISSUE FEATURES:
1. Editorial: International Day of Peace: Making it Real for Women
2. Women, Peace and Security News
3. Feature Statement: WILPF Statement – 2008 International Day of Peace
4. Feature Resource: Progress of the World’s Women 2008/9 Report - UNIFEM
5. Feature Event: General Debate of the 63rd Session of the UN GA – Gender & Disarmament Index of Statements
6. Feature Initiative: Blog - Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice Women PeaceMakers Conference
7. Gender & Peacekeeping Update: Gender Equality Key to Effective Peacekeeping – INSTRAW Statement for International Day of Peace & Peacekeeping & Gender Training Resources
8. Translation Update: 8 New Translations Available!
9. Women, Peace and Security Calendar
PeaceWomen is a project of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom http://www.wilpf.int.ch
Please visit us at: http://www.peacewomen.org
This edition of the 1325 PeaceWomen
E-News offers an opportunity to reflect on some of the linkages between women,
peace and security. Certainly some of these links are recognized in Resolution
1325 and we are proud to contribute to efforts across the globe to raise awareness
of women, peace and security issues and their interplay through our 1325
Translation Initiative (Item 8) – which has reached an impressive collection of
95 local -language translations of 1325. These translations facilitate access
to Resolution 1325 as a tool for those most affected. The need for so many
translations only serves to heighten our awareness of the importance of issues
of conflict and of peace and security for women around the world. The stories
in our News section (Item 2) are reflective of the many common issues and links
that can be made and these are carried through in other sections. Our Gender
and Peacekeeping Update (Item 7) this month recognizes the crucial link between
gender equality and effective peacekeeping and we feature the valuable gender
training resources put together by INSTRAW. The threads connecting women, peace
and security were also explored in this year’s Women PeaceMaker’s Conference
hosted by the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice. For those of us
unable to attend, the staff at the institute developed a blog – which is our
Feature Initiative (Item 6).
As these various contributions show, recognizing, as 1325 does, the need for women’s participation and recognizing the particular protection needs of women are first steps. As we think about the imperative of women’s participation, we have to go beyond thinking about simply increasing the numbers of women in militaries. As we consider the impact of war and its particular impact on women, we also have to go beyond this to thinking about peace as being “more than the absence of war.” As noted in our 2008 International Day of Peace Statement (Item 3), “WILPF believes that the concepts of safety and security must shift so that they include the full enjoyment of all human rights for all away from military and national security concepts.”
The high-level general debate at the start of the 63rd Session of the General Assembly was certainly an opportunity for governments to show their commitment to these notions. The PeaceWomen and Reaching Critical Will Projects of WILPF’s UN office monitored this debate and produced gender and disarmament indices of the statements made (Item 5). With much of the start of the GA session being concerned with the mid-point review of the Millennium Development Goals and the current food (and financial) crises, it was not unreasonable to expect some mention of women and gender concerns. Discussion of the feminization of poverty, maternal mortality or of the crucial link between MDG 3 – gender equality and women’s empowerment – and the attainment of all other MDGs would have seemed fitting topics to be mentioned. It was sobering then to see that fewer than a quarter of the UN’s 192 Member States made any mention at all of women or gender issues (interestingly many of the governments represented by female heads of state or ministers were in the group that did mention such issues). Of those that did mention women or gender equality, few made more than cursory statements. Fewer still noted, as Zambia did, support for the assertion that “women’s empowerment and gender equality are drivers for reducing poverty, building food security and reducing maternal mortality.” There were, however, several very powerful statements and moments of appreciation of the need for tangible commitments to be made. As Norway noted, in linking development and the current financial crisis, “[t]here is something fundamentally wrong when money seems to be abundant, but funds for investment in people seem so short in supply.” Taking this consideration of what investing in peace and development really requires, WILPF’s Peace Day Statement notes the need for a paradigm shift in resource allocation and “calls on all governments to allocate one day of their military expenditures USD 3 668 493 151 towards addressing a real security threat, such as catastrophic climate change.” Imagine the difference one day’s worth of global military expenditure could make to the work being done around the world for gender equality and women’s empowerment. Looking at these figures, in comparison, the 1 billion dollars per year budget that the women’s movement is demanding for a new women’s entity at the UN seems pitiful.
Another critical aspect of making commitments real is through ensuring that individuals, governments and systems are held accountable. This edition’s Feature Resource (Item 4) – the UNIFEM Progress of the World’s Women Report “Who Answers to Women? Gender and Accountability” – addresses this very problem. Along with concrete examples and data, the report provides recommendations that must be taken seriously if governments are to have any credibility in claiming to care about gender equality. A lack of an accountability framework for implementation is a problem that is all too real in relation to Resolution 1325. One of the few mechanisms utilized is the now standard practice of holding an Open Debate on women, peace and security in the Security Council each October. China, as president of the Council for October, will host this debate on 29 October 2008. The debate itself is not per se an effective accountability mechanism. It has the potential to allow governments to ask probing and real questions. It has the potential to work as a forum to raise real implementation challenges and to suggest solutions. It has the potential to provide a space to “call out” non-performance. It has the potential to be a platform for further progress. But for this to be the case we all have to push for governments to actually use the opportunity and, when all is said, to make sure that it is done. As a small contribution to this effort, the PeaceWomen Project will once again monitor the debate and index all statements made according to several priority themes and advocacy calls. This and other related resources will appear in the next edition of the E-News.
As always, we welcome your contributions to the newsletter’s content. Contributions for the next edition should be sent to email@example.com by Thursday October 30 2008.
2. WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY NEWS
UGANDA: RADIO DRAMA STRENGTHENS WOMEN'S VOICES
October 1, 2008 - (IPS) Fifteen-year-old Taboni's parents are in a bind. Their daughter has been raped by the commandant of the squalid internally-displaced persons camp they call home, and they do not know what to do. "The idea was to put into action the United Nations Security Council resolution 1325 about women's contribution to peace-building. We resolved to make a difference through a radio drama series."
DRC: MONUC MEETS WITH CONGOLESE WOMEN
September 30, 2008 – (MONUC) The security and socio-political situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo in general and the east in particular is a major concern for Congolese women. The Permanent Framework of Dialogue for Congolese Women (CAFCO) came in the name of Congolese women to meet MONUC, to discuss security questions and also the part which Congolese women can play in the prevention and settlement of conflict.
SUDAN: ENGAGING RELIGIOUS LEADERS TO COMBAT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
September 27, 2008 – (ReliefWeb) More than five years of armed conflict has led to a general breakdown of law and order in Darfur. Women – and girls in particular – are subjected to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) with alarming regularity. However, as the social fabric of Darfuri communities threatens to unravel, religious leaders remain a trusted source of guidance on matters linked to ethics and human behavior.
SOLOMON ISLANDS: WOMEN AND PEACE IN BOUGAINVILLE
September 26, 2008 – (AWID) Bougainville - situated at the far western tip of the Solomon Islands archipelago in the Pacific - is a powerful example of how women can knit communities together and facilitate peace in the midst of armed conflict. In this article, AWID looks back at Bougainville’s conflict and the role of women as catalysts for peace.
NIGERIA: NIGER DELTA CRISIS IS INVITATION TO ANARCHY – WOMEN’S GROUP
September 26, 2008 – (AllAfrica) As Nigerians join to celebrate the World Peace Day, Mothers of Peace International Organisation has condemned the escalation and militarisation of the conflict in the Niger Delta.
ZIMBABWE: BLAZING A TRAIL FOR WOMEN POLITICIANS
September 24, 2008 – (IPS) You could spot her easily in the evening newscasts: the only woman among the grey-suited men daily accosted by reporters as they emerged, tense and tight-lipped, from the closed-door meetings. In the recent power-sharing talks between the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu PF) and two wings of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga was the sole woman negotiator, representing the splinter MDC faction.
ZIMBABWE: TORTURED, RAPED AND FORGOTTEN
September 23, 2008 - (IRIN) During the bitterly contested Zimbabwe elections between President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF and Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the country's rural areas became effective no-go areas. There were numerous reports of politically motivated killings and widespread rapes, allegedly by members of Zimbabwe's national army, veterans of the country's liberation war and members of the ruling party's youth militia.
CROATIAN WIVES CONTEND WITH WAR'S AFTER SHOCKS
September 14, 2008 – (WOMENSENEWS) Croatia's war ended in 1995 but soldiers who returned home with post-traumatic stress never received adequate assistance. One group of veterans' wives took it upon themselves to help form 11 centers to help families cope.
ZIMBABWEAN WOMEN HAVE HAD ‘‘MORE TRAUMA'' AFTER INDEPENDENCE
September 13, 2008 – (IPS) Interview with Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) National Coordinator Jenni Williams. Zimbabwean women have experienced higher levels of trauma, including violence and lack of food, after the country's independence from Britain in 1980 than before.
BOSNIA: VOICES OF VICTIMS HEARD AT BELGRADE CONFERENCE
September 12, 2008 – (IWPR) Organisers hope the event will encourage creation of regional commission to establish truth about war crimes in region. Bosnian war crimes victims told a Belgrade conference this month about their suffering as part of a plan to raise public awareness about atrocities committed during the 1990s Balkans conflicts.
SIERRA LEONE: NDI AWARDS MADELEINE K. ALBRIGHT GRANT TO 50/50 GROUP OF SIERRA LEONE
September, 2008 – (NDI) On October 24, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) will present its third annual Madeleine K. Albright Grant to the 50/50 Group of Sierra Leone. Founded in 2000 to promote greater participation of women in politics, the 50/50 Group has grown from a handful of women meeting in borrowed space in Freetown to a nationally recognized organization actively engaged in building a new post-war Sierra Leone in which women can share equally with men in the political decisions that affect their lives.
ICC APPEAL FOR AFRICA WAR VICTIMS
September 10, 2008 – (BBC) The International Criminal Court (ICC) has appealed for $14m (£8m) to help the nearly two million victims of sexual violence in Africa's wars. The ICC said sex attacks against women and girls had been found to be the most widespread form of criminality.
CAMBODIA: KHMER ROUGE TRIALS BARE SEXUAL ABUSE
September 8, 2008 – (IPS) In a move that could break the silence around sexual violence under the Khmer Rouge, a 68 year-old transgender woman has became the first person to submit a complaint about gender-related abuse to the international tribunal during the group’s brief but bloody reign.
LINK TO FULL PEACEWOMEN NEWS SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER:
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