Advancing Human Rights/CEDAW
WILPF-U.S. Report of the Civil Society Consultations on the Development of the
United States National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (UN SCR 1325) Released!
Read WILPF’s final Report of the Civil Society Consultations on the Development of the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR1325) here.
- 1325 Consultation Preliminary Summary Findings
- WILPF’s White Paper on SCR1325 U.S. National Action Plan (NAP)
- Executive Summary of White Paper
- Link to On-line Survey
- YouTube page answering the question “What does security mean to you?”
- SCR1325 and the Whistleblower Facebook page
- PeaceWomen website
- 1325 Agenda
Between 23 September and 22 October 2011, the U.S. Section of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) held five civil society consultations with the Department of State, Office of Women’s Global Issues, on the formulation of the U.S. National Action Plan (NAP) on UN Security Council Resolution 1325, due to be finalized in December 2011.
The consultations were held in Detroit, Michigan; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; San Diego, California; Portland, Oregon; and Boston, Massachusetts, and collectively nearly four hundred women (and some men) participated. Attendees represented a broad range of nongovernmental organizations, academia and students, and individuals of diverse ages, races, ethnicities, and economic and social statuses, including the frequently “unheard voices” of women living in homeless shelters, undocumented migrants and women who have been trafficked for sexual slavery.
The consultations validated the stated goal of the U.S. 1325 NAP to make “women equal partners in peace,” while also stressing the centrality of both external and domestic applications to achieve this aim.
WILPF’s final report on the consultations includes 64 concrete recommendations relevant to UN SCR 1325 implementation internationally, domestically, or both. In total, the recommendations provoke a rethinking of how, as a country, the U.S. defines peace and security, especially in terms of women’s experience of conflict and violence.
If entirely adopted and implemented, the recommendations necessitate a doctrinal shift in foreign and military policy that firmly situates women’s equality and protection, at home and abroad, at the center of long-term sustainable peace. As such, the findings call for a whole government approach in the development and implementation of a U.S. SCR 1325 NAP in order to address the complexity of women’s experiences of discrimination and inequality as directly linked to a continuum of physical, structural and armed violence.
Consultation participants stressed the need to incorporate in the U.S. 1325 NAP immigration, refugee and asylum policies, and to address the specific challenges of women serving in the military and the families they leave behind and return to—sometimes debilitated by physical and mental trauma. Protection of women from violence must be at the forefront of the 1325 NAP, both at home and abroad, especially as it is directly linked to the impact of militarization, including environmental degradation, on community and family violence.
Investments in peace, such as the establishment of the Department of Peace and peace and civic education in schools, are recommended as a means of converting a culture of violence into one that prioritizes human security and development. These recommendations, it should be noted, are unique for their domestic perspective at the grassroots level on how the U.S. must reorganize its domestic policy as a means of remedying a militarized foreign policy approach.
The 1325 civil society consultations were part of a national WILPF campaign that sought to ensure that the U.S. SCR 1325 NAP did not become merely a tool for making war safe for women, but held to its transformative spirit – women must be included in all matters of peace and security for the purpose of establishing long-term sustainable peace for all.
In addition to the 1325 consultations, WILPF’s campaign also included:
A white paper, stressing the importance of a human rights-based approach to formulating a UN SCR 1325 NAP that links peace with equality and that examines both domestic and international applications.
25+ WILPF Branch actions at showings of the feature film “The Whistleblower,” that made the connection between human trafficking and the role of SCR 1325 to ensure the protection of women in conflict and post conflict regions.
A YouTube video campaign, where women from across the U.S. and around the world uploaded video recordings of themselves answering the question “What Does Security means to You?”
An online survey on women, peace and security, where 116 participants (and still counting) completed an online survey to define what true “security” means to women.
The WILPF Advancing Human Rights/CEDAW Committee is committed to promoting the values and principles of human rights as preeminent goals and standards of US laws, policies, and regulations, both foreign and domestic. To that end, we work in our states and local communities to advance the understanding and application of international human rights instruments, with special emphasis on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
WILPF's Committee on Advancing Human Rights/CEDAW fosters a deeper understanding of and respect for human rights and promotes international human rights standards and process values as normative for U.S. domestic law, regulations, and policy. Click here for more information regarding the U.S. government's position on international human rights treaties.
Before the U.S. can effectively promote human rights abroad through its foreign policy, we as a country need to learn how to abide by the standards outlined in the international human rights treaties here at home. Therefore, WILPF's Advancing Human Rights/CEDAW committee supports the adoption of human rights legislation at the municipal and state level as a movement building strategy and important tactic for transforming U.S. legal culture. Through this work we embrace the opportunity to explore the interdependency and indivisibility of civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights, and contribute to the articulation of newly emerging rights such as those relating to development, human sexuality, and environmental sustainability.
WILPF’s Committee on Advancing Human Rights/CEDAW connects human rights activists in communities where our branches are already working in order to quicken our learning about how human rights law can be implemented at the local and state level in jurisdictions across the United States.
In 2001, the state of Pennsylvania renewed its commitment to fulfilling and protecting the human rights of its residents by passing HR 473. This past winter, an ordinance demanding accountability to CEDAW and CERD standards was introduced into the City Council of New York. WILD for Human Rights in San Francisco, encouraged by the results achieved under San Francisco’s CEDAW ordinance of 1998, has launched a broader human rights campaign that aims to address issues of minimum wage, chronic homelessness, and the vulnerabilities of immigrant populations.
Other popular tools for building human security while extending human rights include the use of gender budgeting and gender analysis of government budget cuts.
If you want to find out how these successful strategies might be adaptable to your community, join the WILPF's Committee for Advancing Human Rights/CEDAW. Join an on-line working group. Contribute copies of your municipality’s human rights ordinances to our growing library. Learn how to build a coalition in your community. Organize a workshop for the national meeting of your professional organization.
Only by pooling our know-how, can we grow this movement.