1325 PeaceWomen E-News Issue #87 21 March 2007

gender & peacekeeping

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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THIS ISSUE OF 1325 PEACEWOMEN E-NEWS FEATURES:

1. Editorial:2007: Challenges & Opportunities For Implementing 1325
2. Women, Peace and Security News
3. Gender & Peacekeeping News

4. Feature Event:
Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C-34) 2007 Session
5. Feature Resources: Gender and Peacekeeping Resources from Women’s Commission for Refugee Women & Children, Action Aid & a DPKO workshop
6. Feature Initiative:
Launch of a Global Survey on Gender and Mine Action
7. Peacekeeping Watch: News & Group of Legal Experts
8. Feature Interview: Q & A with Goretti Ndacayisaba, Dushirehamwe Network – Burundi
9. NGO Working Group on Women, Peace & Security Update: Leading Peacebuilder gives Recommendations for Strengthening the Work of the PBC in Burundi
10. UNIFEM Update: Security Sector Reform Roundtable
11. 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 month’s newsletter is focused on issues of gender in peacekeeping. The edition features a number of news stories showing the UN’s growing interest in increasing women’s participation in peacekeeping operations (3). The goal of involving women in peacekeeping is laudable in and of itself, but women’s participation also has an impact on the capacity of field missions to fulfill their mandates, including responding to the needs of female victims of gender based violence. A gender perspective in peacekeeping, however, means that all components of peacekeeping operations must understand and respond to the different needs of men and women in conflict-affected societies. This is the key message in our feature resource, an Action Aid report that highlights ways in which the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) could help combat sexual violence through enhanced coordination of its judicial, legal and policing work (5). Such initiatives to address women’s insecurity can lay the groundwork for gender sensitive security sector reform, the subject of this edition’s UNIFEM update (10)

A major challenge to creating gender-responsive peacekeeping is the tendency for national level machineries for gender and women’s rights to be alienated from policy making on security, defense and foreign affairs. This is because peacekeeping activities are often viewed in purely militaristic terms, although ideally, they aim to achieve broad human security goals. This disconnect is noted in our featured report, from a recent workshop on implementing SCR 1325 organized by the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations with troop and police contributing countries (5). We welcome the resulting proposals, particularly on the development of mechanisms for cross-sectoral dialogue on peacekeeping, among government and civil society actors working in security and women’s rights..

Collaboration with civil society can be particularly useful in efforts by troop or police contributing countries to provide peacekeepers’ with pre-deployment training on women’s rights and gender issues, or in the case of host countries, to monitor the conduct of peacekeeping personnel. A featured news item under Peacekeeping Watch highlights the positive impact of partnerships between the UN Mission in Liberia and local NGOs in raising awareness on issues of sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeeping personnel (7).

The deeply injurious character of such allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse on the UN’s reputation has galvanized an unprecedented amount of policy development in the UN in recent years. However progress has slowed on a number of important fronts, as indicated in statements made by member states during our feature event, the general debate of the special committee on peacekeeping operations (4) It is hoped that member states will soon reach a consensus on outstanding issues regarding mechanisms for accountability and support to victims of acts of exploitation and abuse by UN personnel.

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As always we welcome your contributions to the newsletter’s content. Contributions for the April edition should be sent to enewssubmissions@peacewomen.org by Thursday 19 April 2007.


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2. WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY NEWS


IRAN WOMEN ARRESTED OVER PROTEST
March 4, 2007 - (BBC) Iran's authorities have arrested more than 32 women activists protesting outside a courthouse in Tehran.

ANGOLA: WOMEN PROMOTE ELECTORAL REGISTRATION CAMPAIGN
March 1, 2007 – (Angola Press) A door-to-door sensitising campaign of women with electoral potential will be conducted in coming days by the provincial sector of the Family and Women Promotion Ministry in northern Uije Province. The move aims at encouraging massive participation of women in registration in various communities of the region.

UGANDA: GRANTING WOMEN RIGHTS TO OWN LAND
February 26, 2007 – (The Monitor) The new government proposed land policy is causing a media frenzy as different interest groups position themselves to protect their interests. Paradoxically though, not much is being said about the rights of the traditional disadvantaged sections of our population particularly the women who have for centuries been denied their fundamental rights to own land.

FIGHTING GENDER BIAS AHEAD OF ELECTIONS
February 23, 2007 - (IRIN) With general and presidential elections looming in July, women's rights groups in Sierra Leone are battling what they say is deep seated discrimination for more women to be included on the ballots.

SERBIAN PRESS SEEKS JAIL FOR WOMEN PEACE ACTIVISTS WHO ADVOCATE INDEPENDENCE FOR KOSOVO
February 22, 2007 - (PeaceJournalism) In a blatant attempt to intimidate advocates of a peaceful solution to the Serbia-Kosovo conflict, a leading Serbian nationalist newspaper has called for the prosecution of the Women’s Peace Coalition, a joint initiative of women activists, for advocating for the independence of Kosovo.

CHILEAN WOMEN MAKE NOTABLE GAINS UNDER BACHELET
March 9, 2007 – (Associated Press) Santiago: One year into her mandate, Chile's first woman president has legislated the right to breast-feed in the workplace, offered greater protection against domestic violence, cracked down on alimony-dodgers and placed more women in positions of power.

UN MUST TAKE LEAD IN ERADICATING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN, BAN KI-MOON SAYS
March 08, 2007 – (UN News Centre) Impunity for violence against women – for too long tolerated under the cover of cultural practices and silently condoned by Governments – must end, and the United Nations must spearhead the effort to eliminate the pandemic, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said this morning at an event commemorating International Women’s Day.

SWISS NATIONAL ACTION PLAN: WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY
March 8, 2007 – (admin.ch Media Information) President of the Confederation Micheline Calmy-Rey today presented the Swiss action plan for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security on the occasion of International Women's Day. The action plan contains a catalogue of measures by units of the federal administration involved in the promotion of women.

'MA ELLEN' IS DELIVERING LIBERIA
March 8, 2007 - (Boston Globe) Driving down a dusty dirt road littered with cavernous potholes recently, Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf ordered her 10-car motorcade to stop. Flanked by 15 bodyguards, including UN peacekeepers toting AK-47s, she stepped out to investigate the quality of bricks being laid by construction workers. A former UN development program official, she wanted assurance that all the bricks would come from the same factory, so as to provide a consistent and solid foundation for the boulevard.

HAITI KIDNAP WAVE ACCOMPANIED BY EPIDEMIC OF RAPE
March 8, 2007 - (Reuters) Haiti's violent gangs are increasingly using rape to terrorize hostages and other victims, government officials and health workers say. Sexual assaults of women appear to have become a fixture of the kidnappings for money carried out by gangs in a crime wave that developed after the ouster in February 2004 of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

AFGHAN WOMEN BATTLING REPRESSION
March 8, 2007 - (Toronto Star) Five years after the Taliban were ousted from power in Afghanistan, many women are still facing violence and discrimination

RAPE, GENDER VIOLENCE THE NORM IN POST-WAR LIBERIA
March 7, 2007 - (IPS) When the West African state of Liberia was torn apart by 14 years of civil war, the victims of the brutal insurgency included mostly women and children who were subject to rape and sexual violence. "Not only are the terrible consequences of this still felt by many Liberian women today, but violence against women and rape continue unchecked," says a new study on Liberia by ActionAid, an international development agency based in South Africa.

GRAVE HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES BY ALL SIDES MAR DR CONGO’S TRANSITION FROM WAR, UN
March 7, 2007 – (UN News Centre) Summary executions, enforced disappearances, mass arbitrary arrests, ill-treatment and torture of civilians for their political affiliations as well as rape continued at an alarming rate in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in a climate of total impunity in the second half of 2006, according to the latest United Nations report on the issue.



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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. GENDER & PEACEKEEPING NEWS


UN POLICE WORKSHOP IN ITALY IS LATEST EFFORT TO ATTRACT MORE FEMALE OFFICERS INTO THE FORCE
17 March 2007 – (UN News Centre) Continuing its efforts to attract more female officers into United Nations policing, the division is organizing a 4-day conference at the UN Training Centre in Italy next week, because despite increases in the number of women in operations worldwide, there are still too few, warns the world body's top police officer.

UN ASKS FOR MORE WOMEN PEACEKEEPERS
Mar 16, 2007 - (IPS) When the United Nations commemorated International Women's Day last week, its Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) aired a longstanding complaint: a woeful shortage of women military personnel in U.N. missions overseas.

WOMEN PEACEKEEPERS CAN WORK WITH FEMALE VICTIMS, SET EXAMPLE FOR MALE COLLEAGUES
March 12, 2007 - (VOA) Just one month ago the United Nations deployed its first all-women peacekeeping unit, a group of trained policewomen from India now serving in Liberia. From VOA's New York Bureau, correspondent Barbara Schoetzau reports this team is a sign of the continuing evolution of women in peacekeeping missions.

RENEWAL OF LIBERIA'S UN PEACE KEEPING MANDATE CRUCIAL TO WOMEN, SAYS NEW STUDY
March 7, 2007 - (ActionAid USA) The renewal of the UN Security Council mandate to maintain a peacekeeping force in Liberia comes at a crucial time, if women in the country are to be protected from violence, according to a new report by ActionAid. Currently, rape is the most reported serious crime in the country.

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For more gender and peacekeeping news, visit PeaceWomen’s Gender and Peacekeeping News Index:
http://www.peacewomen.org/un/pkwatch/pknews.html

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4. FEATURE EVENT

Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C-34) 2007 Session
February 26th to March 16th 2007

The UN's Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations convened between the 26th of February and the 16th of March 2007 for its annual comprehensive review of peacekeeping operations. Over 100 UN Member States, mostly past or current contributors of peacekeeping personnel, are members of the Committee, which reports to the General Assembly, through the Special Political and Decolonization (Fourth) Committee. The session began with a 2-day General Debate during which committee members made statements addressing key issues in UN peacekeeping.

Much of the session focused on the reforms needed in the UN's peacekeeping infrastructure to cater to the unprecedented surge in the number and size of peacekeeping missions. The theme of reform was also highlighted in member states' remarks on the issue of sexual exploitation and abuse committed by peacekeeping personnel. A number of states expressed dissatisfaction with the committee's inability to reach agreement on a draft memorandum of understanding between the UN and troop contributing countries that would ensure accountability for peacekeeper misconduct, as well as on the adoption of a strategy for assistance to victims of sexual exploitation by UN personnel.

A number of states highlighted their commitment to increasing women's participation in peacekeeping. Some however, correctly noted that efforts towards women's participation should not merely focus on increasing female personnel in field missions, but also on mechanisms to ensure the appointment of women to senior positions at headquarters and in the field and advance gender equality in line with Security Council Resolution 1325.

Below are selected excerpts from countries' statements:

Argentina

We consider civilian knowledge a rich resource whose trained collaboration would be priceless, for example in the preparation and implementation of an electoral process in a country emerging from conflict or in the reconstruction of its administrative or justice system, as well as in tasks of promotion and defense of human rights and gender equality.

In the framework of Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) “Women, Peace, and Security”, I would like to underline the that my country has participated in the recent seminar in Pretoria on the “Women’s constituencies from Troop and Police Contributing Countries”, and has been selected as a pilot country-together with three states-with the objective of consolidating the implementation of this resolution at the national level.

El Salvador
(PeaceWomen Translation)

Our Delegation highlights the importance and the necessity for women to participate on an equal level, and in an ample and complete manner, in all of the initiatives aimed at maintaining and creating peace and security within the peace missions of the United Nations and [its] processes of securing peace. From this results an essential condition that promotes and strengthens the participation of women, as they have an outlet through which to be involved in decisions regarding the solution and prevention of conflicts. This permits women to have access to the information channels that allow them to detect violence, and open dialogue to begin creating tolerance and peace. __We believe that effort still needs to be made to strengthen the role that women play in the UN and UN peacekeeping missions. We believe that more women need to be in the roles of gender advisors, civil police, and human rights advisors.

Ghana

The Secretary-General’s report highlighted an issue of concern to my delegation – the promotion of gender equality in peacekeeping. Although some modest gains have been made both by Troop-Contributing Countries (TCC) and at the Headquarters, the persistent asymmetrical level of representation between men and women is untenable. The time has come to move beyond the annual ritual of paying lip service to gender equality to the pursuit of practical measures to buttress our commitment to gender mainstreaming in peacekeeping operations as envisioned under Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000).

Apart from TCC’s increasing female personnel for peacekeeping operations, the organization should also demonstrate its commitment by appointing more women to senior managerial positions at Headquarters and command posts at missions. We consequently pledge our full support for the Secretary-General’s proposal to make gender equality the focus of consultations in 2007.

India

India has also traditionally been contributing lady military and police officers to a number of UN Missions. In response to the Secretary-General’s call for increased representation of female personnel in field missions, we feel particularly honoured to have provided the first full Female Formed Police Unit for peacekeeping work. This unit is currently assisting the UN Mission in Liberia in reaching out to the most vulnerable sections of society, i.e. women and children, in a post-conflict environment, besides performing its normal duties.

Namibia

Namibia attaches great importance to the participation of women in peacekeeping operations.The numbers of women in our peacekeeping contingents have been increasing steadily. However, we are not pleased with the pace. For us, the participation of women in not simply a question of gender balance, even though that is important in itself. We believe women have different capabilities that can add value and enhance the chance for the success if peacekeeping missions. Women represent a source of strength and wisdom that we can only ignore at [our] own peril.

Norway

Norway would like to commend the DPKO for the policy directive on gender equality in peacekeeping that was adopted in November last year. It provides clear guidance for the UN and the Member States on how to follow up on their obligations under Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security. Norway would like to stress how important it is that gender advisors are appointed at senior level, to strengthen their ability to influence decision-making.

Selected excerpts referring to sexual exploitation and abuse

Australia

Much work has already been done in the UN and in particular this Committee, in order to fully implement the policy of zero tolerance towards sexual exploitation and abuse, and a number of initiatives are still on our agenda for completion. Expectations are high in this regard-and rightly so. We urge member states to complete the work on the revised MOU at the next session of the Ad Hoc working group of Experts in May. We need to work in earnest toward the full implementation of a victim assistance strategy. We must build on the work on the Group of Legal experts. And we also invite the Secretariat to present a draft policy on personnel and welfare in a timely manner. Military, police, and civilian members of UN Peace Operations must empower women and children, and implement mandates in a manner which effectively addresses the scourge of sexual exploitation and abuse.

The Republic of Guinea
(PeaceWomen translation)

My country, the Republic of Guinea, continues to support the zero tolerance politics about the issue of sexual exploitation and abuse. It appreciates the exchanged points of view between the member states and the Secretariat during the resumed session in December 2006, where the revised versions of the agreement Memorandum, the detailed assistance strategy, and the support for sexually abused and exploited victims were discussed. In spite of the lack of agreement, we encourage the State members to work together to find an appropriate solution for this question that is unfortunately still ongoing.

We are pleased about the elaboration of the general directives during the informal settings, which go into effect this year. If the means are available, we encourage the recruitment of a specialist who could examine this question and help make improvements. In our point of view, this would substantially reduce cases of sexual exploitation.

Nigeria

Nigeria has taken note of the progress that has been recorded in the implementation of the Secretary-General's policy on zero tolerance against sexual exploitation and abuse among the UN peacekeeping personnel. Nigeria subscribes fully to this policy. We have already taken steps to ensure that through intensive training, our troops and police personnel deployed for United Nations peacekeeping operations are duly sensitized to, and scrupulously follow that policy. We however observe that investigations into alleged cases of sexual exploitation and misconduct, are unjustifiably delayed. As justice delayed is justice denied, my delegation recommends thorough and early investigation and disposal of alleged cases of sexual exploitation and abuse and other related cases. In this context, we recommend that early action should be taken to strengthen and adequately fund the Office of Internal Oversight (OIOS), whose duty it is to handle cases of this nature.

Norway

Norway fully agrees with the SG's emphasis on the need to strengthen oversight, whether of procurement or sexual misconduct. The high-level conference in December last year demonstrated strong commitment and tangible progress on concrete measures to eliminate the latter. However, we still have some way to go. Norway is advocating a rapid finalization of a strategy for victims. We, the members of this committee, must ensure that victims and the children born of such misconduct, receive the assistance they require.

Switzerland

The problem of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) unfortunately remains a preoccupying issue. It is indeed a major, for it tends to undermine the credibility and legitimacy of the UN forces and thus to endanger the ultimate success of a mission. The main task of the members of of a peacekeeping operation is to protect the civil population. How then is it possible to for them to successfully carry out their mission if they act against the interests of certain members of the population?
Switzerland is in favor of a vigorous policy designed to eradicate this evil, and approves the measures taken by the UN so far. Aware however that it is highly unlikely that the problem can be solved overnight, Switzerland welcomes the fact that the UN has set itself an ambitious target notably with a total ban on all recourse to prostitution.

Switzerland regrets that Member States were unable to reach an agreement on the revised draft “ Memorandum of Understanding” or the Comprehensive Strategy on assistance and support to victims of SEA during the resumed session of December 2006. We would however like to express our appreciation of the efforts of the Secretariat, and to call on Member States to show more good will in this matter. Since we are unanimous in our support for a zero tolerance policy, it is regrettable that victims must continue to suffer in the field merely because we are unable to agree on the way to achieve our objective.

For more documentation and analysis of recent sessions of the special committee on peacekeeping, visit PeaceWomen’s C-34 index: http://www.peacewomen.org/un/pkwatch/Events/C34/Index.html

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5. FEATURE RESOURCEs


Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace, and Security in Peacekeeping Contexts: A Strategy Workshop with Women's Constituencies from Troop and Police Contributing Countries

This is a report from a strategy workshop held in South Africa by the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) in collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat and the African Center for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) on gender equality considerations in Peacekeeping Operations. The meeting identified noteworthy areas of progress in the collective responsibility to address gender issues in peacekeeping since the adoption of SCR 1325 (2000).

For the Conclusions, Agreements and Recommendations that emerged from the workshop, please see:
http://www.peacewomen.org/resources/Peacekeeping/PDF/Pretoria_concl.pdf

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UNMIL: International Engagement in Addressing Violence Against Women
An Action Aid report, March 2007

This report aims to analyse the role of UNMIL in tackling violence against women and girls in society, in particular sexual violence and rape1. Violence against women, including rape, was widespread during Liberia’s 14 years of civil war. Not only are the terrible consequences of this still felt by many Liberian women today, but violence against women and rape continue unchecked. Rape has attracted a lot of attention in Liberia but it is nonetheless an extreme manifestation of daily and more pervasive women’s rights violations. This report focuses on rape, not only because it is an unacceptable crime, but also as a proxy for the violation of other women’s rights and their unequal position in society more broadly.

For the complete report, please see: http://www.peacewomen.org/resources/Peacekeeping/PDF/UNMIL_Liberia.pdf

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Room to Maneuver: Lessons from Gender Mainstreaming in the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations
A study by the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children, January 2007

This paper explores how the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations’ gender mainstreaming efforts enhance the security of the displaced, particularly women and children, and identifies opportunities to reinforce these efforts, including potential synergy with the UN High Commissioner for Refugee’s (UNHCR) gender and age mainstreaming work. DPKO was selected as an organization for the study due to the interface of DPKO’s operations with those of UNHCR specifically in refugee, IDP and returnee contexts. The intent is to identify how DPKO’s gender mainstreaming efforts reinforce and complement those underway by UNHCR and how the two organizations can learn and benefit from each other’s approaches.

For the complete paper, please see: http://www.peacewomen.org/resources/Peacekeeping/PDF/GMS_WCRWC_07.pdf

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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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6. FEATURE INITIATIVe

 

Launch of a Global Survey on Gender and Mine Action
On this, International Women’s Day 2007, the Swiss Campaign to Ban Landmines announces the launch of a global survey to gather comprehensive information on the significance of gender in the impact of mines and in the effectiveness of mine action. This is the first time that comprehensive global information on the significance of gender in mine action has been collected. The project also opens up a new dimension in the study of gender and conflict.

For more information please visit: http://www.peacewomen.org/campaigns/global/gender_mines.pdf

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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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5.PEACEKEEPING WATCH

 

News

UNMIL RELEASES 2006 SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND ABUSE REPORT
March 9, 2007 - (UNMIL) The UN Mission in Liberia, UNMIL, has released its Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) report for 2006, showing a decrease in the number of allegations reported during the year.

SUDAN: TASK FORCE TO ADDRESS SEXUAL ABUSE AND EXPLOITATION
February 21 2007 - (IRIN) United Nations agencies and the southern Sudanese government are to establish a task force to monitor cases of sexual abuse and exploitation involving international staff, officials said.

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RESOURCES

Making the Standards Contained in the Secretary-General’s Bulletin Binding on Contingent Members and Standardization the Norms of Conduct so That They Are Applicable To All Categories of Peacekeeping Personnel (A/61/645)
December 2006
This is a report of a group of legal experts appointed by the Secretary General in September 2006 to review ways of ensuring that standards of conduct and accountability regarding sexual exploitation and abuse apply to troops contributed by member states to peacekeeping missions The review identifies a number of ways by which a troop-contributing country could be placed under an obligation at international law to ensure that the standards in the Secretary-General’s bulletin bind contingent members prior to the conclusion of a memorandum of understanding or similar document.

For the full report visit: http://www.peacewomen.org/resources/Peacekeeping/PDF/SEA_March07.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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7. FEATURE INTERVIEW

Q & A with Goretti Ndacayisaba, Dushirehamwe Network - Burundi

Goretti Ndacayisaba, a women's rights and peace activist from Burundi visited New York in February and March 2007 to take part in activities around the 51st session of the UN's Commission on the Status of Women. She took time during her visit to sit and talk to Tracy Liaw, an intern with the PeaceWomen team about her work and the challenges facing women in Burundi as the country emerges from conflict.

PW: What is your reason for coming to New York?

I am here to attend the 51st Commission on the Status of Women on behalf of my organization in Burundi. I have been invited by the NGO working Group on women peace and security, based here in New York and my goal is to make the voices of women in Burundi heard by the international community and international NGOs working toward gender equality. My country is currently on the agenda of the Peacebuilding Commission so I am also taking this opportunity to find out about its mission, objectives, and how the commission plans to take into account our priorities.

PW: What in your view, were the causes of the conflict in Burundi and how were women affected?

There are many issues that led to the conflict in Burundi but poverty was a big factor. Also issues of bad governance, deprivation of human rights, ethnic, regional and other forms of exclusion, including the marginalization of women.

The conflict in Burundi led to great suffering and disruption. Many people fled the fighting, much of the population was hungry and unprotected; many children and elderly people suffered malnutrition and those who became displaced faced threats of violence including rape. Women and girls who were raped could not get legal or medical support, because many were reluctant to speak out and were traumatized. In our culture, it's not easy to publicize rape or other sexual violations, so it's very tough for survivors to deal with those incidents.

Even now, after the ceasefire and peace negotiations, women are still in a very vulnerable situation. They need support at an individual and collective level and I hope that the new UN Peacebuilding Commission can begin to understand and respond to the impact of conflict on women and girls.

PW: Tell us a little about the work that you do?

I work for a Network of women's groups called Dushirehamwe, which means "Let's Reconcile". It started in 1996 during the conflict that divided Tutsi and Hutu ethnic groups. The program was initially sponsored by UNIFEM and the NGOs International Alert and Search for Common Ground.
Our advocacy programs are aimed at supporting women participation in decision-making. Women were excluded from the peace negotiations in Arusha, until we got international support and the facilitator Nelson Mandela to adopt our cause, and as a result our representatives were able to make recommendations to the negotiation process. The peace accord that was signed was gender-sensitive, but we have had to struggle to make political parties implement it in a gender sensitive manner, including by integrating women into the decision-making in the electoral process.

In 2005, we lobbied successfully in the constitutional reform process to get a quota of 30 percent women represented in parliament, the senate, and government. We are now aiming for 50% and we also want the quota to apply to the local government level. We are pleased to have a number of women in decision-making, and we hope that it will make a difference regarding gender-sensitive legal reform, the protection of people facing crisis, and many other issues. We are encouraging the elected women to report not only to their political parties but also to women's constituencies regarding the protection of women and children's rights.

To read the full interview, please see: http://www.peacewomen.org/resources/Burundi/GorettiDushirehamwe.html

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9. NGOWG UPDATE


Leading Peacebuilder gives Recommendations for Strengthening the Work of the PBC in Burundi

In a roundtable event on Gender and the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) during the 51st Commission on the Status of Women, hosted by the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, Goretti Ndacayisaba, Program Executive at Dushirehamwe, a non-governmental organization in Burundi dedicated to the empowerment of women, made several strategic recommendations for advancing the work of the Commission in Burundi including recommending: 1.) The Burundi PBC National Steering Committee open space for representation of women civil society organizations as stakeholders - not just as observers 2.) The PBC and government to initiate a dialogue with women’s organizations in order gain an understanding of the needs and priorities of women and design a gender strategy within the national plan of the PBC in Burundi; 3.) The creation a PBC gender advisor desk or focal point at the national level; and 4.) The establishment of gender desks in police offices where victims of gender-based violence go to report such crimes in safety and confidence.

For Ms. Ndacayisaba’s full speech, please visit http://www.womenpeacesecurity.org

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In advance of the upcoming Peacebuilding Commission Mission to Burundi, the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security encourages the Mission to meet with women peacebuilders in Burundi to discuss how their needs and priorities can be better addressed through the Commission's work.

For the letter please visit: http://www.womenpeacesecurity.org

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

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10. UNIFEM UPDATE

Roundtable Dialogue On The Inter-Linkages Between Security Sector Reform Processes And Commitments Related To Women, Peace, And Security, Including SCR 1325

The Permanent Mission of Canada, UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), and International Crisis Group (ICG) invited the governmental Friends of 1325 group, Security Council (SC) Members, and UN and NGO representatives who work in the field of security sector reform (SSR) to participate in a roundtable discussion on the inter-linkages between SSR processes and women, peace, and security (WPS) issues. The lunchtime roundtable was held at the Mission of Canada to the UN in New York City on --Monday, 12 March 2007.

The co-hosts organized the roundtable discussion with a view to provide an opportunity to draw the conceptual and operational connections between the two areas of the UN’s work and to inform the formulation of the forthcoming Secretary-General’s (SG) report on UN approaches to SSR. The UN Security Council requested the SG report in its Presidential Statement on the role of the Security Council in supporting security sector reform (S/PRST/2007/3) on 21 February 2007. In this context, the panelists and participants addressed the importance of and the challenges to creating gender-sensitive SSR processes and the institutions, as well as involving women and women’s rights organizations at all stages and in all aspects of SSR processes.

The presenters raised a number of conceptual and operational aspects of the inter-linkages between SSR and WPS in light of the following questions:

1. How can the UN ensure that SSR efforts assess and address the causes and consequences of women’s insecurity in conflict and post-conflict situations?
2. What measures can be employed to ensure gender-sensitive institutional reform in the security and justice sectors?
3. How can the UN and Member States facilitate women’s participation in SSR both as recruits to security and civilian oversight institutions and as stakeholders in national-level consultations, policy-making, planning, spending reviews, law reform, etc?

Those who made opening remarks and short presentations, respectively, are the following:

Ambassador Henri-Paul Normandin

Deputy Permanent Representative of Canada to the UN

Nina Lahoud
Principal Officer, Asia & Middle East Division, Office of Operations, UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO)

Vanessa Farr
Senior Gender Advisor, Early Recovery and Cross-Cutting Team, Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, UN Development Programme (UNDP)

Megan Bastick
Special Programmes Coordinator, Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF)

Don Steinberg
Vice-President for Multilateral Affairs, International Crisis Group (ICG)

For the roundtable summary report, please contact:
Kara Piccirilli, UNIFEM, Governance, Peace, and Security, at kara.piccirilli@unifem.org

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UNIFEM’s Web Portal on Women, Peace and Security, CLICK HERE

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11. WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY CALENDAR

National Young Women's Leadership Conference From Campus to Congress
24-25 March 2007, Washington DC, USA

Young women around the world are poised to become the next generation of global leaders. At the National Young Women's Leadership Conference: From Campus to Congress, one day of the two day conference is completely devoted the state of the world's affairs and how young women can become the catalysts for change. It's not too late to register for a conference that will change your life.
For more information, please visit: http://feministcampus.org/leadership/

For registration information, please visit:
https://secure.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizations/feministmajority/event/checkOut.jsp?event_KEY=18254&t=Camus-default.dwt

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Women and Men in partnership in Sierra Leone - the politics of the future
Women of Sierra Leone– It’s Your Parliament Too!
26-27 March, 2007, British Council Freetown Sierra Leone

A Series of workshops to get more women successfully involved in the July 2007 elections. In regions of conflict, a vital feature of successful post-conflict reconstruction would be a rapid increase in the number of women in the local and national legislatures, viz Rwanda.This event could readily be replicated for women activists in any country where legislative elections are to be held within 6-18 months.

For more information, please visit: http://www.peacewomen.org/frame/calendar/sierraleone_elections.html

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Third Regional Training Course on Gender, Citizenship and Participatory Governance for the Middle East and North Africa Region
16-23 April 2007, Beirut, Lebanon

This course is jointly organized by KIT (Royal Tropical Institute) and the Collective for Research and Training on Development Action (CRTD.A) in Lebanon. The course, tailored for the Middle East and North Africa, aims to provide a gender analysis of the governance, citizenship and related institutions and to familiarize participants with strategies to ensure that gender equality is prioritized in the governance agenda.

For more information, please visit: http://www.kit.nl/smartsite.shtml?id=2725

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Conflict Transformation Across Cultures Summer Institute
28 May, 2007 – 15 June, 2007, Vermont, USA

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 16 April 2007

The Conflict Transformation Across Cultures Summer Institute, offered each June, is a three-week, three-credit professional development and graduate training program in conflict transformation.

For more information, please visit: http://www.sit.edu/contact/institute/index.html

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For the complete calendar, CLICK HERE.

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