Women, Peace & Security

In the News: Friday, 26 June 2020

Women, Peace and Security in Libyan Context

25 June 2020 – Full and effective participation of women in public life, including all political processes and peace building initiatives remains essential and a core priority for UNSMIL. Twenty five years following the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which represented a turning point for the global agenda on gender equality, and as we approach the twentieth anniversary of the landmark UN Security Council resolution 1325, the public space for Libyan women to voice their opinions and take an active role in the political life and post-conflict reconstruction is rapidly shrinking.

Next month, it will be one year since Member of Parliament Siham Sergewa was violently abducted from her home in the heavily fortified district of Buhedima in Benghazi. On this day, six years ago, former member of the National Transitional Council, human rights defender and activist Salwa Bughaghis was assassinated. Her killing underlined a downwards spiral in security for women activists and human rights defenders to date, and a vicious cycle of impunity for crimes targeting women politicians and human rights defenders. Similarly the summary executions of former Derna House of Representatives member Fariha Al-Berkawi, on 17 July 2014, along with human rights activist Entisar El Hassari, in February 2015, and the journalist Naseeb Kernafa on 29 May 2014 in Sabha, reinforced the climate of impunity for violence against women who dared to speak out, forcing many to retreat from public life and flee the country.
Women in Libya have been disproportionally affected by the continuing conflict and the rise of violent extremism across the country. Incidents of conflict-related sexual violence by armed groups remain severely underreported as a result of fear, intimidation and stigma related to underlying discriminatory gender norms.

On this day, UNSMIL reiterates its call for accountability for crimes targeting women, greater preventative and responsive measures by the authorities to ensure protection, access to emergency assistance and reporting arrangements for all victims without fear of reprisals. The Mission remains committed to empowering and strengthening the role of Libyan women in public life and securing equal participation in peacebuilding and reconciliation processes.

Read the full article here.

818th MSAS facilitates Women, Peace and Security talks in Chad

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. — A variety of factors make up and support a successful military. These areas include armaments, force size, training and intelligence to name a few. However, one that is often overlooked and is vital to the success of military operations is diversity. To help bridge these gaps in diversity, a team from the 818th Mobility Support Advisory Squadron is traveling to Chad in support of the Women, Peace and Security initiative aimed at addressing the concerns of women in the military.
“We want to create opportunities for women in leadership positions to collaborate and interact in a way that allows them to have a voice in their own progression and advancement in the military,” said Capt. Ariel Saltin, 818th MSAS training flight commander.

Saltin will facilitate and guide strategic conversations with about 15 female Chadian officers later this year. The results of the conversation will then be presented to the Chadian Chief of Defense as a recommended path forward toward meeting their WPS goals. The WPS discussions come at the request of the security cooperation office at the U.S. Embassy in Chad and is a core mission of the U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Department of State.

Read the full article here.

CSO Alliance calls for action after reporting 200% increase in violence against women, lack of food, unwanted pregnancies and increasing thefts of root crops

Reports of violence against women in Fiji received by civil society organisations increasing by 200 percent, lack of food security, mental health issues, increasing thefts of root crops and unwanted pregnancies. These are some of the issues people are facing according to the members of the Fiji Civil Society Organisations Alliance for COVID-19 Humanitarian Response.

The Fiji CSO Alliance for COVID-19 Humanitarian Response is made up of 8 organisations working across different sectors in Fiji including Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises & Development (FRIEND), Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre, Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality, Citizens’ Constitutional Forum, Social Empowerment and Education Programme (SEEP), femLINKpacific, Rainbow Pride Foundation and the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement.

Read the full article here.

Where The Women Aren’t: On Coronavirus Task Forces

There are 27 members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Only two are women: Dr. Deborah Birx and Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

It’s a gender breakdown that’s echoed around the world. For example, 10 of the 31 members and advisers of the World Health Organization’s Emergency Committee on COVID-19 are women, and of the 25 members of the WHO-China joint mission on COVID-19, 20% are women.

Although research has shown that men appear more likely to suffer more severely or die from COVID-19 than women, the pandemic is, by some measures, taking a greater toll on women.

Read the full article here.