Women, Peace & Security

In the News: Monday, 21 September 2020

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UN Women Statement for International Day of Peace, 21 September 2020

Source: UN Women

Peace is a prerequisite for health, equality and human security. Our ability to live dignified, fulfilling lives depends on acting without fear, in mutual respect and co-existence. Today, as we mark International Day of Peace, some 2 billion people are living in areas affected by armed conflict. They struggle to survive through forced displacement, and collapsed economies and infrastructure. Profound, systemic inequality breeds tensions that can ignite different forms of conflict. In many regions of the world, the impacts of climate change are exacerbating conditions that threaten peace and security. And the devastating social and economic consequences of COVID-19 have coupled with discriminatory gender norms and unequal power dynamics to feed insecurity and fragility.

Today, UN Women calls on all warring parties to put down their guns and heed the UN Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire. We can stop this deadly virus from adding yet another layer of tragedy and we can cease the myriad aggressions that keep all people from living in peace.

Read more here.

Zimbabwe: Young Women Protest as Older Peers Cling to Political Jobs

Source: allAfrica

Whilst women, in general, face a multiplicity of barriers that significantly limit their participation in leadership positions, young women and women with disability face even greater challenges, research results have revealed.

This is in the ‘Research on The Implications of Young Women and Women With Disabilities Marginalised in leadership and decision-Making Processes – A Case of Mutasa district Manicaland province.

The 2020 report was launched Friday by Women Academy For Leadership and Political Excellence (WALPE).

Read more here.

“Transforming Power”, How to ensure that women are at the heart of the Peace-Building by implementing a Feminist Peace and Security Agenda

Source: Oxfam

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the landmark resolution on Women, Peace and Security, UNSC resolution 1325, Oxfam and the IMatter campaign, commissioned Transforming Power to put Peace  at the heart of peacebuilding a series of regionally focused essays from women’s rights activists and academics working in the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Pacific to reflect on:

  1. What could a Feminist Peace and Security agenda that disrupted power and put women at the heart of peacebuilding look like
  2. What needs to happen to ‘transform power’ to women and communities most affected by crises and conflict so that they shape the decisions that affect their lives?

The resulting essays highlight both the specificities of each region and the common challenges of realizing the full implementation of the WPS Agenda. They place the struggle to realize women’s rights in each region within their historical context. Despite the regions’ very different histories and traditions, the essays show remarkable similarities in terms of the key trends and problems faced by women around the world in some of the most challenging contexts. Using feminist analysis to critique the structures and institutions that constitute the Women, Peace and Security agenda, the authors expose how mainstream conceptions of war and peace block both women’s meaningful participation and sustainable peace. They explore the interplay between colonialism, militarism, displacement, poverty and patriarchy – power in its many guises – and how these have become institutionalized within the peacebuilding agenda.

Read more here.

Find the essays here.

Nine in Ten Girls Experiencing Anxiety Due to COVID-19

Source: Plan International  

Nine in ten girls (88%) say they are feeling high or medium levels of anxiety as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a landmark survey – involving over 7,000 girls in 14 countries – conducted by Plan International.

For the girls surveyed, aged 15-19, the most prevalent fears concerned their own health (33%) and the wellbeing of their families (40%). Nearly a third (26%) were worried about the loss of household income due to the pandemic.

Halting Lives: The Impact of COVID-19 on Girls and Young Women is the most extensive study of its kind focusing on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on girls from 14 countries including Spain, India, Ghana, Brazil and the USA.

Read more here.

Digital campaign challenges Ukrainians to rethink gender based violence

Source: UN Women

“Did she provoke?” That is the question Ukrainians were asked as part of a clever new digital campaign designed to challenge what they think gender-based violence is and what causes it. The campaign was devised in response to a recent perception survey, which revealed that prevailing social attitudes provides fertile ground for gender-based violence to persist in the country.

Conducted by UN Women, the Survey on Perceptions of Gender-Based Violence assessed how the public saw gender-based norms and stereotypes, also awareness of gender-sensitive legislation, and the role of education and the media in transforming public attitudes and behaviours. Undertaken in 2019 across three conflict-affected eastern regions of the country (Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk) the survey made several key findings. These included a prevailing belief that women who suffer violence bring it upon themselves, with 16 per cent believing that female rape victims did something that led to their attack. Meanwhile 29 per cent agreed that a woman provokes violence if she wears revealing clothes, and 35 per cent believe that unwanted touching, stroking and other actions of sexual nature from an unknown person is not a sexual violence. These attitudes, coupled with various gender stereotypes about women’s agency, capacity and role in society, ultimately shape the culture of tolerating and excusing violence against women and girls.

Read more here.