Women, Peace & Security

In the News: Thursday, 01 October 2020

Joint Communique: Fourteenth (14th) Annual Joint Consultative Meeting between Members of The United Nations Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council, 30 September 2020

Source: African Union Peace and Security Council

The members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) held their Fourteenth (14th) Annual Joint Consultative Meeting via virtual platform on 30 September 2020. The members of the United Nations Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council recalled their previous joint communiques since the inaugural annual joint consultative meeting in 2007, which aim at enhancing cooperation and collaboration of the two Councils in the area of peace and security in Africa, which will have a positive impact on the maintenance of international peace and security.

The members of the United Nations Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council discussed matters of peace and security in Africa. They seized the opportunity of the 5th Joint Informal Seminar, held on 29 September 2020, to exchange views on strengthening cooperation between the United Nations as it marks its 75th anniversary and the African Union marking its 57th anniversary, including through specific measures that ensure the sustainability and effectiveness of this vital cooperation. They also reflected on the progress made under the African Union’s Master Roadmap to Silence the Guns in Africa by 2020 and UNSC resolution 2457, including the activities undertaken by the AU during the 2020 Theme of the year ‘Silencing the Guns in Africa: Creating conducive conditions for Africa’s development’ and reiterated the commitment to continue to implement the Women, Peace and Security agenda, pursuant to UNSC resolution 1325 as it marks its 20th anniversary.

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The Generation Equality Youth Task Force strengthens its membership with new leaders

Source: UN Women

 Today, UN Women’s Generation Equality Youth Task Force, which represents youth around the world, announced the addition of 11 new youth leaders to strengthen its membership.

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, UN Women launched the Generation Equality campaign, with a strong focus on intergenerational and youth engagement to advance gender equality. The Generation Equality Youth Task Force (formerly Beijing+25 Youth Task Force) was set up to represent young people in all their diversity and intersectionality, to facilitate youth leadership and participation in the upcoming Generation Equality Forum, a civil society–centred, global gathering for gender equality, to be convened by UN Women and co-hosted by the governments of Mexico and France in 2021. The Forum will launch a set of concrete, ambitious, and transformative actions to achieve immediate and irreversible progress towards gender equality.

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Remarks by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, United Nations Under Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director, at the high-level side event of the UN General Assembly, “Gender-Based Violence in a COVID-19 context – activating collective responses, innovative partnerships and proven policies”

Source: UN Women

Over the past several months, we have seen many governments and other partners take swift action to address gender-based violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. But we have also seen failures, neglect of women, and fault lines.

The positive actions that we have seen, and that we want to learn from, include women’s rights organizations integrating their actions on ending violence against women as they were implementing the response to the pandemic and their plans for recovery. We have seen responses that include provision of essential services for survivors of violence; prevention of violence against women through awareness-raising and social protection; and the collection of data to inform policies and programmes in many countries and that enables us to plan better.

There has also been significant innovation during this time, with the adaptation of services through the use of technology, and the strengthening of multi-sectoral partnerships and multilateralism. The UN-EU Spotlight Initiative programming clearly demonstrated this across five regions, and we see the need to do more of this work.

Read the full remarks here.

South Africa: President Cyril Ramaphosa Addresses 25th Anniversary of the Fourth World Conference On Women, 1 Oct

Source: allAfrica

President Cyril Ramaphosa will later today, Thursday, 01 October 2020, address a virtual high-level meeting to mark the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women convened by the United Nations General Assembly. The meeting, under the theme “Accelerating the realisation of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”, forms part of the high-level week of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA75).

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West Africa: Taking Action to Empower Women in West Africa

Source: allAfrica

Across the globe, societies are seemingly convulsed by campaigns for greater equality on gender and identity grounds. We have an equivalent gender parity problem in West Africa. It is more straightforward in many ways, but no less pressing. We must act deliberately and decisively to improve outcomes for women in order for Africa to reach its developmental goals.

This is why, today, Thursday October 1, Kwara State, the Nigerian State of which I am Governor, will be hosting its first annual regional West African conference on gender equality and the empowerment of women. Timed to coincide with Nigerian Independence Day, our goal is to mobilise African leaders to galvanise the will to be ‘intentional’ about gender parity in Nigeria and the wider West African region. We are hoping that the conference will herald a second ‘independence day’ for the 50% of our citizens whose interests have, historically, been deemed second priority.

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Sudanese Women Keep Pushing for Democracy

Source: VOA

Sudanese women helped organize the protests that resulted in the ouster of former President Omar al-Bashir in 2019 after three decades of iron-fisted rule.  After his removal and the creation of a new transitional government, women are playing a prominent role in Sudan’s politics. A woman has been appointed a chief justice — the first, not only in Sudan but in the entire Arab world. An unprecedented four women were appointed to cabinet positions in the new government, including the country’s first female minister of foreign affairs, Asma Mohamed Abdalla. 

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New Article:  The paradox of prevention in the Women, Peace and Security agenda

Source: Cambridge / Laura J. Shepherd

Prevention is a central pillar of the ‘Women, Peace and Security’ agenda, a policy architecture governing gender and conflict that is anchored in a suite of United Nations Security Council resolutions adopted under the title of ‘Women and Peace and Security’. In this article, I argue that prevention is currently constituted within the WPS agenda in multiple ways, all of which are organised in accordance with different logics: a logic of peace; a logic of militarism; and a logic of security. This presents prevention as a paradox, because in operation it collapses back into a logic of security, even as it is constructed and positioned as security’s temporal and conceptual other. I provide a close reading of the WPS resolutions and show how the articulations of prevention across the agenda, and in certain resolutions, operate according to logics of security and militarism. The significance of such an argument is twofold: it lies both in the possibility of reconstruction of prevention in the WPS agenda according to different logics, and in the potential of undoing security – as the manifestation of prevention in practice – in queer, feminist, decolonial, and posthuman ways of knowing and encountering the world.

Access the article here.

Women, Peace and Security after Europe’s ‘Refugee Crisis’

Source: E-International Relations / Audrey Reeves and Aiko Holvikivi

On 28 October 2014, Suaad Allami, a women’s rights activist and attorney from Iraq, addressed the United Nations (UN) Security Council at the UN Headquarters in New York City. Invited on the occasion of the Council’s annual open debate on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS), Allami spoke of her experiences supporting women and girls affected by the armed conflict in Iraq. Since 2007, Allami has directed the Women for Progress Center in Baghdad, an all-female legal clinic that she founded in order to provide free services to women and girls displaced by war and violence. ‘Imagine fleeing because your daughter is at risk of being kidnapped, forced to marry a militant fighter or trafficked into sexual slavery’, said Allami to representatives of UN member states gathered in the Security Council’s chamber. ‘Recently’, she continued, ‘two young Yazidi women were rescued when they were bought from ISIS fighters. They had been passed from one group of fighters to another across the country and repeatedly raped.’ Many women in such situations, the attorney explained, ‘are traumatized from the violence’ and stigmatized upon returning to their war-strained communities.

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