Women, Peace & Security

In the News: Thursday, 2 July 2020

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Monthly Action Points (MAP) for the Security Council: July 2020

Source: NGO Working Group on WPS

For July, in which Germany has the presidency of the UN Security Council, the MAP provides recommendations on DRC, Libya, Syria, Yemen and women, peace and security.

Read the recommendations here.

Northeast Syrian Women To Participate In Meetings On Tribal Matters

Source: Al-Monitor / Adam Lucente

Women in northeast Syria are now allowed to participate in social meetings pertaining to political and tribal matters. One female Syriac Christian official in the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria that governs the area welcomed the new move, saying it counters centuries of women being sidelined in the region. “In the Middle East, women are only at home and men have bigger roles,” Elizabeth Gawryie, a deputy of the administration’s Executive Council, told Al-Monitor. “But women must have equality and rights.”

Read the full article here.

Op-Ed: Put Women At The Centre Of Syria Crisis Response

Source: UN Women / UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and UNFPA Executive Director Natalia Kanem

As the Syria crisis enters its 10th year, the situation is especially dire for women and girls, with the effects of COVID-19 compounding the risks and hardships for millions of people inside the country and for refugees around the region.

Today nearly 12 million people in Syria require urgent humanitarian assistance and around 4 million depend on cross-border aid. Some 5.7 million Syrians have fled and are now residing in countries throughout the region.

Of those who need humanitarian aid, half are women and girls. Syrian women have higher rates of poverty than men; they face increased risk of gender-based violence; and they shoulder the responsibility of caring for their children and other family members. The rapid spread of COVID-19 is further increasing the risks faced by women.

It is estimated that more than half a million women inside Syria and in host communities throughout the region are pregnant. In some places, pregnant women are refraining from visiting health facilities due to movement restrictions or fears about exposure to the virus. This is putting the lives of women and newborns at risk.

Perhaps most egregiously, the crisis has exposed a shadow pandemic of violence against women, one that has spiked in the face of lockdowns and quarantine measures. UNFPA projects that the pandemic could result in millions more cases of gender-based violence around the world.

Read the full article here.

The Road Less Travelled: Women And Disarmament

Source: Australian Strategic Policy Institute / Renata Dwan

October will mark 20 years since the UN Security Council first recognised the links between international peace and security and the equal rights of women and girls. Landmark UNSC resolution 1325 established the right of women to engage in issues of war and peace, and recognised the role that women play in preventing, managing and recovering from conflict.

At the same time, the resolution highlighted how conflict affected women and girls differently to men and, accordingly, how crisis management, humanitarian and development responses needed to take account of the specific needs of women and girls.

This resonates in the time of the coronavirus pandemic, which has revealed both the global scale of domestic and gender-based violence and the distinct ways in which women, who dominate child, aged-care and home-care jobs, are impacted by health crises.

Yet, it’s striking that a resolution about armed conflict has little to say about weapons. Apart from two brief references to the need for gender-sensitive mine action and disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration programs, UNSCR 1325 does not address the rights and roles of women in regulating arms.

Read the full article here

UN Women Turns 10, Placing Women’s Rights, Priorities And Voices Centre-Stage

Source: UN Women / Statement by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women

UN Women is 10 years old today. On 2 July 2010, the General Assembly adopted a landmark resolution to merge four parts of the United Nations system into the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women – known as UN Women.

A decade on, as we celebrate this anniversary in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the human rights of women and girls have more prominence, universality and more urgency than ever before. Our founding allies – Member States, civil society and the women’s movements – are now joined by partnerships and relationships throughout society, across age groups, across the world.

Since 2010, UN Women’s staff, present in some 90 countries, have delivered programmes that have almost quadrupled in size, and that bring change to billions of those most in need.

Whether it’s girls learning coding, women farmers using new climate-resilient seed stock, small enterprise owners accessing large scale value chains, women candidates being trained to run successfully for office, discriminatory laws being abolished, women negotiators bringing essential constructive compromise to peace tables, or provision of psychosocial care for women survivors of violence; millions of women have acquired new skills, been supported through adversity, and gained strength and courage through learning their human rights. Our work to support reform in discriminatory laws in 2019 alone has affected the lives of more than 1 billion women.

Read the full statement here.

The Role of Women Negotiators and Mediators in the Maintenance of Regional Peace and Security

Source: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia

In preparation for the establishment of the Southeast Asian Network of Women Peace Negotiators and Mediators (SEA Women Peace Network) as the priority program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 2020 which is planned to be launched in the second half of 2020, taking into consideration the development of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Directorate General of ASEAN Cooperation hosted a Web Seminar (Webinar) with the theme “The Role of Women Negotiators and Mediators in the Maintenance of Regional Peace and Security” on 1-2 July 2020.

Find the full webinar on YouTube here.