Women, Peace & Security

In the News: Thursday, 9 July 2020

Gender Inequality Exacerbates the COVID-19 Crisis in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Settings

Source: Wold Bank Blogs / Caren Grown & Franck Bousquet

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has exposed and exacerbated many existing social inequalities the world over. Gender inequality — layered along with the effects of the pandemic, lockdowns and the economic downturn– could leave a deep and lasting impact on discrimination against women and girls.

Globally, around 70% of health sector workers are women, which makes them more exposed to the pandemic. Lockdown measures have exacerbated tensions in the home leading to increased levels of gender-based violence (GBV), while restrictions on movement are creating barriers for women seeking to escape abuse and access health services, including sexual, reproductive and maternal health services, or community services like crisis centers, shelters, legal aid, and protection.

Read the full article here.

Nowhere to Turn for Women Facing Violence in Kashmir

Source: The New Humanitarian / Safina Nabi

The threat of violence against women is escalating amid coronavirus lockdowns around the globe. But one region that has lived through a military clampdown for nearly a year – Indian-administered Kashmir – could have foretold the surge.

Being shut in by government order is nothing new in Kashmir, nor is the resulting spike in gender-based violence, women’s advocates say.

The region has seen decades of conflict, militarisation, protests, and violent crackdowns. Kashmir has essentially been on lockdown since August 2019, when India scrapped the region’s semi-autonomous status, bringing the former state of Jammu and Kashmir under direct control of the central government. Authorities imposed a communications blockade and security forces patrolled the streets, shut down public transportation, and closed markets.

Read the full article here.

Practicing What We Preach: Committing to the Women, Peace, and Security Strategy Here at Home

Source: Real Clear / Mackenzie Eaglen

The old adage “actions speak louder than words” is key to the global success of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) strategy. Unfortunately, at the Pentagon right now, it’s not looking too good. More politicians need to encourage this agenda, more men need to take it up as a top cause, and newly developed lines of effort need to be regularly assessed for improvement.

Read the full article here.

Women’s Participation in Sudan Politics ‘Inadequate and Incomplete’

Source: Dabanga

The participation of women in Sudan’s post-revolution political process is “inadequate and incomplete”, according to the Sudanese Women’s Group for Peace and Security.

In an interview to be broadcast today via Radio Dabanga’s Kandaka programme, which focuses on women’s interests and issues, lawyer Azza Hasan, coordinator of the Women’s Group for Peace and Security, points out that the Constitutional Charter signed in August 2019, clearly stipulates the right of women to be part of the government.

Hasan, who is also responsible for transitional justice at Mansam, an alliance of political and civil feminist groups, accused the transitional government of “neglecting and deliberately obstructing the participation of women”. In particular, she blamed the Sovereign Council and the Council of Ministers for holding seats that should rightfully be held by women.

Read the full article here.

Kenyan Peace Builder Rose Mbone Fights Against Gender-Based Violence During Covid-19

Source: Forbes / Jackie Abramian

Across Kenya, the pandemic lock-down has further exasperated gender-based violence in a country where 45 percent of women and girls already faced violence. As of July 7th there were 8,067 cases of Covid-19 across Kenya and 164 deaths.

“Our situation is hopeless, and no one is helping our women. The violence in our communities during the lock-down is because men can’t provide for their families, so they get drunk and take it off on their wives. Everyone lives hand to mouth trying to survive,” says 30- year-old Rose Mbone who founded the community-based The Legend Kenya in 2013 at age 22 in Korogocho, one of the largest shanty towns with 200,000 residents in northeastern Nairobi–Kenya’s capital city. “The Kenyan government has received funding for Covid-19 prevention, but it doesn’t trickle down to our communities because of deep corruption.”

Read the full article here.

Violence Increased During the Coronavirus Pandemic, Women and Girls Need Psychological Support

Source: UN Women / Mubera Hodžić-Lemeš

Mubera Hodžić-Lemeš is a social worker and manager of a safe house operating within the Foundation of Local Democracy in Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). During the pandemic, she was at the forefront of response to the crisis, to which safe houses also had to adapt. This article is part of UN Women campaign “Thank you, heroines” in BiH, aimed at raising awareness on women’s contribution to COVID-19 response.

Read the article here.

Isha Sesay, Idris Elba Launch Sierra Leone Sexual Assault Survivors Fund

Source: The Hollywood Reporter / Abid Rahman

After the June 17 rape and murder of 5-year-old Kadijah Saccoh in the West African country, the pair, along with local activist Asmaa James, have established The Survivors Solidarity Fund.

Read the full article here.