Women, Peace & Security

In the News: Tuesday, 1 September 2020

DRC Takes a Step Towards Zero Tolerance Against Gender-Based Violence

Source: UN Women

Women and girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo are still the first victims of conflicts and socio-cultural practices that relegate them to second class citizen. In 2018, more than 35,000 cases of sexual violence were still recorded, the majority of them in the East. During the COVID-19 epidemic, violence increased by 99% in North Kivu Province. To respond the situation, the Deputy Minister of Planning and the Minister of State for Gender, Family and Child launched the new revision of the National Strategy for Combating Gender-based Violence (SNVGB) on Thursday, August 27, 2020 in Kinshasa. This revision aims to eliminate all forms of violence against women in the Democratic Republic of Congo and to define a reference framework for the prevention of crimes and the care of survivors. The revised SNVGB contains a new definition that encompasses all aspects of GBV, including domestic violence. The specificity of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in humanitarian setting is also taken into account. Finally, the government’s responsibility is strengthened, and its scope of action is extended to the entire country.

Read more here.

 South Africa: Women’s Empowerment to Become Central in Government Policies

Source: SA News

Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza says the issue of women’s empowerment will be central in government policies, regulatory reform and programmatic intervention. Addressing a virtual dialogue webinar with female farmers on Monday, Didiza acknowledged that South Africa has progressed in a number of areas to improve the position of women in society. This includes political representation, education and health, where milestones have been made. However, she said the country is struggling in areas of the economy.

Read more here.

New Policy Paper: Syrian Women’s Aspirations for a Just Social Contract, an Inclusive National Identity, and Sustainable Peace  

Source: Syrian Women’s Political Movement

Based on the feedback of the participants, this paper is divided into two main parts in discussing the social contract. The first part focuses on the reasons that pushed the Syrian people to lose their sense of belonging to the social contract both before and after the war. The second part talks about the principles that should be the basis for re-activating the social contract. Each part includes witness statements and quotations that exemplify the viewpoints of the participating women. In the final part, the paper includes recommendations made by the participants regarding the procedures that should be followed during the political process in order to reach a new social contract, an inclusive national identity, and sustainable peace.

Read the paper here.