Issue #110

August 2009 


The Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, 31 October 2000.

For the text of the resolution, visit: http://www.peacewomen.org/un/sc/1325.html


1. Editorial:
2. Women, Peace and Security News
3. Feature Statements:
The Declaration of Five Million Afghan Women Campaign; Honduran Feminists in Resistance to the Military Coup of 28th June 2009 and the Events that Followed
4. Feature Resources:
Siyanda Update: Nepal & Sri Lanka
5 . Feature Initiatives:
International Delegation Amplifies Honduran Women’s Voices; Take Action: WITNESS and Zimbabwean Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU): “Hear Us – Stand with Us: Zimbabwe Women Rise Against Sexual Violence
6.Security Council Monitor:
SCR 1820: Open Debate & PeaceWomen Thematic Index
7 . Women, Peace and Security Calendar 

PeaceWomen is a project of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom  



Sam Cook  

In this edition of the PeaceWomen E-News we are highlighting the remarkable efforts of women around the world to bring about sustainable, positive and peaceful political change. The participation aspect of Resolution 1325 is in many ways its lynchpin. Unfortunately, this is also the area in which implementation of the resolution has been particularly ad hoc and limited. There is of course significant rhetorical support for increasing women’s participation. But, substantive action on the part of governments and the UN has been less positive – the levels of women’s participation in peace processes remains abysmal and the UN has made limited progress in leading by example. One of the other disturbing trends is that women’s participation is often treated as a monolithic and abstract concept. It is vital that we look at what participation means in practical terms in relation to specific decision-making processes or in specific contexts. For example, in our Feature Resources section (Item 4) a new report focuses on women’s political status in Sri Lanka within the context of that country’s ongoing conflict.  

Another challenging aspect of the prevailing discourse around women’s participation is that it is often assumed that women’s participation is centered on women participating in decision-making around “issues of gender equality.” There is not always discussion on what this means specifically. Furthermore, and aside from the obvious fact that attaining gender equality is not and should not be the sole responsibility of women, this assumption ignores one of the primary driving forces for women who advocated for a Security Council Resolution on women, peace and security. That is, women have a vital and significant role and a right to participate in decision-making on all matters of peace and security. That includes women taking a stand and having a say on disarmament and ending militarism. That includes women in Zimbabwe calling for an end to human rights abuses. That includes women standing up and having their voices heard to end military coups  - such as that in Honduras. That includes women having a say in political processes in Afghanistan and elsewhere. We feature some of these voices for change in this edition and look forward to continuing to do so on our website and in future editions.  

Of course these are the few amongst many peace and security issues vying for attention – as can be seen in our selection of news items for this newsletter (Item 2). However, most media and political attention over the last few months has been given to the protection aspect of the women, peace and security agenda and, in particular, addressing sexual violence in conflict. For the PeaceWomen Project, addressing sexual violence in conflict is of course important but we continue to encourage advocates to see protection and participation as integrally related. With this in mind, we continue to monitor policy developments in this arena. The Security Council considered the Secretary-General’s Resolution 1820 report (which we analyzed in our last issue) with an Open Debate on 6 August 2009. The PeaceWomen team monitored this debate and links to our thematic index of statements and related resources can be found in our Security Council Monitor (Item 6). One of the key recommendations of the NGO Working Group on women, peace and security and others was the appointment by the Secretary-General of a Special Representative on women, peace and security – and for this person to be mandated to help drive UN efforts “to address the needs and interests of women in conflict, and particularly to prevent and respond to the use of sexual violence.” This recommendation received significant support during the debate and we look forward to positive developments on this as the Security Council continues its consideration of follow-up to Resolution 1820.  

Another significant development on which we hope to see progress in the coming weeks is the establishment of a new women’s entity at the UN. We hope that the General Assembly adopts a resolution to this effect in this 63rd Session (which ends on 14 September) and that urgently needed progress on this is not delayed for spurious reasons. We look forward to featuring information on this and other General Assembly activities in the next edition of the PeaceWomen E-News. 

Sam Cook
PeaceWomen Project Director,
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
UN Office
777 UN Plaza, 6th Floor
New York, New York 10017
+ 1 212 682 1265
+ 1 212 286 8211
The PeaceWomen Project of WILPF monitors and works
toward rapid and full implementation of United Nations
Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. 


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