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[16days_discussion] Fwd: [WUNRN] Armed Conflict - Women & Children Most of Victims, But Women Still Marginalized in Peace Process

Radha Paudel rpaudel456 at
Thu Aug 6 22:56:43 EDT 2015

“Despite 1325 and the successor resolutions…women and girls continue
to be routinely excluded from decision-making processes in
humanitarian responses as well as in peace-negotiations and
peace-building initiatives.”

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: WUNRN LISTSERVE <wunrn1 at>
Date: Thu, 6 Aug 2015 09:40:43 +0200
Subject: [WUNRN]  Armed Conflict - Women & Children Most of Victims,
But Women Still Marginalized in Peace Process
To: WUNRN ListServe <wunrn_listserve at>


Armed Conflict - Women & Children Most of Victims, But Women Still
Marginalized in Peace Process

Liberian National Police Officer Lois Dolo provides security at the third
annual commemoration of the Global Open Day on Women, Peace and Security in
Liberia. The event was themed "Women Demand Access to Justice". Credit: UN
Photo/Staton Winter

By  <> Nora Happel

UNITED NATIONS, Jul 30 2015 (IPS) - This October will mark the 15th
anniversary of the adoption of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325. The
landmark resolution on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) recognises not only
the disproportionate impact armed conflict has on women, but also the lack
of women's involvement in conflict resolution and peace-making.

It calls for the full and equal participation of women in conflict
prevention, peace negotiations, humanitarian response and post-conflict
reconstruction and urges member states to incorporate a gender perspective
in all areas of peace-building and to take measures to protect women from
sexual violence in armed conflict.

Since its passage, 1325 has been followed by six additional resolutions
(1820, 1888, 1889, 1960, 2106 and 2122).

But despite all these commitments on paper, actual implementation of the WPS
agenda in the real world continues to lag, according to humanitarian workers
and activists.

Data by the U.N. and NATO show that women and girls continue to be
disproportionately affected by armed conflict.

Before the Second World War, combatants made up 90 percent of casualties in
wars. Today most casualties are civilians, especially women and children.
Hence, as formulated in a 2013 NATO review, whereas men wage the war, it is
mostly women and children who suffer from it.

Kang Kyung-wha Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and
Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator at the U.N. Office for the Coordination
of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), who spoke at a recent lecture series on WPS,
cited as example the situation of women and girls on the border between
Nigeria and Niger, where the average girl is married by 14 and has two
children by age 18.

Secondary education for girls is almost non-existent in this area and risks
of violence, sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking are particularly
high, she said.

"Thus marginalised and disempowered, [these women and girls] are unlikely to
play any part in building stable communities and participate in the
socio-economic development of their societies and countries," Kang said.

"Despite 1325 and the successor resolutions.women and girls continue to be
routinely excluded from decision-making processes in humanitarian responses
as well as in peace-negotiations and peace-building initiatives."

High expectations are placed on the World Humanitarian Summit, scheduled to
take place in May 2016 in Istanbul. Activists hope that the summit will help
turn the numerous rhetorical commitments into concrete actions.

Marcy Hersh, Senior Advocacy Officer at Women's Refugee Commission, who also
spoke on the panel, told IPS: "Women and girls are gravely implicated in
peace and security issues around the world, and therefore, they must be a
part of the processes that will lead to their protection."

"The key challenges in protecting women and children in emergencies, and
ensuring women are able to participate in these processes, is not related to
knowing what needs to happen.We need a commitment to do it. We need to see
leadership and accountability in the international community for these

"If humanitarian leadership, through whatever mechanisms, can finally
collectively step up to the plate and provoke the behavioral change
necessary to ensure humanitarian action works with and for women and girls,
we will have undertaken bold, transformative work."

Another challenge in making the women, peace and security agenda a reality
is linked to psychological resistance and rigid adherence to the traditional
status quo. Gender-related issues tend to be handled with kid gloves due to
"cultural sensitivity", according to Kang Kyung-wha.

"But you can't hide behind culture," Kang said.

Also, women activists continue to face misogyny and skepticism in their
communities and at the national level. Christine Ahn, co-founder of the
Korea Policy Institute and former Senior Policy Analyst at the Global Fund
for Women, told IPS that often enough the involvement of women in
peace-keeping processes seems inconceivable to some of the men in power who
hold key positions in international relations and foreign policy.

"They are calling us naive, dupes, fatuitous. Criticism is very veiled of
course, we are in the 21st century. But even if it is a very subtle way in
which our efforts are discounted, it is, in fact, patriarchy in its fullest

Christine Ahn spoke at the second event of the lecture series at the United
Nations. She is one of the 30 women who, in May 2015, participated in the
Crossing of the De-Militarised Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea as
part of a one-week long journey with North and South Korean women.

The project aimed at fostering civil society contacts between women in North
and South Korea and promoting peace and reconciliation between the

The symbolic act for peace at one of the world's most militarised borders
can be seen as a practical example of Security Council resolution 1325.

Ahn told IPS: "We will use resolution 1325 when we advocate that both of
Korean women are able to meet because under each government's national
security laws they are not allowed to meet with the other - as it is
considered meeting with the enemy."


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In Love, Peace and Solidarity !
Radha Paudel
Founder-Action Works Nepal
email: rpaudel456 at
          actionworksnepal.awon10 at
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Social Worker Award 2013
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