Women, Girls and War

Women and girls are underrepresented among combatants but overrepresented among the victims of armed conflict. According to the United Nations Development Fund for Women [UNIFEM], 70 percent of casualties in recent conflicts have been civilians, the majority of them women and children. With the breakdown of infrastructure in conflict zones, women’s struggles to provide food, water and care for their families and communities are exacerbated. Sexual exploitation, harassment and assault are common challenges for both women soldiers and civilians. Rape as a systemic weapon of armed conflict is now widely recognized as a war crime. The United Nations has passed numerous resolutions on women, peace and security (most notably UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which recognizes women’s multiple roles in war and peace) and, in 2008, passed Resolution 1820 calling for more stringent measures to combat sexual violence in armed conflict.

Sri Lanka: Women’s Insecurity in the North and East

 Women in Sri Lanka’s predominantly Tamil-speaking north and east are facing a desperate lack of security in the aftermath of the long civil war. Today many still live in fear of violence from various sources. Those who fall victim to it have little means of redress. Women’s economic security is precarious, and their physical mobility is limited. The heavily militarised and centralised control of the north and east – with almost exclusively male, Sinhalese security forces – raises particular problems for women there in terms of their safety, sense of security and ability to access assistance. They have little control over their lives and no reliable institutions to turn to. The government has mostly dismissed women’s security issues and exacerbated fears, especially in the north and east. The international community has failed to appreciate and respond effectively to the challenges faced by women and girls in the former war zone.

URL: 
http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/asia/south-asia/sri-lanka/217-sri-lanka-womens-insecurity-in-the-north-and-east.aspx

Women, Peace, and Security - US Policy Should Support UNSC Resolution 1325

By Shyama Venkateswar, Ph.D.*
The National Council for Research on Women participates in the US Civil Society Working Group on Women, Peace, and Security. We are currently disseminating a statement and recommendations to encourage more robust US policies and programs to ensure that women's voices and organizations are fully represented throughout diplomacy, peace-building and post-conflict reconstruction efforts. In publishing this statement, the Working Group aims to transform declaratory support into concrete action and engender effective outcomes that bring peace, security, and dignity to the lives of women, men, and chiildren in conflict and crisis settings. Please help us spread the word about this important initiative. Click here to read the statement.


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US Civil Society Working Group on Women, Peace, and Security

A Long Way to Go: Implementation of the Elimination of Violence against Women Law in Afghanistan

The Government of Afghanistan took a big step forward in support of women’s equality and protection of women’s rights when it enacted the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW law) in August 2009. The landmark legislation criminalizes for the first time in Afghanistan child marriage, forced marriage, forced self-immolation and 19 other acts of violence against women including rape, and specifies punishments for perpetrators. This report from the UN Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) examines implementation of the EVAW law by judicial and law enforcement officials throughout Afghanistan for the period of March 2010 to September 2011, and identifies both positive progress and large gaps.

URL: 
http://unama.unmissions.org/Portals/UNAMA/human%20rights/November%2023_UNAMA-OHCHR-Joint-Report-on-Implementation-of-EVAW-law_ENG.pdf

A Decade Lost: Locating Gender in U.S. Counter-Terrorism. Throughout the United States’ decade-long "War on Terror"

A Decade Lost: Locating Gender in U.S. Counter-Terrorism provides the first global study of how the U.S. government's (USG) counter-terrorism efforts proffoundly implicate and impact women and sexual minorities. Over the last decade of the United States' "War on Terror," the oft-unspoken assumption that men suffer the most—both numerically and in terms of the nature of rights violations endured—has obscured the way women and sexual minorities experience counter-terrorism, rendering their rights violations invisible to policymakers and the human rights community alike.  This failure to consider either the differential impacts of counter-terrorism on women, men, and sexual minorities or the ways in which such measures use and affect gender stereotypes and relations cannot continue.
URL: 
http://www.chrgj.org/projects/docs/locatinggender.pdf

Karamatuna: An Investigation into the Sex Trafficking of Iraqi Women and Girls

This programme works to combat the sex-trafficking of women and children in the Middle East, whilst protecting them from gender based violence.
URL: 
http://www.sce-me.org/component/content/article/211
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