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1 Presentation on Women Peace and Security in the Commonwealth ‘Kemi Ogunsanya, Adviser Gender Section Commonwealth Secretariat, London at the CPA-UK Gender.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Presentation on Women Peace and Security in the Commonwealth ‘Kemi Ogunsanya, Adviser Gender Section Commonwealth Secretariat, London at the CPA-UK Gender."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Presentation on Women Peace and Security in the Commonwealth ‘Kemi Ogunsanya, Adviser Gender Section Commonwealth Secretariat, London at the CPA-UK Gender and Politics Conference, London 7 November 2012

2 Introductions CW believes that women’s role as change agents is pivotal to the achievement of sustainable peace, development and democracy across the globe The challenge for the CW is to demonstrate impact of women’s contribution to peace and democracy in member countries Women should be able to influence decisions and contribute to peace and sustainable development Their social, economic and political empowerment should form part of the democratic ideals in accordance with global mandates 2

3 Introductions UN Resolution 1325 and follow-up resolutions, made an urgent call for the: –equal participation and full involvement of women in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security, and –increased role of women in leadership and decision-making with regards to peace-making, peacekeeping, conflict prevention and resolution. The Commonwealth is guided by these resolutions encapsulated in the CW Plan of Action for Gender Equality (PoA), which draws on international commitments for the realisation of women’s rights enshrined in –Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), 1979 –Beijing Platform for Action, 1995 –Millennium Development Goals and –other agreements on health and education targets.

4 4 PoA Key Actions and Targets for Member States: Promote women’s full participation at all stages of the peacebuilding processes including formal and informal negotiations and agreements. Include gender equality in peace and conflict management processes Mainstream women in the training of peacekeepers, armed, police forces and partners to ensure appropriate codes of conduct Confront gender bias in public and private sector recruitment, and in the media and peace operations Ensure women make up at least 30% of decision-makers in peace processes, government and business by 2015

5 PoA Key Actions and Targets for the Secretariat: Support countries to address specific needs of women, men and young people in conflict and post- conflict situations including child soldiers and victims of rape Support member states to gather relevant data that is sex and age specific to monitor all forms of gender-based violence Support leadership to enable women to seek and advance political careers through capacity-building programmes and projects 5

6 Challenges of women in armed conflicts Women and men experience conflict differently: women and girls are by-products of war and armed conflicts In peace time, women and girls are subjected to gross sexual abuse and violations in the home, community and society Vulnerable to abuse, sexual slavery, exploitation, human trafficking and punitive traditional practices In specific situations women have participated and contributed to war to a minimal degree (3%) 6 Photo: Zainab Hawa Bangura (Sierra Leone) SRSG on Sexual Violence and Conflict, June 2012

7 The participation of women is indispensable because of their social, economic and political roles Out of the two billion peoples in the CW, women and girls are half of the world’s population Women have contributed significantly in peace processes, preventive diplomacy, capacity building initiatives, post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding Women have served as mediators between combating parties, and brokered ceasefire and peace agreements Have transformed governance and decision-making processes across CW regions 7 Why Women?

8 CW Women and peace negotiations/agreements In specific circumstances women are not allowed to seat at peace tables An analytical study of 585 peace agreements signed between 1990 and 2010 reveals only 16% contained references to women in qualitative terms (biologically) Yet they have played effective roles in peace-making, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction in Pakistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Uganda Currently only three CW countries are in post-conflict: Pakistan, Sierra Leone and Sri Lanka (Fiji – suspended) 8

9 CW Women and Peacekeeping 4 CW countries top contribution of military and police personnel to UN PSOs in 2012: Bangladesh, India, Nigeria and Pakistan. Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Bangladesh and Rwanda rank high in contribution of female troops. This accounts for 10% of Police Officers and 3% of military personnel Out of 30 CW countries contributing troops, only Brunei and PNG have not contributed women personnel Canada deploys 10% of police women to peacekeeping missions 9

10 CW Women and Peacekeeping Three CW countries deployed all female police units: India in Liberia, Bangladesh in Haiti & DRC, and Samoa in East Timor In 2012, 30 percent of women constitute civilian staff in peacekeeping and peacebuilding missions Pacific Islands recognise the contribution of women in conflict prevention, resolution and peacebuilding efforts 10 Photo: Arrival of all Female Indian Officers to UN Mission in Liberia

11 CW Women and Peacekeeping In 2012 there are six Women SRSGs & DSRSGs – two are from the CW with one Special Envoy: Margaret Vogt from Nigeria SRSG to CAR and Ameerah Haq from Bangladesh SRSG to Timor-Leste in 2010 Zainab Hawa Bangura from Sierra Leone SRSG on Sexual Violence in Conflict (UNSCR1820), June 2012 Radhika Coomaraswamy from Sri Lanka former SRSG for Children and Armed conflict as at 31 July 2012 Dr Asha-Rose Migiro of Tanzania recently appointed Special Envoy for HIV and AIDS in Africa in July 2012, previously held by Elizabeth Mataka from Botswana. Dr Migiro served as UN Dep Sec-Gen from

12 Contributions of Women Peacekeepers Improved intelligence gathering Interviewing survivors of gender-based violence Effectiveness of operational procedures Ability to work in conservative environments Provide security to women and girls Reduction in conflict confrontation Empowerment of community women & girls Highlight diversity, inclusion and gender equality Support female ex-combatants in DDR process Expand skills and approaches in peacekeeping missions 12 Photo: Arrival of all Female Bangladeshi Officers to Haiti

13 CW Women and Peacebuilding New Publication on 1325 National Action Plans Six CW countries have adopted NAPs –Australia (2012) –Canada (2010) –Rwanda (2010) –Sierra Leone (2010) –Uganda (2008) –United Kingdom (revised 2011) Developing a framework to support member states adopt and implement NAPs 13 Photo: CW New Publication on Gender, Peace and Security

14 Adoption & Implementation of National Action Plans Some members are in the process of adopting NAPs e.g. South Africa Other countries have in place gender mainstreaming mechanisms The Secretariat will: –Advise governments to increase participation of women in peacekeeping and peacebuilding missions –Urge members to provide required resources, training and capacity building initiatives for women to participate effectively in these processes –Monitor and evaluate adoption and implementation of NAPs with member states –Recommend penalties for non-compliance at all levels across all sectors 14 Commonwealth Women and Peacebuilding

15 Thank You Q & A / Comments UN delegation to the International Association of Women Police annual conference in Minneapolis, USA. Photo by Irene Ang


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