The United Nations has just published its Gender Resource Package for Peacekeeping Operations–a comprehensive guide for those serving in the field and at Headquarters aimed at integrating concerns about equality and the particular concerns of women into the workings of missions across the globe.
The Coalition for Women’s Human Rights in Conflict Situations has just launched its website:
A recently developed CD-ROM programme utilizing simple “point and click” technology enables women who do not read or write to easily access information in their own language. The project is the IWTC project developed with rural farm women at Nakaseke rural telecentre entitled “Rural Women in Africa: Ideas for Making Money”. The project has been an enormous success in empowering women throughout Uganda.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 was passed unanimously on 31 October 2000. This is the first resolution ever passed by the Security Council that specifically addresses the impact of war on women, and women’s contributions to conflict resolution.
According to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan women are still excluded from the peace table in spite of their significant role. The UN and many individual Member States have taken measures to correct the gender imbalance in peacekeeping missions and to ensure that peacekeepers are specifically trained in the protection of women. Many States have actively recruited women to serve in peacekeeping contingents, particularly in senior roles. The UN has also increased the number of gender advisers from two in 2000 to ten today. Nonetheless only two of the UN’s 27 peace operations are headed by women.
Mr. Annan’s report: http://www.un.org/Docs/journal/asp/ws.asp?m=S/2004/814
For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news
A recent survey of deaths in Iraqi households estimates that as many as 100,000 more people may have died throughout the country in the 18 months since the U.S.-led invasion than would be expected based on the death rate before the war.
Designed and conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University and the Al-Mustansiriya University in Baghdad, the study is being published on the Web site of The Lancet medical journal. The survey indicated violence accounted for most of the extra deaths seen since the invasion, and airstrikes from coalition forces caused most of the violent deaths, the researchers wrote in the British-based journal.
“Most individuals reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and children,” they said.
The Lancet: http://www.thelancet.com
Dutch film-maker Theo Van Gogh was recently shot on a street in Amsterdam.
Dutch television had broadcast a film of his whose subject is abused women in the Islamic world. Since the broadcast he had received several death threats. The script of the film, ‘Submission’, was written by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, originally from Somalia and currently a member of the Dutch parliament. Ali originally came to Holland as a refugee after having been forced into marriage. She was already well known in Holland for her critical remarks about Islam. Ali had to be put under police protection after the movie ‘Submission’ was shown.
1st LT Jennifer Dyer, a woman serving in the N.J. National Guard as an officer and platoon leader, alleges that on August 8th 2004 1st LT Michael Hall raped her. She immediately reported the rape to military CID (Criminal Investigation Division) who took her to a civilian hospital for emergency room treatment and rape kit tests. The army held her in seclusion for the next three days, during which she received no counselling or medical treatment. CID Agent Barreras advised Ms. Dyer of her Miranda rights and threatened her with prosecution if she were filing a false report.
Jennifer’s full statement: http://oldamericancentury.org/jennifer.htm
TAAMP (Survivors Take Action Against Abuse by Military Personnel) – http://www.militarywoman.org/stamp.htm
Rape Nation – http://www.november.org/stayinfo/breaking2/RapeNation.html
Camouflaging Criminals: Sexual Violence Against Women in the Military – http://www.amnestyusa.org/amnestynow/camouflaging_criminals.html
Sisters Speaking Out
Iranian Nobel Prize winner Shirin Ebadi is suing the US government for blocking publication of her memoirs. She contends that constraints on the publication of books by authors in countries subject to US sanctions are unconstitutional. American companies are banned from publishing books by authors in Iran, Cuba and Sudan.
Sydney Peace Prize winner Arundhati Roy labelled George Bush and Tony Blair war criminals as she reprimanded Iraqi coalition leaders, including Australian Prime Minister John Howard. The Indian novelist said visitors to Australia were asked on their visa forms whether they had ever committed war crimes or crimes against humanity. “Would George Bush and Tony Blair get visas to Australia?” she asked.
Conference Canadian Peace Alliance will be hosting a pan-Canadian peace conference called “Building the Other Superpower!” at Ryerson University in Toronto from November 5 to 7, 2004. Partners are: the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
Conference Overview: http://www.acp-cpa.ca/en/Convention2004.html
WILPF (Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom) in Toronto will be holding a workshop called “Disarmament: From the Corridors of Power to the Streets of Canada”. Susi Snyder, Director, WILPF UN Office New York will be facilitating. The workshop will be organized so the discussion moves from the halls of the UN to the rest of the world with particular focus on what we as Canadians can do. Furthermore, a workshop on Security Council Resolution 1325 will be held in collaboration with Voice of Women (VOW).
From 8 November to 3 December 2004 WOMENWATCH will be hosting an online discussion, moderated by UNIFEM, on ending violence against women. Human rights advocates and practitioners are invited to share
their views, experiences and concerns about ending violence against women and girls. For more information visit the discussion website at: