This paper should be cited as: Sherriff, A. and K. Barnes. 2008. Enhancing the EU response to women and armed conflict with particular reference to Development Policy (ECDPM Discussion Paper 84). Maastricht: ECDPM.
Enhancing the EU response to women and armed conflict with particular reference to Development Policy
Enhancing the EU Response to Women and Armed Conflict With particular reference to development policy - Study for the Slovenian EU Presidency (PDF)
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Table of contents
List of Acronyms
Part I: Background
2 International Approaches to WAC
3 Women and Armed Conflict – The Issues
Part II: EU Response
4 EU Responses to WAC
5 Key Issues and Responses
Part III: Proposals
6 Key Findings and Recommendations
Annex 1: New EC Financial Instruments and their Reference to WAC
Annex 2: Operational Guidance on Gender / Women and Armed Conflict
Annex 3: List of Individuals Consulted
Annex 4: Comparing National Action Plans for UNSCR 1325
This study was prepared by Andrew Sherriff, an independent consultant with over 13 years experience researching and working on conflict issues with universities, NGOs, bilaterals, and multilaterals. Karen Barnes, a gender expert at International Alert, also had extensive input into section 3 and wrote sections of this report (particularly sections 5.1 and 5.4.1) as well as providing valuable insight, corrections and advice throughout the paper.
James Mackie, Anje Jooya-Kruiter, Tilly De Coninck, and others at the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) assisted with study logistics and preparation and provided valuable feedback. Anje Jooya-Kruiter assisted particularly with the preparation of the summary. Erica Nelson supported Andrew Sherriff’s research efforts and the Center for Conflict Resolution (CECORE) in Uganda (particularly John Fisher and Rose Othieno) and Stella Sabiiti of the African Union were particularly helpful in providing substantive ideas as well as assisting with making introductions and setting up meetings. Also a number of people verified and corrected information in the boxed case studies, often turning around information quickly and improving understanding of the details and issues.
Ambassador Marija Adanja, Dubravka Sekoranja and Martina Skok of the Slovenia Ministry of Foreign Affairs accompanied the research process by contributing useful advice, input and specific feedback. Other members of the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave helpful input that shaped the development of the study. Brigitte Holzner, Austrian Development Agency, and Sophie Kraume from BMZ and her colleagues from GTZ also provided helpful comments and supported the process throughout.
In addition to the many NGOs and experts interviewed during this study, a number of agencies made written submissions to the study answering specific questions related to the EU’s response to women and armed conflict (see annex 3).
This study was jointly commissioned by the Slovenian Presidency of the EU, along with Austria and Germany, in response to the agreed and shared ‘trio’ priorities on development cooperation between Germany, Portugal and Slovenia. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors only and do not necessarily represent the views of the Slovenian government, Austrian government, German government or those of ECDPM.
The authors wish to thank all who have contributed with their views and comments to this paper, yet any deficiencies with this study remain their responsibility.
List of Acronyms
The issue of women and children affected by armed conflict is one of the priorities outlined in the 18-month trio programme ‘Strengthening the European Union’s Role as a Global Partner for Development’ as jointly agreed by the three EU Presidencies of Germany, Portugal and Slovenia. 1 After successfully completing a study on children affected by armed conflict (CAAC), the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Austrian Development Agency and BMZ / GTZ approached the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) and Andrew Sherriff to undertake this study focused on the European Union’s response to women and armed conflict (WAC). In particular, the parties are interested in how to enhance the development cooperation dimension of the issue and to add possible development linkages to the European Union’s approach. The tight timeline for the study, to be completed during the first half of the Slovenian EU Presidency, meant there was limited time for consultation. However, given the usefulness of the format and structure of the previous study on CAAC, time was saved by adopting a similar format for the study outlined below. This study should be seen as a ‘companion’ study to the CAAC study, despite a considerably different scope. This study is strengthened by the expertise provided by Karen Barnes of International Alert, an acknowledged expert on the issue of gender, conflict and the European Union.
This study incorporates a review of the latest relevant reports produced by the United Nations, its agencies and specialist organisations with an established track record in the field of women and armed conflict as well as existing academic research on this issue. In addition to desk study, face-to-face and telephone interviews were undertaken with over 60 officials from EU institutions, EU member-states, NGOs, UN, and other specialist organisations. Certain specialist non-governmental agencies and the United Nations with experience in women and conflict issues were invited to make formal submissions and case studies. Finally, a short research visit to Uganda and African regional institutions in Ethiopia provided useful local context. Given the short timeframe for the study (Mid January – to Mid March 2008), it was not possible to approach the issue in the depth and breadth that it deserves. 2 Feedback on the first draft of this paper was received from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia, Austrian Development Agency, BMZ/GTZ, representatives of troika government agencies. Yet again, it should be noted that due to the very tight timeframe and limited amount of time for comment, not all their suggestions could be accommodated.
Scope of the Study
The title of the study was originally women affected by armed conflict. However, as will be demonstrated below and in line with internationally agreed principles, women are both affected by and can affect the nature and course of armed conflict (either negatively or positively). They also play a significant role in conflict prevention and peacebuilding at the local and national levels. Thus the title is now women and armed conflict.
The issue of children was covered in the pervious study on CAAC. The paper therefore does not focus on differentiated needs of girls, the girl-child and young women under 18 years of age. However, it is important to emphasise that any approach to CAAC should be gender-sensitive, recognising that boys, girls, young women and men have different capacities, interests and needs, and are affected by conflict in different and specific ways.
The issue of women and children affected by armed conflict is one of the priorities of the 18-month troika programme of the three EU Presidencies of Germany, Portugal and Slovenia. A first study on Children Affected by Armed Conflict (CAAC) was completed in January 2008. This second study on Women and Armed Conflict (WAC) was jointly commissioned by Slovenia, Austria and Germany.
Though the study concentrates on women rather than on gender and armed conflict, it recognises the importance of gender analysis as a tool to promote a better response to women and armed conflict. Since women are both affected by and can affect armed conflict, “affected by” was removed from the initial title. This report focuses on the EU’s response to WAC, in particular on the development cooperation dimension. The report describes international approaches and legal obligations to WAC, identifies and discusses the most salient issues, gives an overview and assessment of the EU response and provides findings and recommendations. Examples or cases from Sierrra Leone, Uganda, the DRC, Kosovo and Burundi are included as well as thematic cases on sexual and gender based violence, local advocates for accountability on WAC, national action plans associated with WAC and regional approaches to WAC.
Approaches to WAC
Women’s multiple and diverse roles in conflict are hidden, poorly understood and, at times, consciously or unconsciously dismissed. Usually it is women’s role as victims that is given most prominence. Though, in recent years the international community has become more responsive to women’s diverse roles as actors on conflict prevention, resolution and peace-building, there is recognition that the EU’s response to this reality must be scaled up, widened and deepened.
Several international and European policy documents address the links between women and conflict. The Beijing Platform of Action, 1995, focused on six strategic objectives relating to women and armed conflict. This mandate was strengthened by the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 in 2000, which specifically addresses the impact of war on women, and women's contributions to conflict resolution and sustainable peace, yet has little specific guidance when it comes to priorities in the realm of development cooperation. The DAC-OECD 2001 Guidelines on Preventing Violent Conflict also highlight the importance of engaging and empowering women. It is also clear that responding better to women in armed conflict would help progress on the MDGs, yet the MDGs themselves do not explicitly mention conflict or WAC issues.
The European Consensus on Development and the EC’s Development Cooperation Instrument consider gender equality as a core value of EU development policy, and almost all other EC financial instruments make reference to either gender, conflict or specific WAC issues. Commitments to promote the role of women in peace-building and/or to enhance the implementation of UNSCR 1325 exist in several EU key documents such as the Council Conclusions on Gender Equality and Gender Mainstreaming in Crisis Management were adopted in 2006. Recently the issue was addressed in the EC Communication on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment in Development Cooperation, and in the Council conclusions that were adopted at the GAERC in May 2007, as well as the 2007 EU-Africa strategy and action plan. The European Parliament in its resolutions in 2000 and 2006 has also been at the forefront of calling for more sustained EU action in the area of women and armed conflict.
Practical steps to implement these policy guidelines have been taken by the Council Secretariat in 2006 through a Check list to ensure gender mainstreaming and implementation of UNSCR 1325 in the planning and conduct of ESDP Operations. Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom have adopted comprehensive National Action Plans (NAPs) for UNSCR 1325 with a significant development cooperation component. Yet there is a realisation that the EU has made limited tangible progress on the ground given the scale of the issues, existing EU commitments made, and the potential diplomatic and development resources that the EU has at its disposal towards this ends.
Key Issues & Responses
It is important that the EU’s response is informed by a nuanced understanding of the broad scope of issues relevant to WAC. A holistic approach needs, amongst others, to consider the situation and position of women and interact with women as actors rather than only as victims. The report identifies the following key inter-connected aspects to be considered during all times of conflict of peace-building, though these should not be seen as discrete categories or pre-, during, and post-conflict phases:
Preventing and resolving conflict. Approximately 40 % of countries emerging from conflict revert to war within five years, therefore repeating a cycle of violence, all of it affecting women. The key roles women can, and do, play in conflict prevention and resolution are usually overlooked in relevant activities, despite it being noted in international commitments such as UNSCR resolutions.
|ACP||Africa, Caribbean and Pacific|
|ADA||Austrian Development Agency|
|AIDS||Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome|
|BMZ ||Bundesministerium für Wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development)|
|CAAC||Children Affected by Armed Conflict|
|CECORE||Center for Conflict Resolution (Uganda) |
|CEDAW||Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women |
|CFSP||Common Foreign and Security Policy|
|CIDA||Canadian International Development Agency|
|CIVCOM||Council working group on civilian crisis management|
|CODEV||Council working group on development|
|COHOM||Council working group on human rights|
|CSP||Country Strategy Paper|
|DAC||Development Assistance Committee of the OECD|
|DCAF||Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces|
|DCI||Development Cooperation Instrument|
|DDR||Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration of former Combatants|
|DFID||Department for International Development - United Kingdom|
|DG||Directorate General (Department of the European Commission)|
|DG AIDCO||Directorate General for European Aid (also known as EuropeAid)|
|DGDC||Directorate General for Development Cooperation - Belgium|
|DG DEV||EC Directorate General for Development|
|DG RELEX||EC Directorate General for the External Relations|
|DRC||Democratic Republic of Congo|
|EASSI||The East African Sub-Regional Support Initiative|
|EC||European Community or Commission|
|ECDPM||European Centre for Development Policy Management|
|ECHO||EC Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid|
|EDF||European Development Fund|
|EGT||European Group on Training|
|EIDHR||European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights|
|EPLO||European Peacebuilding Liaison Office|
|ERW||Explosive Remnant of War|
|ESDP||European Security and Defence Policy|
|ESS||European Security Strategy |
|EUFOR-TCHAD/RCA||European Union Force Mission in Chad and Central African Republic|
|EUPM ||European Union Police Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|EUPOL||European Union Police Mission in the DRC|
|EUPT||European Union Planning Team in Kosovo|
|EUSEC||European Union Security Sector Reform Mission in the DRC|
|EUSR||European Union Special Representative|
|FTI||Fast Track Initiative|
|GAERC||General Affairs and External Relations Council|
|GBV||Gender Based Violence|
|GNI||Gross National Income|
|GTZ||Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (German Agency for Technical Cooperation)|
|ICC||International Criminal Court|
|ICRC||International Committee of the Red Cross|
|ICTJ||International Center for Transitional Justice|
|IfP||Initiative for Peacebuilding|
|IfS||Instrument for Stability|
|IGAD||Intergovernmental Agency for Development in the Horn of Africa |
|ILO||International Labour Organisation |
|INGO||International Non-Governmental Organisation|
|INSTRAW||United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women|
|IRC||International Rescue Committee |
|IWC||International Women’s Commission for a Just and Sustainable Palestinian-Israeli Peace|
|KWN||Kosovo Women’s Network|
|LRA||Lord’s Resistance Army – Uganda|
|LRRD||Linking Relief, Rehabilitation and Development|
|MDGs||Millennium Development Goals|
|MDRP||Multi-Donor Reintegration Programme|
|MDTF||Multi-Donor Trust Fund|
|MEP||Member of the European Parliament|
|MS||Member State of the European Union|
|NAP||National Action Plan (for UNSCR 1325)|
|NGOWG||NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security|
|NIP||National Indicative Programme|
|OECD||Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development|
|OSAGI||Office of the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women|
|OHCHR||Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights|
|OSCE||Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe|
|PBC||United Nations Peacebuilding Commission |
|PCNA||Post-Conflict Needs Assessment|
|PMG||Political Military Group|
|PRSP||Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper|
|RC||Rainbo Centre (Sierra Leone) |
|SCR||Security Council Resolution (of the United Nations)|
|SEA||Sexual Exploitation and Abuse |
|SFCG||Search for the Common Ground|
|SGBV||Sexual and gender-based violence |
|SIDA||Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency|
|SRSG-CAAC||Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict|
|SSR||Security Sector Reform|
|STIs||Sexually Transmitted Infections|
|SWAp||Sector Wide Approach|
|TRC||Truth and Reconciliation Commission|
|UNAMA||United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan |
|UNDAF||United Nations Development Framework|
|UNDG||United Nations Development Group|
|UNDP||United Nations Development Programme|
|UNESCO||United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organisation|
|UNHCR||United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees|
|UNICEF||United Nations International Children's Fund|
|UNIDIR||United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research|
|UNIFEM||United Nations Development Fund for Women|
|UNITAR||United Nations Institute for Training and Research|
|UNGA||United Nations General Assembly|
|UNMIK||United Nations Mission in Kosovo|
|UNSC||United Nations Security Council|
|UNSCR||United Nations Security Council Resolution|
|UNSCR 1325||United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security|
|UWCP||Uganda Women’s Coalition for Peace|
|WAC||Women and Armed Conflict|
|WHO||World Health Organisation|
Security issues. Certain sections of the international community have moved in policy from a focus on national security to a more people-centred or ‘human security’ approach. Including viewing sexual and gender- based violence and disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR), and people centred approaches to security sector reform. This can be key entry point for looking at and addressing the different needs of women and men. However, it does not necessarily mean that gender-specific security concerns will be taken into account in every instance
Access to justice. Existing forms of justice often discriminate against women particularly in issues such as access to property and economic rights. Legislation to protect women from sexual and domestic violence is also often inadequate and poorly enforced. Ensuring women are actors in processes of justice reform or transitional justice process is needed to ensure that they are given equal rights within the judicial system. Women need the opportunity to voice their own experiences of violence and their needs for justice. Transitional justice could include special courts, truth and reconciliation commissions and other community-based approaches.
Governance and civil society. Transparent, democratic and effective governance structures provide for human security of women and men. Gender equality and women’s empowerment should be at the heart of good goverance, yet this is not happening systematically. Good governance also involves equal representation and access by both to political processes. Women are significantly under-represented in decision-making positions, particularly in conflict countries. Donors should support alliance-building amongst women from different backgrounds to improve this situation and to serve as a platform for further activities.
Health and education. Women’s health concerns in conflict- affected areas are large in scope and linked with other concerns, particularly protection and their ability to be economically productive. Women are particularly vulnerable given their reproductive and maternal health needs and exposure to gender-based violence. Also, since health services are not free the feminisation of poverty compounds female health issues. Few health programmes for sexual violence are suited to deal with psychological trauma that is often widespread in conflict environments. Women’s access to education opportunities which is often limited in many societies is usually further restricted in conflict situations.
Economic development and livelihoods. At the end of the average conflict a country’s economy will be 15% smaller. Given this and the reality that women constitute a larger portion of those in poverty, they are more likely to suffer economically than men. Moreover, the domestic responsibilities of women and their burden of caring for children, elderly and injured increases during conflict. Improving economic livelihoods of women and men is a key factor in addressing a range of issues including sexual and gender based violence and genuinely empowering women.
Within this context four issues are identified that are particularly salient to the protection of women in conflict situations, the prevention of violent conflict and the participation of women in conflict resolution, reconstruction and peace-building and on which it is felt that the EU and its members states could improve their action:
Sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) is one of the most persistent issues directly related to WAC. The use of rape and other forms of sexual violence are increasingly recognised as weapons of war. Yet SGBV is more than just an issue of health and protection. Responding to SGBV requires a comprehensive approach that extends beyond health to issues of security, livelihoods, justice and governance.
Women’s empowerment and improved accountability. Ensuring on the ground implementation of (international) commitments on gender equality and women, peace and security requires strong, committed and knowledgeable local activists and organisations.
EU member-states and conflict affected countries developing National Action Plans for UNSCR 1325. NAPs are seen as innovative attempts and comprehensive strategies to promote follow-through of international commitments to WAC.
Regional approaches to women and armed conflict. Many conflicts have a distinct regional dynamics. By focusing on the regional level and in partnership with regional organisations, civil society networks and promoting cross country learning the EU can potentially design a very effective approach to WAC.
Findings & Recommendations
The report concludes with a set of seven principal findings in three categories for which specific recommendations have been identified.
Category 1: Approach to the issue
Finding 1: The breadth and depth of the EU’s understanding of issues related to women and armed conflict is limited
R1.1 Improve understanding on WAC issues: The EU should develop a comprehensive approach to WAC-related issues that is on a scale commensurate with their full breadth and depth. Particular attention should be paid to four aspects where a lack of understanding and commitment is seriously undermining the EU’s responses: women as actors in conflict situations, sexual and gender based violence, linking development issues with the WAC agenda, and the need for support to local-level partnerships and advocates.
R1.2 Sectoral areas of development should genuinely integrate WAC: Sectoral areas such as health, education, civil society, justice and governance must include a clearly articulated WAC dimension with the express aim of achieving gender equality, women’s empowerment and the added dimension of prevention and protection. A roadmap for mainstreaming gender and conflict and WAC issues in these development areas should be an explicit part of any conflict country, EU member-state or EC UNSCR 1325 ‘National’ Action Plan or its equivalent.
R1.3 Ensure regular and systematic consultation with local stakeholders: Since many women groups and organisations around the world already exist with a clear gender equality and peace focus, dedicated EU staff can establish contacts on a national basis and help link different groups at trans-national level to share experience on practices and policies. Support to these groups in accessing financial resources and in gender diplomacy so that their voices are heard, is crucial and should be taken up at the highest levels within countries by EU missions.
R1.4 The EU should prioritise the gender sensitivity of peace agreements and women’s participation in peace processes: The EU through the Council should audit all peace processes currently underway throughout the world and ask: Has the EU, through political dialogue or other methods, encouraged compliance with UNSCR 1325 in terms of women’s participation and gender equality? What resources could the EU allocate to support women’s involvement and gender mainstreaming in peace processes? How can the EU collectively support such initiatives?
Category 2: EU Responses
Finding 2: There is a lack of a strategic plan or framework to guide EU response to WAC
R2.1 The European Commission should develop a strategy and Action Plan for responding to women and armed conflict informed by UNSCR 1325: A specific strategy linked to a clear plan that identifies resources and expertise for WAC is required to ensure that the European Commission consolidates and complies with existing commitments. Any plan should have a wide remit, but should prioritise a holistic approach to SGBV, incorporating its security, social, political and economic dimensions, along with a focus on women’s empowerment in conflict areas and the entire EC RELEX ‘family’ of DGs. Learning from the MS who have already developed NAPs for 1325 should be shared widely and built on. The Council Secretariat should be consulted on how the plan may relate to the new External Action Service.
R2.2 EU members-states should develop Action Plans for UNSCR 1325 with specific strategies and plans to guide their responses to women and armed conflict: Action Plans should include both mainstreaming efforts within wider processes and specific programming initiatives to support women. These plans could then be used to assess progress in terms of accountability with agreed commitments. An annual audit of progress or EU peer review also involving civil society should also be instituted.
R2.3 Support the Development of National Action Plans for WAC in third countries: Identify and consolidate a collective EU approach to supporting efforts by the UN (UNIFEM and Office of the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women - OSAGI), national Ministries and others to support the develop NAPs for UNSCR 1325 (or their equivalent) at the conflict country level. Any action planning process should involve all key Ministries and civil society in the development of specific action indicators.
R2.4 Develop and use clear indicators on WAC: The development and use of clear and specific indicators for progress on WAC should be a key priority for the EU and MS. These should come out of the (i) detailed research process, (ii) local gender and conflict analysis and any on-going research conducted by member-states and the EU, (iii) the French EU Presidency research on indicators and (iv) indicators developed from NAP processes. Commitments to fund activities toward achievement of these indicators should be obtained from MS and the Commission, and they should be linked in to and inform other existing strategic peace-building and development frameworks.
Finding 3: Issues related to WAC are not prioritised within the EU’s development and peace-building policies and programmes
R3. Prioritise WAC within EU development, defence and diplomatic action: The EU should prioritise women and armed conflict (WAC) within wider EU development and diplomatic action by developing a plan (as part of a 1325 NAP) to engage the political level and senior level officials.
Finding 4: EU responses to WAC are not informed by a contextual understanding
R4.1 Initiate in-depth research to assess global responses to WAC: A large-scale comprehensive research effort should be undertaken on local and international responses to WAC. This study must be comprehensive and include not only an analysis of the WAC situation, but also of the effectiveness and impact of existing responses (EU and UN) at the local, regional and international level. It should include a discussion of UNSCR 1325 and how it can be incorporated into EU policy and response. It must seek to be informed by international best practice but also most importantly by local innovative responses and should be a genuine North-South endeavour.
R4.2 Undertake joint participatory conflict and gender analysis to inform EU action at the country level: This need not be undertaken by every EU member state and the EC, but should at least occur in every context that the EU collectively or individually is responding to and the analysis then shared. A lead MS mission or EC Delegation should be appointed to institute the process in each conflict setting.
Finding 5: The EU is not effectively focusing on WAC efforts at the regional level
R5. Ensure follow-through on a genuine EU regional approach to WAC: In Regional Strategies and Programming the EU (EC and MS) should ensure identifiable, meaningful and multi-annual levels of funding backed up by gender diplomacy for: the integration of gender considerations in regional early warning systems; south-south learning and information exchange on WAC/gender and armed conflict; the operationalisation of regional organisations own gender mainstreaming plans; regional civil society oversight of gender mainstreaming and women’s empowerment and capacity building of networks who undertake this; women’s involvement in regional conflict prevention initiatives; and capacity development of regional organisations in specific WAC issues related to security, development, and social spheres.
Category 3: Structural Obstacles
Finding 6: Weak accountability, monitoring and reporting mechanisms
R6. Develop EU accountability, monitoring and reporting mechanisms for WAC: Reporting on WAC should become a systematic feature of EU Presidency Report on the Progress on the Prevention of Violent Conflict and the EU Presidency Report on ESDP, EC and EU MS National Action Plans. MS should also include reporting on WAC at appropriate levels in their reviews of development cooperation. Accountability must also occur at the country level, for which the EU should identify and support local advocates for accountability in WAC.
Finding 7: Insufficient financial and human resources are allocated to addressing WAC
R7. Develop appropriate levels of financial and specialist human resources for WAC: Disaggregated financial data on gender and WAC spending must be made more accessible so that funding levels are easier to quantify as all indications are that they are currently inadequate to address the scale of the problem. The European Commission and Member States should agree on a specific funding percentage for WAC resulting in adequate resource allocation to these issues. An EU wide assessment of the breadth and depth of genuine human resources and expertise on WAC should also be undertaken to again test whether it is sufficiently to scale and identify where the EU can pool and share expertise accordingly.
Potential short-term next steps and opportunities
Finally, related to the recommendations, an overview of potential short-term next steps and opportunities is provided. The ten suggested next steps concern new initiatives at EU level, at EC Institutional level and in the EU support to third countries that could be undertaken in the next 3-6 months. Potential strategic EU/EC opportunities to implement the recommendations are identified in existing, on-going processes at EU and EC levels.
Table 1: Ten potential short-term next steps
These next steps should not detract from the fact that longer term follow-up is needed for all recommendations. Also the fact that the recommendations 4.1 In-depth Research; 5. Regional Approaches are not referred to explicitly does not mean that there isn’t scope for also tackling these issues in the short term.
Part I: Background
Part I provides an introduction to the issue women and armed conflict (WAC) and international approaches to WAC.
Women have always had a central role in violent conflict: as actors in conflict resolution and peacebuilding, as victims, and at times as perpetrators and enablers of violence. However, these multiple and diverse roles are hidden, poorly understood and at times consciously and unconsciously dismissed. Most often, women’s role as victim is given prominence. However, in recent years the international community, including the European Union (EU), has become more responsive to the different roles women assume in conflict environments and the necessity to incorporate a deeper understanding of their needs, capacities and interests in their responses. In gender equity terms, it is no longer credible or acceptable to deny or be blind to the rights of females, over half the world’s population. Local, national or international action that does not involve and empower women is less likely to be successful and sustainable in any field, including that which is intended to bring development or peace. Despite this growing awareness, current efforts are very far from ideal and women continue to be marginalised from initiatives undertaken in conflict-affected contexts. There is therefore recognition that the European Union’s response to this reality must be better targeted if the EU is to prevent violent conflict, promote gender equality, recognise women’s rights and empower women more generally.
1.1 Sex, Gender and Changing Roles in Crisis Situations
Women and men experience conflict differently. This study focuses on women and armed conflict. If it were a study on gender and armed conflict it would also focus on the roles and experiences of women and men, boys and girls and the relationship between them. While it is not a “gender and armed conflict” study, it recognises the importance of gender analysis as a tool to promote a better response to women and armed conflict. The study also recognises that the best way to promote women’s rights and women’s empowerment and respond to the needs of women is through a gender-sensitive approach. Therefore the study ultimately supports effective approaches to gender and armed conflict that benefit both women and men.
While gender is a common concept in development and human rights, it is often misunderstood (including by many interviewed during the course of this study) and seen as synonymous with women. However, as table 1 indicates, sex (male/female) is biologically defined whereas gender roles (masculinities/femininities) are socially constructed. Women and men are not homogenous groups, and gender roles can vary widely across cultures and time, and are mediated by other factors such as age, ethnicity, class or religion. Violent conflict itself can also impact on gender roles, and these roles should therefore be seen as fluid, dynamic categories rather than fixed attributes of being male or female. It is often this fundamental misunderstanding, and the mistaken perception that women are merely passive victims of conflict rather than actors, participants, and combatants, which becomes the basis for much EU action. There is thus a need for a basic level of understanding of the difference between sex, gender, and gender roles amongst EU policy makers, from the highest to the lowest levels, including those operating within the development, peacebuilding and human rights spheres. While it is no longer acceptable within the development and human rights community to ignore the basics of gender mainstreaming, understanding of the concept is not formally tested nor is gender training compulsory, and it cannot be assumed that this basic understanding is actually held. Misunderstandings are therefore perpetuated and there is too little emphasis on building the capacity of EU policymakers through training in gender analysis or other methods to promote greater understanding. 3
Table 2: Differentiating sex, gender, & gender roles and changes in gender roles in crisis situations
This study is based on the premise that a more effective international/EU response to women and armed conflict must incorporate the three inter-related and mutually reinforcing concepts of gender equality, women’s empowerment and upholding women’s rights. These concepts are enshrined in international agreements, international law, and EU policy commitments to development cooperation. (see section 2.2), and, the need for gender mainstreaming in other areas of foreign policy is becoming increasingly accepted. 4 Importantly, the dual approaches of gender mainstreaming along with specific interventions targeted at women are increasingly being recognised as necessary for progress in respect to gender equality and women’s empowerment. Combining these two approaches prevents the problem of gender mainstreaming leading to a ‘mainstreaming out’ of gender issues, through a specific focus on issues affecting women to identify and address their needs, with mainstreaming policies ensuring that these responses are then incorporated within broader interventions.
Thus, while gender is not synonymous with women, the study takes the position that women, and society at large, benefit when a gender-sensitive approach is utilised in development cooperation and other responses to armed conflict. Indeed, targeting women in a way that is not gender-sensitive and therefore does not seek to understand the role of men in society (and seek to engage and inform them) is usually counter-productive and detrimental to women despite initial good intentions. For example, some development programming in Afghanistan has not incorporated gender sensitive approaches, with the resulting failure to engage men actually harming women’s welfare and possibly even increasing gender-based violence and alienation. 5 Understanding how masculinities and expectations of the roles men should play in society is therefore an important element of any effort to address issues related to women and armed conflict. Local organisations in Uganda, interviewed during the course of this study, were extremely forthright about the paramount necessity to engage men at all levels in any programming designed to improve the situation of women. The need to engage men and boys has also been highlighted within international efforts supported by the European Commission and Belgium on Sexual Violence in Conflict. 6 Most fundamentally, the situation and position of both women and men in conflict-affected contexts can be better understood and positively addressed through a gender sensitive approach. Incorporating gender is therefore not an “optional extra,” but should be a central component of EU action, which will not only ensure compliance with international legal commitments but also improve understanding and increase response effectiveness, impact and sustainability as well as local ownership.
Table 3: Gender / Gender Mainstreaming, Women’s Empowerment, Women’s Rights
There is some degree of confusion around the terms and there appears to be no EU wide agreed definitions of the following concepts.
see footnotes 7-10
1.2 The EU Approach to Women and Armed Conflict
The EU’s international commitments and stated policy responses to WAC (see section 4) include both implicit and explicit methods and goals and are spread over many instruments and policy statements. There is no one EU document that captures the entirety of the subject of women and armed conflict in a concise, actionable manner. They are usually well-intentioned and mutually-reinforcing, but overlapping and somewhat unclear, which makes it difficult to discern method or goal. For example, women’s empowerment is appropriately stated as a goal in development cooperation and human rights policy, but can also be seen as a method in the prevention and management of violent conflict. Additionally, many of the goals and methods outlined in EU policy documents and international commitments are also described as fundamental principles. While it is important to state these goals and principles and describe appropriate methods, this lack of clarity limits the EU’s capacity to respond effectively to WAC. The table below demonstrates the complexity of the language used to describe the subject and is an extrapolation from various sources of what the inter-related method and goals of the EU regarding women and armed conflict actually are.
As has been repeatedly noted elsewhere, responding adequately to armed conflict requires a multifaceted EU response spanning diplomatic, humanitarian, human rights, governance, development, crisis management and peacebuilding measures. 11 Within each of these areas the EU must recognise the needs and roles (existing and potential) that can be played by women. Few international entities can by themselves undertake an effective response to armed conflict. The European Union is one of those few, bringing all the elements of a multilateral approach (encompassing diplomacy, development and defence) to a possible approach to armed conflict. It is this potential for the EU to be a positive actor in conflict prevention and the promotion of human security, which makes the EU an important player in responding to the issue of women and armed conflict. The EU brings considerable added value as a positive actor in responding to women and armed conflict, closely mirroring the EU’s potential as an actor in conflict prevention (see box 1).
Box 1: EU’s added value on Women and Armed Conflict issues
- Member states are amongst the most progressive countries in the world when it comes to gender issues and Women, Peace and Security and collectively have significant expertise on these issues12
- Several Member States have recently developed National Action Plans on UNSCR 1325 which require specific actions to be undertaken at the national and regional levels, including at the EU
- Large diplomatic block acting as one in many international forums and at the level of third countries
- Largest donor of humanitarian and development resources
- World’s largest trading block
- Engagement in most conflict and conflict prone contexts (through EC or individual EU memberstates)
- Commitment to and progress on gender equality and women’s rights
- Diversity of instruments in the diplomatic, defence and development spheres
- Norms on women and armed conflict can be transferred from member-states with more experience through formal and informal EU channels
The European Union’s approach to women and armed conflict must be linked, coordinated with and add value to the activities and approaches of the United Nations (UN) system, not only at the diplomatic level but also at the level of the specialised agencies. The United Nations as a system is in many ways more advanced than the European Union regarding the conceptualisation of and its external action in the areas of gender equality, women’s empowerment and the principles enshrined in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security (UNSCR 1325). It has developed a UN System-wide action plan for the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security within its agencies and bodies. 13 The UN has devoted considerable staffing and resources to its work on women, peace and security, and has developed concrete outputs regarding the achievement of these principles. Whilst this does demonstrate progress and could be a useful example, challenges remain in terms of measuring and evaluating impact, as well as ensuring that effective accountability mechanisms are in place.
The EU has made a number of efforts to engage effectively with the UN more generally. At high diplomatic levels, effective multilateralism is a key component of the European Security Strategy and the General Affairs External Relations Council (GAERC) has made several commitments to improve UN/EU working relationships. The EC is also improving coordination with the UN and has openly committed to this principle. Lower level efforts to engage with the UN include the EC/UN Partnership on Gender Equality for Development and Peace. What is now required is a more comprehensive engagement across the EU and UN on matters related to women and armed conflict.14 Several EU member states are also key members of the “Friends of 1325”, an ad hoc group led by Canada of more than 25 United Nations member states from various regions who meet periodically to discuss issues related to the women, peace and security agenda. As will be demonstrated below, all aspects of the UN-EU relationship regarding issues of human rights, humanitarian aid, development, security and conflict are relevant to women and armed conflict. Therefore, the dialogue and interaction between the EU and the UN on these issues must be all encompassing.
Any approach to engagement in a conflict environment, including one that is gender sensitive and which has women’s empowerment and women’s rights at its centre, must also be conflict-sensitive. For example, women’s empowerment activities that inadvertently privilege an urban educated elite drawn from one identity group at the expense of another will feed into the structural causes of conflict. Even though accessing marginalised groups, particularly women in rural communities, can be time-consuming and challenging it is critical that a wide range people are consulted and engaged in any responses to WAC, and conflict more broadly. In order to be truly conflict sensitive, interventions must be planned, strategised and implemented with focused consideration of their impact on conflict dynamics. Otherwise, even the best-intentioned interventions can end up causing more harm than good. 15 The need for conflict sensitive approaches has been acknowledged in the recent General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) conclusions on security and development and their importance has also been noted in the agreed EU-Africa Strategy and by certain member-states in their conflict policies. 16 Unfortunately, while the use of conflict assessments is becoming more frequent, they do not routinely inform the EU or its member-states about specific engagements in conflict-affected countries. Complicating the matter further is the fact that many of the frameworks used by member-states for conflict analysis are gender-blind. Most conflict assessment frameworks either neglect or include only cursory treatment of gender issues. 17 Additionally, tools for gender analysis are not generally conflict aware, despite the fact that gender analysis involves looking at the distribution of and access to power and resources. Given the need for gender and conflict analysis to precede any intervention that is likely to be both conflict and gender sensitive, this is a considerable deficiency in the global, and EU, approach.
2. International Approaches to WAC
2.1 Global Development Cooperation and WAC
Gender equality and women’s empowerment has been at the heart of most international policy statements on development cooperation for well over a decade. There are few EU member-states who don’t have gender as a cross-cutting priority within development cooperation policy and gender equality is a key theme of the European Consensus on Development (see section 4.1.4 for more details on member-states). It is thus clear that the centrality of gender considerations in conflict situations is not new to the EU development agenda. In fact, as far back as 1995, Council conclusions on Integrating Gender in Development specifically mentioned the need for a gender perspective within emergency operations and crisis prevention.
The United Nations 4th World Conference on Women leading to the 1995 Beijing Platform of Action was a seminal event that brought women together from across the globe, and sought to develop specific commitments and targets that would advance women’s rights and gender equality globally. Amongst its notable conclusions was the importance as a key strategic objective of addressing the issue of women and armed conflict, including promoting the status of women in war affected countries, as well as a separate objective on combating violence against women. 18 The Platform of Action also clearly put the link between violence, conflict, women and development on the development agenda.
A focus on gender issues is also reflected within the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), with Goal 3 specifically promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women. Unfortunately, while the MDGs provide an important framework to guide development interventions, they are not specific regarding conflict issues. This lack of specificity extends to women and armed conflict and means that the MDGs do not provide stand alone guidance, goals, or specifics for effective development cooperation in this area. Importantly, however, there is no contradiction between responding to women and armed conflict and the MDGs. Any effective approach to women and armed conflict will have gender equality and women’s empowerment at its centre, thus specifically reinforcing MDG 3. However, according to DFID, progress is slowest for those goals which depend on improving the status of women and girls.19 Furthermore, although important progress, the indicators for measuring progress on MDG 3 are limited and overlook vital aspects of women’s empowerment and gender equality. It is important that the many tools that do exist related to women and armed conflict at the international level are complementary and linked, especially with regard to monitoring and reporting and the development of gender-sensitive indicators and targets. 20
Additionally, while all MDGs are relevant to women and conflict, improving maternal health (goal 5), reducing child mortality (goal 4), and combating HIV/AIDs, malaria and other diseases (goal 6) have particular resonance given the way that women are disproportionately impacted in these areas because of conflict. Yet, as with other areas of concern, responding adequately to women and armed conflict requires more than simply working towards meeting MDGs using existing implementation methods and indicators for progress. Specific new measures and initiatives are required as well as further emphasis on existing commitments to mainstreaming gender equality and women’s empowerment, in particular related to their overall security and political and economic rights. Significantly, some have noted that pervasive violence against women constitutes a major obstacle to achieving the MDGs because it denies women their most basic human rights, such as the right to health, and is a threat to social and economic development of communities and whole countries. 21 Related areas such as security sector reform, peacebuilding, demobilisation and reintegration, small arms and light weapons control and transitional justice, have also gained prominence within the development agenda but are not covered by the MDGs. Women are both affected by and can contribute to these processes, and this recognition of gender-differentiated impact should be reflected in efforts to achieve the MDGs.
In a bid to increase the impact of official development assistance (ODA) and achieve the MDGs the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness was developed in 2005. This document contains only one small explicit reference to gender equity and this reference is not related to armed conflict or peacebuilding, which do not feature at all. Some of the document’s provisions on alignment, ownership, and accountability could be interpreted in such a way as to improve responses to women and armed conflict, but the inference is not explicit and could easily be lost or crowded out by other issues.
The aid effectiveness agenda promoted by the Paris Declaration has also given others cause for concern. “Evidence shows that gender equality has not fared well in the broader aid effectiveness agenda. Reviews of Poverty Reduction Strategies, of Millennium Development Goal progress reports and of Sector Wide Approaches suggest that, with some notable exceptions, these have largely been gender-blind, take a very narrow perspective on gender, lack empirical evidence and/or fail to translate gender analysis into plans with budgets.” 22 It also seems as if other funding mechanisms such as Post Conflict Needs Assessments (PCNA) and Multi Donor Trust Funds (MDTF) also do not allow for effective accountability in terms of following through on commitments in relation to gender equality and women’s empowerment.23 If gender equality and women’s empowerment is to be the foundation upon which a better response to women and armed conflict is to be undertaken by the development community, clearly the current aid modalities require modification. The need to explore this issue in more detail has already been identified by a recent EC / UN project on gender equality and conflict countries.24 The high-level forum on Aid Effectiveness to take place in Ghana in September 2008 is an important opportunity for EU member states to ensure that gender is mainstreamed throughout the guidelines and indicators that will be developed to monitor implementation of the Paris Declaration. There is also the specific challenge of gender mainstreaming in general and sectoral budget support, which is particularly pertinent for the EC as the 10th EDF proposes almost 40% of its resources to be given in this fashion.25
Some within the donor community understand the importance of addressing women and armed conflict by utilising more comprehensive approaches to development and conflict prevention. In particular, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) has been active in committing to and producing guidance on how its members (including fifteen European Union members and the European Commission) can better respond to women and armed conflict. Indeed, the 2001 supplement to the DAC OECD Guidelines on Preventing Violent Conflict notes, the need to, “recognise women as stakeholders and peacemakers” as one of ten basic guiding principles its members should use in to responding to violent conflict.26 Additionally, the DAC’s work on gender equality and peace and conflict also provides some if not extensive guidance on gender and conflict issues. The DAC Conflict and Peace and Development Cooperation group advocates for gender mainstreaming into its wider work on conflict, peace and development cooperation. The group has examined gender within specific thematic areas such as security sector reform, though gender has not yet been thoroughly mainstreamed in these areas. 27 While there is more work to be done within the OECD-DAC, the clear articulation within policy documents of the need to 1) better utilise development resources to respond to women and armed conflict and 2) place women’s empowerment, women’s rights and gender equality at the heart of ODA interventions in conflict and conflict-prone countries is a positive sign.
2.2 International Legal Obligations Relevant to WAC
A number of international legal commitments and conventions exist that, if truly complied with, would vastly improve societies as a whole and the position of women within them. European Union member-states and the European Commission are at the very forefront of promoting and propagating these international standards and holding others to account for their implementation.
Amongst the better-known conventions are the 1949 Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols (1977) which cover the illegality of attacking civilians in situations of armed conflict. The Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergencies and Armed Conflicts (1974) recognizes that women and children are the most vulnerable in society and require particular protection. The Vienna Declaration of 1993 took this concept further by stating that protection of women and children in situations of armed conflict was a fundamental component of existing international human rights commitments. The 1979 Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is one of the best known women’s rights and gender equality instruments, and calls for equal participation in education, employment, health care, political participation, nationality and marriage. In 2006, 182 countries, representing the overwhelming majority of United Nations member-states were party to CEDAW. However only 78 UN member states have adopted CEDAW’s Optional Protocol, which outlines a process for filing claims of sexual discrimination. 28 CEDAW obviously has a significant dimension which is relevant to the planning and execution of development activities in conflict and post-conflict environments, yet it is often not used in this way. CEDAW is also important because it has a well-developed mechanism for reporting and monitoring, yet many countries (including Western countries) and very few conflict countries actually report against progress. 29 In addition, the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and its resultant programme of action that was adopted by 179 governments (sometimes referred to as the Cairo Programme of Action) made certain commitments surrounding maternal health and reproductive rights. These were also rooted in the principles of gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Finally, the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (1993) notes that violence against women is pervasive in all societies and that it is the manifestation of historically unequal power relations between women and men. Articles 7 and 8 of the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court identify rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy and forced sterilisation or any form of sexual violence as crimes against humanity and war crimes and equate them with a form of torture as a serious war crime.
2.2.1. UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security
A Security Council resolution is a commitment made by the United Nations and Members states to take action on specific issues. States are expected to comply, but unless made under Chapter VII of the United Nations charter then resolutions are not technically legally binding. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, unanimously adopted on 31 October 2000, is often quoted and referenced as the seminal international commitment to women and armed conflict. It is often the first point of reference for both EU institutions and member states when addressing issues of women and armed conflict, and is particularly important as the first international framework that explicitly links women, and a gender perspective, with conflict prevention, conflict resolution, peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction. Many civil society groups and networks, including women’s organisations, and certain EU and other member states are active in calling for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and for coherence or alignment with the women, peace and security agenda. However, awareness of the contents of the resolution and understanding of what implementation would look like is limited, particularly beyond this active group of advocates on UNSCR 1325. UNSCR 1325 itself is a short resolution, but is wide in scope and does not provide any guidance or prioritisation of the range of issues it addresses which can result in a lack of understanding about what implementation of the resolution would like on the ground.
Box 2: UNSCR Resolution 1325
|UNSCR Resolution 1325 calls for 30|
- participation of women in peace processes;
- funding and support for gender training in peacekeeping operations;
- protection of women and girls and respect for their rights;
- gender mainstreaming in reporting and implementation
- increased women’s representation at all decision-making levels;
- prosecution and an end to impunity for those responsible for crimes of genocide and gender-based violence;
- making HIV/AIDS awareness training programmes available to military and civilian police;
- respect for international law on the rights and protection of women and girls;
- implementation of special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence;
- increased attention to the needs of women and girls in conflict, peace and security; and
- adopting measures to support local women’s peace initiatives involve women in all stages of peace processes
In addition to UNSCR 1325, other UNSCR resolutions, such as 1265 (1999) and1296 (2000) address the issue of the protection of civilians in armed conflict and support some of the provisions for protection that are within UNSCR 1325.
Experts identify three core concepts relating to women and armed conflict arising from UNSCR 1325: the necessity for conflict prevention, the protection of women before, during and after violent conflict, and women’s participation in all aspects of conflict prevention, management, resolution, and peacebuilding (these three areas are also known as the “the 3 Ps”). 31 The integration of a gender perspective is also recognized as a critical component of UNSCR 1325. Importantly, other than in the area of DDR, UNSCR 1325 has little explicit to say about development interventions (livelihoods, land and property rights, access to education and justice, and economic development, etc.) in conflict zones. While some argue that UNSCR 1325 is not about the ‘development’ dimension, this is in some ways a fundamental misunderstanding of the core commitments of UNSCR 1325. Furthermore, without attention to development issues, specifically women’s economic security, it is unlikely that other aspects of women’s participation and security can be effectively achieved, and the desire for a sustainable livelihood is frequently cited as one of most important priorities of women in conflict-affected regions. If prevention, protection and participation are taken as key principles then development cooperation has a role to play and these principles should inform the conduct of development cooperation in conflict affected countries. The fact that UNSCR 1325 originated from the United Nations Security Council rather than the General Assembly or the Economic and Social Council does mean that it generally has less ‘ownership’ within the mainstream of the development sector, and also some parts of the developing world. However, the fact that UNSCR 1325 originated in the UN’s main security body should be seen as an opportunity to link development dimensions, such as economic security, within the peace and security agenda, rather than as a limitation.
UNSCR 1325 is seen by many EU member-states, civil society and internationally as the most important commitment related specifically to women, peace and security. As all EU member-states have committed to it, as have many countries affected by conflict, insecurity and the threat of violence, the EU does not technically need new overarching policy commitments related to women and armed conflict, although there may be some utility in this. However, most observers interviewed for this study believe the EU should instead focus on tangibly devoting resources, skills and incentives to existing commitments such as UNSCR 1325 which needs to be effectively implemented within regions and institutions where the EU and its member states are already active players. Implementation of UNSCR 1325 is reviewed annually through an open debate in October, marking the ‘anniversary’ of the resolution. While an important opportunity for member states and UN specialised agencies to highlight specific activities related to UNSCR 1325 and their progress towards implementation, it results in more policy rhetoric than concrete action. The UN recently launched its new system-wide action plan to implement UNSCR 1325 for 2008-2009, but again the lack of specific resources, monitoring and accountability mechanisms will likely make it difficult to assess progress. 32
The EU and its member states are also active in groups such as the G833 the Council of Europe, the Organisations for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the Human Security Network. All are party to specific policy statements about women and armed conflict. Additionally, key partner institutions such as the African Union have also developed related statements and specific policy commitments, the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women, and the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa. 34 Most of these documents utilise UNSCR 1325 as a key reference point or refer to it in relation to women and armed conflict. Again, it is clear that additional high-level documents dealing with women, peace and security are likely to be rather redundant in nature, unless they include specific plans, resources, skills and incentives. Attention needs to shift from rhetoric at the policy level to concrete programmes and accountability mechanisms for implementation.
2.3 A Comprehensive Approach
If commitments on conflict prevention, gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s rights are to be fulfilled, then a comprehensive approach to women and armed conflict is required. Acting alone, diplomatic measures, development cooperation, and/or defence-related EU engagements cannot ensure progress. It is also clear, however, that it is very difficult to marshal and coordinate effective responses that genuinely empower women, support gender equality and build local capacity with an end result of improving the lives of women and society as a whole. In doing so, efforts must also prevent conflict, protect women and enable women to participate in processes of conflict prevention and resolution. A comprehensive approach does not mean a broad-brush approach. Indeed, specific interventions in particular areas are required to fully promote gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment in situations of violent conflict. Too often, high-level international commitments such as UNSCR 1325 are not translated into effective interventions at the regional, national and local levels. Put most simply, engaging and involving a wide cross section of the population, including both men and women, will increase the likelihood of their needs and priorities being addressed and will result in a broader range of stakeholders for peace. Therefore, holistic and comprehensive approaches that prioritise gender equality will also increase the likelihood that any interventions in conflict-affected countries will be locally owned, sustainable and inclusive.
3. Women and Armed Conflict – The Issues
There are many excellent and comprehensive studies covering the relationship between gender and armed conflict more generally, and with regard to women in particular. 35 This report does not seek to replicate these studies, nor can it, within its limited space, cover any of the issues in adequate detail. However, it is important that the European Union’s response is informed by a nuanced understanding of the broad scope of issues relevant to women and armed conflict, and particularly the multiple roles that women play during conflict and in its aftermath. Importantly, as noted above in section 1, women should not be seen as victims but rather as active players in conflict and peacebuilding processes, whose roles, needs and interests are complex, multifaceted and diverse. “Viewing women either as helpless victims or a resourceful and stoic group struggling to take care of their families not only simplifies the significant differences between women, but also results in ill-equipped programmes and polices that are based on these distorted generalizations and therefore fail to address the actual needs of women”. 36
Whilst the international community has committed to mainstreaming gender considerations into existing implementation frameworks on peace and security and to developing specific, gender-aware interventions in support of women, much of this policy fails to be translated into practice. There are few reference points for how to achieve these goals, and one of the key challenges for policy-makers at the EU and other levels is a lack of understanding of how specific issues impact on women and men in conflict-affected regions. While these issues are to an extent context-specific, there are some similarities in women’s experiences in social, political and economic life, and in the security and legal environments within which they are living. There is also great value in understanding the strategies that they adopt to cope and to advocate for change at the local, national and regional levels, in order to identify opportunities for cross-regional learning and more effective support for women’s peacebuilding priorities. Whilst this section highlights how women are affected by, and in turn influence and address these issues, they should not be seen as a homogenous group or one that can be isolated from men. A holistic approach to these issues requires a gender perspective which would entail an exploration of the roles and relations between men and women, and an analysis of how these change during the different stages of conflict. In addition, looking specifically at the situation and position of women can provide important insights into our understanding of the multiple and complex ways that women and conflict interact. Such a holistic approach covers an analysis of both positive and negative changes in gender relations at micro-level, meso-level (e.g. institutions) and macro-level (e.g. international policies) in the progress from the early stages of conflict towards conflict resolution and peacebuilding.
Given that broad-brush, blanket approaches to women and armed conflict are unhelpful and likely to be counterproductive, there is a real need for a thorough, gender-sensitive conflict analysis to be conducted in each setting. Such an analysis can then guide appropriate actions, ensuring that any interventions address the needs of and engage both women and men.
Improving EU responses to women and armed conflict is both about the ‘what’ (the issues that need to be addressed) as well as about the ‘how’ (the type of responses that can be undertaken to address those issues). For example, while key aspects of DDR could be more gender specific, the ways in which women are involved, consulted and empowered by the process is particularly important.
The themes identified below should not be seen as discrete categories, and they cannot be easily classified as occurring in the pre-, during, and post-conflict phases. Nor should this be seen as an exhaustive or exclusive list. Rather, they are some of the key inter-connected aspects, and are important considerations during all times of conflict or peace. Whilst there can be a tendency to classify them as relief/humanitarian, rehabilitation and/or development activities to facilitate clear responses by governments, the EU and other bodies, this often results in important linkages between the various issues being overlooked. 37 While it may conceptually challenging, the reality of conflict environments and women’s experiences require parallel responses of prevention, resolution, reconstruction and reconciliation. At the same time, longer-term development needs such as infrastructural rehabilitation may have to be undertaken at the same time as short term humanitarian interventions. This underlines the imperative of viewing these issues from a holistic perspective and recognising the ways in which discrimination, marginalisation and insecurity of women in the political, economic and social and public spheres are inter-related and impact negatively on women’s ability to engage in peacebuilding and development. Most fundamentally, women’s potential to participate politically, be protected through access to gender-sensitive justice and the rule of law, achieve a sustainable livelihood, and feel secure in their communities in the aftermath of conflict is a prerequisite for long-term peacebuilding.
3.1 Preventing and Resolving Conflict
The cost of conflict on African development is estimated to be US$300bn between 1990 and 2005, equal to the amount the continent received in international aid.
38 Unfortunately, approximately 40% of countries emerging from conflict revert to war within five years, therefore repeating a cycle of violence and harm, all of it affecting women. For example, the recent violence in Kenya produced double the number of reported cases of sexual and gender-based violence in some areas. 39 The link between conflict prevention and the protection of women is therefore clear. However, the need to engage women in the prevention, management and resolution of conflict and the expert resources they can bring to these processes is less understood or supported, despite being noted in international commitments, including UNSCR resolutions. The key roles women can, and do, play in conflict prevention and resolution are usually overlooked as activities and initiatives are carried out, in part because many of the ways in which women are active in conflict prevention occur in the informal sphere or at the community level which often fall outside the scope of donor support. At the most basic level, women are key stakeholders in efforts to build peace and their inclusion into donor policies, practices and support should therefore be ensured. However, in order to built upon and secure a non-violent environment, including both women and men, needs to address and change also the behaviour and violent actions of men.
3.1.1. Conflict Prevention
Since 2001, the European Commission has identified the equal participation of women and men in political, economic and social life as an effective conflict prevention measure. 40 UNSCR 1325 also reaffirms the important role they can play in conflict prevention, as well as the need to support an increased decision-making role for women in prevention and resolution.
At the grassroots level, women have often played important roles in conflict prevention and resolution. Increasingly, and even when excluded from formal negotiations, women are also using alternative channels to contribute to negotiations and their outcomes.41 For example, in Uganda, UNIFEM has been enabling women’s participation with support from some EU member-states (see section 5.2.3). And, even in some of the most intractable conflicts women are initiating peace efforts, often working together across ethnic, religious or other conflict divides. Israeli, Palestinian and international women created the International Women’s Commission for a Just and Sustainable Palestinian-Israeli Peace (IWC), with a goal to ensure the implementation of UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1325 in all phases of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. 42 In 2000, women’s groups in Fiji 43 and Sierra Leone 44 intervened at crisis points in their country’s respective conflicts to denounce violence and peacefully demonstrate for peace. The actions of the women were in both cases a tipping point, and also importantly they helped to mobilise other parts of civil society by demonstrating the potential for non-violent opposition against the status quo.
Tragically, research has shown that in a number of cases (Sierra Leone, the Solomon Islands and others) women either predicted the outbreak of violence or had access to vital information that may have stopped the outbreak of violence, but were unable to access or communicate it to the relevant international authorities.45 This demonstrates that a gender perspective to conflict prevention and early warning can generate valuable information and indicators regarding the threat or onset of violence. There are specific types of instability, such as increased levels of violence against women, that can indicate an increase in overall likelihood of violence conflict. Similarly, evidence of activities such as smuggling of arms caches between communities or the selling of jewellery and other valuable goods in markets can be powerful indicators of increased tensions or expectations of conflict. 46 Failing to consult with women means that information about these kinds of trends is not visible, and a key opportunity to avert armed conflict altogether or for understanding vulnerability to a heightened risk of violent conflict at the community-level is overlooked.
International peacekeeping and military missions are often a key component of conflict prevention and resolution efforts. International missions can improve the efficacy of peacekeeping, peace process monitoring, and community-level trust-building efforts, by including women at all levels.47 This should be done not only for issues of social justice and equity, but also because operational effectiveness can be enhanced by ensuring that women play an active role (see box 4). Denying women access to political structures at the local, national, regional or international level means that their insights will be left unutilised and its potential to empower women untapped. In Angola, for example, a failure to engage women has been cited as one of the reasons contributing to the unequal experience of ‘peace’ currently being felt in the country. 48
3.1.2. Peace Negotiations and Conflict Resolution
The transition from war to peace and the period of negotiations that usually follows a cessation in hostilities can be a valuable window of opportunity for addressing societal and gender inequalities and grievances and the reform of institutional and social structures that may have contributed to the outbreak of violent conflict. The participation and engagement of women at the earliest stages of peace negotiations is critical, otherwise it can be difficult to ensure these issues are addressed at a later stage in the process. Some of the reasons why women can be valuable actors in negotiating peace are that they can catalyze peace negotiations, they can bring a different perspective to bear on negotiations, they can help foster reconciliation at the community level, they can contribute to the maintenance of peace and the implementation of any peace agreement at different levels.49 The goal should be to negotiate new political and institutional structures that can bring about and foster gender equality in different societal spheres, as well as protect the security and access to political and economic opportunities for both men and women.
Participation in conflict resolution is an area that, theoretically, is quantifiable, particularly in the case of involving women as part of mediation or negotiation efforts. Evidence shows that few women are involved in peace negotiations around the world, as has been seen in Nepal, Sri Lanka and Sudan, even though several EU Member States have committed themselves to supporting such efforts. Obstacles such as illiteracy and marginalisation from and existing forms of violence in the public sphere can limit women’s effective participation in negotiations and resolution. However, outside actors can offer strategic support to women, facilitating the creation of translocal/multi-ethnic networks, alliances and common platforms through which they can channel their priorities to representatives who do have access to the formal negotiation process. Northern Ireland and the DRC offer further examples of how women have effectively mobilised, developed shared priorities and secured a voice at the peace table. 50 Whilst involving women does not automatically mean that women-specific issues will be addressed, or that a gender perspective to negotiations will be adopted, it will certainly bring different perspectives to bear than those of men alone. To ensure the translation of women´s perspectives into peace negotiations means to continuously support the activities of women before, during and after these processes in order to achieve gender equality as well as to address and motivate men to act as gender advocates during this process. Importantly, efforts must be made to ensure that all individuals, both women and men, who are present at the peace table are representative of the constituents on whose behalf they are there. It must be acknowledged that women and women’s groups have also encouraged violence and been active participants in violence. In some conflicts, notably Sri Lanka, women make up a substantial number of combatants engaged in the conflict. However, this fact only contributes to any argument supporting the involvement of women in attempts to promote a sustainable peace. Whether they were active players in waging war or innocent victims of the conflict, women are stakeholders in efforts to build peace and their voices must therefore be present during the negotiating phase.
3.2. Security Issues
Over the past fifteen years there has been a move within the international community, including the EU and European states, away from national security towards a more people-centred approach to security issues. Such approaches, often termed as ‘human security’, can be a key entry point for looking at the different needs of women and men in relation to security. 51 However, at the same time, exploring security at the individual level does not necessarily mean that gender-specific security concerns will be identified or prioritised within security responses, and so maintaining a focus on the needs and interests of women is necessary. 52
3.2.1. Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
Conflict-affected communities suffer more domestic violence than non-conflict affected communities. 53 In one example, a 2000 UNIFEM survey of Kosovar women found that 23 percent reported to be victims of domestic violence. Nearly half of these women experienced violence for the first time between 1998 and 1999. Although the survey showed that domestic violence had occurred prior to the conflict, incidences increased during the armed conflict period. 54 Importantly, high levels of sexual and gender-based violence also rarely cease at the end of hostilities, and continue well into the ‘post-conflict’ phase.
Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is an area of particular concern to women in armed conflict situations since it affects their ability to engage in and benefit from economic, social and political opportunities (see section 5.1.5 for more info). The use of sexual violence and rape as a weapon of war is recently becoming more visible to the world, though whether the phenomenon is actually increasing or whether the international community is simply more aware is not clear. During the collapse of the former Yugoslavia, over 20,000 Bosnian women were reportedly raped. In Haiti in 1996, 60 percent of women reported experiencing violence, 37 percent of whom had suffered sexual violence, including rape, sexual harassment and sexual aggression.55 Between 1991 and 2002, all parties to the conflict in Sierra Leone perpetrated rape, sexual slavery and other crimes of sexual violence against Sierra Leonean women and girls. Overall estimates are that 250,000 women and girls in Sierra Leone were subjected to these crimes.56 At least 250,000, perhaps as many as 500,000, women were raped during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. 57
There is a strong need to develop and promote innovative approaches that turn women as victims of rape into rape-“survivors” and to actively support their economic empowerment through income-generating activities (see box 7 on how the EC Instrument for Stability is supporting economic empowerment for women vulnerable to SGBV). A lack of economic independence can trap women and girls in potentially dangerous situations where they are vulnerable to sexual violence, exploitation and discrimination. At the same time, the consequences of SGBV can lead to lower productivity and an inability to maintain an active role in the labour force. Empowering women to be financially independent and providing viable options for income-generation can increase their overall personal security. Women’s political participation can also be constrained by SGBV where the health and psychosocial consequences can prevent women from being able to fully exercise their political rights. Marginalisation of women from local and national decision-making processes then further limits their ability to redress gender inequalities or to play more active roles in their communities. The costs of SGBV are largely under-estimated and ignored, and it is not generally seen as a security issue that has broader economic or political consequences. It is surrounded by a culture of silence and impunity, and the range and complexity of the underlying causes make it a difficult issue to address, particularly in conflict-affected contexts where judicial and security sector institutions are weak. Although sexual violence is often the most visible form of SGBV, it also includes the structural violence that results from gendered practices, laws and traditions. Holistic responses would therefore highlight the need to address all of these issues, from a variety of socioeconomic, legal, cultural and political perspectives.
3.2.2. Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration
Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration programmes are long-term processes that can mark the beginning of efforts to lay down arms, rehabilitate combatants and rebuild communities. 58 They can potentially be an excellent opportunity for both women and men associated with armed groups to realise a positive future. Unfortunately, the opportunity to include a gender perspective in DDR activities is often neglected, and these programmes remain inaccessible to women. Furthermore, there are challenges in DDR processes more broadly, particularly in following through on the reintegration of former combatants and those associated with fighting forces. This part of the process is the most challenging, although reintegration focused on the community as a whole rather than the individual level seems to yield more success. Significant numbers of women are associated with armed groups in which they have a variety of functions. They are often combatants, but also serve as cooks, porters, arms and ammunition smugglers and sexual slaves. In some cases, women are abducted by armed groups and treated at ‘wives.’ In these cases, women are often vulnerable to sexual violence and due to the stigma attached to being a ‘bush wife’ face many challenges in reintegrating back into their communities, particularly if they have children as a result of rape. This problem is currently visible in situations such as Uganda. 59
The experience of the DDR process in Sierra Leone confirms that the requirements for entry into DDR programmes such as the possession of a weapon or on the basis of selection by the force leader were significant barriers to women and girls. 60 The DDR process involving the paramilitary United Self Defences of Colombia did not incorporate initiatives targeting women, despite the fact that seven percent of the paramilitary ranks were women. 61 In Uganda, no allowance was made for the different needs of women and men despite the fact that women made up 21% of those ‘reintegrated’ through the ‘amnesty’ process. 62 However, there are instances in which gender perspectives have been included in DDR programming. In the Great Lakes Region, the Multi-Country Demobilisation and Reintegration Program (MDRP) is a multi-agency effort supporting demobilisation and reintegration. Following a 2005 consultation on gender and DDR with UNIFEM and female ex-combatants from the region, the MDRP attempted to establish a gendered approach to DDR, yet challenges still remained. For example, in Burundi the government determined that women who were pregnant should not be eligible for DDR. There can also be difficulties where responsibility for identifying ex-combatants or those associated with the fighting forces to go through DDR rests with the commanders, as women and girls may be less likely to be put forward and they in turn may be less likely to ‘self-identify’ themselves. In recent years the EU (See the EU DDR policy described in box 5) the United Nations through the Integrated DDR standards and the Netherlands have tried to ensure that a gender dimension is incorporated in DDR planning, implementation and evaluation. 63
Box 3: Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) National Plans in Central and Eastern Africa:
Gender as the missing dimension
|SALW is a priority within the European Union’s peacebuilding and conflict prevention policy.|
Resources from EU member ODA funding are frequently targeted at specific SALW interventions as well as related higher-level diplomatic action. SALW have a clear differentiated impact. Young men suffer disproportionately from the direct impact of SALW use (90 percent of gun homicide victims are men), while women tend to be victims of the indirect, longer-term consequences.64 In some societies, such as the pastoralists in the Karamoja region of Uganda, women play specific roles as holders of ammunition and the carers of weapons. In this kind of society, women may also ‘benefit’ from gun use (via SALW enabled cattle-rustling) and sometimes encourage men into initiating gun violence, hence the imperative to engage women in any SALW peacebuilding initiatives.65
Detailed research in Karamoja concludes that not engaging women in peacebuilding processes is one cause of failure, particularly regarding SALW control.66 In other contexts such as Liberia, the Liberian Women’s Initiative was very active in promoting disarmament in Liberia.67
In response to the challenge of SALW in East and Central Africa a number of governments (most notably Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya) have developed National Action Plans on SALW that include strategies, plans, benchmarks and specific resource requirements. Notably, however, the SALW action plans do not mainstream gender in any way. After recognising this problem, with financial support from GTZ, the East African Sub-Regional Initiative (EASSI) for the Advancement of Women is assisting with engendering these countries’ National Action Plans. EASSI utilises a cross-regional network that was formed in response to the Beijing Platform of Action to evaluate government commitments. In order to support the inclusion of gender into SALW National Action Plans, they are working with consultants and experts from governments, civil society and the National focal point for
small arms. This is an important initiative because it utilises existing plans (with resources already allocated) and seeks through collaboration to assist in engendering them, therefore making them more effective. It also takes a regional approach to the issue to promote learning across national borders. If implemented well, this initiative will have a multiplier effect by engendering SALW interventions in these three countries.
Engaging with and involving women can often help improve overall security, and at the very least can enable identification of a more holistic range of security concerns. In Albania, the positive influence of women is cited as the primary reason for the success of weapons recall programs. 68 Yet in other settings, women have particular roles in smuggling arms and ammunition (at times this is forced other times not) that if not understood and responded to would lead to only a partial local or international response.
3.2.3 Security Sector Reform
An effective security sector protects and upholds women’s rights, particularly in the face of public or private violence towards women. However, it is often the security forces themselves who are amongst the biggest perpetrators of violence against women. Without basic security, women cannot undertake tasks essential to their livelihoods and physical wellbeing or engage in activities such as education, which offer possibilities for longer-term empowerment.
Security sector reform efforts aspire to make security agencies such as the police and army more democratic, transparent, accountable and responsive to the human security needs of the population. Ideally, SSR should be locally-owned and involve participation of the local populations whose security is at risk. Intrinsically linked to the issue of security sector reform is that of access to justice and legal institutions, be they traditional or modern. Without a functioning, accessible and equitable justice sector that can combat impunity, protect the rights of both women and men, and offer recourse through the rule of law, it is unlikely that reforms of the security sector will translate into a meaningful increase in daily security for the majority of the population. Given that women and men have different security needs, any reform process should be gender-sensitive in its approach to identifying key security-related priorities and possible reforms to address them.
In places such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, reform is particularly necessary given that the National Police Force and the Army are accused in some instances of up to 20% of the reported cases of sexual assault. 69 Women’s recruitment into police forces is a powerful empowerment tool and, with the right capacity building and accountability measures in place, improves the quality and effectiveness of a force in fulfilling its core policing role. The police has the strongest link to actors of civil society and can thus function as a catalyst for promoting anti-violent action and the empowerment of women, even within their own organisation through reform of recruitment, gender-sensitive training and career counselling. Women security officers can also help sensitize male colleagues as they respond to sexual and gender-based violence in conflict and post-conflict environments. In East Timor, this approach effectively reduced SGBV. 70
One effort to approach security more holistically is being implemented by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s administration in Liberia. This initiative advocates for women’s inclusion in the police and armed forces, setting a target of 20 percent for women’s recruitment. 71 The rationale for the initiative is that greater gender equality is not only necessary for the achievement women’s empowerment but also that such recruitment will make the police more effective. The all-woman Indian contingent of UN police who have been posted in Liberia since 2007 have also contributed to targeting women to put themselves forward for recruitment into the police, demonstrating the powerful impact that women in key positions can have in raising awareness amongst other women. Clearly, senior leadership is an important driver of change in the security sector. In this and other areas, President Sirleaf is seen as an immensely positive force for improvements in the situations of women, peace and security throughout the continent. Most certainly, women’s roles in promoting disarmament should be further explored within wider security efforts.
Human trafficking is a major issue in many conflict-affected countries and therefore efforts to reduce trafficking is an important dimension of SSR in some countries. Women and children are more frequently trafficked than men. Root causes for trafficking include poverty, discrimination, violence and general insecurity, and anti-trafficking measures should target these. Trafficking and armed conflict are closely connected, with high levels of abduction often due to poverty, desperation, compromised border patrols and local police. In the context of trafficking of women, GTZ developed training material for NATO staff to push a specific Code of Conduct. A replicable policy would follow a human rights approach that includes strategies to prevent trafficking, to prosecute traffickers and to protect the human rights of trafficked persons. In Colombia, according to the anti-trafficking association Fundacion Esperanza, as many as 50,000 women are being trafficked annually out of the country. 72 In South Eastern Europe trafficking was identified as a particular problem as well. 73 The European Union – African Union partnership recently developed the EU-Africa Plan of Action on Trafficking of Human Beings.
Awareness is growing about the need to meet and guarantee women’s security in the private and public sphere as well as their development needs and to approach the issue of security in a more holistic, people-centred and gender-sensitive way. In order to reduce or stop all forms of discrimination, men – who are in most cases the violent actors – must be integrated into programmes to address violence against women. Innovative examples exist of how working with both men and women together to change attitudes towards domestic violence in the DRC have yielded real results and a decrease in overall violence and insecurity. 74 The toolkit on Gender and SSR recently published by the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of the Armed Forces, UN-INSTRAW and the OSCE provides practical tips and recommendations to policy-makers and security sector actors on how to integrate gender into various processes such as justice sector reform and parliamentary oversight of the security sector. 75
3.3 Access to Justice
Linked to the provision of security is access to justice to address violations, protect rights and combat the culture of impunity that is a frequent characteristic of conflict-affected societies. Women face specific obstacles in accessing justice such as limited gender-sensitivity and discriminatory attitudes within the police and justice sector, inadequate legislation to protect women’s rights, and the lack of funds or time to travel to police stations or courts. Involving women in processes of justice reform is necessary to ensure that they are given equal rights within the judicial system, particularly in countries where women are discriminated against under the law. Positive examples of women’s involvement in legal systems include the Association for Women’s Rights and Protection in Azerbaijan, which utilised existing laws concerning domestic violence and women’s right to property, divorce and work to support women in achieving their human rights, thus significantly contributing to women’s empowerment. 76
Transitional justice processes are important mechanisms for addressing the need for both justice and reconciliation in the aftermath of conflict. Women need the opportunity to voice their own experiences of violence, and their needs for justice in the aftermath of conflict. Transitional justice mechanisms can include special courts, truth and reconciliation commissions and other community-based approaches such as the gacacas in Rwanda. Although sexual violence is the most visible form of violence experienced during conflict, there are also other types of SGBV that can be exacerbated by conflict and need to be addressed by any transitional justice mechanism. There is a need for awareness-raising and training to increase likelihood that these mechanisms will be gender-sensitive and responsive to needs of women, and that women are aware that the mechanisms exist, are socially accepted and are easily accessible to them.
The concept of transitional justice is relatively new to many institutions and individuals within the European Union. It is within these ‘new’ areas of action that at times that gender mainstreaming gets lost or forgotten. In the note on “Transitional Justice and ESDP” from CIVCOM to the PSC there is no mention of gender mainstreaming or the different needs of men and women. 77 Yet as is noted there are multiple gender justice concerns within transitional justice and specific ways in which they can be addressed. Even where gender is noted as a cross cutting issue as in the Ghana National Reconciliation Commission (NRC), it was not actually used as an analytical or organizational tool in operationalising the NRC’s work. 78 However, little was actually done to liaise with women’s groups, encourage women witnesses to testify, or ensuring on-going training of staff. Indeed this is a common theme in responses to WAC: the commitment to gender equality or women’s empowerment is made in overarching policies, strategies and frameworks but little discernable filters through to the level of implementation.
3.4 Governance and Civil Society
The empowerment of women and achievement of women’s rights is a cross-cutting issue sitting squarely within the realm of governance. Transparent, democratic and effective governance structures provide for the human security and rights (including those of women) of their citizens. Good governance also involves equal representation and access by women and men to the political process, though women are significantly under-represented in decision-making positions, at local, regional and national levels, particularly in conflict countries. Notable exceptions include the Rwandan parliament, in which the percentage of women is amongst the highest in the world, and Uganda’s constitution, which is considered a positive example of gender equality mainstreaming. It should be noted that including gender mainstreaming in governance documents such as constitutions does not guarantee equality. These commitments need to be translated into monitored actions that have tangible impacts. Donors should support the establishment of alliance-building amongst women from different backgrounds and from different areas as a common platform for further activities. It is also important to ensure that positive gains made in the immediate aftermath of conflict are consolidated and built upon, resulting in lasting transformation of political structures and processes.
In Uganda, some local women’s organisations question how much this constitutional commitment has changed the lives of ordinary women. A similar concern was raised in Afghanistan where a quota of 25% women parliamentarians has not resulted in significant women’s empowerment. Effective participation is not something that can be measured quantitatively alone – while quotas and increased numbers of women in parliament are positive progress, it is the qualitative effectiveness of women’s participation that really matters. The initial findings of a research project being developed by The East African Sub-Regional Support Initiative (EASSI) and International Alert demonstrate that in Rwanda, there is a perception that many of the positive gains made by women immediately following the genocide are beginning to recede. In particular, inroads made by women in formal decision-making structures need to filter down to other levels of society. There is also a risk of backlash by men against positive discrimination measures. There is also a need for women politicians to receive gender training and promote gender equality policies, since they won’t always automatically represent women’s interests and may be unaware of or unwilling to represent broader groups of women in society.
In situations where governance is fragile and ineffective, authorities are likely to be incapable or unwilling to uphold human security and rights, and can even function as active agents of insecurity. Armed conflict is one of the most extreme expressions of a failure of governance structures to manage conflict non-violently. Women are particularly affected by challenges to service delivery in fragile states, and can also be affected by fragility in specific ways, most notably through their vulnerability to increased violence and insecurity. In response, the GAERC conclusions on situations of fragility noted that particular attention should be paid to women’s rights. 79 Also, the EU-ACP financial instrument, the 10th EDF the Governance Incentive Tranches, asks questions about whether governments have responded to international commitments or developed strategies and structures to respond to the challenges of gender equality. Despite these efforts, most analysis of fragile situations and resulting international responses do not include a gender dimension. 80
In most conflict contexts civil society, particularly women and women’s organisations, attempt to address WAC through advocacy, awareness raising, capacity building and service delivery. Any policy response to WAC must understand the critical role civil society plays in empowering women, holding government and armed forces to account, and advocating for peace. While in some circumstances women’s groups and other civil society actors have incited violence and professed discriminatory ideas, civil society is a significant source of expertise, knowledge and experience in dealing with issues associated with gender and conflict (see section 5.2). Some of the other ways that civil society can promote and support efforts to address women and armed conflict include providing a space for dialogue between women and policymakers, gender-sensitive monitoring and evaluation of peacebuilding and development initiatives, filling the gap, and providing social services and other support where state actors fail to reach rural communities or marginalised groups. Initiatives by the international community in conflict-affected countries can run the risk of being, or being perceived to be, externally imposed or top-down solutions to local problems. One way to counter this risk is to ensure wide, regular, systematic and long-term consultation with and engagement of civil society to obtain a better understanding of priorities and needs at the local level. Where they exist and are representative, women’s groups and gender-sensitive civil society organisations may be well-placed to act as a channel between policymakers and women in conflict-affected populations, enhancing programme design and delivery through more effective and responsive interventions that target women’s security, political and socioeconomic needs.
3.5 Health and Education
Some of the challenges faced by women in conflict are directly related to reproductive health issues such as HIV/AIDS, other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), and lack of access to health services and family planning. These issues are further exacerbated by sexual and gender-based violence which can increase women’s vulnerability to reproductive health problems. Women’s health concerns in conflict-affected countries are therefore large in scope and linked with other concerns, particularly protection and their ability to be economically productive.
According to UNIFEM, African countries experiencing years of conflict and instability (the DRC, Sierra Leone and Eritrea, for example) have the highest maternal death rates.81 In Afghanistan, maternity mortality is the highest in the world, with as many as 6,500 women dying per 100,000 births in the northeast of the country. 82 The breakdown of the health sector during conflict impacts all members of society, yet women are especially vulnerable given their reproductive health needs. For example, the destruction of hospitals due to conflict in Papua New Guinea has severely affected maternal health. 83 Poor health services and the rise of malnutrition in Afghanistan, in combination with flight from violent conflict, have increased the dangers to women during pregnancy and childbirth. Health services are not free in most societies, and therefore the feminisation of poverty also compounds the health issues facing women and can be a major obstacle to their ability to access and pay for healthcare. The sector lacks resources, and sexual and reproductive health is often at the bottom of a long priority list. In Colombia, women are forced to travel long and dangerous distances for maternal health services. In Sierra Leone, it is estimated that 70 to 90 percent of rape survivors contracted STIs, including HIV/AIDS. Abducted girls were also particularly at risk, due to the many episodes of sexual violence they faced. 84 Few of the programmes designed to respond to sexual violence in conflict-affected regions meet the demand for health services or are suited to dealing with the range of psychosocial problems and trauma that survivors of sexual violence have to deal with. The link between the spread of HIV/AIDS, conflict, and forced migration has been well documented, with some studies clearly articulating the link between sexual violence and the spread of HIV/AIDS. Research shows that progress has been made in addressing reproductive health in conflict-affected settings, particularly in stable refugee camps. However, a 2004 global study 85 showed that significantly more must be done to ensure that internally displaced women have access to comprehensive reproductive health services. Furthermore, recent developments at both the field and global levels show that there is a fragmentation of the holistic and comprehensive approach to reproductive health as articulated in the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development Program of Action.
Conflict situations adversely impact women’s health in unexpected ways, even in health problems that are not particular to women. For example, in Afghanistan, tuberculosis rates are now as high as 325 cases per 100,000 people. Women make up 67 percent of registered cases, drastically high considering the worldwide average of 37 percent female tuberculosis cases. With the destruction of the health care sector, insecurity leading to immobility, and unaffordable transportation and medical costs, women are bearing the brunt of this situation.86 Mental health and the psychosocial consequences of conflict tend to be neglected or downplayed by the international community. In Afghanistan, a study showed that among women exposed to the Taliban rule, 97 percent suffered from depression, 86 percent displayed significant anxiety and 42 percent suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Twenty-five percent of Afghan women frequently contemplated suicide. 87 Too often, humanitarian programmes neglect psycho-social programming because a lack of resources. This neglect adversely impacts the mental health of the population but has a longer term impact on stability given that traumatised women are less likely to engage in reconciliation efforts and may not be able to play a constructive role in the household, community, or national level. 88 Many local women’s groups advocate for a comprehensive response to conflict situations that include reproductive health and psycho-social support. 89
Box 4: Developing operational guidance on war trauma: The local level
|In recent years, operational guidance has been developed to assist those in policy positions to make better-informed decisions about a range of WAC issues. While very necessary at the policy level, guidance is also required at the local level where knowledge gaps often exist, greatly impacting the ability of interventions to respond to community needs. In Uganda, a locally-based NGO called ISIS-Women’s International Cross Cultural exchange conducted short-term medical interventions and action research on the nature of conflict and its impact on women in the districts of Luwero, Gulu, and Teso. Researchers found significant knowledge gaps among operational health workers about the medical and psychological consequences of war trauma. In order to truly improve the care provided to those in need, it was necessary to develop an approach that was more comprehensive, professional, and locally appropriate to training health workers in Northern Uganda. While internationally accepted guidelines existed, a training manual for operational health workers was needed that was adapted to local realities.|
The resulting manual, developed by the German NGO Medica Mondiale, the Ugandan Ministry of Health and end users, included the full range of issues with which health care workers may be confronted: the presentation of war trauma; presentation and management of the psychological consequences of war trauma; gynaecological consequences of war and conflict on the community; the recognition, assessment and management of mental trauma in children affected by war; HIV/AIDs and war trauma; and counselling for victims of war traumatisation. The manual provided very practical implementation guidance at the local level. 90
The initiative has been very successful in terms of changing the nature and scope of medical engagement and improving the quality and comprehensiveness of interventions by service providers. It also represented an excellent partnership between the different actors: non-governmental, international NGO and a government Ministry. Each actor brought something different to the table with an ultimate goal of improving the impact of interventions on war-affected women. The fact that ISIS-WICCE’s initial action research on these issues won the trust of local communities and allowed them to truly respond to their interests was important in terms of the success of the roll out of the manual.
Such interventions are not particularly expensive. When implemented correctly, they are respectful of local needs and interests and assist in empowering local front line service providers. Ensuring that the EU allocates flexible resources to this kind of intervention is crucial to improving impact at the level where it is most needed – the local level. Bottom-up approaches to the development of operational guidance that genuinely responds to needs and builds capacity of local actors should be priorities for EU support.
As is noted by the European Parliament, “the vulnerability of women in conflict situations often lies in a general social undervaluation of women and their limited access, inter alia, to education and the labour market”. 91 The MDGs recognize that gender inequality exists in terms of educational opportunities. In conflict situations where resources are scarce, many societies favour boys over girls when considering education. Additionally, where there is pervasive fear of SBGV, girls and young women may be prevented by their families from accessing education for fear of what might happen on the way to school. At the same time, education is one of the most effective strategies to raise awareness, foster empowerment and transform discriminatory attitudes that can increase the vulnerability and marginalisation of women.
Limiting education opportunities for girls and/or young women (including women re-entering education after a period of conflict) has a serious negative impact on longer-term women’s empowerment. Therefore, in conflict and post-conflict settings the EU should pay particular attention to access to education for women, and ensure that there is appropriate sex disaggregated data to indicate the state of progress. Education activities should also be undertaken in ways that ensure the protection of women seeking to access education. Improved education for women can also have a multiplier effect in raising the health and welfare of households, and reducing the vulnerability of women to discrimination and violence within the home and community.
3.6 Economic Development and Livelihoods
At the end of the average conflict a country’s economy will be 15% smaller than when the conflict began.92 A World Bank study recently characterised conflict as “development in reverse”. 93 Given these facts and the reality that women constitute a larger portion of those in poverty, women are more likely to suffer the economic consequences of conflict than men. The necessity to ensure gender sensitivity mainstreaming within post-conflict reconstruction and economic development is clear, yet it is often missing from post-conflict reconstruction and development frameworks and/or strategies. One notable exception is the recent post conflict and reconstruction and development framework created by the African Union, which highlights women and gender as one of its six core elements. 94
The domestic responsibilities of women and their burden of caring for children, elderly and the injured generally increase during conflict. Women also frequently lack control over productive resources or economic assets, even when they themselves are generating them. Female-headed households and widows are particularly vulnerable groups given the difficulties they may have accessing land or inheriting property from male family members killed or missing during conflict. When conflict ends and displaced populations return to their home communities there can be competition over scarce resources, land and property and if women’s rights are not protected by law they can be left without access to the resources needed for livelihood generation. To gain access to resources requires gender-sensitive institutions and mechanisms. Indeed, in many countries, the lack of legal rights with respect to land, property and inheritance compound women’s economic insecurity and their inability to escape poverty trap. 95
Ensuring that changes in gendered division of labour during and after conflict have positive impacts for both women and men is a challenge for development responses to WAC. Programmes to provide women with literacy and skills training are often in place in conflict-affected contexts, but too often in uncompetitive industries such as cloth making or hair-dressing. Not enough effort is made to undertake market analyses prior to designing skills training programmes to see what sectors would be most profitable and sustainable. It is also important to recognise that men can be threatened or disempowered at the same time as women are supported to take on increased economic roles. This indicates the need for a gender-sensitive approach to women’s economic empowerment. Indeed, lack of employment opportunities is a key challenge for both women and men, and it is therefore important that efforts to support women’s economic empowerment also address the needs of men. Initiatives that target communities as a whole tend to be more sustainable, as the experience with DDR has shown.
Women’s economic insecurity, and poverty more generally, are inter-linked with and a driver as well as a consequence of SGBV. A lack of economic independence can trap women and girls in potentially dangerous situations where they are vulnerable to sexual violence, exploitation and discrimination. Empowering women to be financially independent and providing viable options for income-generation can increase their overall personal security, as well as their ability to generate a sustainable livelihood and benefit from economic development.
General unemployment can also increase SGBV, as in Uganda where surveys of Sudanese refugees found high rates of domestic violence due to inadequate employment opportunities for men. 96 Indeed, it is a commonly noted phenomenon that in the post-conflict phase violence moves from the public to the private space. The issue is not simply one of protection. Solutions also require attention to equal access to justice and post-conflict economic opportunities, and programmes that target the different capacities and roles of men and women to ensure that both are empowered and able to benefit from peacebuilding and development initiatives. As economies begin to recover during post-conflict reconstruction, men usually have the best access to formal economic opportunities in both the public and private sectors. Despite the fact that women often assume head of household duties during conflict and can gain considerable skills, they are still disadvantaged when the conflict ends. Research shows that women are more likely to have jobs in the informal and low-skilled sectors. For example, one study of villages in Bosnia-Herzegovina found that none of the women still present had been able to resume their pre-war levels of per capita productive occupations. 97 Unless women and men’s new skills and experience can be consolidated and focused after the conflict, violence will continue, though usually in private rather than openly. The challenge is to consolidate and build upon this level of economic empowerment.
3.7 Consolidating Opportunities for Change
While the impact of most armed conflict on women’s lives is almost entirely negative, it should not be forgotten that it also brings opportunity. Armed conflict changes gender relations, change that if consolidated may well be positive for women. One example of this phenomenon, drawn from Europe’s own turbulent history, was the positive changes in the position of women in Europe during and after the Second World War. Men may, however, find it difficult to adjust to a new reality in which traditional roles are challenged and changed. There is therefore a need to consolidate positive change and utilise any opportunities violent armed conflict might generate to empower women, create more formal and informal spaces for their participation, and increase their rights in the longer term, while at the same time recognising men’s roles in society. Gender analysis is one way to identify and address changes in gender relations, and such approaches should therefore form an integral part of any EU response to women and armed conflict.
Part II: EU Response
Part II of this study focuses on the current WAC policy environment in the EU and related implementation activities.
4. EU Responses to WAC
4.1 The EU WAC Policy Framework
Mainstreaming gender equality within EU policy frameworks such as development and humanitarian aid, CFSP/ESDP, and human rights more generally should be comprehensive. In this sense, there is no area of EU CFSP, development and humanitarian assistance, or human rights legislation and policy where gender issues and women’s participation are not relevant. Additionally, as with general approaches to conflict prevention, peacebuilding, and in situations of fragility, an ‘all of government’ approach is necessary to adequately address WAC issues. This concept was recently discussed and noted by the Council of the EU during the Portuguese EU Presidency. 98
4.1.1 Development and Humanitarian Assistance
The EU collectively is one of the most influential global actors in development cooperation. However, to date no specific ‘EU’ wide-approach (as distinct from an EC approach) is discernable at the country level, despite the fact that the Treaty of the European Union collectively emphasises the importance of development cooperation focussing on poverty and human rights. 99 The 27 EU member states and the EC make up more than half the total overseas development assistance (ODA) disbursed globally in any particular year. In 2006, the EU/EC disbursed € 46.9 billion in ODA. 100/ 101 While amounts vary significantly from member state to member state, and only three have met the UN target of 0.7% of gross national income (GNI), there are specific EU commitments to increase ODA exist. As noted, the “EU has adopted a timetable for Member States to achieve 0.7% of GNI by 2015, with an intermediate collective target of 0.56% by 2010.” 102 Globally therefore, the EU is a very substantial international development actor with significant ODA resources at its disposal.
Despite the above and the EU’s decades-long experience with foreign aid, it wasn’t until November 2005 that an overarching, EU-specific policy framework for development cooperation was created: the European Consensus on Development. This policy framework includes a number of specific principles and commitments that, if implemented, would significantly improve the EU’s response to development and armed conflict, and within that, the situation of WAC. In addition, the May 2007 Petersberg Communiqué on European Development Policy, produced on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the European Union, notes the centrality of peace, security and gender equality to EU approaches to development. 103
4.1.2 The European Consensus on Development
The European Consensus makes clear a commitment to gender and gender equality in a number of ways. First, it reiterates the importance of the MDGs (specifically goal on 3 on gender equality) and makes special mention of the fact that “the empowerment of women is the key to all development and gender equality should be a core part of all policy strategies”. 104 Second, it advocates for the promotion of particular policy values within policy dialogue with third countries including respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, peace, democracy, good governance, gender equality, the rule of law, solidarity and justice. It also notes that “The promotion of gender equality and women's rights is not only crucial in itself but is a fundamental human right and a question of social justice”. 105 Third, the consensus commits to implementing the Beijing Platform for Action, the Cairo Programme of Action, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and to including “a strong gender component in all its policies and practices in its relations with developing countries.”106.
Fundamentally, the most relevant section of the Consensus as it relates to this study on WAC is section 92 on conflict prevention and fragile states. Section 92 specifically states that the EU, “…will maintain its support to conflict prevention and resolution and to peacebuilding by addressing the root-causes of violent conflict, including poverty, degradation, exploitation and unequal distribution and access to land and natural resources, weak governance, human rights abuses and gender inequality. It will also promote dialogue, participation and reconciliation with a view to promoting peace and preventing outbreaks of violence.” 107. This indicates that the EU clearly identifies gender inequality one of the root causes of conflict. This statement, if translated into policy, programming and resource allocation will have fundamental ramifications. Critically, Section 92 also advocates for mainstreaming conflict prevention and gender equality, both of which are cross-cutting issues affecting all development activities. There is also a further commitment to gender equality in relation to access and control over resources and political and economic voice as well as a commitment to carry out on a systematic basis gender-equality impact assessment in relation to budget and sectoral aid. In some respects in translating the European Consensus into specific policies there has been progress in the gender and conflict agenda, such as in the EU DDR policy, yet there are few examples of good practice to refer to. (see box 3)
Box 5: Effective policy mainstreaming with EU Disarmament, Demobilisation, Reintegration
In addition to general policies in recent years, the EU has started to develop specific policies in various areas. In December 2006, the Commission and the Council approved the EU Concept for Support to Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR).108 This document effectively mainstreams gender issues throughout, notes the details of provisions in UNSCR 1325. The EU DDR concept specifically refers to the importance of UNSCR 1325 and other associated international legal instruments, and also gives clear guidance on the type of activities that should be funded. It is therefore a good example of how issues related to women and armed conflict can be integrated into thematic priorities within the EU’s peacebuilding and development agenda. It notes issues such as, “Defining “combatant” as someone carrying a weapon has often resulted in women and girls being excluded from DDR processes.”, and that DDR should offer “equal benefits to men and women ex-combatants, and prevent eligible women being ignored or not registered for the programmes in the first place.” It also notes the differentiated impact on girls and boys, and indicates that children’s DDR should start immediately even without a formal peace agreement. Austrian policy states that “gender equality,… is systematically implemented throughout all development cooperation activities. The specific role of women in post-conflict situations, the prevention of violence against women including traditional practices… participation are development and foreign policy goals that aim at equality and non-discrimination of women.” 114
Of course, the real test of the effectiveness of any thematic policy is how it actually informs and changes implementation in practice in the various geographical settings in which the Commission and member-states engage in DDR. As the policy has only been in existence since December 2006, it is too early to assess its impact. It provides, however, a good model of cross-pillar gender mainstreaming at the EU, and is one that could be copied in other areas.
4.1.3 The European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid 109
One of the ways the European Union tangibly connects to the daily lives of women affected by armed conflict is through the provision of humanitarian aid. The EU is a major player in humanitarian aid, with the EC alone contributing € 732 million to humanitarian efforts in 2007. 110 While the provision of humanitarian aid is in no way sufficient to respond to the needs and rights of women, it is a very important component of the European Union’s response. In December 2007, in response to a desire to improve the coherence of EU humanitarian aid and to promote and articulate the EU’s common vision, the Council, Commission, and European Parliament adopted the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid. 111
The European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid includes a number of principles and sections in which gender issues are prominent. Broadly, it recognizes that humanitarian aid must take the complexities of human vulnerabilities into account, including the cross cutting issue of gender, and it recommends the recognition of and response to the gender dimension and the integration of gender considerations into EU humanitarian aid. In addition to calling for addressing the special needs of women, children, elderly, and disabled people, it also recognizes the importance of supporting women’s participation in humanitarian aid responses. 112 More specifically, it then calls for the incorporation of protection strategies against sexual and gender based violence in all aspects of humanitarian assistance; a specific commitment that could be tangibly included in the Action Plan being developed that will accompany implementation of the Consensus 113. Interestingly, the 2007 Commission Communication titled ‘Towards a European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid’ did not make specific reference to gender or women; a considerable omission, which the final Consensus text rectifies. The European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid is now being translated into an Action Plan, within which WAC and gender considerations should hopefully feature large. The Commission’s ability to implement these commitments will be largely dependent on the leadership, plan, resources and specialist staff made available. In interviews conducted during this research, the current specialist human resources on gender issues within ECHO were found to be minimal and stretched over many different issues (such as climate change and landmines).
4.1.4 EU Member States Development Policies
Within the scope of this study, it was not possible to fully assess the many WAC-relevant policies EU member states currently have in place. However, gender mainstreaming, women’s empowerment, gender equity and women’s rights were found to be key components of many member states’ development cooperation policies, with some including specifically clear commitments regarding WAC. The following is an illustrative list of the policies currently in place:
Specific references to WAC include:
Finland’s policy states that “sustainable development depends on stability and security, progress towards democratic governance based on the rule of law, the consolidation of human rights – especially the rights of women – and support for the civil society. Development policy must strengthen security in the wide sense of the word.” 115
In its Africa Strategy, Denmark states that it “is important to involve both women and men in conflict resolution and peace-building activities”, and, “take account of the exceptional situation of women and children in connection with violent conflicts”. 116
SIDA also commits itself to providing a report on the implementation of contributions that have the aim of promoting the equal participation of women and men in conflict prevention, crisis management and peacebuilding, in accordance with UN Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. 117
Netherlands noted the importance of a Dutch National Action Plan for UNSCR 1325, its funding and its implementation. 118
Germany also notes that gender equality along with peace, democracy and human rights is a key element of political stability, and that, “the conflict-sensitivity of development cooperation projects and programmes also incorporates gender aspects.” 119
In the UK DFID notes that, “Women and girls are disproportionately targeted in armed conflict”, and “addressing gender issues within its work on conflict and security is not just about involving women, but also requires understanding the relations between women and men”. 120 It also talks the importance of UNSCR 1325 and the development of a UK Action Plan.
General references to gender equality and mainstreaming include:
Respect for the rights of the child is the fourth cross-sectoral theme of Belgian development cooperation, along with gender equality, social economy and respect for the environment. 121
Improving the position of women and girls is one of the cross-cutting themes of Finnish development policy. 122
One of the objectives of Hellenic Aid are the “equitable participation of men and women”. 123
Italy’s sectoral priorities for development cooperation include “gender policies, particularly women's empowerment” 124
Spanish development cooperation, “gives special attention to the enhancement of human capabilities and basic social services coverage, empowerment of women and the increase of productive opportunities.” 125 Spanish cooperation also “will work to integrate the perspective of gender as a horizontal priority in development policy.” 126
The Czech government refers to women as a vulnerable group in their Development Cooperation programme, which includes specific reference to work with refugee women. 127
The Luxembourg Development Cooperation has equality between men and women included in the Indicative Development Programme (IDP) as one of its horizontal themes. 128
Malta also notes that, “gender consideration will feature in a cross cutting manner” in its development policy. 129
Denmark has gender equality and human rights integrated as cross-cutting issues within its development assistance. 130 It has also stated that it will give markedly higher priority to the efforts to promote respect for human rights - particularly the rights of women and children. 131
SIDA’s strategic priorities in 2006 included gender equality; enhanced aid effectiveness; fighting corruption, and the struggle against HIV/AIDs. 132
The Netherlands’ new development cooperation policy has gender mainstreaming as a cross cutting theme, but also noted the need for funding and “active gender diplomacy” to ensure that relevant youth and women’s organisations are involved in the national dialogue and in setting and monitoring development goals and results” in partner countries.
Ireland notes that mainstreaming of gender, environment, HIV/AIDS and governance issues across all the work of Irish Aid. 133
Human rights and gender aspects are mainstreamed across all areas of German bilateral cooperation. 134
In the United Kingdom, DFID is committed to promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, and has noted the need to give greater priority to these issues in every aspect of its development assistance. A Gender Equality Action Plan has been developed by DFID to promote implementation, yet this document does not link to conflict issues. 135
Without a specific policy reference and commitment to WAC related issues it is unlikely significant programming or action will follow. However while these policy commitments to WAC are important and necessary, they are only effective if they are translated into concrete action and this is where the main challenges lie. Indeed, the blockages to effective implementation do not lie so much in the policy frameworks in the development sphere, but rather in the prioritization, expertise and dedicated resources to ensure that the policy commitments are implemented.
4.1.5. EU Common Foreign and Security Policy
The EU and its 27 member states have collective global foreign and security concerns. As a result, the EU has sought to develop and implement a Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), including European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). While the November 2006 GAERC conclusions noted “the importance of promoting gender equality and gender mainstreaming in the context of CFSP/ESDP at all levels,” 136 to date gender equality and gender mainstreaming are not readily found in the day-to-day operations of CFSP or ESDP apart from in one or two specific instances. Furthermore, while the 2003 European Security Strategy (ESS) A Secure Europe in a Better World identifies linkages between security and development, the need to work with the United Nations, and the importance of aligning development, security and diplomatic action, it noticeably does not mention gender and women’s issues, other than identifying women as potential victims of organized crime and sex trafficking. 137 Any future revision of the ESS should include women as actors in setting security strategy and as participants and decision-makers within defence and diplomatic responses. These steps would be a powerful articulation of the EU’s existing international commitments in the area of women and armed conflict.
In 2001, the Swedish EU Presidency developed the EU Programme of Action on the Prevention of Violent Conflicts. This policy statement is currently the highest-level statement within the EU specifically focused on conflict prevention.138 The statement includes programme implementation reporting requirements at the Presidency level. Unfortunately, as with the ESS, the EU Programme of Action on the Prevention of Violent Conflict does not make specific reference to women or gender issues. Given the interests of upcoming EU Presidencies in potentially updating the Programme of Action, it is recommended that issues of gender and women be included.
4.1.6. European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) 139
Of the 20 civilian and/or military ESDP missions developed over time, eleven are currently on-going. 140 Given that these missions operate in zones of conflict and instability, WAC should be a key consideration of these responses. The fact that operationalising ESDP missions is still under development means there is significant potential to include a focus on WAC, particularly in areas where this is growing demand for ESDP missions such as security sector reform. 141 A number of efforts have already been made in this regard.
In September 2005, the Council Secretariat developed a note on the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 in the context of ESDP, which was approved by the Political Military Group (PMG). 142 This was then complemented by a Check list to ensure gender mainstreaming and implementation of UNSCR 1325 in the planning and conduct of ESDP Operations, which includes specific operational considerations regarding the planning and implementation of ESDP missions.
Subsequently, specific Council conclusions on “Gender Mainstreaming in ESDP operations” were issued calling for gender mainstreaming in all areas of ESDP. 143 These conclusions highlight the importance of achieving a gender balance in ESDP operations and encouraging member states to remove obstacles to women’s participation. The conclusions also encourage the development of national action plans for the implementation of UNSCR 1325, not only in relation to EU member-states but also third states participating in ESDP operations. Additionally, the Council requested the Institute for Security Studies to assess the challenges of implementing gender mainstreaming in EU missions, resulting in a study of the EU Police Mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina. 144
Finally, there have been calls for the appointment of a gender adviser or a gender focal point in all ESDP missions and operations, further support for training activities, particularly mission specific training on gender issues, and public information campaigns on women’s involvement in the security sector. The EUFOR RD Congo mission responded to this call with considerable success. (see box 4). In appointing a clear focal point person with the necessary capacity operating within a supportive chain of command, good progress has been made with regard to gender mainstreaming within ESDP missions.
All above demonstrates that the EU has made great strides in terms of mainstreaming UNSCR 1325 in the field of crisis management and ESDP missions.
Box 6: Integrating gender within EUFOR RD Congo 145
|Leadership-level support and qualified personnel with experience in gender and a clear plan are key elements in any process of gender mainstreaming. The comprehensive effort to integrate gender work within the EUFOR RD Congo crisis management mission could provide a useful model for addressing WAC issues within crisis management missions and more widely. The integration of gender concerns throughout the EUFOR RD Congo was generally seen as a great success by the EU and external observers. This approach had a number of innovations including:|
Gender issues were taken into account at the planning stage and were incorporated into the operational plan.
Training was provided in DR Congo by experts in the languages of force personnel and included topics such as the purpose of integrating gender into the operation, the particular situation of gender and women in the DR Congo.
Every soldier carried a card detailing what constituted Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA)
A force Gender Adviser was appointed and gender focal points within different units were appointed that developed into a network.
Clear support, direction and guidance were given by the Operational Commander and Force Commander on the issue of gender.
The EUFOR RD Mission sought to link with MONUC and other UN agencies as well as local authorities such as the Minister of Women and the Family and local women’s organizations.
While there were certainly unresolved issues and areas for improvement, generally the integration of gender issues improved the impact of the mission and it’s perception by the DRC population at large. This approach effectively mainstreamed gender throughout the entire mission, created the specific mechanisms necessary and invested in the specialist personnel needed to make it happen.
However, this has been mainly thanks to the tireless work of a few dedicated individuals. Efforts continue with the inclusion of gender in ESDP mission evaluations (particularly the Aceh Monitoring Mission) 146 and the requirement to mainstream human rights and gender issues within the new Civilian Headline Goal process for developing civilian crisis management. 147 There has been the appointment of gender and human rights advisors within European Union Police Mission (EUPOL) Afghanistan and European Union Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM) Rafah which is also a welcome development that should be encouraged. The Political & Security Committee of the Council of the European Union also recommended that Heads of Mission and Force Commanders should issue all personnel ‘pocket cards’ referring to rules of behaviour and the protection of human rights and gender considerations amongst other issues. However, the acceptance of ‘pocket cards’ was a suggestion not a mandatory requirement. 148 Also the German EU Presidency had developed a ‘handbook’ on “Mainstreaming of Human Rights and Gender into ESDP”. This was less of a handbook and more of a listing of relevant documents adopted by the EU and lessons learned for training processes, but is still a useful contribution to the body of knowledge on these issues. In addition the Hungarian Ministry of Defence took the lead with support of the German EU Presidency in organising a training on gender mainstreaming for ESDP missions in April 2007. This has since been recommended as a standard for all ESDP missions.
From 2007, the appointment of European Union Special Representatives are to have gender and human rights as a key part of their mandate. Notably, despite commitments of several EU member states to support the representation of women at the highest levels of decision-making within the EU, there are currently no women EUSRs. Also working on the issue of WAC on behalf of the wider EU is the EU Personal Representative for Human Rights of the High Representative of the Common Foreign and Security Policy. 149 Although this role has a limited budget and limited personnel capacity to drive through changes, the Council Secretariat, particularly in relation to ESDP, has had some notable successes in further gender mainstreaming and the goals of UNSCR 1325. Examples of such progress would be the appointment of a gender advisor in the EUFOR mission in the DRC and also ensuring that a gender component was part of the high-level planning for the Kosovo mission, as well as having the implementation of UNSCR 1325 document and the checklist for UNSCR 1325 in ESDP missions. In other non-EU security and peacekeeping missions of the UN, EU members have also come together with other countries to assess the implementation of UNSCR 1325. 150 All these developments does not mean that there are not still considerable challenges and more work to be done on a number of issues. Notably, the staff capacity on gender issues within the Council Secretariat is small, with no staff member having a dedicated gender brief. The budget of missions and the secretariat in relation to women and armed conflict is also very small.
4.1.7. EU Human Rights Policy
The promotion and protection of human rights is a clearly stated objective of EU CFSP and development cooperation. Additionally, the EU has created human rights guidelines covering issues of the Death Penalty (1998), Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment (2001), Human Rights dialogues with third countries (2001), Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC) (2003), Human Rights defenders (2004) and Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Child (2007). 151/ 152 These are known collectively as the EU Human Rights Guidelines and are primarily the responsibility of the Council Working Party on Human Rights (COHOM), which includes representatives from EU member states, the Commission and the Council Secretariat.
It is clearly the case that human rights policy should include aspects relating to WAC. While the EU has sought to develop specific policy regarding WAC in addition to international legal commitments, no actual guidelines exist as of yet. However, WAC issues are mentioned in some external guidelines which the EU has committed to, such as the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women in the EU Guidelines on Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Recommendations have also been made to revise certain guidelines, such as those relating to Human Rights Defenders so that they take into account the specific threats to and needs of female human rights defenders. 153 Importantly, the guidelines for CAAC are accompanied by an Implementation Strategy to help EU actors carry through commitments. However, because there are no specific EU Guidelines on WAC, there are also no specific implementation strategies. The EU has yet to prioritise countries in which WAC should be a focus as the case with children and armed conflict. Nor is there any EU plan to assess progress against on WAC. At least the CAAC guidelines provide a framework for implementation, though analysis notes that they could be implemented much more systematically. 154 It could be said that WAC is everywhere (to varying degrees), but also nowhere within EU Human Rights Policy. This is a point that has long been noted by those interested in gender issues more widely.
In summary, external commentators from the UN and NGO sectors have consistently emphasised the need to implement existing commitments related to WAC in the context of the EU’s many policy frameworks and international commitments. Despite this, the gap between principles, paper commitments and tangible actions by the EU remains large.
4.2. EU Instruments to Respond to WAC
Broadly speaking, the EU has three instruments at its disposal to promote women’s empowerment, gender equality and women’s rights in conflict contexts. First, diplomatic action can be effective in the form of political dialogue, including demarches, declarations and other forms of political pressure and encouragement. Diplomatic action can occur in international forums such as the United Nations as well as at the regional and country level with governments in third countries and with regional organisations such as the African Union. Second, multilateral and bilateral programming, primarily related to development cooperation, humanitarian assistance, human rights and specific stability/conflict prevention programming can be used to respond to WAC. And third, EU crisis management missions (ESDP civilian and military missions) have the potential to impact WAC. Within each of these areas there are a wide variety of specific actions that can be taken and many different types of instruments that can be utilised.
4.2.1 EC Financial Instruments and WAC
In late 2006, the European Community established the legal basis for new, consolidated financial instruments for external relations. All of the new instruments include a reference to gender equality and women’s rights and some specifically mention WAC or other closely related issues (see Annex 1). As a result, there is now a legal basis to fund initiatives in the area of women’s empowerment and women’s rights which utilise a cross-cutting approach to gender equality and gender mainstreaming. Therefore, there is no legal reason why such instruments cannot be extensively and consistently used in this fashion. Indeed, if they are not, they are not complying with the principles and parameters set out within them.
In addition to the new EC financial instruments, the Cotonou Partnership Agreement 155 between the EC, its 27 member-states, and 77 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries disburses European Development Fund (EDF) resources and makes special reference to gender equality and women’s empowerment in a number of key areas. For example Article 1 notes that, “Systematic account shall be taken of the situation of women and gender issues in all areas – political, economic and social.” The agreement also importantly notes that gender issues can be part of the political dialogue. Additionally, Article 11 affords a degree of latitude to design approaches to conflict prevention and peacebuilding. While women’s engagement in conflict prevention and peacebuilding is not explicitly mentioned in Article 11 (an omission perhaps due to the fact that the original Cotonou Partnership Agreement was completed before UNSCR 1325), there is certainly sufficient reference to women’s engagement in other parts of the document to justify supporting such initiatives with EDF funds. 156 In particular, Article 20 specifically notes that mainstreaming gender (amongst other issues) shall be an area eligible for Community support. More specifically, section (b) of Article 30 “(b) encourage[s] the adoption of specific positive measures in favour of women such as: (i) participation in national and local politics; (ii) support for women’s organisations; (iii) access to basic social services, especially to education and training, health care and family planning; (iv) access to productive resources, especially to land and credit and to labour market; and (v) taking specific account of women in emergency aid and rehabilitation operations. All are areas relevant to any development context but they become particularly important in conflict-affected environments.
4.2.2. EC Resources and Programming Devoted to WAC
Policy commitments and legal basis aside, it is also important to examine in detail the resources originating from the European Union via the European Commission that are relevant to WAC. While somewhat more straightforward than researching 27 EU member-states, it is still difficult to get a sense of EC commitments to WAC in terms of projects and financial resources. The Annual Report 2007 on the European Community’s Development Policy and the implementation of External Assistance in 2006 includes a table showing that total funding focussed on women in development was € 19.26 million out of € 9,832.40 million, less than 0.2% of the 2006 total. 157 (These numbers do not necessarily refer to gender equality mainstreaming more generally.) Other figures note that € 1,204 million or 12% of EC aid was gender equality focused, yet of this total, only € 30 million had gender equality as its primary objective. The balance included gender as a ‘significant objective’. 158 Additionally, it is clear that not all gender equality projects will have relevance to WAC. Also as the DAC Peer Review of the European Community also found it is difficult to detect the consistent implementation of gender concerns at the field level. 159
It was not possible to analyse all Country Strategy Papers (CSPs) and National Indicative Programmes (NIP) in the course of this research, though the latest CSPs and national indicative programmes for Afghanistan (2007-2013), Colombia (2007-2013), the Philippines (2007-2013), Sri Lanka (2007-2013) and Nepal (2007-2013) were examined. This exercise determined that gender equality was a key feature of strategy in these countries, though it was rare to find specific mention of WAC. Any mention of WAC was usually confined to analytical discussions within the documents rather than a target for actual programming choices. Undoubtedly, however, WAC initiatives were likely funded by EC resources in these countries, which are not covered within these documents. For example, in Sri Lanka the EC supported a specific intervention on women and peace building with the gender unit of the National Peace Council of Sri Lanka, which has since received funding for follow-on initiatives from member states. In Uganda, the Civil Society Capacity Building Programme funded a number of small NGOs with a focus on WAC 160 and in Bangladesh the EC is combating trafficking in women and children and improving women’s access to justice through a police reform project. 161 The EC in the DRC is also funding innovative DDR work through UNDP which is gender sensitive. It is clear that once again the EC is supporting a number of small initiatives (usually implemented by local or international NGOs or the UN) relating to WAC. However, a comprehensive and strategic approach to WAC is lacking and is not seen as a priority within EC country strategy papers or national indicative programmes in most conflict-affected countries reviewed for this study.
4.2.3. 10th European Development Fund Resources 162
The EU-ACP Cotonou Partnership Agreement EDF resources are a large source of development funds amounting to a total of € 9,712 million for the period 2008 to 2013. Under the 10th EDF nine key sectors emerge from the European Consensus on Development: governance, democracy, human rights and support for economic and institutional reforms; conflict prevention and fragile states; trade and regional integration; infrastructure, communications and transport; water and energy; social cohesion and employment; the environment and the sustainable management of natural resources; rural development, territorial planning, agriculture and food security; and human development. Notably, gender equality is not one of these nine themes. Under governance, democracy, human rights and support for economic and institutional reforms there is also a subcategory on non-state actors (NSA) of which 1.6% of total EDF resources will go to of € 153.1 million which governance itself is € 1,014.4 million at 10.4%. The total allocation for conflict prevention and fragile states is € 206.5 million which is 2.1% of total EDF resources, yet conflict prevention and fragile states is only a theme in Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Sudan and Uganda. It is not clear at this stage how any of these specific resources will be put towards issues of relevance to WAC.
4.2.4. European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR)
In its 2007-2010 strategy, the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) includes objectives regarding mainstreaming gender equality, the rights of the child, the rights of indigenous peoples, and the rights of persons with disabilities. From 2000 – 2006, EIDHR funded the ‘theme’ of ‘women’ via 184 different projects for a total of €42.3 million. Thus, women were the fifth (of 18) best funded during this period, receiving approximately 6.8% of total resources. 163 Unfortunately, data about how many of these projects were related to WAC or whether there were other WAC-related activities funded are unavailable. Given that the EIDHR is one of the primary instruments for women’s empowerment in democratic processes and more generally the promotion of women’s rights, these sums and percentages are not large.
The current Annual Action Program of EIDHR includes calls for proposals in both 2007 and 2008. In 2008, four calls will be launched focusing on 1) enhancing respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in countries and regions where they are most at risk, 2) Transnational and Regional, 3) the Fight against the Death Penalty, and 4) Children (regarding armed conflict and rights of the child). 164 EIDHR plans to focus particularly in mainstreaming the rights of women and has specifically designated women as a “mainstreaming target”.165 An additional € 31.5 million has been allocated for "Supporting actions on human rights and democracy issues in areas covered by EU Guidelines." However, as already noted there are no specific EU Guidelines on WAC so unless WAC issues can be packaged within existing human rights guidelines, there will be no progress.
4.2.5 Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) - Investing in People
The DCI Investing in People Strategy for 2007-2013 allocates € 57 million for gender equality and women’s empowerment (including € 32 for ENPI countries), amounting to an annual average of € 8.1 million or 5% of the “Investing in People” funds. 166 Additionally, resources allocated for health programming include € 86 million for sexual and reproductive health activities for the period 2007-2013. 167 Clearly, these funds are intended to fund programming much broader than WAC. For example, funding has been allocated within the gender equality and women’s empowerment category to advocacy initiatives in support of the implementation of international commitments on gender equality. Funding is also planned to cover improving the statistical capacity of governments to obtain sex disaggregated data. Most relevant to the issue of WAC are plans to allocate funds for strengthening policy and advocacy, the capacity of women-focused service delivery NGOs and associations dedicated to the advancement of women’s rights.
There are no globally agreed statistics regarding the number of countries at risk of conflict, in conflict or in a post-conflict state. Currently, the UN identifies 56 conflict contexts in which children are at risk. 168 If this number (56 conflict contexts) is assumed to also mean areas where WAC issues are of concern, a simple division exercise shows that the annual amount available from the Investing in People fund amounts to € 144,642 per country. It is unlikely that the DCI would focus efforts in all 56 of these countries, though not all of the €8.1 million allocated for gender equality will be spent on WAC measures. Thus, it is clear that there is very little funding available for WAC initiatives.
Also limiting the chances for significant WAC funding are the indicators chosen for gender equality spending within the DCI Investing in People fund. The indicators are currently stated as “higher levels of political representation of women” and “improved legal frameworks for economic and social gender equality.” 169 Again, while worthy in themselves they are not particularly “sharp” with regard to WAC, though the difficulty in developing good indicators for WAC has been well noted.
4.2.6 Instrument for Stability
The 2007-2011 Instrument for Stability Strategy Paper for 2007-2011 contains three priorities:
non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction;
counteracting global and trans-regional threats; and
building capacity for effective crisis response.170
The total funding available for the 2007-2008 period is € 87 million of which € 15 million is targeted toward building capacity for crisis response. 171 Within this area the Initiative for Peacebuilding (IfP), a consortium of expert research organizations and specialist conflict prevention NGOs led by International Alert will provide research, expertise and capacity to the European Commission on a range of conflict issues over the period September 2007 until September 2010. One of the strands of work under IfP is gender and peacebuilding, and a key focus of this work will be supporting the EC to better integrate gender into its programmes and policies, based on learning and good practice from countries such as the South Caucasus, Burundi and Liberia. 172
Responding to the situations of women in conflict and unstable environments is one component of any comprehensive effort to promote wider stability. The EC Instrument for Stability (IfS) recognises this and makes specific reference to empowering and responding to the needs of women within its legal basis. Specifically, section J of the legal basis for the IfS advocates for support to measures to ensure that the specific needs of women and children in crisis and conflict situations, including their exposure to gender-based violence, are adequately met. Additionally, sections C and O of the legal basis also address the issue by recommending the empowerment of women in civil society, political processes and democratic state institutions. The Instrument for Stability is also being used creatively in other contexts to respond to WAC issues (see box 5) below.
Box 7: Utilising available instruments creatively to meet stability needs while also addressing sexual violence and forced prostitution: The EC Instrument for stability in Syria
|In the absence of other relevant financial instruments in Syria, the Instrument for Stability will soon be used to assist the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in their work with local NGOs to respond to sexual violence and forced prostitution of Iraqi refugees living in Syria. The situation of Iraqi refugees in Syria is precarious, forcing some into prostitution to enable them to meet basic needs for food and shelter. This situation has caused significant tension with the Syrian population. Given the very difficult situation faced by refugees, it is necessary to provide for material wellbeing while also engaging in protection activities and ensuring medium-term alternative livelihoods. Any response of this kind must be undertaken in a culturally sensitive manner, respectful of rights on all sides as well as the sovereignty of the Syrian government. Otherwise, not only are Iraqi refugees likely to remain vulnerable to this form of abuse but attitudes within Syria to hosting refugees will likely harden against them. In the longer-term, these tensions could eventually cause instability within Syria. Recognizing this, the European Commission sees the deployment of the Instrument for Stability as an important mechanism to both meet the needs and empower women and also promote stability within Syria. |
4.2.7 Analysis of Commitments and Programming via the European Community
Despite the many policy commitments made by the European Commission to gender equality, women’s empowerment, women’s rights, and WAC more generally, it is not easy to identify specific resources being made available in support of these issues. Simply put, it is difficult to determine what is actually being funded, and the projects that can be identified are fairly small in scope. Undoubtedly, this is somewhat a product of the many competing priorities for ODA funds and the nature of the process of mainstreaming. Also, some of the larger funding instruments are agreed with government partners in third countries. If the partners do not prioritise issues related to WAC, it is challenging for the EC, or any donor, to follow through on their own commitments.
However, the EC does have some latitude within some financial instruments, such as those administered by EuropeAid within the Annual Action Programmes to ensure a focus on WAC issues. Similar efforts could be made to those taken by the DCI and EIDHR in the Annual Action Programme in earmarking funding for children and armed conflict resolution. While mainstreaming gender equality and WAC issues are relevant to all areas of the 10th EDF, particular attention should be paid to governance, non-state actors, health, and conflict prevention and fragile states to monitor exactly how much of these resources actually support women’s empowerment, gender equality, and women’s rights in conflict affected states. Given the EC’s general commitment in these areas there is a need to see that they do not get lost in the process of turning policy into programming. This will require prioritizing WAC related issues over others within the ACP-EC cooperation. Special attention should be devoted to clear objectives, an effective gender-orientation, accountability/gender budgeting, support in fragile situations and donor coordination.
4.2.8 Programming Choices of EU Member States
From a small sample of overarching reports referring to member states’ development cooperation, specific interventions related to WAC were identified in a number of areas. For example, Austrian Development Cooperation is involved in DDR and notes that it is “not limited to the reintegration of ex-soldiers, but also concerns population groups uprooted by conflicts; children and women are a particular concern in this respect.” 173 Specifically, Austrian projects in Uganda included an adult training component in which 60 percent of the participants were women. The project calls for courses in reading and writing, home economics and basic hygiene, as well as information on human and women’s rights. 174 In Afghanistan, Austrian Development Cooperation has supported UNICEF’s efforts to provide a total of 500 ‘accelerated learning classes’ to enable women and girls, who had no opportunity for schooling and vocational training during the war, to acquire basic scholastic skills and vocational training. This project also has a medical component and support and capacity building for the local Ministry of Women’s Affairs. 175
Additional WAC interventions include:
In the forgotten emergency in the Central African Republic the Agence Française de Développement is seeking to improve the quality of health services and to facilitate women’s access to pre- and post-natal and obstetrical care. 176
In 2004, Greece made efforts to fight against trafficking in women one of its eight sectoral priorities. 177 Greek aid to the Balkans within the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe includes support for gender issues and a Women Parliamentarians’ network. 178
Ireland Aid has provided resources to NGOs in support of women and youth electoral participation in West Africa. 179 Additionally, via support to INGOs, Ireland is funding action against gender based violence in West Africa and Congo, women and youth election programmes in West Africa, women’s organisations in Bosnia and Herzgovina and small grants to Women’s Foundation Eastern Europe Partnership for Democracy. 180
Polish Aid supported the participation of women in economic activities in Kosovo. 181
Slovenia has been involved in security sector reform activities with Iraqi police that have emphasised the role of women in security institutions. 182
By supporting organisations such as International Alert, UNIFEM and the Swedish Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation, SIDA seeks the empowerment and involvement of women in conflict resolution processes at every level. 183
The Netherlands plans to devote additional resources to ending violence against women and the National Action Plan for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.184 By 2010, the Netherlands is committed to increasing the number of partner countries from four to nine who are focusing on combating violence against women. 185
DFID is also funding UNIFEM to support women’s empowerment and address sexual and gender-based violence in peacebuilding processes in a number of conflict-affected contexts.
4.2.9 Implementation of Commitments
Analysing the activities above from a WAC perspective leaves some room for concern. It should be noted that analysis is difficult because the documentation available does not provide detailed descriptions of the projects, nor are these descriptions found in similar formats and locations across member states. Also complicating the analysis is the fact that member state references to WAC are contained in a variety of policy documents, some related to gender and some related to conflict. 186 The companion study to this paper on children and armed conflict was able to access previous analyses of relevant interventions collected by COHOM in 2007 and during the Dutch EU Presidency in 2004. Unfortunately, no comparable exercise was found for women and conflict issues. Thus, the analysis presented here is incomplete and does not fully portray the entire scope of member states’ activities in relevant areas. However, it does generate concern regarding two issues: 1) whether commitments to gender mainstreaming and women’s empowerment are actually implemented within wider peacebuilding and development interventions and 2) the relatively few specific initiatives targeting issues related to women and armed conflict and that seek to support and engage with women’s priorities. Of particular concern is the fact that without explicitly making the link between gender mainstreaming, women’s empowerment and a range of conflict issues, much of the above casts women primarily in the role of victims in conflict situations.
Exploring whether or not this brief sample is a true reflection of the nature of EU member state policy and programming is beyond the scope of this study. It is unlikely that any member state would have difficulty showcasing project interventions or contributions to activities with a WAC focus. However, questions remain about the extent to which these activities are moving beyond perceiving women as vulnerable victims toward roles of empowerment and participation in processes, as well as being integrated or prioritised within ‘mainstream’ initiatives. Very clearly, there is no coordination mechanism for member state activities in this area. Many times there are negative examples of women-focused programming being implemented in an uncoordinated, non-complimentary manner; Liberia being a case in point. 187 It is also fair to say that some member states are better developing and following-through on commitments than others. This discussion leads to the question of why, despite high-level commitments in development cooperation, actual programming and interventions do not meet the expectations of policy commitments. Undoubtedly, there are multiple demands for ODA funds. Also, there are likely a limited number of implementing partners in civil society and government with the skills, interest and capacity to support EU and member state interventions on women and armed conflict. In the end, to ensure that EU WAC-related initiatives are in line with policy commitments, strategic prioritization and the development of specific plans will be necessary.
4.3 European Union Institutions and Missions Implementing Commitments related to WAC
The EU is reliant on institutions to implement its WAC policy commitments, both those that are EU-specific and those international instruments to which EU members have committed. Possible implementing institutions include the Council Secretariat and its various working groups, the 27 member-states’ foreign ministries, embassies and missions, and the various bodies of the European Commission, such as the Directorate-Generals for Development (DG DEV) and External Relations (DG RELEX). All of these institutions are involved in diplomatic action and at times development cooperation. If WAC commitments are not prioritised within institutional plans, allocated adequate resources, assigned clear targets, and staffed with competent human resources, there will be little progress. On the ground in conflict areas, methods and examples of the different EU institutions and member states working together on specific WAC issues are the exception rather than the rule, although there are some innovative examples (see box 6 below).
Box 8: EU coherence for impact on gender issues in Afghanistan
|Promoting coherent EU action on gender equality in countries affected by conflict is a challenge, particularly regarding EU action utilising both political dialogue with government and civil society counterparts and development instruments aimed at empowering local actors. In Afghanistan in 2004, an “EU Human Rights and Gender Advisor” group was formed by the Gender and Human Rights Advisor in the EUSR’s office and the First Secretary of the Netherlands Embassy (the holder of the EU Presidency locally). The goal of the group was to enable the EU and Member State diplomatic presences to jointly follow and react to pressing human rights and gender concerns. Representatives of all EU and Member State missions were invited to monthly or bi-monthly meetings. Primarily, regular participants included Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Italy, the UK, Germany and the European Commission. Belgium, France and Spain also attended. Over the years, the group has followed many of the key human rights-related processes and pressing human rights cases.|
the inclusion of the National Action Plan for the Women of Afghanistan as a benchmark in the Afghanistan Compact of January 2006. 188
The EU Human Rights and Gender Group is an example of EU coordination and joint action on human rights and gender issues in a challenging post-conflict/conflict environment. The relative success of the group and the fact that it continues to function despite significant personnel change, is due to the capacity of the Human Rights Advisor within the EUSR office to function as an informal lead to the group, the emphasis several EU presidencies placed on human rights and gender issues, and strong commitment by young diplomats at Member States’ Missions to human rights issues.
While cooperation within the group seems to have been smooth and it has been able to impact policy decisions and the outcome of some human rights cases, it is difficult to discern concrete. long-term outcomes stemming from the group’s actions. For example, the inclusion of the National Action Plan for the Women of Afghanistan as a benchmark in the Afghanistan Compact is positive, but only the implementation of the Action Plan and the Afghanistan Compact will have an impact on women in Afghanistan. However, the example shows that with clear benchmarks, political focus, and EU leadership, progress can be made in translating political commitments on gender equality into tangible actions.
In addition to the EU Human Rights and Gender Group, the EUSR office, the Danish Embassy and United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) / UNIFEM cooperated in establishing the Gender Donor Coordination Group in 2005. This group was formed to complement the Consultative Group on Gender chaired by the Minister of Women’s Affairs, which facilitates information sharing and common agenda setting on specific gender-related issues among international diplomatic and donor agencies. While the EU Human Rights and Gender Adviser Group deals primarily with human rights issues, it has, in coordination with members of the Gender Donor Coordination Group, helped advocate for gender mainstreaming in key processes. For example, the groups lobbied together for the inclusion of the National Action Plan for the Women of Afghanistan as a benchmark in the Afghanistan Compact of January 2006. For full details of The Afghanistan Compact see, The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the international community, Building on Success: The London Conference on Afghanistan: The Afghanistan Compact, [London], 31st of January – 1st of February 2006.
The EU Human Rights and Gender Group is an example of EU coordination and joint action on human rights and gender issues in a challenging post-conflict/conflict environment. The relative success of the group and the fact that it continues to function despite significant personnel change, is due to the capacity of the Human Rights Advisor within the EUSR office to function as an informal lead to the group, the emphasis several EU presidencies placed on human rights and gender issues, and strong commitment by young diplomats at Member States’ Missions to human rights issues.
While cooperation within the group seems to have been smooth and it has been able to impact policy decisions and the outcome of some human rights cases, it is difficult to discern concrete. long-term outcomes stemming from the group’s actions. For example, the inclusion of the National Action Plan for the Women of Afghanistan as a benchmark in the Afghanistan Compact is positive, but only the implementation of the Action Plan and the Afghanistan Compact will have an impact on women in Afghanistan. However, the example shows that with clear benchmarks, political focus, and EU leadership, progress can be made in translating political commitments on gender equality into tangible actions.
Given the broad scope of women’s empowerment, women’s rights and gender equality in conflict situations, EU institutions must mainstream these issues to have any impact. However, unlike the United Nations, EU institutions (or the Commission or the Council) are not required to have specific strategies for mainstreaming gender and upholding UNSCR 1325. They also do not have specific reporting requirements that require them to state their approach to implementing commitments related to gender and WAC. Those EU-wide reporting mechanisms that do exist do not systematically require progress updates on gender mainstreaming or WAC. While the Presidency Report on the EU Programme of Action for the Prevention of Violent Conflict, the Presidency Report on ESDP, and the EU Human Rights Annual Reports may include references to gender and armed conflict or WAC they are more ad hoc than systematic. This gives a strong indication that gender equality, WAC and other related issues are only marginally integrated, therefore being quite far from the aspiration of a mainstreamed approach.
The European Parliament is one of the most active and engaged European institutions on the issue of WAC. Several MEPs consistently drive the issue forward and seek to pressure the European Union and the European Commission to do more on the issue. In 2000, the European Parliament passed a resolution on the Participation of women in peaceful conflict resolution (2000/2025(INI)). This called for member-states to promote equal participation of women in diplomatic conflict resolution and reconstruction initiatives at all levels, and to gender-sensitise peace and security and refugee-related initiatives. 189 Furthermore, in 2005 the European Parliament passed a resolution on women and their role in post-conflict reconstruction 190 after also conducting a study into the issue. In the absence of specific EU Guidelines on WAC or a high-level commitment such as the EU Programme of Action on the Prevention of Violent Conflict, this resolution represents an important statement on the issue. It notes women’s roles as victims, peacemakers and as active participants in conflict situations and calls upon the EU and MS to take specific measures in accordance with international commitments such as UNSCR 1325. Additionally, the Parliament has sought to move beyond stating resolutions. For example, the Sub-Committee on Security and Defence has its own plan for Gender Mainstreaming particularly in relation to UNSC 1325 and holding ESDP missions to account for their gender impact. 191 In addition to formalised institutions the European Commission through the Instrument for Stability has also funded a network of research institutes and NGOs called the Initiative for Peacebuilding to provide technical insight in capacity on a range of conflict issues, including gender and armed conflict issues. 192 There is also an informal network of called the 1325 EU Partnership on gender, peace and security that brings together members of the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office with members of the European Commission, the Council Secretariat and MEPs. 193
The 2006 European Parliament resolution on Women in International Politics specifically calls for the EU to appoint more women to senior international posts, such as Heads of Delegation and within ESDP missions. As of 2006, there were only seven women EC Heads of Delegation out of 107. 194
Table 4: EU related institutions relevant to women and armed conflict
see below 195
4.3.1 Key Partners of the EU on Implementing Approach to WAC
It is more often EU partners rather than EU institutions themselves who are the direct implementers of EU commitments on WAC. It is important to understand, however, that the EU can only do so much to influence and direct partners, whether they be third party governments, UN agencies, UN peacekeeping missions, parliamentarians, INGOs and/or members of civil society. Critically, however, the strategies, plans, resources, skills and incentives that these partner institutions utilise often dictate the potential for EU action to have a positive impact on the lives of women in situations of armed conflict. Just as the MDGs and the Paris Declaration call for an effective partnership for development, an effective partnership is required by the EU to address women and armed conflict.
5. Key Issues and Responses
Given the tight timeframe and scope of this report, it was not possible to cover all issues associated with WAC in any depth. Instead, this section examines four issues that are salient to the protection of women in conflict-affected contexts, the prevention of violent conflict, and the participation of women in all aspects of conflict resolution, reconstruction and peacebuilding. These are all issues where the EU and its member states have played a role and could strengthen their action.
1. Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV)
As the scale and extent of SGBV in conflict and post-conflict settings is becoming clearer, member-states and the Commission are implementing a number of new initiatives. However, a complete understanding of this complex issue is still lacking, which limits the effectiveness of any EU responses. Additionally, an effective response requires a multidisciplinary approach linking SGBV and a wide range of other development and governance issues and utilising the wide range of external relations tools at the disposal of the EU.
2. Women’s Empowerment and Improving Accountability
Women’s empowerment and improving accountability at the country level are two themes that have the possibility of a multiplier effect across all areas relevant to WAC. In recent years, EU member states and the EC have devoted resources and diplomatic focus to these themes, along with countries such as Canada and Norway. By empowering women’s organizations and other advocates for gender equality, the EU can ensure local ownership and oversight (including of the EU’s own interventions) effectively across a range of issues. The EU and local governance structures can then be held accountable by local actors, who have knowledge and insight are best placed to judge the effectiveness and relevance of any WAC interventions.
3. National Action Plans for UNSCR 1325
A focus on National Action Plans for UNSCR 1325 is included because they represent an innovative way to follow through on policy commitments and consolidate action across the range of institutions active in development and peacebuilding within member states and at the EU-level. Certain EU member states have been leaders in the development of these plans since 2005. In the absence of similar concrete plans at the EU level, National Action Plans represent an innovative policy to practice response. Analysing NAPs yields valuable lessons and insight about the relevance of such an approach that could be used to widen and deepen the EU’s engagement on WAC more generally. Also the problem of consolidating, organising and ensuring local ownership of responses to WAC has been noted in conflict affected countries, and NAPs instituted in conflict prone and affected countries could have significant potential in addressing this need. They could also act as a key mechanism through which the EU could generate a strategic and coherent approach to women, peace and security issues and enhance coordination between the EC and EU member states diplomatic, development and defence related engagements.
4. Regional Approaches to WAC
It is now understood that an effective response to violent conflict requires a regional approach, as demonstrated by the increased engagement on peace and security issues by regional organizations in Africa and other areas. However, a regional approach to conflict prevention and peacebuilding must extend well beyond the role of official intergovernmental regional organisations. The EU, through the EC, member states and regional organisations, is investing significant diplomatic and development resources in developing its regional strategies and approaches. Regional approaches therefore offer a valuable entry point and opportunity for integrating issues related to women and armed conflict in a more comprehensive manner, particularly in the role of prevention of violent conflict. Also as a regional entity itself the EU clearly has something to offer in terms of a regional approach to WAC.
5.1 Issue 1: Sexual and Gender Based Violence
Sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) is one of the most persistent issues directly related to women and armed conflict. The use of rape and other forms of sexual violence are increasingly recognized as weapons of war, particularly since the conflicts in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Rwanda. Systematic rape is now defined as a crime against humanity under International Humanitarian Law. Yet violence against women extends beyond sexual violence. Specifically, GBV can be defined as “sexual violence, domestic violence, sex trafficking, harmful practices such as female genital mutilation, forced or early marriage, forced prostitution, sexual harassment, and sexual exploitation.” 196 Although overt sexual violence is often the most immediately identifiable form of SGBV, the term includes the structural violence resulting from gendered practices, laws and traditions. For example, laws that prevent women from owning or inheriting property and the endemic poverty that leads women and girls to exchange sex for basic goods can be categorized as structural violence. These issues become more pronounced in conflict environments, as is demonstrated by the cases of Sierra Leone and the DRC described below.
The EU has spoken out on the issue, and a number of member states have developed specific initiatives to address SGBV. For example, the Government of Belgium, the European Commission and UNFPA launched the Brussels Call to Action to Address Sexual Violence in Conflict and Beyond in June 2006. 197 And, the Irish Government and civil society are also promoting a more coordinated and coherent approach amongst Irish agencies. Slovenia along with a group of NGOs organised the seminar “Impact of crises and conflict on sexual and reproductive health and rights; the EU is to act!” in November 2007 that also had a number of specific recommendations for the EU. 198 Many other initiatives in various contexts are underway and supported by the European Commission and member states, including significant diplomatic interventions on the international level. The UN is also working to consolidate its approach to SGBV. However, to date the scale of the response, including that of the EU, does not match the extent and comprehensive nature of the issue of SGBV. Specific resources to respond to SGBV in a holistic way remain limited despite the heightened rhetoric. To understand the nature of SGBV and possible EU responses, a detailed examination of examples in particular contexts is necessary.
Box 9: Definitions of gender-based violence
|Gender-based violence refers to violence that targets individuals or groups of individuals on the basis of their gender. Gender-based violence has been defined by the CEDAW Committee as violence that is directed at a person on the basis of gender or sex. It includes acts that inflict physical, mental or sexual harm or suffering, threat of such acts, coercion and other deprivations of liberty. It is a violation of human rights. 199|
It is violence, sexual or otherwise, which plays on gender norms and gender exclusions to break people down both physically and emotionally. 200
The term violence against women means any act of gender based violence that results in or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life. 201
5.1.1 Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Sierra Leone 202
Sierra Leone is today on the path to recovery following a devastating civil conflict that lasted from 1991 until 2002, and resulted in the destruction of infrastructure and institutions, spiraling poverty and growing human insecurity, and the breakdown in the functioning of the political system. Even today, Sierra Leone maintains its place at the bottom of the UN’s Human Development Index (HDI) and more than two-thirds of the population continues to live below the poverty line. 203 The war in Sierra Leone was also characterized by extreme brutality, and it is widely estimated that up to 250,000 women and girls in the country were victims of sexual and gender-based violence during the ten-year war. 204 The international community including the EU has invested heavily in Sierra Leone’s post-conflict recovery, with the European Commission and the UK being the top two donors in 2005 and Germany and Ireland also being in the top 10. 205 Yet a number of significant security challenges remain, not least of which is the still widespread SGBV.
Historically, women have been discriminated against and are heavily under-represented in the traditionally male-dominated political and socioeconomic decision-making structures of Sierra Leone. Gender inequalities are prevalent throughout society, with women being more likely to be illiterate and suffer extreme poverty, their rights are frequently violated, and they have little access to resources or opportunities. Sexual and gender-based violence in its physical and structural forms is endemic in post-conflict Sierra Leone, and is a security concern that has broader economic and political consequences. Therefore, failing to engage with the causes and effects of SGBV will inevitably have long-term consequences for peacebuilding and development in Sierra Leone.
The social costs of SGBV are largely under-estimated and ignored and it is surrounded by a culture of silence and impunity. The range and complexity of the underlying causes and the many consequences it has on all spheres of women’s (and men’s) lives make it a difficult issue to address. SGBV not only manifests itself as physical violence such as sexual abuse of women and children, but also includes forms of structural violence such as discriminatory laws and practices, and can affect both women and men, girls and boys. It tends to be mediated by factors such as age, religion, class and disability, and violent conflict in particular exacerbates SGBV.
5.1.2 Responding to SGBV in Sierra Leone
The national context for addressing SGBV provides some opportunities for progress as well as a number of challenges. Three new ‘gender bills’ were signed into law in 2007 by the outgoing government, and these cover important rights for women related to customary marriages, property inheritance and sexual violence. However, wide dissemination and sensitization will be necessary to ensure that the general population is aware of these new bills and that the police, justice sector and community leaders are aware of their new responsibilities in relation to these issues. Following the conflict in Sierra Leone, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was established and provided an opportunity for women to participate and testify about the sexual and gender-based violence they experienced. The TRC report, published in 2004, includes extensive background on the status of women and girls in all aspects of social, economic and political life as well as a number of specific recommendations pertaining to women’s rights. However, like most of the recommendations of the TRC, these have yet to be implemented. The completion of the 1st and 2nd-5th reports on the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in May 2007 provides useful benchmarks for monitoring the government’s progress towards reducing GBV. Other policy mechanisms such as the PRSP and the Peacebuilding Commission’s Cooperation Framework also provide an opportunity to address SGBV. However, unlike Liberia, the government is lacking a comprehensive national action plan on tackling SGBV and as a result, many of the prevention and response mechanisms are ad hoc and under-funded, and fail to link SGBV into broader economic, political and security strategies.
During and after the war, women’s organizations in Sierra Leone have responded to the disruption of social services and community-based structures by developing networks and alternative coping strategies to deal with problems such as food scarcity, sexual violence, and shortfalls in health and education provision. This demonstrates the innovative responses that women develop at the community-level. However, women’s organisations often have very limited resources and capacity for sustaining the implementation of these projects in the long-term, making donor support critical to their ongoing activities. The international community also supports a number of important initiatives for women and gender equality in Sierra Leone. Many of the SGBV-related programmes supported and implemented by international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) stemmed out of the emergency responses that were launched towards the end of the war. The international community is now moving towards focusing on long-term development, and INGOs are continuing to support a number of economic, political and social initiatives that target women. It is important that INGOs work to improve coordination and avoid duplication, and that they strategise collectively to ensure that their services, particularly capacity-building and awareness-raising, are extended throughout as much of the country as possible. Several donor agencies include small gender-related projects in their strategies for Sierra Leone, but the overall response by the international community to SGBV has been ad hoc and relatively uncoordinated. There is currently a degree of momentum for addressing SGBV more comprehensively, as UNSCR 1325 is gaining profile and the consequences of failing to deal with gender inequalities are being increasingly recognised.
5.1.3 Innovative Programming: “Rainbo Centres” in Sierra Leone
The International Rescue Committee began working on sexual violence during the war, and it still has the most comprehensive SGBV programme of all the INGOs operating in Sierra Leone. The first of their sexual assault referral centres, known as Rainbo Centres (RC), was established in Freetown in March 2003 as an extension of their emergency reproductive health programme that began in 1999. The RCs are designed to provide free, holistic care and services to victims of sexual assault, including medical evaluation, psychosocial counselling, and advice on pursuing the incidents with the police and legal system. If a case does make it to court, RC staff members support the victims in court and also conduct family and community mediation as well as home visits to assist those affected by SGBV to avoid stigma and rejection. There are currently three RCs established in Sierra Leone located in Kenema, Kono and Freetown. They are all strategically located in hospital settings to avoid the stigma that is often associated with accessing GBV-related services. DFID funded the first three-year phase of the project which ran until January 2006 and targeted service delivery and building the physical structures for the Centres. Following three months of bridge funding provided by UNICEF, the RCs are now being supported by Irish Aid. The IRC has recently recognized the important linkages between economic security and reducing vulnerability to SGBV, and is now looking at programmatic responses that can target women’s economic empowerment at the same time as preventing and responding to SGBV. The Rainbo Centres are a good practice in responding innovatively and holistically to the issue of SGBV, and ensure that service provision in response to sexual violence is coupled with a sensitization and awareness-raising strategy designed to change attitudes and reduce or prevent the incidence of various forms of sexual and domestic violence throughout Sierra Leone.
Recent figures from 2007 showed that 1176 clients accessed the RCs services, an increase of approximately 19% on the previous year. 206 Sixty-five percent of the all-female clients were under the age of 16, and 85% of them knew the perpetrator. Importantly, the review of cases found that 92% of cases were referred to the Sierra Leone police and 13 cases were successfully convicted in courts in Kenema and Kono. Although this number is a fraction of the reported cases, given the weak justice system, endemic poverty, and the culture of impunity that exists for sexual violence in many communities across Sierra Leone it is significant progress. Although the RCs have been a noteworthy success, they only reach the tip of the iceberg and face several challenges. Given that there are only three RCs, they are not accessible for the majority of the population who live in rural areas and lack the money or time to travel to the centres for assistance. Furthermore, the RCs are reliant on continued donor funding and costs of service provision are high. Should this support stop, it is questionable whether the RCs would be sustainable. Exploring ways to integrate the RCs into the government’s primary healthcare networks, which may also help to make them more accessible to local communities, as well as being more cost-effective in the long run. Importantly, in March 2007 with the support of Irish Aid, the IRC partnered with several government ministries to establish a National Gender-based Violence Committee which aims to enhance coordination in prevention and response by different actors, as well as to develop mechanisms for integrating SGBV services into the health system and other national structures. 207
5.1.4 Supporting an Integrated Approach to SGBV in the DRC
Since the mid-1990s, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has experienced one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. It is estimated that 3.9 million people have died as a direct or indirect result of the conflict. 208 Between 1998 and 2003 there were 51,000 reported rapes in the provinces of South Kivu and Kalemie. 209 The extreme and widespread sexual violence is continuing, and during the first six months of 2007 alone, 4,500 cases of rape were reported in South Kivu. 210 Given that most sexual violence goes unreported and the inaccessibility of much of South Kivu, the true number of rapes is likely considerably higher. In one study of rape victims in South Kivu, 70% had not sought any medical attention. 211 The majority of the rapes are attributed to armed groups and irregular forces, demonstrating that rape has truly become a weapon of terror and war in the DRC and is tearing apart the social fabric.
In response, a national assessment was completed and in 2003 the "Joint Initiative on Sexual Violence in DRC" began. The initiative engaged relevant partners (the UN, INGOs, National NGOs, and Government) for two years within a national framework outlining a multi-sectoral response (the Initiative Conjointe/IC) to address SGBV in all eleven provinces of the DRC. A coordination structure (which met monthly) including Thematic and Technical Committees supported the framework, with leadership provided by UNFPA in collaboration with the former Government. The IC was conceptualized as a framework for action and coordination - not as a funding body - and the design included revitalizing the existing coordination structures at the provincial and territorial levels in the DRC. Pieces of the IC framework were developed into sectoral workplans, components of which were funded by various donors.
Belgium was the first donor to support IC framework activities in a multi-year format. The Joint Programme, a comprehensive approach to addressing SGBV, consists of four components (medical, psycho-social, judicial, reinsertion) as well as data collection and advocacy. The program is implemented by three UN agencies (UNFPA, UNICEF, OHCHR) in three DRC provinces (Maniema, Equateur and Orientale). Following the Belgian model, Canada began supporting a Joint Programme in two provinces in the East (North and South Kivu) in May 2007. Other donors, including Germany and other EU member states, have supported specific SGBV activities implemented by individual UN agencies and NGOs as part of the wider Initiative Conjointe. In addition, UN agencies funded activities via regular UN resources, much of which is obtained from EU members.
The Belgian government’s initiative in creating the Joint Programme leveraged additional resources from other donors for an innovative and comprehensive approach. Belgium also led the process of bringing the issue of sexual and gender based violence in conflict and beyond to the political stage by initiating and hosting, in cooperation with the European Commission and UNFPA, the International Symposium on Sexual Violence in Conflict and Beyond in Brussels in June 2006.
While the Belgian initiative is a very good first step, the sheer scale of SGBV in the DRC (and globally in conflict zones) requires even more comprehensive and better resourced initiatives, particularly those linking to local structures (both governmental and non-governmental) and including medical, psycho-social, judicial and future socio-economic livelihood components. DFID has recently established the position of sexual and gender-based violence advisor in the DRC which demonstrates the increased recognition that some donors are giving to the issue. Yet there is considerable scope for the EU (including the EC and its member states) to do more to promote multifaceted, long-term approaches to SGBV in the DRC and in other contexts..
5.1.5 The Irish Joint Consortium on Gender-Based Violence
One innovative response to the issue of SGBV by an EU Member State is that of the Joint Consortium of Irish Human Rights, Humanitarian and Development Agencies and Development Cooperation Ireland (“the Consortium”). At the initiative of Amnesty International and Development Cooperation Ireland (now called Irish Aid), and in response to the high publicity around the incidence of sexual violence against displaced and war-affected communities in Darfur, a group of agencies came together in 2004 to develop a more systematic response to SGBV. The group noted, “that responses to gender based violence (GBV) by the international community were, for the most part, isolated and ad-hoc and that there was a pressing need for the issue to be addressed in a more comprehensive and systematic manner.” 212 What makes the work of the Consortium particularly notable is their approach to addressing SGBV, placing it at the centre of sustainable peace and development. Not only is SGBV an abuse of human rights and a cause of untold suffering for millions of women and men around the world, but according to the Consortium it also undermines humanitarian and development interventions and compromises achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. 213 At the same time, there are few examples of systematic programming to deal with the issue that could act as a basis for lessons learned and enhanced programming in prevention and response. By bringing together a diverse range of agencies and actors, the Consortium seeks to ensure that SGBV becomes more visible as a high-profile issue, and that responses move away from ad hoc projects towards more institutionalised mechanisms and procedures. 214
The objectives of the Consortium are: to ensure that actions to prevent and respond to GBV are visible and systematically addressed in the policies and work of all member agencies; to document experience and share resources on the prevention of, and response to, GBV, drawing particularly on the experiences and achievements of members; and, to develop and implement an advocacy strategy at national and international levels, to promote awareness of and improve actions on prevention of and response to GBV. 215 According to their 2005 report, Gender Based Violence: a failure to protect, a challenge to action 216 the six key areas where action is needed are:
1. Coordination and cooperation among agencies
2. A multi-agency and multi-sectoral approach to programming
3. Engagement of local communities
4. Enhanced delivery of key services including health, psycho-social services and counselling, security and engagement with the legal context (including traditional mechanisms for protection)
5. Long-term and sustained budgets to tackle SGBV
In a follow-up to the recommendations of the 2005 report, the Consortium established two working groups, one focusing on sharing best practices and lessons learned at the organisational level and the other on enhancing responses to SGBV at field-level. 217 A 2007 report by the Human Resources, Learning and Training working group found that SGBV prevention and response must have visibility, credibility, high level leadership and wide support. 218 Furthermore, positioning within an organization and the level of funding and other resources allocated to SGBV-related initiatives can also influence the impact of such measures.
Research done by International Alert on behalf of Irish Aid in Sierra Leone reinforces the findings of the Consortium and proposes some ‘good practice guidelines’ that could lead to more effective policy, programming and advocacy around SGBV. 219 It is particularly critical that SGBV prevention and response is grounded in local realities and enhances and builds on the already existing capacities of local actors. Working with civil society at all levels, from the local up to the international levels, can enhance impact and ensure that any measures are more likely to be sustainable. In Sierra Leone, many community-based organisations are untapped resources in terms of developing mechanisms for prevention and response to SGBV, and localised women’s organisations are often already doing extensive work to support SGBV victims and to lobby for socioeconomic and political reform. These organisations are a key potential entry point for engaging with SGBV issues in a more innovative and sustainable way that promotes local ownership. During this research, many specific obstacles were frequently identified by local actors as impeding their ability to address SGBV effectively. These included the fact that donor funding is limited, the grants offered are often short-term, and they rarely support the core operational costs of the organisations. Furthermore, the general lack of capacity, education and low literacy rates among women, especially in the rural areas, is also a problem in terms of implementing projects and in ensuring broad representation. One of the advantages of SGBV programming in Sierra Leone, however, is that it is flexible in terms of entry points, which means that there are many possibilities for linking it up to a range of programmatic components such as microfinance, education or human rights work that national NGOs and community-based organisations are already engaging in.
5.1.6 A Better EU Response to SGBV
A better EU response to SGBV is necessary given the scale of the challenge. Any improved response must promote local ownership and coordination and incorporate a multifaceted approach that ties into economic empowerment, legal systems, governance, the security sector and advocacy. These initiatives require sustained financial resources and political focus over the longer term as well as the requisite scaling-up globally. The examples presented in this section demonstrate that EU member states and the Commission are capable of engaging in innovative responses to SGBV. The challenge now is to scale up, promote coherence, and ensure local ownership and impact. To achieve this objective, appropriate EU actors must be engaged across the various EU institutions (ECHO, DG DEV, DG AIDCO and DG RELEX) and member states.
5.2. Issue 2: Women’s Empowerment and Improving Accountability
Women’s groups and women’s organisations are already working against the odds in many conflict contexts to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment. Ensuring on the ground implementation of international commitments on gender equality and women, peace and security requires strong, committed, and knowledgeable local activists and organisations. It should not be assumed that national government authorities or the international community will prioritise UNSCR 1325, CEDAW or any other commitments including the important principles of empowerment, equality and protection of women’s rights enshrined within them at the country level. Indeed, evidence points to very patchy implementation of UNSCR 1325 and other international and national commitments to gender equality and addressing violence against women. Monitoring and assessing progress and impact is best done at the level where it is being implemented (or ignored) by the people themselves. Supporting and enabling local actors to hold national authorities and the international community to account for commitments to women’s empowerment and protection is in itself an empowerment exercise. In certain settings EU members have already directly or indirectly supported such initiatives, and in many others such initiatives are on-going. The coherent and coordinated scaling up of such support in conflict prone countries would be a valuable contribution that the EU could make to WAC.
Kosovo has a long history of conflict, though full international engagement did not occur there until the crisis of 1999. While a vibrant civil society exists in the region, women were usually marginalised from political processes. The Kosova Women’s Network (KWN) was established as an informal network in 2000 220 and now includes more than 80 organisational members drawn from all ethnic groups within Kosovo. KWN also maintains links with other like-minded organisations in the region (including Serbia) and internationally. KWN is supported indirectly by several EU members including the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) via UNIFEM and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) via a Swedish NGO called Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation
The KWN is at the forefront of demands for the implementation of international commitments to women, particularly UNSCR 1325, in Kosovo. They regularly highlight the fact that failure to include women in processes designed to bring peace and security will impact the future stability of Kosovo and have advocated strongly for women’s involvement in Kosovo’s Internal Security Sector Reform (ISSR) process. KWN documents detail developments led by international and national institutions that do not live up to UNSCR 1325. They have, in particular, recorded specific cases where the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) Police did not live up to their responsibilities with regards gender issues. In eight years and with very limited resources, the KWN has become an important and active voice for progress regarding not only gender equality and women’s empowerment but also the future governance of Kosovo more generally. While international and local policy change affecting women in Kosovo has been slow, it would have been slower without the consistent efforts of the KWN. In 2008, there have been a number of policy innovations with the new government such as a gender equality officers in each Ministry and in the Prime Ministers Office, although KWN notes that the challenge lies in the implementation of these new mechanisms.
In 2007, the KWN issued specific recommendations for the new EU ESDP mission (EULEX was launched in Kosovo as a result of their experience. 221 They suggest the following:
1. Legal and political mechanisms are needed to implement gender equality as well as better qualified people to manage implementation;
2. International actors must be more participatory and willing to collaborate with local people;
3. The incoming Mission should not arrive with negative and untested assumptions about the local population;
4. Women in civil society must actively help shape the EU Mission mandate by being pro-active in establishing a mutually agreed ‘gender agenda’;
5. From the start, a gender perspective that is negotiated with and explained to local actors should be incorporated into the EU mission’s forward planning;
6. Gender perspectives should be established and maintained at senior levels of leadership in the Mission rather than confined to the levels usually occupied by women;
7. Transparency in all administrative processes is expected and will be lobbied for and monitored by civil society groups;
8. Money should be allocated toward training new arrivals (within the mission);
9. A cross-sector task group should be established to orient staff to current issues and lessons learned to ensure continuity and open communication;
10. Open channels of communication with women’s groups must be established and maintained on a regular, on-going basis;
11. All international actors must consult local women’s groups when designing programs to support local women.
While intended for use within the EU mission in Kosovo, these principles are useful in other contexts in terms of enhancing the EU’s approach to WAC. The Kosova Women’s Network clearly shows how a national network organisation can promote wider policy change and ensure accountability in issues related to WAC.
Burundi is emerging from a long cycle of violence that has claimed many thousands of lives, caused significant movements of people within the country, and severely limited economic growth. Women’s organizations have played an active role in advocating for peace in Burundi and they continue to campaign for reform of discriminatory legislation and greater socioeconomic equality, and are doing much to support reconciliation and recovery within their communities.
Burundi and Sierra Leone were selected to be pilot cases for the new United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) engagement. The PBC was established on 20 December 2005 through concurrently adopted resolutions by the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council. The European Union consistently championed the establishment of the PBC, whose main roles are to provide strategic advice on post-conflict peacebuilding and recovery and to act as a forum for exchange, dialogue and coordination between a range of key stakeholders. Its intention is partly to be a mechanism of coherence in recognition of the fragmentation of international and local approaches to post-conflict peacebuilding. The PBC includes country-specific committees, with Norway heading the Burundi configuration, which includes a range of PBC members and other bodies with specific interest in the peacebuilding process in Burundi. If the PBC were to effectively mainstream gender and promote gender equality and women’s empowerment it could be a powerful mechanism for promoting a better approach to WAC. 222 While a number of governments have been particularly proactive in promoting UNSCR 1325 generally and within the work of the PBC, the Commission has yet to fully implement a gender perspective and commit the necessary resources for the full implementation of UNSCR 1325 within its work.
According to Burundian women, one of the key challenges to attaining these goals set out in UNSCR 1325 and by the PBC is the need to identify and understand women’s security needs, and the impact of discriminatory laws, practices and norms that continue to hinder women from achieving full equality with men. 223 For example, the link between women’s poor socioeconomic status and their vulnerability to violence could be incorporated into and addressed by the PBC’s strategic priorities in Burundi.
A Norwegian-funded project of International Alert in Burundi provides a good example of how local women’s organizations can monitor the efforts of the PBC mechanism to hold them accountable from a gender perspective. This project is an interesting model that the EU could encourage and support elsewhere. The specific activities are being led and coordinated by Dushirehamwe, a women’s network that reaches several thousand women throughout the country. Some of the initiatives that have been undertaken as part of this ongoing project include:
Establishment of the Cadre de Coordination des organisations féminines pour la consolidation de la paix et le mise en oeuvre de la Résolution, or “Cadre,” a group of 37 women’s organisations involved in peacebuilding. All members of Cadre work in Burundi on a range of different areas including human rights, youth, and conflict resolution training.
Establishment of an expert technical committee to analyse several Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) projects from a gender perspective, and the development of gender indicators to evaluate the extent to which women’s priorities are incorporated in the projects.
Organisation of information days on the peacebuilding process and the work of the PBC and PBF, reaching more than 3,000 participants through more than 30 meetings
Organisation of meetings with project coordinators, members of the government and the UN on the importance of integrating gender into the PBF projects
Training different groups such as journalists, women police officers, and government officials on UNSCR 1325
Holding meetings with key government officials and security sector officials to discuss the rise in women’s insecurity and general violence.
In-depth research on women’s perceptions of security and how these issues are being addressed by ongoing reform of the Burundian police force.
This model is recommended for use in other contexts for a number of reasons. First, via Norway, funding was provided to support the core costs of local civil society organisations, in particular through supporting Dushirehamwe to recruit a project coordinator for their work on UNSCR 1325. This allowed these organizations to build flexible capacity to respond to and engage in an evolving process. Often, project-based funding is not sustainable and does not enable long-term engagement in project activities. Second, the initiative brings many different civil society organisations together and the resulting improved collaboration means that they are more inclusive and representative of a diverse range of stakeholders. Third, and very importantly, it also provides opportunity interface between civil society and the security sector, often a missing dimension in conflict environments, where civil society rarely has a chance to engage with the police, army and other security agencies. Fourth, the project focuses on monitoring, one of the major gaps in UNSCR 1325 implementation. Monitoring is a key challenge related to the implementation of UNSCR 1325 since to date, no clear benchmarks or indicators for assessment purposes have been developed. This initiative somewhat addresses this policy-practice gap by undertaking to establish and carry out gender-sensitive monitoring on the ground. This kind of monitoring activity is transferable and can be applied in other contexts and to other peacebuilding processes such as PRSPs or specific post-conflict reconstruction plans. Finally, the initiative provides useful lessons about the vital contributions civil society can make to the implementation of PBF-funded projects on the ground. This will help the PBF, as it becomes more active in conflict settings, to promote a better approach to WAC.
5.2.3 Uganda 224
Uganda’s long running conflict in the North of the country has been well publicised in terms of its impact on women and girls and the frequent abduction of boys and girls by the Lord’s Resistance Army, one of the main rebel groups. Less well publicised are the abuses against women committed by the Ugandan Defence Forces which were, and continue to be significant. A ceasefire is currently underway and a number of initiatives are on-going in the country that involve EU donors.
Women’s participation at the peace process negotiation table is an essential component of gender equity and an effective and responsive peace agreement. Accordingly, women’s participation in peace processes is a key component of UNSCR 1325 and the European Parliament Resolutions of 2000 and 2005. Numerous EU governments have also committed to this principle on many occasions. However, progress has been slow and significant political pressure and technical support is necessary to ensure that women’s participation in peace processes actually occurs.
In Uganda, civil society organizations have come together under the Uganda Women’s Coalition for Peace to demand that women have a voice at the negotiations taking place between the Government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army. These negotiations seek a sustainable peace for the long-running conflict that has had a devastating humanitarian impact on over 1.7 million people. Known as the Juba Peace Process, the negotiations are supported by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Lord’s Resistance Army Affected Areas Joaquim Chissano.
The Uganda Women’s Coalition for Peace (UWCP) is an experienced group of the most prominent NGOs working on gender and conflict issues and women leaders at national and district levels, which works in partnership with district-level women’s and civil society organisations, including religious and traditional leaders. The group felt, despite their experience, that they could not ‘represent’ women without specifically consulting women from conflict areas on the proposed final peace agreement and the annexes to the already signed Agreements on Cessation of Hostilities, Comprehensive Solutions and Accountability and Reconciliation. Therefore, with financial and technical support from UNIFEM and the Gender Advisor to the Special Envoy for the LRA Affected Areas, the UWCP held consultations with women and community-based organizations in Gulu District. From these consultations, the WPC developed a detailed perspective on the gender aspects of the peace negotiation.
Despite the presence of women in the negotiation teams for both the Government of Uganda and the LRA, the Uganda Women’s Coalition for Peace felt strongly that the some of the initial Agreements did not fully reflect the critical perspectives of women. With further assistance from UNIFEM, some members of the Uganda Women’s Coalition for Peace then travelled to the Peace Talks in Juba in a bid to acquire observer status and input into the process. While they were not able to obtain an official role in the talks, they did attempt to contribute to the negotiation positions based on their developed proposals. 225 Uganda Women’s Coalition for Peace, Engendering the Implementation Protocols on Agenda Three: Accountability and Reconciliation of the Juba Peace Initiative, (Ntinda: Uganda Women’s Network – UWONET, 2007). Their attempts at participation also enabled them to better inform Ugandan women about the progress of the talks, particularly with regard to the principles of affirmative action, equality, gender, social diversity, governance, security and stability, rehabilitation, return and resettlement, rule of law and constitutionalism and social and economic development.
It is too early to determine whether the positions put forward by the Women’s Peace Coalition will actually impact the negotiating positions of the parties directly or for that matter the final peace agreement or its implementation. Yet, it is important that women have been empowered to be a part (albeit still on the periphery) of this peace process. If the Peace Agreement accepted some of the amendments suggested by the Women’s Peace Coalition, it would result in a much more gender-sensitive document. Additionally, it would result in an excellent vehicle around which EU donors could coordinate diplomatic energy and development and humanitarian resources.
Indeed, supporting gender-sensitive peace agreements provides a huge multiplier effect for communities at large and the European Union. In the sense that if there is a gender sensitive peace agreement that is implemented then the impact on women’s empowerment and gender equality would be significant. UNIFEM’s support to this process has been financed specifically by Norway, Sweden, the UK (DFID) and UNDP. This type of initiative requires sensitive EU diplomatic support yet limited (but flexible) financial resources given its potential impact. Such initiatives are not guaranteed success, but are worthy of EU support because of their potential impact and their tangible contribution to living up to international commitments (notably UNSCR 1325) that EU member-states have signed up to.
5.2.4 Women’s Empowerment, Oversight and Engagement
The Kosova Women’s Network, monitoring of the PBC’s work in Burundi, and the Uganda Women’s Coalition for Peace represent key examples of how civil society can come together to promote and drive forward key issues and ensure monitoring and accountability on WAC issues. While the resources required by these initiatives are not large, they have the potential to have a considerable multiplier effect if they impact policy and mainstreaming activities within institutions and processes. Critically, they also reflect important aspects of participation, empowerment, accountability and local ownership. EU member states and the Commission should always have flexible and relatively small sums available locally to invest in this type of initiative. Funding should be complemented by consultation, diplomatic support and EU accountability to agreed commitments.
5.3 Issue 3: EU Member-States and Developing National Action Plans for UNSCR 1325
EU member-states have been leading the way in an innovative attempt to promote coherence and follow-through on international commitments to WAC through the development of UNSCR 1325 ‘Action Plans’. As we have seen there exists no higher level EU policy document specifically on women, peace and security and it is UNSCR 1325 that is often taken as the starting point for action related to WAC. As has been noted implementation of UNSCR 1325 is therefore relevant to the EU as a whole, and also to individual Member States both domestically and within their overseas activities. Indeed, although UNSCR 1325 was adopted by the UN Security Council, it has become clear that it is at the national level where implementation is most relevant.
The resolution highlights a number of specific areas in which UN Member States are urged to take action, and in recognition of their role, during the Open Debate on UNSCR 1325 in October 2004, the president of the Security Council called on UN Member States to pursue implementation at the national level, including through the development of National Action Plans (NAPs). 226 Again in 2007, the Security Council “reiterates its call on Member States to continue to fully and effectively implement resolution 1325 (2000), including, where appropriate, through the development and strengthening of national efforts and capacities, as well as the implementation of national action plans or other relevant national level strategies.” 227 In the Council Conclusions on “Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Development Cooperation”, adopted by GAERC in May 2007, the Council “reaffirms the commitment made in November 2006 on the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and calls on the Commission and Member States to develop and fully implement appropriate measures, such as concerted and harmonized national action plans for the implementation of Resolution 1325”. Since the first NAP was developed by Denmark in June 2005, European countries have been pioneering the push for national-level implementation. With nine European countries now possessing NAPs, six of which belong to EU Member States with possibly more to be developed in the future. It is important to understand the development and added value of these plans and the opportunities for the EU and its Member States to continue to support this process both within Europe and in conflict-affected regions.
5.3.1 Developing National Action Plans
A NAP is a comprehensive strategy that can be a way of tying together the different policy and operational areas within a government’s diverse institutions and programs. As well as ensuring enhanced coordination around issues relating to women, peace and security, it also provides a focus to disparate efforts. NAPs can also provide objectives, benchmarks, and monitoring opportunities which are all critical to the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and for fostering accountability. All areas that are in dire need of attention. Developing NAPs also assigns responsibility and ownership. The process of developing the plan means that people take the issues on board and it becomes part of their job, and provides a forum for dialogue between key stakeholders who may not otherwise have the opportunity to discuss issues relating to women, peace and security and other areas of work. In short, the benefits of having a NAP on UNSCR 1325 include increased comprehensiveness, coordination, awareness-raising, ownership, accountability, monitoring and evaluation. 228 NAPs are a useful tool and can be an effective strategy for governments to link UNSCR 1325 to their other national peace and security priorities. NAPs can be a way of pulling out the relevant parts of UNSCR 1325 and bringing them into national processes and frameworks, making the resolution relevant to domestic and foreign policy making. Furthermore, “the creation of an action plan provides the space to analyse the situation, consult with stakeholders and initiate strategic actions that will have a better chance of success.” 229
The sheer scope of UNSCR 1325 is a challenge for the development of NAPs, because the resolution itself does not provide guidance in prioritizing among the various thematic areas or on what types of mechanisms can assist implementation. In domesticating the resolution through the process of a NAP, it is then the task of the various government or organisational representatives to determine which aspects of the resolution are most critical and should be highlighted in the plan, as well as what implementation targets are realistic and measurable given the various constraints and entry points that might exist.230 National Action Plans can be developed in a number of different ways, and choices can be made in terms of process, content and timeframe. They can be standalone or integrated into other existing policy frameworks; they can be developed quickly or through a more detailed consultation process; and they can be used as a tool for generating more awareness and ownership among different government stakeholders who will play a direct or indirect role in implementation. 231
5.3.2 EU Member States and National Action Plans on UNSCR 1325
In a statement on behalf of the EU during the 2006 Open Debate on UNSCR 1325, Finland’s representative, Elisabeth Rehn, stated, “More needs to be done also on a national level. The integration of UNSCR 1325 has to be country-driven. Member States need to take responsibility for the success of UNSCR 1325 through ensuring that it is integrated into national policy and training programmes. A number of EU Member States as well as other countries have developed national action plans and strategies on the implementation of the resolution. We encourage countries to develop such plans and to apply a broad gender mainstreaming approach across government, for instance through a system-wide approach that links development, humanitarian and defence issues. However, all plans should include civil society consultations as well as monitoring and reporting mechanisms.” 232 This need for national-level implementation was repeated in Portugal’s statement on behalf of the EU during the 2007 Open Debate and demonstrates the ongoing commitment of EU member states to enhance their own mechanisms for implementing the resolution.233
National action plans have to be context specific and the process of developing a national action plan can be very different for different countries: there is no fixed one-size-fits-all design that can be followed. In fact, as the table in annex 4 demonstrates, all nine European (six EU) countries have taken different approaches to developing their NAPs 234.
Given the range of styles of NAPs, and differences in national contexts and priorities for implementation, it can be difficult to compare and contrast national-level approaches to the implementation of UNSCR 1325. What is most important however is that when a government develops a NAP, it develops a plan that is relevant to its commitments and priorities related to women, peace and security issues, realistic given available capacity for implementation, resourced fully, and involves regular collaboration and coordination between a range of stakeholders. NAPs should also be updated when necessary to reflect changing priorities and opportunities for the implementation of UNSCR 1325. The Swedish NAP is particularly comprehensive in that it includes provisions for using strategic financial contributions to implement UNSCR 1325, it emphasizes the importance of civil society consultation including the need to meet with local women and men in conflict-affected countries, and it highlights the need for the development of checklists and guidelines. It also provides extremely detailed commitments of how Sweden will support the implementation of UNSCR 1325 at the EU level, particularly through ESDP missions. Sweden took advantage of learning from the lessons of other countries in developing strategies to implement UNSCR 1325 at the national level by hiring a consultant to conduct a study on the experiences of the UK, the Netherlands and Canada in 2005. 235 The findings of this report are still relevant today and can provide some useful insight on mechanisms and priority areas for developing NAPs.
Based on the experience of the nine governments that have already developed NAPs, a few generalities can be made about the process:
Ownership and consultation: Establishing a working group or inter-ministerial committee of relevant government actors is key to generating ownership by stakeholders at different levels. These groups provide a forum for ongoing consultation and dialogue between diverse groups of policymakers to share information, generate common goals, and discuss perspectives on what implementation of UNSCR 1325 means at the national level. These working groups are important in the early development stages of the NAP, as well as serving as a mechanism for ongoing consultation and evaluation once the plan is being implemented. In addition to internal consultation mechanisms, it is vital that the government shares the process of developing the NAP with civil society organisations who may have specific expertise and insight on UNSCR 1325 and can make a valuable contribution to the process of priority-setting and establishing goals and benchmarks for implementation. In the Netherlands, the Dutch Women’s Platform played a key role in consulting with the government and providing expertise during the process of developing the Dutch National Action Plan. Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS) played a similar role in the UK, and continues to engage with the government’s inter-departmental Cross-Whitehall Group on UNSCR 1325 on a regular basis.
Mapping and identifying gaps: Prior to beginning the process of developing a NAP, mappings or assessments of existing actions related to UNSCR 1325 at the national level can serve a useful purpose. In addition to highlighting what is already being done, assessments can identify the ongoing gaps and areas of strategic priority related to UNSCR 1325 for a given country. For example, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Conflict Issues Group conducted an audit of existing mechanisms and activities in advance of beginning development of the NAP. 236 Audits are useful in that they can reflect the capacities, priorities and commitment of the actors involved, and can serve as a baseline for monitoring and evaluation, as well as provide a guide to the type of benchmarks and indicators that could be useful measures of progress in this process.237
Fostering accountability: Political will and clear accountability mechanisms are two important preconditions for the successful implementation of UNSCR 1325 at any level, including the national level. The ability to deliver on commitments, and having adequate resources to do so, is a critical aspect of successful NAPs. It is important to note that having a NAP doesn’t necessarily result in action; it does not mean that implementation automatically happens, and therefore the goals and actions set out in the plan are realistic within the timeframe and resource available. Accountability, responsibility, leadership, and resources are all needed. For example, in order to generate broader accountability and awareness of the UK NAP, in 2007 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued an E-gram (an electronic telegram) to all its staff around the world notifying them that the NAP had been adopted, and highlighting that all staff play a role in its implementation.
Ongoing monitoring and evaluation: Although few of the existing NAPs include details on monitoring and evaluation, in order to measure progress on implementation such processes are necessary. The NAP recently adopted by Austria offers perhaps the most extensive monitoring and evaluation framework, through the inclusion of detailed activities with clear lines of responsibility, baseline status, indicators and a timeline. In the UK, Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS) is in the process of developing a monitoring checklist for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 focusing on six priority countries and building on the action points outlined in the NAP. This checklist will incorporate a range of indicators, and will act as a useful baseline for implementation and a benchmark against which to monitor future progress by the UK government and other actors.
In addition to effective in-built monitoring frameworks, there is an urgent need for adequate resourcing of National Action Plans. None of the existing NAPs detail how much financing is available for their implementation, and few highlight which individuals or units are responsible for which actions, so it is difficult to assess the scope for effective implementation. Furthermore, many EU member states and the EC delegations support a range of activities in conflict-affected countries that reflect the issues contained within UNSCR 1325 such as facilitating the participation of local women in peace negotiations, assisting survivors of sexual and gender-based violence or providing gender training to reformed police and armed forces personnel. A more detailed and accurate inventory of these various activities could provide a useful source for good practice as well as more accurate figures on how much money is being directed towards activities in support of UNSCR 1325 implementation, both within Europe and externally.
5.3.3 Developing NAPs in Conflict-Affected Contexts: A Role for EU Member States?
It is clear that implementation in countries that are currently or have recently been affected by conflict is critical. However, as this case study illustrates, progress so far towards implementation at the national level has almost exclusively been limited to European countries. 238 There are many reasons for the failure to develop NAPs in conflict countries such as the lack of political will; scarce resources; little awareness about the resolution; competing priorities and the perception that gender issues are not important; and limited capacity or technical expertise to undertake the process. However, many civil society representatives in conflict-affected countries underscore the fact that UNSCR 1325 is relevant to them, and that encouraging their governments to develop mechanisms through which they can be held to account for implementing the resolution would be an important step forward.
In Liberia, several government ministries led by the Gender Ministry, the gender unit of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), International Alert and the Liberian Women’s Initiative have established a national-level steering committee to coordinate the development of a National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325. This work is being funded by the Danish government through its contribution to Alert’s three-year global project on “Operationalising SCR 1325”. Over the next six to twelve months, this committee will be leading a process of local-level consultations to be held with women and men living in rural communities throughout the different counties in Liberia. These consultations will serve the dual purpose of providing women with the opportunity to articulate their priorities in relation to UNSCR 1325 and the peacebuilding process, as well as also being an opportunity to raise awareness about the resolution and women’s rights and roles in relation to peace and security more generally. It should be emphasized that what is particularly important is the process of engaging in these consultations, rather than the drafting of the plan itself, that will provide the most scope for inclusive and sustainable peacebuilding in Liberian communities. The Austrian government is also supporting a year-long project with UN-INSTRAW to conduct assessments of the situation related to women, peace and security in Liberia and Burundi, with the aim of generating national consensus on issues related to UNSCR 1325 which will lead into a national action-planning process in the two countries.239
In addition the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women (OSAGI) at the United Nations has instituted a process of high-level policy dialogue on the National Implementation of UNSCR 1325 in Africa and Latin America. Based on needs assessments and engagements with government Ministers and other key stakeholders across ministries of justice, internal affairs and defence. There is also associated training on National Implementation of UNSCR 1325 being developed by UNITAR to tie into this initiative. Yet to date this initiative has had very limited financial support and no support at all from any EU member states.
UNSCR 1325 provides an important rationale for linking peace and security policy with gender issues, and can therefore be useful tool to ensure that both women and men’s needs are incorporated into peacebuilding processes at the national and local levels. EU Member States and the EU institutions can all play an important role in encouraging and supporting the development of NAPs to implement the resolution in conflict-affected countries. They could provide assistance such as technical expertise, financial resources, and political support that could help to ensure that government’s prioritise the development of NAPs following the resolution of violent conflict. This assistance could be channelled bilaterally between governments, through in-country support of EC delegations, or through third parties such as international or local civil society organizations. In supporting conflict-affected countries to develop NAPs, three key factors should be emphasized of wide ownership, broad consultation and adequate resources:
Wide ownership: As large a range of stakeholders as possible should be involved in the design of NAPs and assigned responsibility for implementation. Where possible, they should not be led by under-resourced and marginalized gender ministries but rather supported by an inter-ministerial working group led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Justice or the Interior.
Broad consultation: In developing a NAP, it is the process rather than the outcome that can be most valuable. Needs and priorities vary widely in conflict-affected contexts, and it is important for representation, inclusion and participation that as wide a range of people are involved in identifying key priority areas as possible. Holding several local-level consultations and adopting a transparent and consultative design process can ensure that a NAP is more likely to be responsive to the population’s needs and sustainable in the long run.
Adequately resourced: Given that government resources are generally limited in conflict-affected contexts, it is critical to ensure that the actions outlined in a NAP are realistic and likely to be within the capacity of the different stakeholders to implement. NAPs do not need to be all-encompassing documents but can rather prioritise and highlight key areas for action related to UNSCR 1325. Once a NAP exists, EU member states and other donors could then also use the action plan as a framework or coordination mechanism for channeling resources and allocating funding to support the implementation of UNSCR 1325. If the NAP is developed in a consultative manner, it will also have the legitimacy of being a common strategy with shared ownership throughout government and local civil society.
It is notable that the need for supporting countries emerging from conflict to develop NAPs has not been publicly stated by any EU member states, and is not a provision within any of the existing European NAPs. However, increasingly this gap is being recognized. A roundtable organized in Brussels on 4 March 2008 by EPLO with the support of three MEPs, Raul Romeva, Ana Gomes and Piia-Noora Kauppi, highlighted the need for NAPs in conflict-affected countries and could be the first step towards generating a broader level of support and commitment to such processes by European institutions and member states.
5.4 Issue: 4 Regional Approaches to Women and Armed Conflict (WAC)
While the country and local levels are important arenas for EU action regarding WAC, the regional level should also be given serious consideration. It is now widely accepted that conflicts have distinct regional dynamics. Arms, refugees, armed groups, illicit resources, diseases such as HIV/AIDS, and instability move widely across borders. In recent years, the Andean Region, West Africa, Horn of Africa, Great Lakes Region of Africa, Andean region in Latin America and in the 1990s South Eastern Europe, all experienced regional conflict dynamics. The EU member states, the European Commission and even the EU as a whole have already launched a series of regional strategies that often have conflict prevention as a key component. However, the necessity for locally-owned regional responses is a case that has been argued for more than a decade. Regional organizations also have a key role to play in early warning, small arms and light weapons control, and the initiation and promotion of peace processes, not to mention spreading norms regarding women’s empowerment. And, finally, civil society and complimentary networks (such as networks of parliamentarians) should also be involved in activities addressing WAC.
This study examines the question of whether gender and, more specifically, women feature in the strategies, plans, resources and programmes that are designed and allocated at the regional level. Additionally, the study reviewed how the EU is engaging and supporting regional organisations in developing capacity to respond to WAC and, most importantly, to empower and involve women in all aspects of their work.
5.4.1 Current EU and EC Regional Initiatives
The sections below describe several EC and EU member-states regional strategies and initiatives and the focus (if any) they include on gender and/or WAC issues. 240
The 2007 Africa-EU Strategic Partnership – A Joint Africa-EU Strategy agreed at the Lisbon EU-Africa Summit is a departure from usual donor strategies as it is claimed to be a genuinely joint strategy. 241 The strategy makes general commitments to “gender equality” as well as more specific commitments to “women’s rights” and “gender mainstreaming.” In particular, the strategy commits “to promote women in decision-making positions and peace processes, and fight sexual and gender based violence against women” 242 and “the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 on Women, Peace and Security” 243, as well as a priority action on developing an EU – Africa Programme of Action on the Prevention of Trafficking of Human Beings. 244. It is too early to determine whether these commitments will be translated into actual implementation, but the commitments themselves are a positive step.
Notably, the African Union Commission, with its requirement for gender parity in the appointment of commissioners, is already “ahead” of the European Commission in regard to the gender equality of its leadership level. While the Women, Gender and Development Directorate within the African Union Commission is understaffed, it has plans for gender training for peacekeepers on the AMIS mission in Dafur, efforts to engage more women in peace support and humanitarian operations, and the development of gender mainstreaming tools for the regional economic communities in Africa. 245 Much of this activity will be funded within current EC-AU arrangements for “Creating and sustaining regional infrastructure networks and services in Africa.” This arrangement is providing € 55 million to support the AU Strategic Plan, including AU Commission strengthening and engagement on peace and security issues. 246 Of the € 55 million committed, € 157,800 is specifically allocated for gender policy and mainstreaming across a range of issues, primarily by the Women, Gender and Development Directorate. 247 While most activities implemented by the Gender Directorate with these funds will have a multiplier effect on building capacity and awareness, the funding available represents less than 0.3% of EC support to the AU within this allocation. Additionally, the Peace and Security Directorate of the Africa Union Commission doesn’t have the same priorities on gender issues as the Gender Directorate. While not unsympathetic to a more gender sensitive approach, with limited human resources and multiple challenges the Peace and Security Directorate’s priorities of the African Union indicated that their immediate priorities lie outside gender mainstreaming.
The African Union has a number of existing capacity gaps particularly in level of staffing. Also complicating matters is the clearly appropriate commitment by the EU to engagement in partnership with regional organizations and a desire not to dictate priorities not owned and validated by the AU and its senior management. In any case, priorities that are not shared are unlikely to be implemented with any sort of vigour by the partners. These factors highlight the difficulty of ensuring that WAC stays on the agenda, though diplomatic and development-level activities may be one way to continue to focus on the issue.
A number of other regional strategies developed by the EC include conflict prevention components. In the Pacific region, the ACP-European Community Strategy and Regional Indicative Programme for 2002 – 2007, both highlight the importance of conflict prevention and gender equality, though neither make the link between the two explicit nor is there any indication of specific programming linking them. Documented principles also include the need to have gender equality in the democratic and political processes, though it is yet again unclear how these principles actually link to programming choices. This is hardly improved upon by the EU Strategy for the Pacific dating from 2006 which although acknowledging, that “gender inequality and democratic deficits” were amongst the root causes of conflict and drawing attention to violence against women in Tonga. 248 A number of conflicts and potential conflict countries in the Pacific (including Fiji, Solomon Islands, East Timor and Papua New Guinea) would benefit from a sharper regional focus on conflict prevention and gender equality. There is also a similar issue with the European Community Regional Strategy Paper for Assistance to Central Asia for the period 2007-2013. 249 It includes a number of provisions related to conflict prevention and instability, and also mentions the importance of gender equality and women’s empowerment, but an explicit link is not made.
The Central Africa Regional Strategy and Regional Indicative Programme 2002-2007 includes conflict prevention as a non-focal area. Five to ten percent of the overall €55 million was allocated to conflict prevention, but none was specifically targeted for WAC issues or gender mainstreaming. 250 The Regional Strategy for Asia Programming Document is another interesting example, which clearly includes a reference to gender equality and peace and security as well as a commitment to engage significantly in aid to uprooted people. However, when the actual programming document (rather than the strategy) is analysed there is no mention of gender, despite a reference to peace building and reconciliation and specific action on child soldiers.
The Southern African Development Community - European Community Regional Strategy Paper and Regional Indicative Programme For the period 2002-2007 also includes key provisions on mainstreaming gender and conflict prevention. Gender is one of the cross-cutting issues to be included in programming and the strategy also includes a focus on gender mainstreaming within its peace and security objective. Specifically, the strategy indicator requires the achievement of certain gender policies with regards human rights. As a result of these commitments, this strategy is more advanced in the allocation of gender-related resources to specific WAC issues than many others.
The West Africa – European Community Regional Cooperation Strategy Paper and Regional Indicative Programme for the period 2002 - 2007 calls for involving women and the media in conflict prevention. The Regional Indicative Programme explicitly calls for women’s participation and notes that in the area of security and conflict prevention, “civil society, women and the media can act as a key interface and the relevant consultation and involvement mechanisms should be reinforced.” 251 There are thus existing commitments that need to be assessed in terms of resource allocations and progress made on addressing women’s participation. Indeed it would seem that where there are not specific commitments in regional strategies to WAC there needs to be, and where there are, there should be clear follow-through and assessment of progress.
In addition to EC and EU-wide regional strategies, some member states have also developed individual continental or regional strategies. Some of these strategies include good commitments to mainstreaming WAC issues such as women’s empowerment and gender equality, specifically in terms of conflict resolution and peacebuilding. For example, Denmark’s Africa strategy notes that, “Once peace has been concluded, it is important to ensure that women have the opportunity to contribute actively to the peace on an equal footing with men.” 252 SIDA’s strategy for the African Great Lakes Region also requires that special attention be given to the rights of women and that a rights based perspective focusing on women and children must inform project choices. 253 The German BMZ approach to Africa highlights the importance of peacekeeping and conflict prevention and the enforcement of human rights (especially women’s and children’s rights). 254 While other member states’ regional strategies acknowledge gender equality and the importance of conflict prevention they don’t necessarily explicitly link the two. 255.
Several regional organisations, such as the Intergovernmental Agency for Development in the Horn of Africa (IGAD) have already developed clear strategies and action plans for mainstreaming gender in conflict and peace activities. 256 IGAD’s plan is a particularly well thought out document with clear roles and responsibilities and targets and is also mercifully short.257 Yet IGADs’ progress in integrating gender into its early warning system has been slow. 258 Where regional organisations such as IGAD have gender mainstreaming plans and a number of related gender and conflict resolution activities the EC should ensure its resources are targeted toward achieving implementation goals. This may mean gender diplomacy and earmarking specific funding resources for these areas over the longer-term.
In South Eastern Europe the Stability Pact is an EU-sponsored initiative designed to prevent a return to conflict in the region. After extensive lobbying from NGOs and civil society across the Balkans, a Gender Task Force was established within the Stability Pact. 259 Initial support was forthcoming from the European Commission, Austria, Greece, Denmark, and Germany though it was actually non-EU members Norway and Switzerland who were amongst the Gender Task Force’s largest financial backers. The Gender task force is very much a bottom-up initiative, that communicates the work of the Stability Pact to women across the region and also ensures that women’s voices are heard within the Stability Pact initiative. Yet it has never received stable core financing from the EC or EU member states. Funding concerns are a year to year problem meaning that the long term planning necessary to really institutionalise its role to effectively mainstream gender and empower women is constantly under threat.
Clearly civil society advocates for women’s empowerment on a regional level can bring cross-country learning, and also act as a repository for expertise and best practices, as well as an accountability mechanism. Yet most EC and EU financing for ‘regional’ approaches to conflict prevention and peacebuilding is almost exclusively targeted at regional organisations. This is clearly a deficit in the EU’s approach.
5.4.2 Conclusions on Regional Approaches
Given the EU and member states’ recent preference for developing regional- or even continental-level strategies, it is encouraging to see that these documents do, at times, mention WAC related issues. However, the question remains as to what tangible and specific actions these strategies will lead to and whether they will have positive impact over the longer term. Furthermore, specific commitments to WAC issues are uneven across the EC and EU regional approaches leaving the distinct impression that mainstreaming has not in any way been formally achieved. Also a clear link between the gender equality and women’s empowerment component on one side, and the conflict prevention or peace and security focus on the other side was in the main lacking from many regional strategies in areas where WAC is an issue.
The reasons for this could be multiple, but renewed focus on the regional level with assessing the link between principles and strategic commitments and the actual disbursement of resources to issues chosen for focus should be instituted. In political dialogue with regional institutions the issue of gender mainstreaming, and women’s empowerment should be clearly on the table in all the relevant discussions but specifically in relation to concrete interventions in the peace and security sphere. Also resources should be made available for regional civil society to also engage and monitor.
By focusing on the regional level and in partnership with regional organisations, civil society and regional forums, the EU can potentially design a very effective approach to WAC. To date, while the EC has funded some interesting yet small scale initiatives, an assessment of the impact of these initiatives has yet to be completed. Also an assessment of the ‘follow through’ to implementation of some of the commitments needs to be prioritised. Critically, an over-reliance on formal regional institutions that do not involve civil society at the regional level will ensure that the EU’s approach is only partially responsive to the issue. Additionally as the EC (and EU member-states) are already providing significant amounts of resources to regional organisations, regional civil society initiatives should also be funded to complement their activities. In additional regional approaches could allow for crucial cross regional learning between countries on WAC issues. Liberia for example is a leader in innovative responses to WAC and this knowledge and experience should be shared in a South/South forum, the EU could certainly assist in achieving this.
Part III: Proposals
Part III concentrates on proposals as to how the EU response can be made more effective.
6. Key Findings and Recommendations
The last 10 years have seen some positive developments within policy frameworks, the appointment of gender advisors, and the allocation of some resources to the issue of WAC. Much has been done to raise awareness of specific WAC issues (such as SGBV) and the UN has also been engaged through the UNSC and the work of UN specialized agencies. Yet within the EU there is a clear question of how wide and how deep the understanding WAC agenda goes. The EU’s goals and methods related to women and armed conflict are vague and the specific commitments are diffuse. Currently, there is no sense of clarity of understanding or agreement on priorities regarding women and armed conflict across the EU. There is significant fragmentation in the EU’s response to WAC and follow-through on higher-level policy commitments is weak, ad hoc and uncoordinated. The trickle ‘down’ of financial resources for WAC initiatives is small and specific resource allocations are hard to identify. There is no sense of a strategic approach to WAC at the EU level, although there are positive developments at the member state level such as National Action Plans on UNSCR 1325, although the challenge of implementing these NAPs remains.
It is against this background the findings or areas for improvement are given. The findings and areas for improvement identified below are categorized in three inter-related categories: first, the general understanding of, and approach to addressing issues related to women and armed conflict; second, the EU’s responses to WAC issues; and third, the structural obstacles to an enhanced EU response to women and armed conflict. Recommendations are then noted. To be effective these recommendations should be incorporated in EU policy, strategy, programming, working procedures, organisational structure, corporate culture, staff training, inputs, and outputs.
6.1 Approach to the Issues
Finding 1: The breadth and depth of the EU’s understanding of issues related to women and armed conflict is limited
The EU lacks a comprehensive approach to WAC-related issues because there has been no real effort to understand and incorporate UNSCR 1325 into peacebuilding and development activities. Nor is there an EU equivalent high level and well thought out policy statement covering the issue in depth. As there is no overarching EU document related to WAC, member-states, the Council and the Commission and MS have relied on UNSCR 1325. But UNSCR 1325 remains poorly understood in terms of ‘what’ it means operationally for EU action particularly in the development field. Vague references to UNSCR 1325 at the policy level are the norm, rather than a specific interpretation or operationalisation of prevention, protection and participation within the EU response in conflict-affected contexts. Mainstreaming of WAC within regional approaches or development sectors such as health, education and economic development are not occurring because the level of understanding is low. Furthermore, ensuring that EU peacebuilding priorities such as security sector reform, transitional justice mechanisms or peace negotiations are inclusive and engage and benefit women is essential for these processes to be successful, yet this rarely happens in reality. In particular, there are four key areas where a lack of understanding and commitment is seriously undermining the EU’s responses to WAC issues: the failure to fully engage women as actors in conflict-affected contexts, the lack of holistic, effective and comprehensive responses to all aspects of sexual and gender based violence, the separation of development issues from the WAC agenda, and the need to develop stronger local-level partnerships and foster advocates for change, particularly men, who can play a vital role in changing attitudes and providing valuable knowledge and expertise on the context-specific aspects of WAC-related issues.
Recommendation 1.1: Improve understanding on WAC issues
|The EU should develop a comprehensive approach to WAC-related issues that is on a scale commensurate with their full breadth and depth, if it wants to become a positive actor in conflict settings. Particular attention should be paid to the four specific issues of: women’s roles as actors in conflict situations, sexual and gender based violence, linking development issues with the WAC agenda, and the need for support to local-level partnerships and advocates. |
(i) Women as actors
While women are frequently vulnerable and victims of conflict’s adverse effects, an EU approach based predominately on this understanding is flawed and counter-productive. A future EU response to WAC must be based on a recognition of the multiple roles women play in conflict situations with empowerment, gender equality, and protection at its centre in a way that is very practical. While this understanding has been developing for years, much of the EU discourse and approach is still focused on women as victims. The three case studies on women’s empowerment from Kosovo, Uganda and Burundi clearly illustrate that there are simple, approaches that can be utilised to support women as actors. More examples and lessons learned of the diverse ways in which women play roles in mobilising efforts to build peace at the local, national and regional levels should be shared, and more research should be done on the positive contributions they can make to social, political and economic spheres in the aftermath of conflict. This research has to clearly inform the action of the EU and that of its partners.
(ii) Sexual and gender based violence
A number of EU member states and the United Nations are implementing initiatives focusing on SGBV, such as that which brought together ten United Nations agencies to form a joint initiative called the UN Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict or the Brussels Call for Action to Address Sexual Violence in Conflict and Beyond. 260 However, as the true extent of SGBV is becoming clearer, it is apparent that the EU’s collective response is not in any way sufficiently to scale nor coherent. Current approaches risk reducing the problem to one of sexual violence against women during conflict, with a focus on health issues and women’s victimhood. What is needed is a more holistic approach to SGBV that recognizes the vital links between these forms of violence and women’s potential to participate politically, achieve a sustainable livelihood, and feel secure in their communities in the aftermath of conflict. Women should not be seen as victims in need of protection, but SGBV should rather be treated as a significant peacebuilding issue with broader implications for both women and men, and efforts to address it should recognize the role of women in particular as powerful agents for change.
The social costs of SGBV are largely under-estimated and ignored, and it is not generally seen as a security issue that has broader economic or political consequences. It is surrounded by a culture of silence and impunity, and the range and complexity of the underlying causes make it a difficult issue to address. SGBV is a security issue because it is a human rights violation and therefore impacts negatively on the ability of women and men to secure and enjoy their basic rights. It can also feed into broader societal violence and can consequently compromise the country’s transition to peace. Responding to SGBV is therefore about security sector reform, economic livelihoods, women’s empowerment, human rights, advocacy, education, gender diplomacy, as well as sexual and reproductive health, as the example from Sierra Leone shows. As a result, responding to SGBV requires a comprehensive approach at every level that links the different institutions, instruments and resources of the European Union in effective partnerships with other organizations and institutions.
(iii) Linking development issues with the WAC agenda
Globally, understanding is increasing of how conflict impacts women and how women impact conflict. However, this understanding does not systematically inform EU development programming choices and implementation methods. Furthermore, UNSCR 1325 itself fails to incorporate development issues, in particular women’s economic security which is often the key concern of women in conflict-affected contexts. ‘Traditional’ development and humanitarian activity in the areas of economic livelihoods, education, and health have a strong, but unfulfilled, potential to positively impact WAC. In particular, programming in the area of economic livelihoods, when linked to other activities in the health, governance and justice sectors, offers WAC genuine empowerment and protection potential. Yet this is not explored or prioritised and the full mainstreaming of WAC/gender and conflict considerations are missing or limited in terms of EC and most EU member-states’ development assistance.
Recommendation 1.2: Sectoral areas of development should genuinely integrate WAC
|Sectoral areas of EU ODA such as health, education, civil society, justice, and governance must include a clearly articulated WAC dimension with the express aim of achieving gender equality, promoting women’s empowerment and the added dimension of prevention and protection. A roadmap for mainstreaming gender and conflict and WAC considerations within these development areas should be an explicit part of any country or EC UNSCR 1325 ‘National’ Action Plan. |
(iv) The need for local partnerships and advocates to achieve impact at the national level
Those focusing on WAC have long been dismayed at the fragmentation and lack of progress regarding WAC issues at the level of implementation. The marginalization, fragmentation and low priority placed on WAC are features of almost all contexts. Situations where dynamic and committed women in high level official leadership positions have helped prioritise and transform action, such as Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in Liberia, are very much the exception. But the examples of action in Kosovo, Uganda, Burundi and also Sierra Leone show that important country level action is occurring. The situation calls for effective partnerships at the local level that are aligned with coherent strategy, plans, resources, skills and incentives for change. In this regard, the United Nations, civil society, regional organizations and a number of countries in conflict are supporting the development of national action plans and/or progress indicators for the implementation of UNSCR 1325. EU member states and the Commission currently have no equivalent WAC country national plans within conflict countries which to coordinate EU development resources and diplomatic action. PRSPs, CAPs, and SWAPs are too wide-ranging, unfocussed or unrelated to conflict prevention to provide a framework for an adequate approach to WAC issues. (See more on this below.)
Local advocates with legitimacy and expertise are working to hold governments (including the European Union), armed groups and international actors to account on commitments made with regard to WAC as we have seen in Uganda, Kosovo, and Burundi. Supporting these local advocates is essential to ensure sustainable impact and ownership. WAC issues are complex and multifaceted, requiring locally-sourced expertise which is often best found within civil society. Women’s organisations can offer a vital source of knowledge of women’s priorities at the local level, and can also access parts of the population, particularly marginalised groups, that may be outside of the reach of the EU and wider donor community. Through engaging with local partners, the EU could then draw upon these sources of knowledge to make informed and locally owned decisions about interventions. Collectively, EU donors can lead by example and co-sponsor dialogue with government involving civil society to ensure that issues related to WAC are placed on local, national, and regional peacebuilding and development agendas, and that the EU has adequate resources to address them. EU engagement on this issue would have to extend beyond Ministries of Gender and Women’s Affairs, and include a broader range of stakeholders at the local and national levels. Civil society often has difficulty accessing opportunities to articulate how government development priorities in conflict areas can be more gender sensitive. It is particularly important that the EU supports efforts to engage men and traditional leaders as advocates for change within their own communities. Although this report has focused on issues related to WAC, these are not issues for women alone. The failure to engage women and to ensure that peacebuilding efforts are inclusive also impacts negatively on men, and men should therefore be encouraged to play a role in prioritising attention on these issues.
Consultation of women and women’s organisations in the planning, implementation and evaluation of development activities in conflict zones, although usually required on paper, is often of poor quality, and not verified. Consulting with these groups can be a way of enhancing understanding of the issues and ensuring that responses are targeted, strategic and likely to have maximum impact. An on-going dialogue is needed between the EU, civil society and governance authorities that extends beyond civil society as mere service providers and implementers. Some EU member states are already supporting civil society in this role, but more systematic, sustained and better resourced efforts are required.
Recommendation 1.3: Ensure regular and systematic consultation with local stakeholders
|Since many women groups and organisations in different parts of the world with a clear gender equality and peace focus already exist, EU officials and staff can, as a first step, establish contacts on a national basis and help link different groups and organisations at trans-national level to share experience on practices and policies. This should be undertaken in every conflict context by a dedicated member of staff. Support to these groups in terms of accessing financial resources and in instigating gender diplomacy so that their voices are heard, is crucial and should be taken up at the highest levels within countries by EU missions.|
Two key aspects of UNSCR 1325 and related EU commitments are the involvement of women in peace processes and the resulting gender sensitivity of the provisions that peace processes make. While some EU member states are already supporting efforts in these areas (such as in Uganda) there is much to be done. Peace agreements tend to cover justice, governance, economic development and security sector reform issues, without considering gender and WAC issues. Peace processes represent an opportunity to promote women’s empowerment, gender equality, gender mainstreaming and respect for women’s rights within resulting peace agreements and to ensure that these issues are integrated and prioritised in the subsequent peacebuilding and post conflict reconstruction phase. Opportunities to involve women and these concepts should be capitalized upon in peace processes. This will require specific support to ensure that those capable of gender sensitizing are engaged. Ensuring this engagement costs little, but has the potential to have a lasting impact on the future.
Recommendation 1.4: The EU should prioritise the gender sensitivity of peace agreements and women’s participation in peace processes.
|The EU through the Council could audit all peace processes currently underway throughout the world and ask: |
1) Has the EU, through political dialogue or other methods, encouraged compliance with UNSCR 1325 in terms of women’s participation and gender equality within these processes?
2) What resources could the EU collectively and individually allocate to support women’s involvement and gender mainstreaming?
3) How can the EU collectively support such initiatives at the country or regional level?
‘Gender diplomacy’ may be required by the EU to ensure that women’s participation in peace processes occurs, and that women are at the table rather than only there as silent observers as often occurs. These activities should be closely coordinated between the EC and the EU, member states, and with UN agencies (especially UNIFEM and other international and UN mediation efforts) already engaged in this type of work.
6.2 EU Responses
Finding 2: There is a lack of a strategic plan or framework to guide the EU response to WAC
Because there is no overall strategy informing EU action on WAC, there is no link between policy documents and field-level activity leading responses to be ad hoc and lacking in impact. Furthermore, the lack of a strategy means that there are no issue-wide implementation and resource plans, monitoring and evaluation approaches or reporting mechanisms.
As this report indicates the European Commission, the Council and member states are implementing a number of on-going initiatives related to WAC. Many of these are worthy and useful. However, this study finds that while there are some positive developments at the member state level, overall these initiatives are not linked to a strategy and clear plan, specific resource allocations, the necessary skills and expertise, and incentives to act. As a result, there is significant fragmentation in the EU’s response to WAC and follow-through on higher-level policy commitments is weak and uncoordinated. The trickle ‘down’ of financial resources for WAC initiatives is small and specific resource allocations are hard to identify.
For WAC commitments to be successful, impact on the ground is essential. Without specific plans upon which to measure progress, accountability problems emerge, particularly regarding high-level policy commitments, which are by nature vague. Seminars, meetings, conferences and declarations about improvements to the EU’s approach to WAC are important, however rhetorical commitment must be translated into real progress on the ground in conflict-affected contexts. There is danger in seeing an ‘illusion of progress’ when this real challenge is not being met. The policies must be followed by plans, resource allocation, effective partnerships, and incentives to act that would enable the EU to deliver on its commitments on issues related to WAC. Some time ago, the United Nations recognized this need and developed a comprehensive approach for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 involving a number of different agencies at both headquarters and field level. While this framework is not perfect, it does show that the UN system is considerably more advanced that the EU Institutions.
Benita Ferrero-Waldner the European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy recently asked, “how can we reinvigorate the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325”. 261 Developing a specific Commission action plan would greatly assist in achieving this. The European Commission could be the first regional entity to develop a UNSCR 1325 action plan, which would send a powerful message regarding the importance of the issue.
Recommendation 2.1: The European Commission should develop a strategy and Action Plan for responding to women and armed conflict informed by UNSCR 1325
|A specific strategy linked to a clear plan that identifies resources, skills and expertise for WAC is required to ensure that the European Commission consolidates and complies with existing commitments. Any plan should have a wide remit, but should prioritise a holistic approach to SGBV, incorporating its security, social, political and economic dimensions, along with a focus on women’s empowerment in conflict areas and the entire EC RELEX ‘family’ (DEV, ECHO, AIDCO, RELEX, TRADE, ENLAR). Learning from the member states that have already developed specific National Action Plans for 1325 should be shared widely, and expertise within these countries on developing these strategies should be capitalised on. Discussions should be had with the Council Secretariat regarding how, in the long run, the plan may relate to the new External Action Service. The plan should examine and understand the current deficiencies and successes within the European Commission’s current approach and should involve external actors with specific WAC expertise in its development.|
In addition to the Commission, EU countries should develop Action Plans for UNSCR 1325 (or equivalent) that utilize a comprehensive approach to WAC with clear links to resources and the necessary skills and experience. This has been noted before at the level of the Council, and also the Commission and at the UN, and a number of specialist forums but it is an idea that needs to be followed through on. Specifically the Council of the European Union suggested this in its conclusions on ‘Gender Equality and Gender Mainstreaming in Crisis Management’ of November 2006 262 and also in its Conclusions on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Development Cooperation. 263 Since these initial calls, more EU member-states have adopted national action plans (NAPs). Countries without them should develop them, and countries that do have them should look to ensure they are adequately resourced and prioritised. A collective level EU plan that fails connect to specific resources (human or financial) would not be desirable. Continued reliance on a vague commitment to mainstreaming gender or UNSCR 1325 alone in the absence of a specific action plan (or equivalent) is a flawed approach.
Recommendation 2.2: EU members-states should develop Action Plans for UNSCR 1325 with specific strategies and plans to guide their responses to women and armed conflict.
|Action Plans should include both mainstreaming efforts within wider processes and specific programming initiatives. These plans could then be used to assess progress in terms of accountability with agreed commitments. An annual audit of progress or EU peer review also involving civil society should also be instituted.|
As well as National Action Plans within the EU there is also a need for them within countries impacted by conflict. The EU should collectively engage in ‘gender diplomacy’ to promote National Action Plans for 1325 in third countries and when they are forthcoming, align EU diplomatic action and development resources accordingly. The Action Plans should also be used as a method to promote coherence in approach and alignment amongst the EU actors at the country level. These should include a focus on mainstreaming UNSCR 1325 key components of prevention, participation and protection within wider political and economic processes. The EU and particularly EC should utilise future EIDHR, DCI, EDF resources, as reflected in Annual Action Programmes, to support civil society and governments, to engage in activities (policy development, technical support, meetings, advocacy, training – and also following through on delivering commitments) regarding the development of National Action Plans or their equivalents.
Recommendation 2.3: Support the Development of National Action Plans for WAC in third countries
|Identify and consolidate a collective EU approach to supporting efforts by the UN (UNIFEM and OSAGI - Office of the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women), national Ministries and others to support the develop National Action Plans for UNSCR 1325 (or their equivalent) at the conflict country level. Any action planning process should involve key Ministries (beyond the Ministry of Gender) and civil society in the development of specific action indicators. |
More research and a coordinated effort are needed to develop sharper indicators for action regarding the protection and empowerment of women in conflict settings. The development of indicators has the added benefit of helping actors, including the EU, coordinate efforts around a common goal and also measure progress. In addition they provide clarity about what should be achieved. Clear, specific and measurable indicators are a key, but often overlooked, aspect of comprehensive strategies for responding to WAC. The French EU Presidency is currently working on indicators related to WAC that could be utilised in relation to other methods noted below.
Recommendation 2.4: Develop and use clear indicators on WAC
|The development and use of clear and specific indicators for progress on WAC should be a key priority for the EU and EU member states. These should come out of the 1) a detailed research process (see recommendation 4.1), 2) local gender and conflict analyses (see recommendation 4.4) and any on-going research conducted by member-states and the EU, 3) the French EU Presidency research on indicators and 4) indicators developed from NAP processes. Commitments to fund and implement activities toward achievement of these indicators should be obtained from EU member states and the Commission, and they should be linked in to and inform other existing strategic peacebuilding and development frameworks.|
Finding 3: Issues related to WAC are not prioritised within the EU’s development and peacebuilding policies and programmes
Despite continued, if vague, policy commitments across the EC and EU member states, WAC and gender mainstreaming are not truly prioritised within the EU’s crowded diplomacy, development and defence agendas. Although much hard work has already been done to ensure that the EU policy framework develops in a gender sensitive manner this is not reflected in action. Passing references to WAC issues are included in many policy statements, instruments and even individual projects and missions. However, the political will to prioritise must be present at every level of EU action for actual progress to take place. Efforts to address WAC should not be seen as an ‘add-on’, but rather are part of the EU’s development and peacebuilding activities.
Addressing women-specific and gender issues is a political decision rather than just a technical one and therefore requires sustained engagement at the political level (Ambassadors, Commissioners, Ministers, Heads of Delegation, EUSRs, ESDP Force Commanders other senior diplomats) not just junior gender ‘focal’ points. Restricting this discourse and role to those agencies with a specific focus on women, or who are themselves women, will not help change gender dynamics or promote wider women’s empowerment and women’s rights in conflict settings. Too often WAC is the preserve of a junior “gender advisor” or “focal point” in EU missions and EC Delegations. WAC issues need to be taken up at a senior level consistently. Methods such as developing a mentoring roster of senior gender advisors and ‘gender coaches’ and other senior level people could be employed. Also appropriate is any initiative designed to engage a wider cross section of people, particularly men, in EU decision-making on the importance of women’s empowerment, gender mainstreaming and women’s rights in conflict affected countries.
Responding to and prioritising WAC does not require the EU or its member states to undertake significant separate activities, but rather would lead to responses being more effective through the active engagement of women and a specific, more inclusive, understanding of how issues such as SSR, political reform or skills-training programs to combat unemployment affect and can benefit individuals at the community-level in conflict-affected contexts. At the moment resources are diffuse and difficult to identify, and specific WAC or gender and conflict expertise is very thinly spread across the EU. Additional high-level policy statements that do not explicitly identify resources, skills/expertise and implementation capacity are of limited value and in some sense, may even be counter-productive.
Real progress is less a question of whether there are ‘good ideas’ and the right ‘operational guidance’ or partners but instead requires prioritisation and ‘follow through’. It is precisely because EC and other EU officials feel overwhelmed that accountability and indicators for progress on WAC are crucial. Otherwise gender issues will be pushed to the bottom of the pile, especially in complex conflict settings.
Recommendation 3: Prioritise WAC within EU development, defence and diplomatic action
|The EU should prioritise women and armed conflict (WAC) within wider EU development and diplomatic action by developing a plan (as part of any 1325 National Action Plan) to engage the political level and senior level officials|
Finding 4: EU responses to WAC are not informed by a contextual understanding
WAC issues are large in scope, complex and vary from country to country. This study was not able to cover the issues and the EU’s response with the depth and breadth necessary. Thus, more research is necessary to explore WAC from a gender perspective, to understand local capacities and responses, and to determine how international actions (including those planned by the EU) can be implemented in ways that empower women. While research and operational guidance exists, recent developments in terms of the increased awareness of the scale and nature of SGBV and persistent blockage of women’s participation in political, cultural and economic life require better, more recent understanding. This research cannot be undertaken properly within a short time frame and must include local level learning and ownership that is linked to local and international responses to WAC.
Recommendation 4.1: Initiate in-depth research to assess global responses to WAC
|A large-scale comprehensive research effort should be undertaken on local and international responses to WAC. This study should be comprehensive and include not only an analysis of the WAC situation but also the effectiveness and impact of existing responses (EU and UN) at the local, regional and international level. It should include a discussion of UNSCR 1325 and how it can be incorporated in to EU policy and response. It must seek to be informed by international best practice but also most importantly by local innovative responses and should be a genuine North-South endeavour. |
In addition to a formal study and given the diversity of issues faced in any context, a gender and conflict analysis must inform the interventions of member-states and the European Commission, not appropriate to use a blanket approach to women and armed conflict.
The process of undertaking a gender and conflict analysis should not be a desk based process but one that actively engages, involves and empowers women and men. The need for a few sharp context specific WAC indicators of a quantitative and qualitative nature is key to orient action and measure progress in each setting and should be an output of this process. This process should be clearly linked to any process to develop a UNSCR 1325 country level action plan if it is being undertaken.
Recommendation 4.2: Undertake joint participatory conflict and gender analysis to inform EU action at the country level
|This need not be undertaken by every EU member state and EC, but should at least occur in every context that the EU collectively or individually is responding to and the analysis then shared and acted on. A lead MS mission or EC Delegation should be appointed to instigate the process in each conflict setting. |
Finding 5: The EU is not effectively focusing on WAC efforts at the regional level
The regional level is also an area that has the clear potential for positive impact on WAC. It is an appropriate level for the EU as a regional entity itself to engage on, and it is one where the realm of conflict prevention, early warning and peacebuilding can be effectively mobilised. The potential for regional level action on WAC has largely gone unfulfilled despite the fact that the EC and many EU member-states have regional strategies, which often include resources for conflict prevention related activities. Where there are specific EU initiatives related to WAC at the regional level, these remain poorly resourced and prioritised, overly reliant on regional organisations as the sole means of engagement (rather complementary engagements with civil society), and are often dealing with gender desks and units that are marginalised within their own organisations. Many of the policy commitments on WAC at the regional level are not followed through to implementation, or if they are, only in a very limited fashion.
At the regional level women’s empowerment, protection, prevention and implementation of UNSCR 1325 should be key to diplomatic relations and the disbursement of development resources to regional organizations. In many cases, references to UNSCR 1325 and gender mainstreaming in peace and security actions are already included in EC and EU member state relationships with regional organizations. But, additional focus, gender diplomacy, and resources, and accountability mechanisms must be available to ensure follow through of these commitments. Efforts to support non-governmental regional initiatives from civil society and parliamentarians should also be a part of any regional engagement and should be supported over the long-term. Equally country to country (South-South) learning and information exchanges through regional initiatives, highlighting innovative measures and best practice (as currently witnessed in Liberia), have an important role to play.
Recommendation 5: Ensure follow-through on a genuine EU regional approach to WAC
|In Regional Strategies and Programming the EU (EC and MS) should ensure identifiable, meaningful and multi-annual levels of funding backed up by gender diplomacy for: the integration of gender considerations in regional early warning systems; south-south learning and information exchange on WAC/Gender and Armed Conflict; the operationalisation of regional organisations own gender mainstreaming plans; regional civil society oversight of gender mainstreaming and women’s empowerment and capacity building of networks who undertake this; women’s involvement in regional conflict prevention initiatives; and capacity development of regional organisations in specific WAC issues related to security, development, and social spheres.|
6.3 Structural Obstacles
Finding 6: Weak accountability, monitoring and reporting mechanisms
The lack of monitoring and reporting, both on progress in addressing WAC, but also on what the key WAC issues are is a really key problem. Current EU reporting mechanisms such as the EU Human Rights Annual Report, the EU Presidency Report on ESDP, and EU Presidency Report on the EU Programme of Action on the Prevention on Violent Conflict do not as a matter of course include progress on WAC issues and frequently include no reference at all. EC reporting mechanisms including both ad hoc activities (such as the RELEX Supporting Peacebuilding an Overview of European Community Action) or more formalised EC Report on External Action also include very minimal WAC coverage. While the EU Human Rights Factsheets do cover some WAC issues it is not possible to verify the exact content of these documents as they are confidential. Also member-states annual reviews of their development cooperation that were assessed either had no mention of WAC issues or very limited references to WAC. As the DAC Peer Review of the EC has also noted there is need for, “effective performance measurement” in relation to gender, the same can be said of WAC. 264 With the development of National Action Plans and a plan for the Commission, monitoring and accountability could be improved, yet the mainstreaming of WAC reporting within the existing processes mentioned should also be undertaken.
Recommendation 6: Develop EU accountability, monitoring and reporting mechanisms for WAC
|Reporting on WAC should become a systematic feature of the EU Presidency Report on the Progress on the Prevention of Violent Conflict and also the EU Presidency Report on ESDP. EC and EU MS National Action Plans. Member States should also include reporting on WAC at appropriate levels in their annual reviews of development cooperation. Overarching programme evaluations in conflict countries should include a gender and conflict component as should mid-term reviews. Accountability must also occur at the country level, and in that regard the EU must identify and support local advocates for accountability in WAC. |
Finding 7: Insufficient financial and human resources are allocated to addressing WAC
Financial instruments used by the EC and many member states sometimes encourage and certainly do not bar support to WAC activities, but it is hard to quantify specific programming resources. Where quantification is possible, resources tend to be small and very limited when compared to the depth and breadth of WAC issues, the policy commitments made to gender equality/WAC, and the overall development resources available. The fact that the MDGs and the Aid Effectiveness agenda are ‘conflict-blind’ and that much of the work on conflict, security and development is ‘gender-blind’ does not help this situation or assist in guiding programming priorities and specific resources toward WAC.
Additionally, individuals with competency in both gender and conflict-related issues are almost non-existent within EU institutions particularly at the implementation level but also at the headquarters level. Those that do have both competencies are more focused on human rights and security rather than development, are relatively junior and struggle with multiple other priorities, greatly limiting their ability to consider WAC. While operational guidance does exist on a variety of WAC-issues, it has not been given priority and thus has not been mainstreamed into most development working practices. While headquarter managed financial resources and specialist personal capacity is important, it is at the country level where this lack of resources is most keenly felt. Simply designating ‘gender focal points’ to low level officials with limited or no specialist knowledge is not an appropriate way to move gender issues and WAC forward. Strategic plans adopted by the EU or its member states should be adequately resourced, both in terms of financial allocations and staffing, including personnel with specific expertise in WAC. Without proper financing, any plans on UNSCR 1325 or WAC are unlikely to be implemented.
Recommendation 7: Develop appropriate levels of financial and specialist human resources for WAC
|Disaggregated financial data on gender and WAC spending must be made more accessible so that funding levels are easier to quantify as all indications are that they are currently inadequate to address the scale of the problem. EC and EU members should agree on a specific funding percentage for WAC globally. An EU wide assessment of the breadth and depth of genuine human resources and expertise dedicated to WAC issues should also be undertaken by the Commission and MS to again test whether it is sufficiently to scale and identify where the EU can pool and share expertise accordingly. |
6.4 Potential Short-Term Next Steps and Opportunities
Collectively, the following suggestions of next steps could constitute an important first move towards a more systematic, strategic and coherent approach to women and armed conflict at different levels that could be undertaken in the next 3-6 months. These activities could be prioritised but should not come at the expense of all the other recommendations or the more detailed ideas for implementation.
Table 5: Ten potential short-term next steps
|Potential Next Step – EU Level||Related Recommendations|
|Relevant Council Working Groups (CODEV, COAFR etc) could agree to undertake an EU wide participatory and integrated Gender and Conflict Analysis to assist in developing indicators and the guiding EU development, crisis management and humanitarian programming. This could be done in three pilot countries. This process should ideally feed into the future programming of resources in these countries and existing or future policy frameworks as well as any emergent national plans for implementation of UNSCR 1325 (see no. 9 below). Steps should be taken to ensure research both focuses on the issues AND the impact and deficiencies of international and local responses. It should also look at where the greatest political, institutional and financial and human resources challenges to progress lie. A particular focus should be on the development dimension and the development of indicators.||1.1 Understanding; |
1.2 Sectoral areas;
4.2. Conflict and Gender Analysis;
6. Accountability Motoring & Reporting;
|Convene a roundtable of senior Commission officials (DEV, RELEX, ECHO, AIDCO) with EU MS and civil society experts who have experience with National Action Plans on UNSCR 1325 and other interested parties to share experiences on the development of NAPs. This could focus in particular on any collaboration that occurred between stakeholders and different levels. NAPs could be used as an entry point for instituting mechanisms for systematic and ongoing consultation with civil society, and even be a model for other issues beyond WAC.||1.1 Understanding; |
1.2 Sectoral areas;
2.1 EC Action Plan;
2.2 EU MS Action Plans;
6. Accountability Monitoring & Reporting;
|Take further work on the development of indicators originating from the Beijing Platform of Action on women and armed conflict started by the French EU Presidency. This work should also ensure that the focus on violence against women in conflict-affected contexts is holistic and comprehensive. Future EU Presidencies (Czech Republic and Sweden) could be invited to take forward the findings and recommendations of this report.||1.1 Understanding; |
1.2 Sectoral areas;
6. Accountability Monitoring & Reporting;
|Establish a high-level, cross-institutional working group (perhaps modelled on the 1325 EU Partnership) with shared ownership and leadership within the Parliament, Council and Commission. Such a working group could provide a regular forum for dialogue and exchange of experiences amongst relevant stakeholders working on thematic peacebuilding and development issues that are linked to women and armed conflict.||1.1 Understanding; |
1.2 Sectoral areas;
2.1 EC Action Plan;
2.2 EU MS Action Plans;
6. Accountability Monitoring & Reporting;
|Potential Next Steps EC Institutional Level|
|An internal Commission working group could be set up to discuss the findings and recommendations of the current report, as well as to discuss how to develop a UNSCR 1325 Action Plan. The first meeting could be undertaken in collaboration with the Initiative for Peacebuilding (IfP) as part of its commitment to organising a series of thematic roundtables on issues related to UNSCR 1325 over the next twelve months.||All|
|Undertake an audit of EC Programming Finances to assess how much currently programmed financial resources are going to support either women-specific projects or those with a broader gender equality focus in conflict-affected regions. Any budget review should also include consideration of the implications of EU resource allocations for men and women in terms of how effectively their priorities are being addressed. This would be the first step to developing clear benchmarks for amounts in the future.||1.1 Understanding; |
1.2 Sectoral areas;
6. Accountability Monitoring & Reporting;
7. Financial & human resources
|Undertake an assessment of the human resource capacity within the Commission to respond to ‘gender’ and armed conflict issues (and WAC within it) and then develop a strategy to meet deficiencies in human resource capacity (related to EC UNSCR 1325 Action Plan. The EC should establish an internal roster of key individuals with relevant technical expertise who can be called on for assistance on an ‘as-needed’ basis.||1.1 Understanding; |
1.2 Sectoral areas;
2.1 Commission Action Plan
7. Financial & human resources
|Develop an ‘expert working group’ (with clear expertise on WAC/gender and armed conflict) to assess upcoming Annual Action Programmes for DCI, EIDHR, IfS, Action Plan of the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid and also regional programming of 10th EDF to ensure appropriate WAC/gender and armed conflict content that is actually connected to financial resources. This group should also be tasked with some responsibilities linked to reporting and monitoring on progress in this regard.||1.1 Understanding; |
1.2 Sectoral areas;
2.1 Commission Action Plan
6. Accountability Monitoring & Reporting;
7. Financial & human resources
|EU Support to Third Countries|
|Decide whom in the EU will identify existing initiatives to support the development of national strategies to implement UNSCR 1325 in conflict countries, such as those being supported by UNIFEM, OSAGI, INGOs, and individual governments. Assess EU MS support to these initiatives and seek to widen, deepen and consolidate support both financially and diplomatically. EU member states active in conflict-affected regions should also coordinate their activities at the national level, with specific governments taking a lead within the donor group.||1.1 Understanding; |
2.3 National Action Plans in Third Countries;
|Through the Council, the EU should undertake an assessment of all the peace processes that are currently underway throughout the world and ask 1) has the EU, through political dialogue or other methods, encouraged compliance with UNSCR 1325 in terms of women’s participation and gender equality within these processes? 2) what resources could the EU and EU member states collectively and individually allocate to support women’s involvement and gender mainstreaming? 3) what diplomatic, financial or technical support can the EU collectively offer to these efforts?||1.3 Consultation; |
1.4 Peace processes
These next steps should not detract from the fact that longer term follow-up is needed for all recommendations. Also the fact that the recommendations 4.1 In-depth Research; 5. Regional Approaches are not referred to explicitly does not mean that there isn’t scope for also tackling these issues in the short term.
Table 6: Potential Strategic EU / EC Opportunities to Implement Recommendations
While the implementation of recommendations will require entirely new initiatives there are other potential opportunities to integrate the findings into on-going process noted below.
|EU Policy||Revision of the European Security Strategy|
EU Programme of Action on the Prevention of Violent Conflict (if there is any future review)
|EU / EC Reporting||Presidency Reports on the Programme of Action for the Prevention of Violent Conflict|
Presidency Reports on the Programme of Action for ESDP
Annual EU Human Rights Report and Human Rights Fact Sheets
Annual EC External Relations / Development Report
Mid Term Review Process for 10th EDF
|EC / EU Institutional||Planning for the European Commission Conference in 2010 on Gender Equality (also 10 year anniversary of UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security)|
Development of the External Action Service (hiring, training of staff, internal organisation and prioritisation)
Workplan of the European Institute for Gender Equality
Presentation of Findings of EC/UN Partnership for Development and Peace at Accra Summit on Aid Effectiveness
Any future development or revision of Programme Fiches and Guidance by the Inter-Service Quality Support Group
Activities of the EC funded ‘Initiative on Peacebuilding’
European Group on Training (EGT) focus and activities
Planning and budgeting for ESDP missions
Planning and budgeting for CFSP
Planning and budgeting for Council Secretariat
|EC Finances||Detailed Annual Programming of 10th EDF and (NIPs / RIPs) MTR process|
Drawing up of Annual Action Programmes of EIDHR, DCI, IfS for 2009
Drawing up of any Action Programmes based on Security and Development or Situations of Fragility Council conclusions
Programming of the Peace Building Fund
Annex 1: New EC Financial Instruments and their Reference to WAC
Annex 2: Operational Guidance on Gender / Women and Armed Conflict Examples of operational guidance and guidelines
Annex 3: List of Individuals Consulted
Council of the European Union
Riina Ruth Kionka, Personal Representative for Human Rights (CFSP) of SG/HR Solana
Nicole Reckinger, Human Rights and United Nations, General Secretariat
Katrin Hagemann, Civilian Crisis Management, General Secretariat
Inger Buxton, Crisis response and Peace Building, DG RELEX
Tamás Várnai, Human development, Social Cohesion and Employment, DG DEV
Antoinette Gosses, Human development, Social Cohesion and Employment, DG DEV
Emma Achilli, Human Rights and Democratisation, DG RELEX
Outi Ojala-Seppänen, Democracy and Human Rights Sector, DG AIDCO
Daniela Rofi, Gender, DG AIDCO
Michele Schivo, Desk Officer Uganda, DG ECHO
Anna Bergeot, Cross Cutting Issues, DG ECHO
Dr. Lale Wiesner, Desk Officer Coastel West Africa, DG ECHO
Silke Nikolay, A2, DG RELEX
Osnat Lubrani, Regional Programme Director Europe, UNIFEM
Angelika Kartusch, Programme Officer, UNIFEM
Karin Heisecke, Programme Coordination and Liaison Specialist, UNFPA
NGO / Experts
Giji Gya, Responding to Conflict and Gender & Security Programmes International Security Information Service, (ISIS Europe)
Sonia Herrero, European Institutions, International Center on Transitional Justice
Katja Svensson, Inclusive – Human Security – Research and Training
Sari Kouvo, Afghanistan Program, International Center on Transitional Justice
Stephanie Broughton, Policy Officer, European Peacebuilding Liaison Office
Matthew Willner-Reid, Policy Officer, European Peacebuilding Liaison Office
Jos De la Haye, Conflict Adviser, Pax Christi International
Maaike van Min, Reproductive Health Access, Information and Services in Emergencies / Mari Stropies International
An Huybrechts, Advocacy Project Coordinator, International Planned Parenthood Federation, European Network
Government / Official Bodies
Hon. Hajati Isanga Rukia Nakadama, MP, Minister of State for Gender and Culture, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Uganda
Sanyu Jane Mpagi, Director, Gender and Community Development, Minister of State for Gender and Culture, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Uganda
Grace E. Ocitti, Commissioner Northern Region – Gulu, Amnesty Commission
Elizabeth Kyasiimire, Commissioner, Gender, Culture and Community Development, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development
Tom Gidudu, Seniar Assistat to the Secretary / Personal Assistant to the State for Gender and Culture, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Uganda
Anna Wrange, First Secretary Political Affairs, Embassy of Sweden, Kampala
Maureen K. Nahwera, National Programme Officer, SIDA, Kampala
Carl Fredrik, First Secretary and Conflict Adviser, Embassy of Sweden, Kampala
Walter Ehmeir, Counsellor, Head of Office, Austrian Embassy / Development Cooperation, Kampala
Christine A. Jantscher, Deputy Head of Office and Programme Officer for Governance, Austrian Embassy / Development Cooperation, Kampala
Sayson Rosette Meya, Operations Officer, Human Rights & Gender, Delegation of the European Commission to the Republic of Uganda
Uwe Bergmeier, Programme Officer Governance and Civil Society, Delegation of the European Commission to the Republic of Uganda
Tehri Lehtinen, Head of Section, Governance, Delegation of the European Commission to the Republic of Uganda
Marren Akatsa-Bukachi, Executive Director, The Eastern Africa Sub-regional Support Initiative for advancement of Women (EASSI)
Beverly Nambozo-Sengiyunva, Programme Officer Communication and Networking, The Eastern Africa Sub-regional Support Initiative for advancement of Women (EASSI)
Helen Alyek, Lira Rural Women and Children Development Initiative
Jolly B. Kyomugasho Mugisha, Secretariat of Uganda Women’s Peace Coalition and Coordinator, Uganda Women’s Network
Ruth Ojiambo Ochieng, Executive Director, ISIS Women’s Cross Cultural Exchange
Jessica Nkuuhe, Consultant and Advisor on Gender, Kampala
Martha Ibeno, Terrewobe, Soroti District, Uganda
Joyce Nima, Uganda Joint Christian Council
Rose, Othieno, Cecore, Center for Conflict Resolution, Uganda
John Fischer, Programme Assistant and Trainer, Center for Conflict Resolution, Uganda
Jebbeh Forster, Gender Adviser to the Office of the UN Special Envoy to the Areas Affected by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), Uganda
Stella Mystica Sabiiti – Consultant, Peace and Security Department, African Union Commission
Jeanne Flora Kayitesi – Programme Officer, Women’s Rights, Women, Gender and Development Directorate, African Union Commission
El Gassim Wane – Head of Peace and Security Department, Peace and Security Directorate, African Union Commission
Gaby Hagmuller – AU and Regional Advisor, Delegation of the European Commission to Ethiopia
Brenda Candries – AU and Regional Advisor, Delegation of the European Commission to Ethiopia
Atsede Zeria – Head of Office / Programme Coordinator – UNIFEM, Addis Ababa
Florence Butegwa – Representative to the African Union – UNIFEM, Addis Ababa
Souad Abdennebi-Abderrahim, Regional Advisor for the Promotion of Women’s Human and Legal Rights, African Center for Gender & Social Development, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
Kenneth Mpyisi, Director of Bureau, Institute for Security Studies, Ethiopia
Lydia Wambugu, Consultant, Direct Conflict Prevention, Institute for Security Studies, Ethiopia
Telephone Interviews Outside of Brussels
Marguerite Garling, Technical Advisor, Protection and Rule of Law, International Rescue Committee (IRC) London
Natalia Zkharova, Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women / United Nations Department of Social and Economic Affairs, UN Secretariat, New York
Sara Lhådö, Communication officer, Kvinna till Kvinna
Rachel Wareham, Care – Austria* (questionnaire submitted in a personal capacity)
Marguerite Carling, Protection/Rule of Law Adviser, IRC London International Rescue Committee
Dale Buscher, Director, Protection Program, Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children
Shura Dumanic, Coordinator of Women's Action of Rijeka
Karin Heisecke, UNFPA
Jane Warburton, Director, Child and Youth Protection and Development Unit, International Rescue Committee
Angelika Kartusch, Programme Officer, UNIFEM Brussels Office (collated response from UN agencies)
Susan Purdin, Senior Technical Advisor, Reproductive Health, International Rescue Committee
Maaike van Min, Advocacy Manager, Marie Stopes International/RAISE initiative
Sonja Lokar, Gender Task Force and Regional Gender Centre, Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe
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1 The study, Andrew Sherriff, Enhancing the EU’s Approach to Children Affected by Armed Conflict: With Particular Reference to Development Cooperation, ECDPM Discussion Paper 82, (Maastricht: ECDPM: 2007).
2 The research was finalised in mid March 2008.
3 In Sweden ‘Gender Coaches’ have been used to assist executive level individuals who are unlikely to attend a training.
4 Council of the European Union, General Affairs and External Relations: General Affairs 2760th Council Meeting, 14779/06 (Presse 302), Brussels, 13 November 2006., Which calls for the gender mainstreaming in all areas of CFSP/ESDP.
5 See, Abirafeh, Lina "Engaging Men in Gendered Interventions: Voices from Afghanistan", Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, Vol. 3, No. 3, 2007
6 Brussels Call to Action to Address Sexual Violence in Conflict and Beyond, June 2006.
7 United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Mainstreaming the gender perspective into all policies and programmes in the United Nations system, E/1997/100, Report of the Secretary-General July 1997
8 European Commission, Toolkit on mainstreaming gender equality in EC development cooperation, (Brussels: EuropeAid, 2004), p. 13 from Regulation (EC) No.806/2004 on promoting gender equality in development cooperation.
9 For a fuller discussion around the definition of women’s empowerment see, http://www.bridge.ids.ac.uk/reports/bb14women_empowerment.pdf
10 European Commission, Toolkit on mainstreaming gender equality in EC development cooperation, (Brussels: EuropeAid, 2004), section 3 p. 4.
11 International Alert and Saferworld, Preventing violent conflict: Opportunities for the Swedish and Belgium Presidencies of the European Union in 2001, (London: International Alert and Saferworld, 2000) and EPLO, International Alert and Saferworld, Acting on commitments: How EU Strategies and programming can better prevent violent conflict, (Brussels and London: EPLO, International Alert and Saferworld, 2007). Available http:// www.eplo.org/documents/IA-SW-EPLO-final3.pdf
12 It has to be noted that Canada and Norway who are not EU members are also frequently mentioned as amongst the very best countries in terms of political support and resourcing specific measures on women, peace and security.
13 For more information see http://www.un.org/womenwatch/ianwge/taskforces/wps/implementation_review_20082009.html
14 See http://www.gendermatters.eu/
15 The EU institutions and several member-states have committed themselves to the importance of conflict sensitivity within a number of policy documents. For information on how to operationalise conflict sensitivity see http://www.conflictsensivity.org/. For specific information from the NGO sector on the EU taking forward a conflict sensitive approach see: EPLO, International Alert and Saferworld, Acting on commitments: How EU strategies and programming can better prevent violent conflict, (London & Brussels: EPLO, 2007).
16 Council of the European Union, 2831st General Affairs and External Relations External Relations 15240/07, Brussels, 19-20 November 2007, p. 36 & 45., and The Africa-EU Strategic Partnership – A Joint Africa-EU Strategy . p. 6 and 30. Available: http://www.eu2007.pt/NR/rdonlyres/D449546C-BF42-4CB3-B566-407591845C43/0/071206jsapenlogos_formatado.pdf; and Austrian Development Cooperation, Peacebuilding and conflict prevention – policy document, Vienna: 2006; Department of International Development (DFID), Preventing Violent Conflict, London: 2007; German Federal Government Action Plan. Civilian Crisis Prevention, Conflict Resolution and Post-Conflict Peace-Building, Bonn, 2004; Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), Promoting Peace and Security Through Development Cooperation, Stockholm, 2003.
17 Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, Mainstreaming Gender in Conflict Analysis: Issues and Recommendations, Social Development Papers – World Bank, Conflict Prevention and Recovery, Paper No. 33 / February 2006., p. [i.].
18 See http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/beijing/platform/violence.htm and http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/beijing/platform/armed.htm.
20 A recent UNIFEM publication provides useful discussion of the Beijing Platform for Action, the MDGs and CEDAW as three of the most important frameworks for addressing issues of WAC at the international level. UNSCR 1325 can also be added to this list. See http://www.unifem.org/attachments/products/385_PathwayToGenderEquality_screen.pdf
21 Womankind Worldwide, Tackling Violence against Women: A worldwide approach, (London: Womankind, 2007). P.7. http://www.womankind.org.uk/upload/TacklingViolence.pdf
22 OECD-DAC, Paris Declaration Commitments and Implications for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, Paper for consideration by The OECD-DAC Network on Gender Equality & the OECD-DAC Working Party on Aid Effectiveness July 6th and 7th 2006, DCD/DAC/GEN(2006)1 (Paris, OECD, 2006) Available: http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/19/23/37320838.pdf
23 See Gumbonzvanda, Nyaradzai, Financing Gender Equality in Fragile States, World YWCA, United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, February 26, 2008
24 For more details see http://www.gendermatters.eu/
25 European Commission, EDF10 sectoral breakdown, European Commission DG-DEV, [Brussels].
26 OECD-DAC, The DAC Guidelines: Helping Prevent Violent Conflict, (Paris: OECD, 2001). http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/15/54/1886146.pdf, p. 25.
27 OECD-DAC, The OECD Handbook for Security System Reform: Supporting Security and Justice, (Paris: OECD, 2006). http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/43/25/38406485.pdf. The Centre for Democratic Control of the Armed Forces (DCAF) along with the OSCE and UN-INSTRAW has recently published a comprehensive toolkit on gender and SSR. This includes more detailed information on the link between gender and SSR and chapters on nine thematic areas, gender training, and integrating gender into monitoring and evaluation mechanisms. http://www.dcaf.ch/gender-security-sector-reform/gssr-toolkit.cfm?navsub1=37&navsub2=3&nav1=3. These two resources together provide a valuable source of learning and recommendations on how to better integrated gender into all aspects of SSR processes.
28 Hunt Alternatives Fund, Initiative for Inclusive Security – Toolkit Updated Edition, December, (Hunt Alternatives Fund [Boston]: 2007), p. IV.
29 Sierra Leone submitted their first report in May 2007.
30 This brief review of UNSCR 1325 is drawn from Gender and Peacebuilding Working Group of the Canadian Peacebuilding Coordinating Committee, Understanding UNSCR 1325 - Factsheet, Ottawa [n.d.].
31 This framework was developed by the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, see: http://www.peacewomen.org/un/ngo/wg.html
32 See http://www.un.org/womenwatch/ianwge/taskforces/wps/actionplan20082009/1325entitysummary.html
33 For G8 commitment see http://www.ec.europa.eu/external_relations/g7_g8/genoa/att_2.htm
34 Over the last two years 17 African countries have reported on the implementation of the Solemn Declaration
35 See for example: Rehn, Elisabeth and Johnson Sirleaf, Ellen. 2002. Women, War and Peace: The Independent Expert’s Assessment on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Women and Women’s Role in Peacebuilding, New York: United Nations Development Fund for Women; Bouta, Tsjeard, and Georg Frerks, Women’s Roles in Conflict Prevention, Conflict Resolution and Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Literature Review and Institutional Analysis, (The Hague: Netherlands Institute for International Relations, 2002); Anderlini, Sanam Naraghi. 2007. Women Building Peace: What they do, Why it matters, Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers; International Alert and Women Waging Peace. 2004. Inclusive Security, Sustainable Peace: A Toolkit for Advocacy and Action, London: International Alert and Women Waging Peace; Marie Vlachovà and Lea Biason (eds) Women in an Insecure World: Violence against Women Facts, Figures and Analysis, (Geneva: DCAF, 2005). Donna Pankhurst, Gendered Peace: Women's Struggles for Post-War Justice and Reconciliation, (London: Routledge, 2007).
36 Donna Pankhurst, The ‘sex war’ and other wars: towards a feminist approach to peace building. In Afshar & D. Eade (ed.) Development, women and war, (Oxford: Oxfam GB, 2004), quoted in ISIS-Women’s International Cross-Cultural Exchange, Women on the Move: Engendering Peace Building in Uganda, (Kampala: ISIS-WICCE, December 2005). p. 8.
37 This reality has been noted before by others, see, Bouta, Tsjeard, and Georg Frerks, Women’s Roles in Conflict Prevention, Conflict Resolution and Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Literature Review and Institutional Analysis, (The Hague: Netherlands Institute for International Relations, 2002), p. 29.
38 IANSA, Oxfam, & Saferworld, Africa’s missing billions International arms flows and the cost of conflict, 107 Briefing Paper, London, 2007. Available: http://www.oxfam.org/en/files/bp107_africas_missing_billions_0710.pdf
39 Stephanie Holmes, “Gang rape spirals in violent Kenya”, BBC News, 23 January 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7204680.stm
40 Commission of the European Communities, Communication from the Commission on Conflict Prevention, COM(2001) 211 Final, Brussels., p. 31.
41 Hunt Alternatives Fund, Initiative for Inclusive Security – Toolkit Updated Edition, December, (Hunt Alternatives Fund [Boston]: 2007), p. V.
42 Hunt Alternatives Fund, Initiative for Inclusive Security – Toolkit Updated Edition, December, (Hunt Alternatives Fund [Boston]: 2007), p. V.
43 Jolynn Shoemaker with Camille Pampell Conaway. 2005. Conflict Prevention and Transformation: Women’s Vital Contributions. Washington, DC: Initiative for Inclusive Security and United Nations Foundation, p. 16.
44 Dyan Mazurana and Khristopher Carlson. 2004. From Combat to Community: Women and Girls of Sierra Leone. Washington, DC: Hunt Alternatives Fund.
45 Anderlini, Sanam Naraghi. 2007. Women Building Peace: What they do, Why it matters, Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, p.29.
46 Susanne Schmeidl with Eugenia Piza-Lopez (2002) Gender and Conflict Early Warning: A Framework for Action. International Alert: London. Available at: http://www.international-alert.org/women/publications/EWGEN.PDF
47 Anderlini, Sanam Naraghi. 2007. Women Building Peace: What they do, Why it matters, Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, p. 42.
48 Steinberg, Donald, “Failing to Empower Women Peacebuilders: A Cautionary Tale from Angola", PeaceWomen E-News, 25 April 2007.
49 UNIFEM. 2005 Securing the peace: Guiding the international community towards women’s effective participation throughout peace processes. New York: UNIFEM, p. 1-3.
50 Ibid, p. 6-7.
51 For a discussion of human security and the EU see, Human Security Study Group, A European Way of Security - The Madrid Report of the Human Security Study Group comprising a Proposal and Background Report, Madrid, November 2007.
52 For a critique of the responsibility to protect framework from a gender perspective see, Jennifer Bond and Laurel Sherret. 2006. A Sight for Sore Eyes: Bringing Gender Vision to the Responsibility to Protect Framework. INSTRAW: Santo Domingo.
53 Rehn, Elisabeth and Johnson Sirleaf, Ellen. 2002. Women, War and Peace: The Independent Expert’s Assessment on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Women and Women’s Role in Peacebuilding, New York: United Nations Development Fund for Women, p. 15.
54 Jacobson, Agneta Soderberg. 2005. Security on whose terms? If men and women were equal, Kvinna Till Kvinna, Halmstad: Bull Trycheri, p. 11.
55 International Alert and Women Waging Peace. 2004. Inclusive Security, Sustainable Peace: A Toolkit for Advocacy and Action, Section 5: Protecting Vulnerable Groups, London: International Alert and Women Waging Peace, p. 21.
56 Amnesty International, Sierra Leone: Getting reparations right for survivors of sexual violence, Amnesty International 1 November 2007
57 Rehn, Elisabeth and Johnson Sirleaf, Ellen. 2002. Women, War and Peace: The Independent Expert’s Assessment on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Women and Women’s Role in Peacebuilding, New York: United Nations Development Fund for Women, p. 9.
58 UNIFEM. 2004. Getting it Right, Doing it Right: Gender and Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration. New York: UNIFEM, p. 2.
59 International Crisis Group, Beyond Victimhood: Women’s Peacebuilding in Sudan, Congo and Uganda, Africa Report No 112 – 28th of June 2006.
60 See Dyan Mazurana and Khristopher Carlson .2004. From Combat to Community: Women and Girls of Sierra Leone. Washington, DC: Hunt Alternatives Fund and Karen Barnes .2005. Mi Hart don Col: An evaluation of the Girls Left Behind Project. Freetown: UNICEF-Sierra Leone.
61 Hunt Alternatives Fund, Initiative for Inclusive Security – Toolkit Updated Edition, December, (Hunt Alternatives Fund [Boston]: 2007), p. X.
62 Figures from the Amnesty Commission of Uganda – research conducted in relation to this study February 2008.
63 For the gender and women sections of the UN Integrated DDR Standards see, http://www.unddr.org/tools & The Netherlands, Towards a Dutch policy on gender, disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration, [The Hague], 2006.
64 United Nations Conference to Review Progress made in the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects, Guidelines for gender mainstreaming for the effective implementation of the UN programme of action to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects, A/CONF.192/2006/RC/CRP.3, New York, 26 June-7 July 2006. p.5.
65 Kennedy Mkutu, Armed Pastoralist Conflict and Peace Building in Karamoja – The Role of Gender, (Kampala: SNV – Netherlands Development Organisation, 2007).
66 Kennedy Mkutu, Armed Pastoralist Conflict and Peace Building in Karamoja – The Role of Gender, (Kampala: SNV – Netherlands Development Organisation, 2007).
67 Nicola Johnston and William Godnick with Charlotte Watson and Michael von Tangen Page, Putting a Human Face to the Problem of Small Arms Proliferation Gender Implications for the Effective Implementation of the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects, (London: International Alert, 2005).
68 Anderlini, Sanam Naraghi. 2007. Women Building Peace: What they do, Why it matters, Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, p. 107.
69 Yakin Ertürk, Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Council on violence against women,” UN expert on violence against women expresses serious concerns following visit to Democratic Republic of Congo, [New York], 16-27 July 2007. http://www.peacewomen.org/resources/Human_Rights/UN%20concern%20on%20VAG.pdf
70 GenderForce Sweden. 2007. Good and Bad Examples: Lessons learned from working with United Nations Resolution 1325 in international missions, Uppsala: Trycksaksmaklaren.
71 Hunt Alternatives Fund, Initiative for Inclusive Security – Toolkit Updated Edition, December, (Hunt Alternatives Fund [Boston]: 2007), p. XI.
72 Rehn, Elisabeth and Johnson Sirleaf, Ellen. 2002. Women, War and Peace: The Independent Expert’s Assessment on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Women and Women’s Role in Peacebuilding, New York: United Nations Development Fund for Women, p. 13.
73 See, UNICEF, UNOHCHR, OSCE-ODIHR, 2005. Trafficking in Human Beings in Southeastern Europe, 2004 - Focus on Prevention in: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro, including the UN Administered Province of Kosovo, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Romania.
74 Women for Women International, Ending Violence Against Women in Eastern Congo: Preparing Men to Advocate for Women’s Rights, (London and Washington DC: Women for Women International, 2007).
75 Bastick, Megan and Valasek, Kristin, eds. 2008. Gender and Security Sector Reform Toolkit. DCAF, OSCE/ODIHR, UN-INSTRAW. http://www.dcaf.ch/gender-security-sector-reform/gssr-toolkit.cfm?navsub1=37&navsub2=3&nav1=3
76 Jacobson, Agneta Soderberg. 2005. Security on whose terms? If men and women were equal, Kvinna Till Kvinna, Halmstad: Bull Trycheri, p. 37.
77 Council of the European Union, “Transitional Justice and ESDP”, Committee for Civilian Aspects of Crisis Management, Brussels, 10674/06, DG E1, 19th June 2006.
78 Nesiah, Vasuki, Truth Commissions and Gender: Principles, Policies and Procedures – Gender Justice Series, (New York: International Center for Transitional Justice, 2006), p. 5.
79 The Council of the European Union, Council Conclusions on a EU response to situations of fragility, 2831st External Relations Council meeting Brussels, 19-20 November 2007.
80 For an exception see, Stephen Baranyi and Kristiana Powell, Bringing Gender Back into Canada’s Engagement in Fragile States: Options for CIDA in a Whole-of-Government Approach, August, (Ottawa: North-South Institute, 2005). And Stephen Baranyi and Kristiana Powell, Fragile States, Gender Equality and Aid Effectiveness: A Review of Donor Perspectives, The North-South Institute, Ottawa, Canada, 11th August 2005
81 International Alert and Women Waging Peace. 2004. Inclusive Security, Sustainable Peace: A Toolkit for Advocacy and Action, Section 5: Protecting Vulnerable Groups, London: International Alert and Women Waging Peace, p. 21.
82 Jacobson, Agneta Soderberg. 2005. Security on whose terms? If men and women were equal, Kvinna Till Kvinna, Halmstad: Bull Trycheri, p 41.
83 International Alert and Women Waging Peace. 2004. Inclusive Security, Sustainable Peace: A Toolkit for Advocacy and Action, Section 5: Protecting Vulnerable Groups, London: International Alert and Women Waging Peace, p. 21.
84 International Alert and Women Waging Peace. 2004. Inclusive Security, Sustainable Peace: A Toolkit for Advocacy and Action, Section 5: Protecting Vulnerable Groups, London: International Alert and Women Waging Peace, p. 21.
85 UNHCR, Reproductive Health Services for Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons: Report of an Inter-agency Global Evaluation November 2004.
86 Rehn, Elisabeth and Johnson Sirleaf, Ellen. 2002. Women, War and Peace: The Independent Expert’s Assessment on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Women and Women’s Role in Peacebuilding, New York: United Nations Development Fund for Women., p. 15.
87 International Alert and Women Waging Peace. 2004. Inclusive Security, Sustainable Peace: A Toolkit for Advocacy and Action, Section 5: Protecting Vulnerable Groups, London: International Alert and Women Waging Peace, p. 23.
88 Vinck Patrick et al., “Exposure to War Crimes and Implications for Peace Building in Northern Uganda”, Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 298 No. 5, August 1, 2007.
89 This point was strongly articulated during the field visit to Uganda during February 2008 in relation to this study (see Appendix 1 for details of individuals and organisations consulted).
90 ISIS WICCE, Ministry of Health, Medica Mondiale, Management of Medical and Psychological Effects of War Trauma – Training Manual for Operational Level Health Workers, March ([Kampala]: ISIS WICCE, Ministry of Health, Medica Mondiale, 2006). For more information on ISIS WICCE see, http://www.isis.or.ug/
91 European Parliament resolution on the situation of women in armed conflicts and their role in the reconstruction and democratic process in post-conflict countries, Brussels, (2005/15(INI))
92 Paul Collier and Anke Hoeffler, The Challenge of Reducing the Global Incidence of Civil War, Summary of the Copenhagen Consensus Challenge Paper, Centre for the Study of African Economies, Oxford University, 23rd of April 2004. p. 1.
93 Paul Collier, VL Elliott, Håvard Hegre, Anke Hoeffler, Marte Reynal-Querol and Nicholas Sambanis, Breaking the Conflict Trap: Civil War and Development Policy (Washington, DC, World Bank & Oxford University Press, 2003). Also quoted in, Dan Smith, Towards a Strategic Framework for Peacebuilding: Getting Their Act Together Overview report of the Joint Utstein Study of Peacebuilding, Evaluation Report 1/2004, (Oslo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2004).
94 See, http://www.africa-union.org/root/AU/AUC/Departments/PSC/PCRD/PCRD%20Main%20Web%20Source/index.html there is a question of how this will actually be implemented at the country level.
95 Bouta, Tsjeard, and Georg Frerks, Women’s Roles in Conflict Prevention, Conflict Resolution and Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Literature Review and Institutional Analysis, (The Hague: Netherlands Institute for International Relations, 2002), p. 36.
96 International Alert and Women Waging Peace. 2004. Inclusive Security, Sustainable Peace: A Toolkit for Advocacy and Action, Section 5: Protecting Vulnerable Groups, London: International Alert and Women Waging Peace, p. 22.
97 Elizabeth Stities, Sue Lautze, Dyan Mazurana, Alma Anic, Coping with War, Coping with Peace: Livelihood Adaptation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1989-2004, Overseas Development Institute, April 2005, p.9.
98 Council of the European Union, 2007. 2831st Meeting of General Affairs and External Relations Council 15240/07, Brussels , 19th – 20th November, p. 42.
99 Treaty on European Union, Official Journal C 191, 29 July 1992.
100 OECD-DAC, Development Assistance Committee Peer Review of the European Community, (Paris: OECD, 2007), p. 12. See http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/57/6/38965119.pdf
101 Commission of the European Communities, Annual Report 2007 on the European Community’s Development Policy and the Implementation of External Assistance in 2006, Brussels, 21.6.2007, COM(2007) 349 final.
102 Although many are sceptical if this target will be met, see, CONCORD, Hold the Applause: EU Governments Risk Breaking Aid Promises, (Brussels, Concord, 2007).
103 Petersberg Communiqué on European Development Policy, Bonn: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, May 2007. It was issued by the representatives of the Member States of the European Union and of the European Commission on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the EU, and sets out the objectives, values and principles of EU development policy.
104 Council of the European Union, Joint Statement by the Council and the representatives of the Governments of the Member States meeting within the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission on European Union Development Policy: "The European Consensus" 14820/05, 22 November 2005, p. 6.
105 Ibid, p. 9
106 Ibid, p. 9.
107 Ibid, p. 27.
108 Commission and Council, EU Concept for support to Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) Brussels: Approved by the European Commission on 14 December 2006 and by the Council of the European Union on 11 December 2006. Available: http://ec.europa.eu/external_relations/human_rights/child/concept_ddr_1206.pdf
109 For discussions of this process see http://ec.europa.eu/echo/whatsnew/questionnaire_en.htm
110 European Commission Report for the Commission,Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid - (ECHO) Annual Report 2006 [SEC(2007)] Brussels.
111 Joint Statement by the Council and the Representatives of the Governments of the Member; States meeting within the Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission – The European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid, Brussels http://ec.europa.eu/echo/pdf_files/consensus/consensus_en.pdf
112 Ibid, Section 2.5
113 Section 39.
114 Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, Three-Year Programme on Austrian Development Policy 2006-2008, Revised version 2006, [Vienna] 2006. p. 15.
115 Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Development Policy Programme 2007: Towards a sustainable and just world community, [Helsinki] 2008. p. 15.
116 Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs –Danida. 2007. Denmark in Africa: A Continent on its Way, Strategy for Africa for the period 2007-2011, Copenhagen
117 SIDA, Annual Report 2006, May (Stockholm: SIDA, 2007), p. 91.
118 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Our Common Concern - Investing in development in a changing world, - Policy letter to the House of Representatives [New Dutch Aid Policy], ([The Hague]: Minbuza, 2007)., p. 27 – 29.
119 Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, The German Government’s 12th Development Policy Report, (Bonn: Division of Development Education and Information) p p. 19 & p. 74.
120 DFID, DFID Annual Report 2007: Development on the Record, (London: DFID, 2008), p. 157, and p. 161.
121 Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation/Directorate-General for Development Cooperation, DGDC Annual Report 2006 [Brussels] July 2007. p. 7.
122 Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Development Policy Programme 2007: Towards a sustainable and just world community, [Helsinki] 2008. p. 14.
123 OECD, Development Cooperation Review Greece [Paris] 2002, p. 37
124 Directorate General for Development Cooperation, Forward Planning and Policy Paper on Development Cooperation activities in 2007, [Rome] 2007, p. 1
125 Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation 2005-2008, [Madrid] 2005, p. 5.
126 Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation 2005-2008, [Madrid] 2005, p. 30.
127 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Development Cooperation Programme of the Czech Republic and Serbia and Montenegro for the 2006-2010 Period, [Prague] 2006, p. 18.
128 Goerens, Charles (Minister of Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid), Declaration on Luxembourg’s Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid Policy, [Luxembourg] February 2004.
129 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Overseas Development Policy, [Valletta], October, 2007, p. 18
130 Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Danida, A World of Difference: The Government’s Vision for New Priorities in Danish Development Assistance 2004-2008, [Copenhagen], June 2003.
131 Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Danida, A World of Difference: The Government’s Vision for New Priorities in Danish Development Assistance 2004-2008, [Copenhagen], June 2003, p. 7.
132 SIDA, Annual Report 2006, May (Stockholm: SIDA, 2007),
133 Irish Aid Department of Foreign Affairs. Irish Aid Annual Report: 2006. [Dublin] August 2007
134 Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, The German Government’s 12th Development Policy Report, (Bonn: Division of Development Education and Information) p p. IX
135 DFID, DFID Annual Report 2007: Development on the Record, (London: DFID, 2008)
136 Council of the European Union, General Affairs and External Relations: General Affairs 2760th Council Meeting, 14779/06 (Presse 302), Brussels, 13 November 2006., p.
137 European Union, Secure Europe in a Better World, Brussels, 12 December 2003, available http://www.consilium.europa.eu/cms3_fo/showPage.ASP?id=266&lang=DA&mode=g
138 See http://www.eu2001.se/static/eng/pdf/violent.PDF
139 For an overview of ESDP and gender see, Gya, Giji “The importance of Gender in ESDP”, European Security Review 34, 2007 pp. 1-8 and a wider range of security and gender related documents also see, Gya, Giji, UN/EU/OSCE/NATO Gender, peace and security documents, ISIS-Europe, March 2008.
140 See http://consilium.europa.eu/cms3_fo/showPage.asp?id=261&lang=en
141 Secretariat General of the Council, New Civilian Headline Goal 2010 – I/A Item Note, 14823/07, Brussels, 5th November 2007., p. 2. For specific guidance on how security sector reform can improve women’s security and for gender mainstreaming in SSR and women’s empowerment see, Bastick, Megan & Valasek, Kristin (eds). Gender & Security Sector Reform Toolkit, Geneva: DCAF, OSCE/ODIHR, UN-INSTRAW. 2008.
142 Council Secretariat, Implementation of UNSCR 1325 in the context of ESDP, 11932/2/05 , Rev 2, Brussels, 29 September 2005.
143 Council of the European Union, General Affairs and External Relations: General Affairs 2760th Council Meeting, 14779/06 (Presse 302), Brussels, 13 November 2006., p.
144 Valenius, Johanna, Gender mainstreaming in ESDPs. Chaillot paper no. 101, EU-ISS, May 2007.
145 Information primarily drawn from interviews and: EU Operation Headquarters, Final Report on Gender Work inside EUFOR RD Congo, Potsdam, 15th December 2006.
147 Secretariat General of the Council, New Civilian Headline Goal 2010 – I/A Item Note, 14823/07, Brussels, 5th November 2007., p. 5.
148 See, Council of the European Union, Presidency Report on ESDP, Brussels, 18 June 2007, 10910/7
149 For information see http://www.consilium.europa.eu/cms3_fo/showPage.asp?id=849&lang=EN&mode=g
150 UK, the Netherlands and Norway, assessed the implementation of UNSCR 1325 in the peace keeping missions in Liberia Sierra Leone, DRC and Kosovo
151 To access the full text of these documents in a number of languages see http://www.consilium.europa.eu/cms3_fo/showPage.asp?id=944&lang=EN&mode=g
152 Available from http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cmsUpload/GuidelinesChildren.pdf
153 See, ICCO, The EU & UNSCR 1325 point 8 Brussels, Women: from target group to stakeholders in peace and security, Conference Report, 6-7 November 2007, p. 7.
154 See http://www.ecdpm.org/dp82
155 Partnership Agreement between members of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States of the one part, and the European Community and its member states, of the other part, signed in Cotonou, 2000. http://ec.europa.eu/development/icenter/repository/agr01_en.pdf
156 Partnership Agreement between members of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States of the one part, and the European Community and its member states, of the other part, signed in Cotonou, 2000.
157 European Commission. 2007, Annual Report 2007 on the European Community’s Development Policy and the implementation of External Assistance in 2006. Brussels: European Commission.
158 OECD DAC – Creditor Reporting System, “European Commission: Aid in Support of Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment 2004-2005”, [Paris], see http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/1/50/37460942.pdf
159 OECD-DAC, Development Assistance Committee Peer Review of the European Community, (Paris: OECD, 2007), p. 15. http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/57/6/38965119.pdf
160 From field research in Uganda, February 2008.
161 European Commission. 2007, Annual Report 2007 on the European Community’s Development Policy and the implementation of External Assistance in 2006. Brussels: European Commission., p. 74 and 90.
162 All figures in this section from European Commission, EDF 10 sectoral breakdown, DEV-C/1, 7/06/2007, [Brussels], available: http://ec.europa.eu/development/geographical/maps/domaines_de_concentration.pdf
163 Original data from, European Commission – EuropeAid, Statistics Activities Funded Under EIDHR 2000 – 2006, [Brussels], available: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/where/worldwide/eidhr/documents/eidhr_statistics_en.pdf
164 European Commission – EuropeAid Co-operation Office, “Minutes of EIDHR meeting with Civil Society Organisations, 4th March 2008, AIDCO F2/EB D(2008), Brussels. p. 2.
165 European Commission – EuropeAid Co-operation Office, “Minutes of EIDHR meeting with Civil Society Organisations, 4th March 2008, AIDCO F2/EB D(2008), Brussels.
166 European Commission, Proposal for allocation of funding under thematic programme "Investing in people" 2007-2013, [Brussels] http://ec.europa.eu/development/icenter/repository/how_we_do_strategy_annexes_en.pdf
167 European Commission, Proposal for allocation of funding under thematic programme "Investing in people" 2007-2013, [Brussels] http://ec.europa.eu/development/icenter/repository/how_we_do_strategy_annexes_en.pdf
168 United Nations General Assembly, Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict – Item 68 (a) on the provisional agenda – Promotion and protection of the rights of children, 13 August 2007, A/62/228. Available: http://www.un.org/children/conflict/_documents/machel/MachelReviewReport.pdf
169 European Commission, Proposal for allocation of funding under thematic programme "Investing in people" 2007-2013, [Brussels] , p.11 http://ec.europa.eu/development/icenter/repository/how_we_do_strategy_annexes_en.pdf
170 European Commission, The Instrument for Stability Strategy Paper, 2007 – 2011, Brussels, http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/where/worldwide/stability-instrument/documents/ifs_strategy_2007-2011_en.pdf
171 European Commission, Instrument for Stability] Indicative Programme covering the two year period 2007-2008, Brussels, p. 21. http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/where/worldwide/stability-instrument/documents/ifs_indicative_programme_2007-2008_en.pdf
172 To view more about the Initiative for Peacebuilding see http://www.initiativeforpeacebuilding.eu
173 Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, Three-Year Programme on Austrian Development Policy 2006-2008, Revised version 2006, [Vienna] 2006. p. 37
174 Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, Three-Year Programme on Austrian Development Policy 2006-2008, Revised version 2006, [Vienna] 2006. p. 38
175 Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, Three-Year Programme on Austrian Development Policy 2006-2008, Revised version 2006, [Vienna] 06. p. 71
176 Agence Française de Développement, Annual Report 2006, [Paris] June 2007. p. 29.
177 Hellenic Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hellenic Aid Action Plan for Coordination and Harmonization [Athens] November 2004, p. 5.
178 OECD, Development Cooperation Review Greece [Paris] 2002, p. 45
179 Irish Aid Department of Foreign Affairs. Irish Aid Annual Report: 2006. [Dublin] August 2007. p. 73.
180 Irish Aid Department of Foreign Affairs. Irish Aid Annual Report: 2006. [Dublin] August 2007
181 Ministry of Foreign Affairs Development Co-operation Department, Annual Report 2006 [Warsaw] August 2007. p. 61.
182 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, International Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Assistance of Slovenia 2002-2004 [Ljubljana] December 2005, p. 13
183 SIDA, Annual Report 2006, May (Stockholm: SIDA, 2007),, p 93.
184 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Our Common Concern - Investing in development in a changing world, - Policy letter to the House of Representatives, ([The Hague]: Minbuza, 2007)., p. 28.
185 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Our Common Concern - Investing in development in a changing world, - Policy letter to the House of Representatives, ([The Hague]: Minbuza, 2007)., p.29.
186 For example DFID conflict policy has a section on women and armed conflict see, DFID, Preventing Violent Conflict, (London: DFID, 2007).
187 Ekiyor, Thelma., & L. Muthoni Wanyeki, National Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women Peace and Security in Africa – Needs Assessment Report, Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI) & Economic Commission for Africa, United Nations, February 2008.
188 For full details of The Afghanistan Compact see, The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the international community, Building on Success: The London Conference on Afghanistan: The Afghanistan Compact, [London], 31st of January – 1st of February 2006.
189 European Parliament, Resolution on participation of women in peaceful conflict resolution (2000/2025(INI)), Brussels, 30 November 2000.
190 European Parliament, Resolution on women in armed conflicts and their role in post-conflict reconstruction, (2005/2215(INI)), Brussels, 1 June 2006.
191 Anna Gomes MEP, Gender Mainstreaming Action Plan, Sub Committee on Security and Defence, European Parliament, Brussels.
192 For more information on the Initiative for Peacebuilding see, http://www.initiativeforpeacebuilding.eu
193 See, http://www.frauensicherheitsrat.de/data/EU-partnership.pdf
194 See, European Parliament, Resolution on women in international politics, (2006/2057(INI)), Strasbourg, Thursday, 16 November 2006
195 Institutions have different roles within each of these areas, and the European Commission cannot initiate EU wide diplomatic action.
196 Joint Consortium report 2005: 1.
198 See, The Impact of Crises and Conflict on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights The EU is to act! Recommendations for the Slovenian Presidency of the EU, November 2007 http://www.sloga-platform.org/attachments/20071127_Final_Recommendations__2pages.pdf
199 Definition adapted from UNHCR (Guidelines for Prevention and Response: Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Against Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons
200 Amani El-Jack (2003).
201 General Assembly (1994) Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Article 1. http://www.unhchr.ch/huridocda/huridoca.nsf/(Symbol)/A.RES.48.104.En
202 Parts of this section have been adapted from Karen Barnes with Peter Albrecht and Maria Olson (2007) Addressing Gender-Based Violence in Sierra Leone: Mapping Challenges, Responses and Future Entry Points. International Alert. Available at http://www.international-alert.org/publications/313.php.
203 Government of Sierra Leone (2005) Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper: A National Programme for Food Security, Job Creation and Good Governance, 2005-2007. Freetown: Government of Sierra Leone.
204 For an overview of GBV during the war in Sierra Leone see Human Rights Watch (2003) “We’ll kill you if you cry” Sexual violence in the Sierra Leone conflict. New York: Human Rights Watch and Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2005) Witness to Truth: Report of the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Volume 3b. Freetown: Government of Sierra Leone.
205 See, Aid at a Glance – Sierra Leone DAC-OECD, http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/63/27/1878706.gif
206 See IRC Sierra Leone (2008) Rainbo Programme Update. January 2008: Looking back at 2007. IRC.
207 IRC Sierra Leone (2008) Rainbo Programme Update. January 2008: Looking back at 2007. IRC.
208 B. Coghlan, R. Brennan, P. Ngoy, D. Dofara, B. Otto, M. Clements, T. Stewart, “Mortality in the Democratic Republic of Congo: a nationwide survey”, the Lancet, Volume 367, Issue 9504, Pages 44-51.
209 M. Pratt and L. Werchik, Sexual Terrorism: Rape as a Strategy of War in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. An assessment of the programmatic responses to sexual violence in Northern Kivu, South Kivu, Maniema and Orientale Provinces, USAID Assessment Report, 18th March, 2004.
210 Yakin Ertürk, “South Kivu: 4,500 sexual violence cases in the first six months of this year alone” Statement by Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Violence against Women, Kinshasa, 27th June 2007. Available: http://www.monuc.org/news.aspx?newsID=15065
211 International Alert, Women’s Bodies as a Battleground: Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls During the War in the Democratic Republic of Congo, (London: International Alert, 2004). p. 41. Available: http://www.international-alert.org/publications/getdata.php?doctype=Pdf&id=32&docs=56
212 See http://www.gbv.ie/about-the-consortium/
213 Mary Jennings and Sherry McLean (2005) Gender Based Violence Study. Consortium of Irish Human Rights, Humanitarian and Development Agencies and Development Cooperation Ireland. Available at: http://www.siyanda.org/docs/dci_gbv.pdf.
214 The members of the Consortium are: ActionAid Ireland, Amnesty International Ireland, ChildFund Ireland, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Department of Defence, DTalk, Goal, Irish Aid, Irish Red Cross, Oxfam Ireland, Self Help Development International, Trócaire, and World Vision Ireland.
215 See http://www.gbv.ie/about-the-consortium/.
216 Joint Consortium on Gender-based Violence (2005) Gender-based violence: A failure to protect, A challenge to action. Available at: http://www.gbv.ie/2005/11/30/gender-based-violence-a-failure-to-protect-a-challenge-to-action/
218 Joint Consortium on Gender-based Violence (2007) Gender Based Violence - Ireland Responding. A guidance note on institutionalising gender based violence prevention and response within organisations. Available at: http://www.gbv.ie/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/a-guidance-note-on-institutionalising-gbv-prevention-and-response-within-organisations.pdf
219 Karen Barnes with Peter Albrecht and Maria Olson (2007) Addressing Gender-Based Violence in Sierra Leone: Mapping Challenges, Responses and Future Entry Points. International Alert. Available at: http://www.international-alert.org/publications/313.php.
220 For more information on the Kosovo Women’s Network see: http://www.womensnetwork.org/
221 Kosova Women’s Network, Monitoring Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 in Kosovo, (Kosova Women’s Network: Prishtina, Kosovo, 2007)
222 For an overview of the key ways in which gender issues and women’s participation could be integrated into the work of the PBC see NGO Working Group. 2007. UNSCR 1325 and the Peacebuilding Commission. New York: NGOWG. Available at: www.womenpeacesecurity.org
223 Statement by Goretti Ndacayisaba delivered at a high-level roundtable on integrating gender into the work of the UN Peacebuilding Commission, June 2007. For a summary report of the panel, see International Alert and NGOWG (2007) Enhancing Security and the Rule of Law: How can gender be better integrated into the priorities of the UN Peacebuilding Commission. Available at: http://www.womenpeacesecurity.org/media/pdf-Enhancing_Security_and_the_Rule_of_Law_June%202007.pdf
224 This was compiled from interviews with Jebbeh Forster, Gender Adviser to the Office of the UN Special Envoy to the Areas Affected by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), Uganda and Jolly B. Kyomugasho Mugisha, Secretariat of Uganda Women’s Coalition for Peace and Coordinator, Uganda Women’s Network in February 2008. Additional information came from the documents prepared to accompany the peace process from the Uganda Women’s Coalition for Peace.
225 Uganda Women’s Coalition for Peace, Engendering the Implementation Protocols on Agenda Three: Accountability and Reconciliation of the Juba Peace Initiative, (Ntinda: Uganda Women’s Network – UWONET, 2007).
228 UN-INSTRAW (2006) Securing Equality, Engendering Peace: A guide to policy and planning on women, peace and security (UN SCR 1325). Santo Domingo: UN INSTRAW, ii. http://www.un-instraw.org/en/images/stories//1325guide-finalen.pdf
229 UN-INSTRAW (2006): 5.
230 NGO Working Group (2005) From Local to Global: Making Peace Work for Women. New York: NGOWG: 44.
231 For a useful overview of the various different approaches to developing action plans, see UN-INSTRAW (2006).
234 The analysis in this table is based on the publicly available English versions of the National Action Plans. For links to National Action Plans see http://www.peacewomen.org/un/UN1325/whoswho_national.html
235 Gunilla de Vries Lindestam (2005) UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security: Making It Work, Experience in Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom with Recommendations for Sweden’s Implementation. Uppsala: Collegium for Development Studies.
236 NGOWG (2005): 55.
237 INSTRAW (2006): 34-36.
238 Canada has for some time been engaged in the process of developing a National Action Plan, but the process is currently stalled. Countries such as Fiji, Colombia and Israel have also adopted a different approach, instead incorporating some measures related to the implementation of UNSCR 1325 within already existing policy frameworks at the national level.
239 See UN-INSTRAW, “Women act for sustainable peace and gender equality in Africa”. http://www.un-instraw.org/en/media-center/press-releases/women-act-for-sustainable-peace-and-gender-equality-in-a-2.html
240 It was not possible to assess some of the new EC regional strategies under the 10th EDF as these are not publicly available yet.
241 Africa-EU Strategic Partnership – A Joint Africa-EU Strategy http://www.eu2007.pt/NR/rdonlyres/D449546C-BF42-4CB3-B566-407591845C43/0/071206jsapenlogos_formatado.pdf
242 ibid, p. 14
243 ibid, p. 35.
244 Ibid, p. 67.
245 Interview with Jeane Flora Kaytisei, Africa Union Commission, Gender Directorate, February 2007.
246 Africa Union and European Commission, Joint declaration of the African Union Commission and European Commission on the occasion of the Launch of the EU-Africa Partnership on Infrastructure, Addis Ababa, 24 October 2007.
247 European Commission, African Union Commission, Work Plan for EC €55 Support – 2008, Gender, [unpublished mimeo]
248 European Commission, EU Relations with the Pacific Islands – A Strategy for a Strengthened Partnership, Brussels, 29.5.2006, COM(2006) 247 Final. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2006:0248:FIN:EN:PDF
249 See http://ec.europa.eu/external_relations/ceeca/c_asia/
250 European Commission, Région de l’Afrique Centrale Communauté Européenne Document de stratégie de coopération régionale et Programme indicatif regional Pour la période 2002 – 2007, Brussels, available: http://ec.europa.eu/development/how/iqsg/documents_library_en.cfm#csp0
251 West Africa – European Community. Regional Cooperation Strategy Paper and Regional Indicative Programme for the period 2002 – 2007, [Brussels]
252 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Denmark in Africa: A Continent on its Way, Strategy for Africa for the period 2007-2011, ([Copenhagen], August 2007). See pages, 40.
253 Regeringskansliet, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Strategy for Swedish support to the African Great Lakes Region, Including country strategies for Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi, November 2004 - December 2008, [Stockholm] 2004
254 Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development In partnership for a strong Africa, Priorities of German development policy, BMZ Topic 164, January, (Bonn: Development Education and Information Division, 2007) p. 6.
255 See, Department for International Development, Southern Africa Regional Plan [London] February 2006.
256 See, IGAD, Report of Strategic Policy Seminar of Violence Against Women, Intergovernmental Authority on Development, Addis Ababa 14th – 16th of May 2007, and IGAD-UNIFEM, Placing Gender in the Mainstream: IGAD Policy Seminar on Peace Building and Conflict Resolution, Khartoum, 15 – 16 October 2001.
257 IGAD, Report of Strategic Policy Seminar of Violence Against Women, Annex II “IGAD Gender Plan of Action” , Intergovernmental Authority on Development, Addis Ababa 14th – 16th of May 2007, p. 38 – 41.
258 Ekiyor, Thelma., & L. Muthoni Wanyeki, National Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women Peace and Security in Africa – Needs Assessment Report, Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI) & Economic Commission for Africa, United Nations, February 2008, p. 33.
259 For more information on the Stability Pact see, http://www.stabilitypact.org/
260 For more information see, http://www.un-ngls.org/site/article.php3?id_article=255 and http://www.unfpa.org/emergencies/symposium06/ docs/brusselscalltoactionfinal.doc/
261 Benita Ferrero-Waldner; European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy; "Women: Stabilizing an Insecure World" at the International Women's Day Conference, (Brussels: 2008). http://europa-eu-un.org/articles/en/article_7762_en.htm
262 Council of the European Union, Gender equality and gender mainstreaming within crisis management, 14779/06, Brussels, 2760th Council Meeting, 13 November, 2006.
263 Council of the European Union, Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment in Development Cooperation - Conclusions of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States meeting within the Council, 9561/07, Brussels, 15 May 2007. Available at: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/07/st09/st09561.en07.pdf
264 OECD-DAC, Development Assistance Committee Peer Review of the European Community, (Paris: OECD, 2007), p. 16.
265 REGULATION (EC) No 1717/2006 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 15 November 2006 establishing an Instrument for Stability http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/file.jsp?id=5206222
266 REGULATION (EC) No 1889/2006 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 20 December 2006 on establishing a financing instrument for the promotion of democracy and human rights worldwide http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/file.jsp?id=5363482&fromfiche=286&mailer=
267 REGULATION (EC) No 1905/2006 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 18 December 2006 establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/file.jsp?id=5204742&fromfiche=287&mailer=
268 REGULATION (EC) No 1638/2006 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 24 October 2006 laying down general provisions establishing a European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrumenthttp://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/file.jsp?id=5205332
269 REGULATION (EC) No 1085/2006 of 17 July 2006 establishing an Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/site/en/oj/2006/l_210/l_21020060731en00820093.pdf