On October 31, the United Nations Security Council met to discuss women’s role in peace and security. An open debate on the subject was scheduled for Monday, but it was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy. Ambassador Gert Rosenthal of Guatemala read a Security Council Presidential Statement on Women, Peace and Security.
He highlighted the need to implement Security Council Resolutions 1325, 1820, 1888, 1889 and 1960. Resolution 1820 was the first to recognize rape and gender violence as a weapon of war.
Ending the use of rape and gender violence in conflict, and ending impunity for these violations of international law was one of the focus of the statement. The statement strongly condemned these acts and recognized the work of the International Criminal Court, ad hoc tribunals, mixed tribunals and specialized chambers in national courts to end impunity for rape and gender violence, and other human rights violations against women and girls.
The representative also emphasized the need for countries to enhance participation and representation of women in all parts of the peace process and the importance of civil society, including women’s organizations to achieving these goals.
This year marks the 12th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. Resolution 1325 was the first to recognize women’s experience in conflict as a security issue instead of simply a gender issue. It also highlights the need for all actors in conflicts to “take special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse, and all other forms of violence in situations of armed conflict”.
There are four main pillars to the resolution, and the four others that have followed:
• Prevention – ensuring a gender perspective in all conflict prevention initiatives and strategies. (Prevention also – at times – covers the prevention of sexual violence in conflict).
• Protection – protection of women and girls before, during and after armed conflict.
• Participation – participation of women in peace processes, conflict prevention and reconstruction processes.
•Relief and Recovery – ensuring women’s participation in reconstruction initiatives.
October 2012 Monthly Forecast - Thematic Issues: Women, Peace and Security, Security Council Report, 28 September 2012.
About Women, Peace and Security, PeaceWomen.
In Focus: Women’s Role in Peace and Security, UN Women.
Security Council urges wider role for women’s groups in peace efforts, UN News Center, 2 November 2012.
Guatemalan women testify of army's sexual abuse during civil war, International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict, October 11, 2012.