GNWP is actively involved in dialogues with the CEDAW Committee to adopt a CEDAW General Recommendation (GR) on Women in Conflict Prevention, Conflict and Post-conflict Situations. When adopted, the GR will provide appropriate and authoritative guidance to States Parties on the measures to be adopted to ensure full compliance with their obligations to respect, protect and fulfill women’s human rights during times of armed conflict; and in all peace-building processes, including the immediate aftermath of conflict and long-term post-conflict reconstruction. The General Recommendation will be the first mandatory mechanism for Member States that have ratified CEDAW to report on their implementation of SCR 1325 and 1820. This would serve as a strong complementary mechanism that will promote accountability to the resolutions.
The CEDAW Committee has undertaken regional consultations in Asia-Pacific (Bangkok, March 2013); Africa (Addis Ababa, April 2012); Europe (Istanbul, May 2012); and Latin America (Guatemala, May 2012) to gather input from civil society, governments and UN entities at the regional and national levels. GNWP’s policy briefs provide a summary of these consultations. In addition, they also give a short description of the GR process, the situation of women and the impact of conflict in these regions and give recommendations on the way forward towards the adoption of the GR by the CEDAW Committee.
The policy briefs can be downloaded here:
Meeting with the CEDAW Experts on the General Recommendation on Women in Conflict and Post- conflict Situations
July 24, 2012 1:15 to 2:45 pm at the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations (633, Third Avenue, 29th floor; New York, NY 10017)
The Global Network of Women Peacebuilders, a program partner of the International Civil society Action Network, will co-sponsor a meeting with CEDAW Experts on the General Recommendation on Women in Conflict and Post- conflict Situations with the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations on Tuesday July 24, 2012. GNWP is honored to engage with CEDAW Committee Experts on women, peace, and security issues and is also especially thankful to the Swiss Mission for co-sponsoring this event. GNWP welcomes this opportunity to highlight not only the need for stronger monitoring and implementation of women, peace, and security issues, but also to engage directly with high level policy makers.
The meeting aims to discuss the parallels between the General Recommendation on Women in Conflict and Post-conflict Situations and SCR 1325 & 1820; as well as analyze how the General Recommendation on Women in Conflict and Post-conflict Situations can contribute to reducing the accountability gap to the SCR 1325, 1820 and the other WPS resolutions.
This meeting comes almost two years after the decision of the CEDAW Committee to adopt a General Recommendation on the protection of women’s human rights in conflict and post-conflict contexts. Since that decision in October 2010, GNWP and other groups have been organizing to ensure the recommendation not only strengthens CEDAW in conflict and post-conflict contexts, but that it also strengthens and monitors existing international law on women, peace, and security, most notably UNSCR 1325, 1820, and the supporting resolutions. The general recommendation is seen as an opportunity to strengthen the implementation and accountability of UNSCR 1325 due to the existing and binding reporting and monitoring mechanisms within CEDAW and its ratification by 187 member states.
Ms. Pramila Patten, Chairperson of the CEDAW Working Group on the “General Recommendation on Women in Conflict and Post-conflict Situations” and other experts from the Working Group will present inputs on the General Recommendation, which is intended to provide appropriate and authoritative guidance to States Parties on the measure adopted to ensure full compliance with their obligations to protect, respect and fulfill women’s human rights during times of armed conflict and in all peace-building processes. Additionally, the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders will shed light on the value added of the CEDAW General Recommendation in Women, Peace and Security policy advocacy. The paper presented by Mavic Cabrera Balleza, GNWP International Coordinator can be accessed here. For meeting notes, please click here.
Ensuring Accountability to UNSCR 1325 and 1820 using CEDAW reporting mechanisms
Resolutions 1325 10th anniversary events highlight use of CEDAW mechanisms
The 10th anniversary of Resolution 1325 in October 2010 highlighted the increasing demand for accountability to UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. Many expressed concern about the fact that only 22 Member States out of 192 have adopted national action plans. Women are still underrepresented if not totally absent in most official peace negotiations and sexual violence in conflict continue to increase.
These realities emphasized the need to use other legal mechanisms to strengthen the implementation of SCR 1325, particularly CEDAW. The well-established mechanisms of CEDAW – the Member States compliance report and the civil society shadow reporting process were cited as powerful instruments to ensure accountability.
Several regional and international meetings including the High Level Seminar “1325 in 2020: Looking Forward…Looking Back,” organized by the African Center for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes, and the “Stockholm International Conference 10 years with 1325 – What now?” called for the use of CEDAW to improve 1325 implementation.
Intersection between SCR 1325 and CEDAW
While CEDAW and UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820 on Women, Peace and Security are important international instruments on their own, there is also an intersection among the three standards that can be used to enhance their implementation and impact.
Resolutions 1325 and 1820 broaden the scope of CEDAW application by clarifying its relevance to all parties in conflict, whereas CEDAW provides concrete strategic guidance for actions to be taken on the broad commitments outlined in the two Resolutions (UNIFEM, 2006. CEDAW and SCR 1325: A Quick Guide).
CEDAW is a global human rights treaty that should be incorporated into national law as the highest standard for women’s rights. It requires UN Member States that have ratified it (185 to date) to set in place mechanisms to fully realize women’s rights.
Resolution 1325 is an international law unanimously adopted by the Security Council that mandates UN Member States to engage women in all aspects of peace building including ensuring women’s participation on all levels of decision–making on peace and security issues.
Resolution 1820 links sexual violence as a tactic of war with the maintenance of international peace and security. It also demands a comprehensive report from the UN Secretary General on implementation and strategies for improving information flow to the Security Council; and adoption of concrete protection and prevention measures to end sexual violence.
Resolutions 1325 and 1820, and CEDAW share the following agenda on women’s human rights and gender equality:
1. Demand women’s participation in decision-making at all levels
2. Rejection of violence against women as it impedes the advancement of women and maintains their subordinate status
3. Equality of women and men under the law; protection of women and girls through the rule of law
4. Demand security forces and systems to protect women and girls from gender-based violence
5. Recognition of the fact that distinct experiences and burdens of women and girls come from systemic discrimination
6. Ensure that women’s experiences, needs and perspectives are incorporated into the political, legal and social decisions that determine the achievement of just and lasting peace
A General Comment from the CEDAW committee could strengthen women’s advocacy for the full implementation of Resolutions 1325 and 1820 at the country and community levels. Conversely, CEDAW’s relevance to conflict-affected areas will be underscored further by the two Resolutions. In other words, all three international instruments will reinforce each other and be much more effective if used together in leveraging women’s human rights.