Women in Guinea, in addition to being disproportionately affected by the Ebola health crisis, continue to face constant threats of sexual and gender-based violence, including early and forced marriages, rape, human trafficking, and some of the highest rates of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in the world; approximately 97% of women and girls in Guinea have been subjected to the process (International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics). Although Guinea has ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and launched a National Action Plan pursuant to Resolution 1325 in 2009, civil codes in Guinea continue to subjugate and discriminate against women, including through provisions that require spousal approval for professional occupations for women. Recognizing that women’s inclusion in the political process is one of the most effective ways to counter violence and discrimination against women, the NGOWG advocates for the full and effective inclusion of women in all elections and at all levels of peaceful and democratic political transition. In addition, based on the work of NGOWG members, the NGOWG recognizes that impunity for sexual violence remains a looming threat to justice and must be eliminated.
JanuaryThe situation in Guinea remains insecure. The UN Commission of Inquiry’s recent report on the September 28th acts of violence should be made public, and the results acted upon to ensure full reparations for victims, including restitution, compensation and rehabilitation. In addition, the Council should support women’s inclusion in the ongoing power sharing talks, and ensure their rights are addressed in any agreements reached.
FebruaryThe Security Council has received the report of the Commission of Inquiry regarding the violence on the 28th September, 2009. Action regarding Guinea must include accountability for crimes of international humanitarian law, and ensure the protection of witnesses to these crimes and of human rights defenders. In addition, key actors in Guinea have signed a framework power-sharing agreement: women must be meaningfully included in future negotiations, and their rights and concerns included in any further agreements.
MarchAs to the violence of 28th September, 2009, there should be no impunity for these crimes, including those of sexual violence. The Council, in its recent Presidential Statement on Guinea (S/PRST/2010/3), reaffirmed the importance of women in conflict resolution and peacebuilding. In addition to supporting the implementation of this recommendation, the Council should support adequate protection of witnesses in all justice proceedings and the reform of the Guinean security forces.
JuneElections are planned for late June in Guinea, the next step in moving towards greater respect for the rule of law after decades of authoritarian and often oppressive rule. These elections must be fair and free, and once installed, the new administration must take concrete steps to ensure those responsible for the brutal September 2009 attacks on opposition supporters – in which more than 150 were killed and over 100 women raped by security forces- are held accountable.
AugustThe ongoing situation in Guinea should continue to be followed closely. In taking future action, the Security Council should:
- Ensure there is no impunity for perpetrators of the sexual violence and enslavement perpetrated in the events of 28th September, 2009. Concrete steps must be taken to guarantee that no such event recurs, and that there is absolute protection for human rights defenders, victims of SGBV and witnesses;
- Support steps to remove the climate of impunity for SGBV, including adherence to the women, peace and security provisions of the Guinean Penal Code, in addition to other instruments such as SCR 1325; and
- The upcoming second round of the presidential election offers opportunities to support the meaningful inclusion of women in the new government formed by the elected president; and ensure reform of the security sector to guarantee provision of security to women, especially through the reduction of threat of SGBV.
NovemberMore than a year after political violence in which more than 100 were killed and sexual violence was widely used as a tactic of political oppression, violence continues to mar elections in Guinea. Demonstrations in late October in Conakry were characterized by excessive use of force by government security forces, resulting in one death and more than 60 injured, including some with gunshot wounds. The Council should ensure it supports all efforts to ensure these elections are fair and free of violence, particularly given the previous political violence that has been perpetrated against women.
DecemberGiven the ongoing violence around the presidential elections in Guinea, the Council should remain actively engaged in all efforts to ensure the political transition there is peaceful and democratic. In addition, the Council should ensure it supports monitoring for gender-based effects of the surge in post-election violence, including monitoring impunity for sexual violence committed last year. UN Office for West Africa needs to monitor, in particular, pervasiveness of sexual violence, whether organized or not, in connection with the elections.
NovemberThe response to recent violence in Guinea, including targeted attacks on women, continues to develop rapidly. The Security Council, AU, ECOWAS and the Guinean authorities support an international Commission of Inquiry. It is vital that the COI should include expertise on violence against women, including sexual violence; and that any investigation and subsequent measures pay special attention to the gendered dimension of these acts of violence. All countries should cease military and police weapons transfers that could be used to commit crimes against women, and there must be no amnesty for crimes under international law, including sexual violence. Women should be substantially represented in power-sharing talks, which must also include women’s rights and interests.
DecemberThe Secretary-General’s Commission of Inquiry has been appointed and is investigating the situation in Guinea. The Security Council should support this commission’s specific attention to the reports of targeted violence against women in its investigation. The commission should involve civil society, and ensure that adequate security measures are provided to protect witnesses, victims and their families, staff and others associated with the inquiry. The commission’s findings and recommendations should be officially proclaimed and disseminated publicly without undue delay. The recommendations should include measures for redress and guarantees of non-repetition. Women should be represented during talks regarding power-sharing in the country. These talks should include women’s rights and interests.
November 29, 2010
November 5, 2010
February 23, 2010
January 25, 2010
December 1, 2009
October 29, 2009
October 13, 2009