In its consideration of the report on the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Council members must call on Afghanistan to ensure that the human rights of women and girls, are not compromised in the pursuit of other interests. Afghan women human rights defenders (WHRDs), who are playing a fundamental role in shaping the future of Afghanistan, face increasing insecurity across the country. As the Taliban, Islamic State, and other armed groups attempt to destabilize areas around the country, women are often primary targets. They face ongoing intimidation, threats and targeted violence, and WHRDs continue to risk their lives, without adequate security and protection. The Afghan government must ensure that hard won gains regarding women and girls’ participation and human rights are maintained and advanced. In their discussion, Council members should call on Afghanistan to:
- Ensure women’s security and ability to move freely throughout the country by countering the Taliban and other armed groups, in full respect for human rights and international humanitarian law;
- Promote public awareness campaigns that highlight the vital work of WHRDs, and that recognize their contributions to Afghan society as well as prioritize support and resources to women human rights defenders in insecure and volatile areas of the country; including by publicly recognizing their important work on women’s rights, by taking concrete steps to ensure that all allegations of threats or attacks against WHRDs are fully and impartially investigated, monitored, and perpetrators of violence against WHRDs are held to account, and that this is monitored effectively by the Ministry of Interior. Ensure all prosecutions of perpetrators of violence against WHRDs use appropriate legislation in fair trials and without recourse to the death penalty;
- Build the capability of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs to respond to WHRDs at risk, including through monitoring violence against WHRDs, and providing temporary shelter, and assistance with temporary or permanent relocation;
- Minimize to the greatest extent possible any civilian casualties caused by pro-government forces;
- Ensure full implementation of the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (NAP) as a critical step in elevating women as full and equal partners in creating a stable future for the country; and
- Ensure women’s security, ability to move freely and involvement in all efforts to establish peace in Afghanistan, including in peace jirgas and any negotiations with the Taliban, to ensure reconciliation does not undermine women’s progress.
The situation in Burundi continues to be unstable, with human rights and security rapidly deteriorating as evidenced by heightened violence and increased inflammatory speech by prominent political leaders. Currently, Security Council discussion lacks consideration of the gender dimensions of the situation and key women, peace and security issues, as demonstrated in the recently adopted presidential statement (S/PRST/2015/18), as well as SCR 2248 (2015), adopted on 12 November. SCR 2248 (2015) called upon the Government of Burundi to respect, protect and guarantee all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, to adhere to the rule of law and to ‘undertake transparent accountability for acts of violence.’ The resolution also expressed the intention of the Council ‘to consider additional measures against all Burundian actors whose actions and statements contribute to the perpetuation of violence and impede the search for a peaceful solution.’ The resolution urged the government to convene an inclusive and genuine inter-Burundian dialogue involving all concerned and peaceful stakeholders, but failed to ensure that a gender perspective in any such dialogue is prioritized. The Council must ensure that gender is a cross-cutting issue by taking into account analysis and information on the distinct impact of the crisis on women, men, girls and boys, as well as the roles of women, men, girls and boys. Further, in its discussion of the situation, and in any future action, the Security Council should:
- Urge all international and regional actors, per OP 1 of SCR 2242 (2015) to support the safe and active participation of all members of civil society, including women, in monitoring the post-election security situation as well as in donor and stakeholder meetings at the international, regional and national level;
- Call for more information on the gendered dimensions of the human rights and security situation through systematic reporting and briefings by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN-Women; and
- Call for the engagement of women’s civil society organizations in any violence prevention, early warning and dialogue efforts after the election and failed coup, including a new UN-supported mediation with an envoy.
The Council is expected to consider a report on the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). The Council’s presidential statement (S/PRST/2015/20) condemned widespread sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and called on MONUSCO to support efforts to address it. All reporting should include information on:
- MONUSCO’s efforts to provide protection from SGBV, including coordinated monitoring and analysis arrangements to track SGBV, availability of services for SGBV survivors and deployment of Women Protection Advisers;
- Women’s participation in the PSC Framework, via the Women’s Platform and the way in which women are engaged in broader, political processes, including preparations for elections and the strategic dialogue on MONUSCO’s progressive withdrawal, as well as all disarmament and security sector reform efforts;
- The impact of the conflict on women (including information on female victims, displaced and refugee women, and female survivors of SGBV), through engagement with gender advisers and women’s human rights organizations; and
- The extent to which gender considerations are fully integrated as a cross-cutting issue th
In its consideration of the report on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), the Council should request information on the implementation of the WPS elements in the mandate as per SCR 2227 (OPs. 14 & 23), including gender as a crosscutting issue in MINUSMA and promoting women’s participation in the implementation of peace processes. Efforts to track and measure progress in Mali should include gender specific benchmarks and analysis, and women’s empowerment should be factored into funding disbursement and post-conflict reconstruction efforts.
Abyei / South Sudan / Sudan
The Council is expected to renew the mandate of the UN mission in Abyei (UNISFA), which expires on 15 December 2015. The Council should ensure UNISFA’s human rights monitoring mandate is gender-sensitive by expanding SCR 2230 (OPs. 24 & 25) to include violations against women and SGBV, women’s participation in monitoring activities, and addressing the need for protecting the rights of survivors. Additionally, the Council should broaden its commitment to women’s participation, mentioned in the mandate’s preambular paragraphs, by providing concrete measures to promote the empowerment of women in post-conflict situations, including building women’s participation in decision-making processes.
The Security Council is expected to consider the deteriorating security situation in Yemen. The Council should inquire about women’s participation in conflict resolution, national dialogue processes and elections, and efforts to protect women in protection of civilians work. The Council should also ensure that all peace and security processes are inclusive of civil society, including women’s organizations. In order to establish inclusive institutions and peacebuilding processes, any effort to resolve the Yemen crisis, including those involving the Arab coalition, must protect and promote women’s rights, ensure women’s full participation and integrate a gender perspective in its process and outcome. The Council should also call for investigations on violations of human rights and ensure accountability for all perpetrators.