In the renewal of the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Council members must reinforce prior commitments to increase participation of women in Afghanistan’s political, economic and social life, and continue to call on Afghanistan to ensure that the human rights of women and girls are not compromised in the pursuit of other interests. The Council should ensure SCRs 2122 (2013) and 2242 (2015) are reflected throughout the renewed mandate by including provisions which:
- Support women’s inclusion on the negotiating team in upcoming talks with the Taliban, as well as all decision making bodies involved in the peace process;
- Require continuous consultation with women from civil society and better integrate women led civil society organizations into monitoring implementation of the country’s peace and reconciliation process;
- Strengthen support for human rights monitoring and implementation by continuing to support the independence and effectiveness of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and continue to assist in the implementation of the Elimination of Violence Against Women Law, and increase UNAMA’s role in monitoring implementation;
- Require sex and age disaggregated data to be included in reporting on civilian casualties, injuries and humanitarian assistance; and
- Adopt gender as a cross-cutting issue in the mandate, including by mandating the deployment of gender advisors and the systematic solicitation of senior gender expertise and advice across UNAMA activities (SCRs 2106 (2013), OP 8; 2122 (2013), OP 4).
As recently reaffirmed in SCR 2242 (2015), women and girls’ empowerment and gender equality are critical to conflict prevention. In the discussion on conflict prevention in Africa, Member States should commit to adopting holistic approaches that address the root causes of conflict, including systemic and structural discrimination and inequalities, which are often at the heart of grievances driving instability. Member States should further outline steps to ensure women participate in the design of all conflict prevention measures, including early warning mechanisms and preventative diplomacy initiatives. Women’s civil society organizations should have an important role in all conflict prevention efforts at local levels, and Member States should recognize the need to support grassroots efforts with increased funding and political support.
The Security Council will renew the mandate for the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) in March. The mandate should maintain its existing language on mainstreaming gender as a cross-cutting issue. The most recent mandate adopted in SCR 2211 (2015) is strong in its calls for attention to women, peace and security issues; however, implementation remains inconsistent, and the Council should reiterate the importance of WPS in all mission activities. In the mandate renewal, the Council should:
- Support the establishment of a formal channel for civil society and women’s organizations to monitor and implement the PSC Framework in the form of the consultative committee and mechanisms to track funding for women’s participation in implementation or monitoring, the Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework;
- Ensure 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; and
- Call for an external evaluation of the Great Lakes Women’s Platform, to ensure inclusive, participative, transparent and accountable processes in the future of the platform.
In its consideration of reports on MONSUCO and the PSC Framework, and in ongoing discussions, the Council should ensure both the participation and protection aspects of the WPS agenda are considered equally. In this regard, the Council should inquire as to:
- Efforts to implement the participation components of the WPS agenda, given lack of information in reporting on activities related to women’s participation and empowerment;
- 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; and
- The extent to which gender considerations are fully integrated as a cross-cutting issue throughout MONUSCO’s operations, with the provision of sex and age disaggregated data on all those impacted by the conflict and the gender training of all MONUSCO staff as key priorities.
With the deteriorating security situation and the threat posed by armed groups and illicit arms proliferation, active female public figures, including human rights defenders (HRDs), civil society leaders, activists, journalists and politicians, continue to be targets of in assassinations, abductions and crimes of sexual violence. In the renewal of the mandate for the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), the Security Council should call for gender to be considered a cross-cutting issue across the work of the mission (SCR 2122 (2013), OP 4) and further include provisions which:
- Promote the full and effective participation of women in policymaking, treaty negotiations and discussions on disarmament and arms control, including through the establishment of a consultative mechanism with civil society groups in all activities relating to the democratic transition, conflict resolution and peacebuilding, in line with SCR 1325 (2000) and all subsequent WPS resolutions;
- Recognize women’s unique protection needs, including with regards to cases of trafficking, torture and detainment, as well as considerations relevant to women’s role in DDR and SSR processes;
- Call for an end of impunity for violence against women, investigate and monitor human rights abuses, including SGBV, and deploy women’s protection advisers, gender advisers and other gender expertise in the mission;
- Support women’s leadership and participation in all efforts to combat, reduce and prevent terrorism and violent extremism; and
- Request the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council all relevant information on women’s situation in Libya, including in the political, security and humanitarian sectors, and provide sex and age disaggregated data whenever possible.
In its consideration of the sanctions regime, the Council should reference sexual and gender-based violence specifically as part of the listing criteria (SCR 2242 (2015), OP 6). In line with SCR 2242 (2015) (OP 6), the Council should commit to ensuring the expert group has gender expertise. Particularly, within the discussion on the illicit transfer and misuse of small arms and light weapons, reporting should include information on the impact on women and girls (SCR 2220 (2015), OP 26). Information regarding human rights abuses, including SGBV (SCR 1888 (2009), OP 10), should be collected through collaboration with UNSMIL, relevant UN entities and civil society organizations, in accordance with international standards for ethical data collection.
In the strategic assessment on Mali, the Council should call for dedicated gender capacity and analysis in order to inform the outcomes of the process (SCR 1960 (2010), OP 13). In its field mission to Mali, Council members should meet with local women and women’s organizations and consider gender as a cross-cutting issue throughout its mission (SCR 2122 (2013), OP 6). In its ongoing consideration of the situation, the Council should call on the Government of Mali to promote women’s full and effective participation in all peace processes at both the local and state level, including through the consultation of women’s civil society groups.
As the Council renews the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), the Council should add in provisions calling for the mission to consider gender as a cross-cutting issue in the implementation of the mandate. In contrast to previous mandates, SCR 2232 (2015) did not include several of UNSOM’s previously mandated tasks, including the prevention of conflict-related sexual violence, strengthening the judicial system to ensure accountability of women’s rights and investigating and monitoring any violations and abuses against women, including sexual and gender-based violence. These tasks should be reintegrated into the mandate for UNSOM. In addition, the Council must call on Somali authorities, AMISOM and UNSOM to ensure women and girls are protected from sexual violence, including sexual exploitation and abuse, as specified in SCR 2102 (2013) (OP 11). Further, Council Members should mandate UNSOM to promote and technically assist in women’s full and effective participation in: the constitutional review process, dialogues with Somali regional actors on the federal system, the implementation of the Somali Compact and all efforts to find a political solution to the ongoing armed violence.