Security Council discussions on counterterrorism should highlight the significant contribution of women to prevent and counter terrorism and specifically address how the Council will further support the work that local, women-led civil society groups are doing to combat violent extremism. Women at all levels of society are critical in combating violent extremism and terrorism. Strategies for combating violent extremism overlap with and reinforce peacebuilding and conflict prevention efforts. All actions taken to prevent and respond to these threats should ensure women’s full and meaningful participation in these efforts as well as account for the need to better address the impact of violent extremism and terrorism on women and girls. Combating extremism requires addressing pre-existing threats to women and girls, embedded in laws and social norms and engaging women and women’s civil society in security sector reform and in efforts to strengthen the rule of law. Any technical assistance called for by the Council, as noted in SCR 2129 (2013), to Member States, regional and sub-regional organizations, on countering terrorism should emphasize and promote the meaningful participation of women in these efforts. In addition, the Council should stress the need for greater recruitment of women in positions of decision-making within Member State and UN institutions involved in supporting counterterrorism efforts.
The Security Council is expected to consider a report of the African Union/UN Hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID). Given the ongoing concerns regarding the grave and deteriorating human rights situation in Darfur, the Council should prioritize the call on all parties to the conflict to protect civilians, in particular women and girls, from violations, including sexual and gender-based violence. In its discussion, the Council should follow-up on its request in SCR 1881 (OP 14) that the Secretary-General report on the creation and implementation of a strategy to protect women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence and include women and girls in its design. In accordance with SCR 2173 (2014), the Council should also discuss the participation of women in the peace process, including the Darfur Internal Dialogue and Consultation (OP 12), and the recruitment and deployment of women’s protection advisers (OP 24).
The Security Council is expected to consider a report of the Secretary-General on the comprehensive review of the mandate of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS). Past reporting on UNIOGBIS has served as good practice for the way in which a mission can report on efforts to mainstream women, peace and security across all work within the mission, and the current report should continue this good practice. The Security Council should continue to support national capacity for women to participate and engage in conflict prevention and resolution processes and also discuss ways that the government can mobilize and build capacity, ensuring that gender is a cross-cutting issue within the public sector.
As the Security Council continues to address the situation in Iraq, Council members should hold women’s human rights central in all discussion and actions. With nearly 5,000 civilians killed and, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), over 850,000 persons displaced since January 2014, discussion should outline measures taken to prioritize the protection of civilians, with specific considerations for women and girls. The Council should ensure a gender lens is being applied to all humanitarian assistance and protection efforts. Additionally, the Council should request, and act on, information, analysis and recommendations addressing the challenges facing women in political processes; highlighting advances in ensuring participation of Iraqi women in national reconciliation and countering violent extremism efforts; and detailing any progress made to enhance Iraqi women’s access to justice. It is essential that discriminatory policies and practices are rescinded, and institutions are inclusive of all Iraqis, including women, in order to ensure a foundation for future sustainable peace. Furthermore, the Council should condemn the targeted killings of civilians including human rights defenders, journalists and female professionals and call for perpetrators to be brought to justice. In all counterterrorism efforts, gender must be mainstreamed, and all actions taken to prevent and respond to these threats should ensure women’s full and meaningful participation, as well as account for the need to better address the impact of violent extremism and terrorism on women and girls. Moreover, the Council should call for consultation with women leaders in civil society in order to integrate a gender lens that promotes the women, peace and security concerns reflective of the realities for Iraqi civilians. Finally, Council members should urge the Iraqi government to ensure women are fully incorporated into its national security strategy, and all policy frameworks are fully resourced.
The Council will be renewing the mandate of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) in November. Given the grave situation for civilians, particularly for women and girls, the Council should focus on strengthening the human rights component of the mandate; ensure the mission has the logistical support and resources needed to carry out its protection of civilians’ mandate; address the ongoing sexual and gender-based violence; and promote women’s participation and issues in all aspects of the situation, including peacebuilding and community leadership in protection of civilians (PoC) sites. Sexual violence has played a major role in the conflict, and leaders from both sides need to be pressed to end these horrific abuses by their forces, as well as in PoC sites.
In order to fully implement UNMISS’ protection of civilian mandate, there should be a consistent plan for the protection of civilians inside, as well as around the perimeters of UNMISS camps, and a long-term emphasis on confidence-building through increased patrols, ongoing consultations with women and adolescent girls and appropriate and accessible service provision. Sanitary materials remain in short supply, and provision of fuel efficient stoves and domestic energy must be included in non-food items (NFI) packages. UNMISS should provide a visible presence to ensure the safety of women and girls during daily activities such as firewood and water collection. Specialized services for survivors must be established and financed by donors to provide care, document abuse and press for accountability in a manner that adheres to survivor confidentiality and informed consent. Further, the Monitoring and Verification Mechanism and Teams (MVM/T), although coordinated through Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), are housed in the UNMISS PoC sites and thus must ensure that sexual violence is tracked as a key violation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement. Additionally, the Security Council must encourage systematic tracking of sexual violence as well as women’s full participation in the roll-out of the MVM/T moving forward, including in the composition of the teams as well as the full gender and community sensitization of all the monitors and observers. The Security Council can apply pressure to the IGAD mediators to ensure not only that these violations are taken seriously and systematically tracked, but also that they make it to the center of the peace talks to hold both parties accountable when and where rape is used as a weapon of war.
The Council is expected to remain engaged on the situation in Syria, particularly as it discusses the expected report on humanitarian access called for in SCR 2139 (2014). In its continuing consideration of the situation in Syria, the Security Council should call on the Syrian government to halt the indiscriminate attacks on cities and besieged areas which are disproportionately impacting women. The entire civilian population in Syria continues to be subjected to a broad range of human rights violations, particularly the arbitrary arrest and detention of peaceful activists including many women and girls. The Council is strongly urged to pursue measures calling for accountability regarding the full extent of arbitrary detentions. These measures should call on all parties to the conflict to release the names of those detained and provide such individuals with a fair trial. Rather than implementation of SCR 2139 (2014), parties to the conflict are in many cases preventing necessary humanitarian services from reaching critical areas in need. Coordination and consultation with Syrian civil society, including women’s rights groups, must be increased. Humanitarian actors must improve their efforts to utilize sex and age disaggregated data and ensure its response meets the needs of displaced women and girls, and ENSURE easily accessible public transportation is available to facilitate safe access to information and services. The Council should request that all briefers include information on how they are including women in the design, monitoring and implementation of programming, taking into account the most vulnerable groups, such as women and adolescent girls who head households and/or those women who have disabilities or are care-givers of persons with disabilities. In addition to following up on SCR 2139 (2014) and 2165 (2014), the Council should call for the implementation of SCR 2122 (2013) to ensure women’s participation in all political efforts to resolve the conflict, the inclusion of a Technical Expert Support Team comprised 50% of women in the next rounds of peace talks, assigning capable gender advisers to the UN Special Envoy and negotiating teams, and stronger consultation of grassroots women groups and civil society representatives to inform the content and outcome of the negotiations. Finally, as per SCR 2139 (OP 17), the Council should take strong action to address the non-implementation of relevant resolutions on the situation in Syria.
In its regular work, the Council should ensure that all country reports and mandate renewals evaluate the level of protection and promotion of women’s human rights, as per SCRs 1325, 1820 (OP 9), 1888 (OP 11), 1889 (OP 5), 1960 (OPs 6, 13), 2106 (OPs 5, 6), and 2122 (OP 2(d)). Member States should inquire about any lack of such reporting.