In its forthcoming mandate renewal for the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), it is vital for the Council to call for women’s full and equal participation and engagement in building Haiti’s future. This is particularly important in view of threats and harassment against womenled civil society organizations, including those calling for justice for sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). The Council should include provisions in the mandate which call on MINUSTAH to:
- Ensure substantive legal and sensitivity trainings which comprehensively address SGBV, including violence motivated by sexual orientation or gender identity, for police, prosecutors, judges, new legislators, and other newly elected and relevant Government officials who may interact with survivors.
- Provide technical assistance to support Haiti’s ability to pass and implement legislation addressing gender-based violence, including the Penal Code Revision Draft Law.
- Ensure gender-sensitive assistance services for survivors of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) by UN peacekeepers, and establish a transparent, survivor-centered and readily accessible mechanisms to hear claims for remedies.
As the Security Council considers a report on the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and discusses the ongoing crisis situation, members should receive a gender analysis in all briefings and reports and call upon all UN entities and humanitarian and protection actors to consult with women and girls, including those displaced and with disabilities. With respect to countering terrorism and violent extremism, as well as the broader situation, the Council should consider the following recommendations:
- Continue deployment of gender advisers and female personnel in UNAMI, and women’s full and meaningful participation in all efforts to counter and prevent violent extremism and terrorism.
- Apply a gender lens to humanitarian assistance efforts, particularly in the provision of medical care, including trauma support, ongoing psychosocial counseling, and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services as mandated by SCR 2122 (2013), which includes access to emergency contraception and safe abortion services. Further, the Council should call on the Government of Iraq to lift the policy prohibiting NGOs from providing shelter to displaced persons.
- Urge the Government of Iraq to legally allow displaced women and girls access to three-year temporary Civil Status Identification Documents, in the absence of a male family member to verify their identity, to help reduce their risk of statelessness, increased exposure to SGBV, and discrimination; fully implement and fund Iraq’s National Action Plan on SCR 1325 in consultation with civil society; support the recruitment, retention, and professionalization of women in the security and justice sectors in an effort to enhance their effectiveness at countering terrorism and violent extremism; and establish training programs and protocols that address SGBV stigma for medical staff providing care to SGBV survivors.
The Security Council will be considering a report on the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and discussing the situation in the country. The Council should ensure UNMISS has the logistical support and resources needed to carry out its protection of civilians’ mandate, address ongoing SGBV and promote women’s meaningful participation in peace and security processes, including the implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan. Council members are urged to:
- Ensure Gender Advisers and WPAs have the necessary funding and resources to prevent violations and abuses and guarantee that medical and psychosocial services are available and accessible to survivors of SGBV (SCR 2127 (2013)); ensure that the mission’s protection strategy is inclusive of women (SCRs 2187 (2014) and 2122 (2013)) and; accelerate and establish reporting arrangements, accountability mechanisms and justice systems that address the needs of SGBV survivors (SCRs 2187 (2014) and 2106 (2013)).
- Incorporate the needs and voices of women IDPs and refugees into the design and delivery of humanitarian assistance, and into the design and operation of PoC sites.
- Ensure reporting addresses all aspects of the WPS agenda, including UNMISS support for the full and effective participation of women in all processes from PoC site management committees to the formal peacemaking process
The Council is expected to consider the situation in Syria, with a particular focus on the current humanitarian situation. In many cases, parties to the conflict are preventing necessary humanitarian services and hindering overall progress on resolving the situation. In the context of reporting and documenting human rights violations, in accordance with SCR 2139 (2014) and SCR 2165 (2014), the Council should ensure there is information provided on and prioritize the following actions:
- Implement SCR 2122 (2013) to ensure women’s participation in all peace-building efforts, assign capable gender advisers to the UN Special Envoy and negotiating teams, and include formal consultative processes in any future rounds of negotiations with women’s civil society organizations, including those working to counter violent extremism.
- Provide gender-sensitive reporting on the impact of the conflict on women, men, girls, boys and marginalized groups, such as women and adolescent girls heads of households, women with disabilities, and caregivers of persons with disabilities.
- Continue ongoing consultations by OCHA with local and international civil society organizations to devise localized relief efforts as part of the Syria Response Plan, and increase support to women’s civil society leaders, through financial assistance, technical support and training on working under extreme conditions, restricted by limited access to funding in a shrinking operational space.
- Refer gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms committed against civilians to the International Criminal Court, or other mechanisms, to promote truth and reconciliation, social recovery and reintegration of refugees.
- Investigate the sexual exploitation women and girls refugees by aid workers in exchange for goods and services.
Despite repeated commitments, the WPS agenda is not being comprehensively implemented in policy or practice by Member States and the UN system. Statements made during the open debate, held in recognition of the 15th anniversary of the adoption of SCR 1325 (2000) and the High-level Review of the WPS agenda, should reflect concrete action being taken at the international, regional, and national levels by all actors in the international community. In this regard, all Member States and the UN must:
- Prioritize women’s meaningful participation, including women’s civil society leaders and human rights defenders, in all peace and security processes, as well as efforts to combat, reduce and prevent terrorism and violent extremism.
- Develop, implement and reviewing existing Regional and National Action Plans (NAP) on WPS and gender strategies and ensuring they are robustly monitored, well-funded, and inclusive of civil society.
- Pledge to provide multi-year, large-scale financial support for WPS, in line with SCR 2122 (2013), including through existing funds and new mechanisms. This funding should advance the implementation of WPS NAPs; be accessible to civil society organizations at national, provincial and local levels; as well as ensure core funding within the UN is dedicated to such efforts.
- Concretely work to prevent conflict by addressing the root causes of violence including political and economic drivers of conflict and the militarization of societies and grievances between states and populations that create conditions conducive to violent extremism, in addition to their impacts on women, men, girls and boys.
- Increase the recruitment, retention and professionalization of women across all justice and security sector components including in peacekeeping operations.
- Support a strong UN structure to deliver on WPS over the next decade which includes gender expertise across the UN System within operational and oversight entities at UN Headquarters and in the field; the incorporation of a gender perspective across the work of the UN; and an increase of UN rosters of gender and technical experts.
The Security Council has an obligation to address WPS in its own work as per SCR 2122 (2013), OPs 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7(c). Please see the October 2015 Open Letter to Permanent Representatives to the UN published on 5 October for more detailed recommendations.