Central African Republic
The Central African Republic (CAR) has been engulfed in violent armed conflict since 2013, and conflict-related insecurity has left women and girls vulnerable to forced marriage, abduction, and especially sexual and gender-based violence; according to the International Development Monitoring Centre, 68% of girls in CAR are married before the age of eighteen. Women in the CAR continue to be largely excluded from peacebuilding and reconstruction efforts and have even been subjected to violence perpetrated by UN peacekeepers. Deployed in April 2014, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA)is mandated to protect women, monitor and report on violations against women, adhere to the zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, ensure women’s full participation in conflict resolution and elections, and incorporate gender as a cross-cutting issue. To further this progress, based on the work of NGOWG members and their partners, the NGOWG advocates for more thorough monitoring of UN peacekeepers in CAR to ensure that no exploitation and abuse occurs on their watch.