For November, in which Mexico has the presidency of the UN Security Council, the MAP provides recommendations on the situations in Afghanistan, Central African Republic, and Sudan.Updated with minor edits on 12 November 2021.
Women and girls in Afghanistan continue to face a situation in which their access to education and employment remains in flux – while some women have been able to return to work, including humanitarian staff, most girls are still banned from attending school. The humanitarian crisis is dire with nearly all Afghans are at risk of sinking below the poverty line over the next six months. Human rights defenders are reporting that they continue to live in a climate of fear, often receiving gendered threats. Victims of gender-based violence have lost a lifeline as many shelters and other services have been forced to shut down, and legal protection mechanisms eliminated. Women’s rights must be at the center of the Security Council’s decision-making on Afghanistan. Based on internal analysis, only 6-8% of identified women leaders, politicians, journalists, human rights defenders, activists, and female judges have been evacuated, leaving several thousand at continued risk. The recent killing of Frozan Safi, an activist, underscores this risk. Member States must mobilize all available resources to directly support the urgent evacuation of Afghans who are at heightened risk of persecution, including gender persecution, from the Taliban forces and violence from other armed non-state groups and wish to leave the country. This includes women journalists, judges, human rights defenders, peacebuilders, civil society leaders, police and security forces, members of parliament, and gender-based violence survivors, paying particular attention to individuals facing intersecting forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, ethnicity, and disability. Member States should prioritize the approval of visas to women at risk and their extended family members, remove all bureaucratic impediments to ensure safe passage to points of departure and final destinations, and provide relocation assistance. Moreover, the Council and Member States should support protection for women and girls remaining in the country through funding shelters and safe houses, and should ensure that Afghans, including women, who wish to return to Afghanistan, can do so safely if and when they wish to do so, and are protected from repercussions upon return. Further, the Security Council should:
- Call for an immediate, permanent, and comprehensive cessation of violence by all actors as well as for an inclusive, negotiated political process leading to an inclusive transitional and legitimate government that prioritizes the full, equal, and meaningful participation and the rights of diverse women, from across the country at all stages of political decision-making.
- Call for all parties, including Taliban and other armed groups, immediately end the continued targeting, threats, and killing in accordance with international human rights and humanitarian law in all circumstances (S/RES/2573 (2021), S/RES/2286 (2016)), including of human rights defenders, peacebuilders, journalists, all civil society representatives, as well as individuals affiliated with the previous government, including prosecutors and judges, former military and police and other security sector, and civil servants. Further all perpetrators should be held accountable for any violations of international standards, including all forms of gender-based violence and any reprisals against women civil society leaders.
- Provide political and financial support to existing local efforts to document violations of human rights carried out by all armed groups, and to the recently appointed Special Rapporteur on Afghanistan.
- Demand the safe, full, and unfettered access of all humanitarian actors, including all women humanitarian workers, to affected communities in a manner that upholds core humanitarian principles and standards and ensures access to those most marginalized and hardest to reach, as per resolutions 1265 (1999), 1296 (2000), 1502 (2003), 1674 (2006), 1894 (2009), 2175 (2014) and 2286 (2016).
- Call upon all parties to ensure humanitarian funding is accessible through a functioning banking system, provided directly to all principal actors operating in Afghanistan, including local women’s organizations and civil society in a flexible manner. As the winter season in Afghanistan is approaching, this is particularly important and urgent.
In its renewal of the mandate of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in CAR (MINUSCA), the Security Council should:
- Renew all existing mandate provisions related to women, peace and security (S/RES/2499 (2019), OPs 32(a)(iii), 32(b)(iii), 32(b)(iv), 32(b)(v), 33(b)(iv), 33(c)(i), 33(c)(ii), 33(d)(ii), 33(e)(vii)).
- Strengthen the protection of civilians mandate by emphasizing the importance of prevention, dissuasion and early warning of potential risks and attacks, regardless of the affiliation of the actor perpetrating violence, grounded in community-identified drivers of violence, as well as ensuring, in abidance with IHL, the safe passage of civilians and humanitarian assistance.
- Reinforce the gender-sensitive approach in relation to recruitment within MINUSCA across all sectors.
- Strengthen the mandate as it relates to gender-sensitive, survivor-centered approaches to preventing and addressing gender-based violence by including language calling on MINUSCA to collaborate with women’s civil society organizations, ensure all efforts are inclusive of diverse women, including women and girls with disabilities (Women Enabled International), and ensure legal assistance is included in assistance for survivors (S/RES/2499 (2019), OP 32(a)(iii)).
- Call for increased human rights monitoring and reporting on threats and attacks targeting women in public life, including as an indicator of potential violence, as well as other forms of discrimination and gender-based violence.
- Strengthen the mission’s mandate as it relates to reinforcing the criminal justice system in gender-responsive and survivor-centered ways and through the inclusion of women’s organizations and survivor’s associations, including in its support for the Truth, Justice, Reparation and Reconciliation commission and Special Criminal Court, and in this regard ensure all efforts are gender-responsive and further that technical and administrative support is gender-responsive and inclusive of civil society, including women’s organizations and survivors’ associations.
- Call on the international community to increase its funding in critical areas, including comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services, socio-economic reintegration of survivors of sexual and gender-based violence and access to justice, including via the protection cluster and the SGBV sub cluster.
On 25 October, the military took control of the government in Sudan, declared a state of emergency, and arrested and detained leaders of the transitional government, journalists, and activists, putting at risk hard-fought progress towards peace and security. Demonstrations against the military coup are being met with violence, including lethal force by security forces, with women and girls at particular risk of gender-based violence. In its discussions on the situation, the Council should forcefully condemn all human rights violations, including violence against protestors, and call for the immediate release of all persons unlawfully detained, including women human rights defenders, protesters, academics and students, journalists, and political leaders. It should further emphasize the importance of respecting freedom of assembly, in addition to all core human rights norms. Further, the Council should continue to emphasize the importance of returning to a civilian-led government through an inclusive dialogue process. Updates on UNITAMS’ s support to the meaningful participation and leadership of women, youth, and civil society in peace and political processes and the mainstreaming of WPS across its work – including by regularly consulting with diverse women’s civil society organizations – should be part of any discussion regarding the mission’s efforts. Importantly, the current situation should not be seen as a reason to cease efforts to engage with women’s civil society and ensure women’s meaningful participation; safety should be prioritized while continuing to prioritize women’s rights and gender equality as fundamental to the work of the mission. Finally, all briefings to the Council and Council discussions should be informed by gender-responsive conflict analysis.