For November, in which the Ghana has the presidency of the UN Security Council, the MAP provides recommendations on the situations in Central African Republic, Sudan, and Yemen.
In its renewal of the mandate of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in CAR (MINUSCA), the Security Council should:
- Renew the mission’s strong, existing women, peace and security mandate and all related provisions (S/RES/2605 (2021), PPs 5, 8, 17, 18; OPs 2, 4, 7, 9, 11, 12, 26, 27, 34(a)(iv), 34(a)(vi), 34(b)(iii), 34(b)(iv), 34(b)(v), 34(b)(v), 34(b)(vi), 35(a)(ii), 35(d)(iv), 35(e)(i), 35(e)(ii), 35(f)(vii), 42, 43, 47), and further emphasize that all mission components must actively engage with civil society, including women’s groups, as part of planning and implementation of mandated activities.
- Reiterate the expectation that women, peace and security must be part of all information delivered to the Council, including in both reports of the Secretary-General, as well as in briefings delivered by senior UN officials, and further specify that this information must be based in gender-sensitive data collection and reporting on gender-based violence, as well as gender-sensitive conflict analysis which highlights the barriers to women’s equal participation in peace and political processes, as well as the ways in which gender-based violence is perpetrated against women in public life, as well as preventing women’s access to public services and law enforcement and justice mechanisms.
- Clarify that the mission’s existing mandate to ensure protection of civilians includes protection of human rights defenders, including women human rights defenders, particularly those at risk as a result of engagement with the UN, and further emphasize that in the mission’s efforts to promote human rights, there should be particular attention paid to barriers to the full realization of women’s human rights, particularly the rights of women and girls with disabilities, such as sexual and reproductive health and rights, access to education, and other basic services.
- Emphasize that exploitation and trafficking in arms and natural resources not only threatens peace and stability broadly but has specific gendered impacts that must be taken into account in policymaking and programming, including through the active engagement with local civil society organizations, including women’s groups.
- Reinforce the importance of both political and financial support, including from the international community, to continue to advance justice efforts, including through the Truth, Justice, Reparation and Reconciliation Commission, including by explicitly requesting that the mission’s support for the Special Criminal Support, specifically its technical and administrative support is gender-responsive and inclusive of civil society, including women’s organizations and victims’ associations.
- Call for the mission to take active measures to reduce the impact of explosive devices and mines by strengthening its capacity to undertake demining and clearance efforts, ensuring that planning and execution of demining activities are gender-sensitive.
The situation in Sudan continues to worsen in the context of ongoing political and economic crises, seasonal flooding, and intercommunal violence, which has resulted in displacement, destruction of basic infrastructure in 16 out of 18 states, and high constraints on humanitarian access. Gender-based violence (GBV), grounded in pre-existing inequality and marginalization, is prevalent against diverse women and girls, with displacement, disability, and active participation in political and peace factors compounding the risk of experiencing violence, and ongoing insecurity and flooding limiting the access to referral pathways, safe spaces, and sexual and reproductive health care. In the year since the military coup, women involved in ongoing protests as leaders, organizers, and activists, have been met with gender-specific violence by security forces, including assault and rape. Women human rights defenders, peacebuilders, and women’s civil society groups, particularly those documenting GBV carried out by armed groups, have been targeted by security forces in attempts to intimidate, including through interrogation and surveillance. In displacement settings, the lack of access to basic health care, including sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care, means that pregnant women face barriers to basic obstetric care, and more than 55% of people who menstruate lack any local access to sanitary products. In the context of discussions within the Security Council, protection and promotion of diverse women’s human rights should be at the heart of all peace and political processes, including any outcomes. All participants in future meetings should state their unequivocal support for grounding efforts to prevent conflict and build peace in women’s human rights, guided by gender-responsive conflict analysis, and the full, equal, safe, and meaningful participation of diverse women. Council members should explicitly call for cessation of all efforts to intimidate and prevent women human rights defenders, peacebuilders, and women’s civil society groups from continuing their work, and call for accountability, through gender-sensitive transitional justice processes, for all violations committed over the last year.
With the expiration of the truce in Yemen, which lasted from 2 April – 2 October 2022, during which there was an overall reduction in violence against civilians and some limited improvements in humanitarian space, millions of Yemenis now return to a state of uncertainty. Although overall levels of violence have remained low, there have been reported attacks against civilians in some areas, leading to loss of life and injuries. During any forthcoming discussions of the situation in Yemen, members of the Security Council should articulate their unwavering support for inclusive Yemeni-led and Yemeni-owned political process with the full, equal and meaningful participation of diverse women, youth and civil society of all political backgrounds from all regions of Yemen, including in the truce and ceasefire negotiations, as well as broader political and peace processes. Relatedly, Council members should demand that all UN-supported peace committees include women, including the Prisoners’ Exchange, the Taiz, and the Security and Military Committees, as well as in any committees formed in the future. Further, Council members should demand all parties to conflict, and their allies, uphold international humanitarian, human rights, and refugee law, and emphasize that women’s human rights should be non-negotiable in any peace and political process. Ongoing human rights violations targeting marginalized communities, including diverse women, persons with disabilities, displaced persons, migrants and ethnic and religious minorities continue to be documented. In particular, women and girls face restrictions on their freedom of movement resulting from the requirement that women are accompanied by a mahram (male guardian), lack of access to basic services, including sexual and reproductive health services, and threats and risks, including arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, hate speech, and even targeted killings, particularly for women peacebuilders, human rights defenders, political leaders, activists, artists, and journalists. Further, Council members should reinforce the unacceptability of the increase in online violence targeting women, which is threatening their safety and security and preventing their participation in public life.
The efforts to resolve the situation in Yemen through peaceful means becomes all the more urgent when considered in the context of the dire humanitarian situation, which is exacerbated by multiple and intersecting health, economic, environmental, and climate crises. However, despite the 23.4 million Yemenis in need of assistance, equivalent to two-thirds of the population, the 80% of Yemenis now living below the poverty line, and an estimated 17 million people facing acute food insecurity, only 48% of the humanitarian appeal is currently funded, and there remain persistent constraints to humanitarian access. Recent attacks against oil infrastructure, including the attack on Al Dhabah oil terminal port in Hadramaut Governorate, not only exacerbates the economic crisis by preventing international trade and impacting the disbursement of civilian salaries in government-controlled areas, but also puts civilians at unwarranted risk. These challenges have a distinct impact on the lives of women and girls, such as in the funding of reproductive health services, which will not reach 1.2 million women and girls as a result of funding shortfalls. Security Council members should reinforce that any restrictions on humanitarian operations, including restrictions on movement – particularly of female aid workers – and interference with humanitarian activities, are unacceptable. Further, Council members should call for the removal of restrictions on imports of oil, food and other vital supplies, and for full funding of the humanitarian response, including sexual and reproductive health care.