Current and Past Recommendations to the UN Security Council (Monthly Action Points)
As the one-year anniversary of the war in Ukraine approaches, the impact of the crisis continues to grow in both scale and severity. Women are at the forefront of the emergency response to the situation, including as humanitarian workers and elected officials, as well as active in peacebuilding, mediation, and monitoring the human rights situation. Their work is carried out against a backdrop of increasing gender-based violence of all forms, including sexual violence, domestic violence, and trafficking, resulting from the multiple and intersecting impacts of the conflict, including lack of access to services, livelihoods, increased caregiving obligations, and lack of access to adequate shelter. Over the past year, the Security Council’s discussion has been devoid of any reference to the critical role women have in current and future negotiation, mediation, or other peace process; across 46 separate meetings, fewer than 1% of all references to women in Ukraine made by Council members acknowledged women’s role in peace, political or humanitarian efforts. There were no references to the importance of women human rights defenders and peacebuilders in Ukraine, nor any attention given to the risk to their safety and security, despite considerable attention to the issue in the context of thematic discussions on women, peace and security over the course of the year. In its discussions on the situation in Ukraine, the Security Council should:
- Demand an immediate cessation of hostilities; end to civilian harm caused by the use of banned weapons such as cluster munitions and explosive weapons in populated areas, hitting hospitals, homes, schools, and other civilian infrastructure; respect for international humanitarian and human rights law; and all investigations of violations, including alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity, fully encompass and address the gendered and intersectional elements of these crimes.
- Urgently pursue a diplomatic way to peace negotiations and facilitate such a path and support measures to promote the inclusive and meaningful participation and leadership of women from diverse communities at all levels of peace and political processes and humanitarian response, including in-country coordination mechanisms, and further liaise, partner, and consult with diverse women leaders, women’s rights and peacebuilding groups, persons with disabilities, LGBTIQ+ people, stateless people, non-Ukrainians, and members of the Roma community and other minority groups.
- Promote and protect civil society space and ensure a safe and enabling environment for civil society, journalists, peacebuilders and all human rights defenders, including diverse women and LGBTIQ+ people, in both Ukraine and Russia, in order to fulfill obligations under international human rights law, and actively push back against disinformation, stigmatization, reprisals, and persecution of civil society actors engaged in criticizing warring parties, providing and disseminating information, defending human rights, providing basic services, promoting dialogue, and peacebuilding.
- Emphasize the importance of addressing the conditions and factors that heighten the risk of all forms of GBV by ensuring all aspects of the response are inclusive, non-discriminatory, and transparent, and further ensure that sex, age, gender, nationality, and disability-sensitive data and intersectional gender-sensitive analysis informs all facets of the humanitarian response, including at border crossings and reception centers, to ensure that individuals fleeing violence do not face additional gender-specific risks, such as sexual exploitation and abuse and trafficking, and accelerate efforts to support local organizations including diverse women’s rights, humanitarian, peacebuilding and LGBTIQ+ groups, in their efforts to provide necessary, frontline support to displaced populations.
- Reinforce that the rights of all individuals fleeing violence must be upheld, including the right to conscientious objection and ensure equal application of temporary protection for all people wishing to cross a border, provision of opportunities for livelihoods for displaced people that include social support, such as child care, and access to sexual and reproductive healthcare, including maternal, newborn and child health and GBV response services, and early medical abortion for displaced populations, safe abortion and post-abortion care, and a range of contraceptive options including emergency contraceptive and long-acting methods for displaced populations, and mental health and psychosocial support for adults and children.