UN takes stock of its efforts for women in war stricken areas
UN security council has adopted a Women Peace and Security (WPS) resolution 1325 which will celebrate its 15 years anniversary on this October. It’s an effort to improve the state of women in war stricken countries.
The WPS resolution helps women in conflict areas to participate in every aspect relating to conflicts like conflict prevention, peace negotiation, post-conflict restoration etc. It commands its member stated to include gender diversity in all of its peace-keeping operations. Though this has helped in the progression of gender parity in these countries, it is still one of the main concerns as shown in the data given by UN and NATO. The WPS resolution accompanies six other resolutions- 1820, 1888, 1889, 1960, 2106 and 2122. Yet the development in the real world is far too slow, according to humanitarian workers and social activists.
The difference in the casualties before and after World War Second is evident from the fact that earlier, 90% of the casualties used to be combatants. However, now it’s mostly women and children. The condition of women and young girls in some African countries that girls are married at 14 and have children by the time they turn 18. The concept of education is alien to them and girls are almost treated as a man’s property. Cases of sexual abuse and human trafficking are soaring in these countries and it is a matter of utmost shame to entire humanity.
“Despite 1325 and the successor resolutions…women and girls continue to be routinely excluded from decision-making processes in humanitarian responses as well as in peace negotiations and peacebuilding initiatives,” says Kang Kyung-wha Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator at the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) at an event for WPS as reported by Inter Press Service.
The World Humanitarian Summit, which is going to be held in Istanbul in May 2016 is garnering lot anticipation from humanitarian workers as hopefully it will put help put commitments into action. It is believed that women and girls are extremely important in peace works happening around the world and so they must be a part of it.
The activists spoke about how women’s leadership skills and accountability should be put to use in ensuring their own safety during emergencies. Secondly, the way women have been bogged down in all these years by their status quo and their psychological resistance towards becoming a part of WPS makes it even more difficult to implement. It’s a sensitive matter which needs to be dealt with immense care.
Women activists and humanitarian workers working for WPS also face misogyny and reluctance for their work. “Often enough the involvement of women in peace-keeping processes seems inconceivable to some of the men in power who hold key positions in international relations and foreign policy,” told Christine Ahn, co-founder of the Korea Policy Institute and former Senior Policy Analyst at the Global Fund for Women to Inter Press Service.
Ahn is one such activist who was among the 30 women who took part in the one-week long journey with North and South Korean women for the Crossing of the De-Militarised Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea. The DMZ project worked towards harbouring civil societies between North and South Korea and helped in bringing peace and reconciliation between the two countries.
The diversity in women’s condition from the west to down south to east is notably exponential, where at one end women are enjoying all the perks of a modern life and on the other end, violence and patriarchal domination is inflicted on them beyond imagination.
Picture Credit- Operation 1325