In 2019, the UK Government funded GAPS and its partners to undertake consultations on Women, Peace and Security to mark the 20th anniversary of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 in 2020. 245 organisations and individuals were consulted across 11 countries as part of this project. 8 countries participated in the consultations coordinated by GAPS, GAPS members and their partners, with civil society organisations in Afghanistan, the DRC, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and the UK; the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office also undertook key informant interviews in Myanmar, on the Syria response, and with the UK Mission to the United Nations in New York. The consultation participants developed recommendations for how governments, multilateral institutions, international non-governmental organisations and civil society can meet their Women, Peace and Security commitments and, importantly, make progress for women and girls affected by conflict and gender inequality in fragile and conflict affected states.

This report brings together the findings from the consultations to provide a sound body of evidence that outlines how progress can be made and Women, Peace and Security commitments implemented. The consultation findings demonstrate that commitments on Women, Peace and Security are vast and comprehensive and. However, in practice this has not translated into the inclusion of gender perspectives and women and girls’ rights in policy and programming. By implementing  ten recommendations – The 10 Steps – multilateral institutions, governments, INGOs and civil society can make transformational progress that aims to create a more peaceful world in which women, girls, men and boys’ rights are upheld.

The report was launched at the UN Security Council open debate on Women, Peace and Security in 2019, at a joint event of the International Peace Institute, the UK Mission to the UN, the German Mission to the UN and the South African Mission to the UN.

The 10 Steps: Turning Women, Peace and Security Commitments to Implementation

In 2019, the UK Government funded GAPS and its partners to undertake consultations on Women, Peace and Security to mark the 20th anniversary of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 in 2020. 245 organisations and individuals were consulted across 11 Read More

On Monday 21 October 2019, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security (APPG-WPS) held its Annual General Meeting.

The meeting was chaired by Baroness Fiona Hodgson of Abinger CBE, Co-Chair of the APPG-WPS.

Baroness Hodgson thanked Helen Whately MP, the outgoing Chair of the APPG-WPS.

Election of Officers

Anne Milton MP was elected to the position of Chair and Registered Contact for the APPG-WPS.

The following officers were elected to continue in their role:

Baroness Hodsgon of Abinger to continue as the Co-Chair of the APPG-WPS.

Baroness Prosser, Baroness Stern and Madeleine Moon MP to continue as Vice Chairs of the APPG-WPS.

The APPG-WPS was registered with these details on Tuesday 22 October 2019. The most updated version of the registration document can be found on the online Parliamentary Register of All-Party Parliamentary Groups.

APPG on Women, Peace and Security: 2019 Annual General Meeting

On Monday 21 October 2019, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security (APPG-WPS) held its Annual General Meeting. The meeting was chaired by Baroness Fiona Hodgson of Abinger CBE, Co-Chair of the APPG-WPS. Baroness Hodgson thanked Helen Whately Read More

*APPLICATIONS FOR THIS POSITION ARE NOW CLOSED*

Apply by 6pm on Thursday 19 September to be the GAPS Network Assistant!

The GAPS Network Assistant will support the coordination and development of the GAPS network. The role works closely with the GAPS Director, the GAPS Policy, Advocacy and Communications Manager, GAPS member agencies and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security (APPG-WPS). They will provide administrative support to the GAPS network as well as: support the development and launch of GAPS policy documents; support the work of the APPG-WPS; update the GAPS website and social media platforms; organise and take minutes at GAPS events; lead on the GAPS network’s internal communications with members, working groups and governance bodies.

The ideal candidate will have experience of: administration; social media; using their communication and networking skills; working with civil society or government; have a commitment to gender and women and girls’ rights; have an interest in peacebuilding, development, and/or international relations. This role will suit someone wanting to gain experience in the day-to-day running of a dynamic and ambitious civil society network, and to grow their experience of working on international women and girls’ rights and/or peace and security policy.

To apply, please send your CV, and a covering letter (no more than 2 pages) to ukrecruitment@womenforwomen.org with the subject heading “GAPS Network Assistant” outlining how your previous experience, knowledge and skills equip you to meet the requirements of the person specification.

Download the full job description, with details on how to apply.

GAPS is hiring! (applications for this position are now closed)

*APPLICATIONS FOR THIS POSITION ARE NOW CLOSED* Apply by 6pm on Thursday 19 September to be the GAPS Network Assistant! The GAPS Network Assistant will support the coordination and development of the GAPS network. The role works closely with the Read More

This report was written by Poppy Kennedy, Policy, Advocacy and Research Assistant at Plan International UK.

A full version of the report, including a summary of the Q&A, is available as a PDF here.

On the week of World Refugee Day 2019, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Women, Peace and Security partnered with Plan International UK, ActionAid UK, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS) to host a panel discussion on meeting the needs of adolescent girls in emergencies.

Chaired by:

Baroness Hodgson of Abinger, Co-Chair of the APPG on Women, Peace and Security

Speakers:

Hussaini Abdu – Country Director, Plan International Nigeria
Daphne Jayasinghe – Acting Head of Policy, IRC
Farah Nazeer – Deputy Director of Advocacy, ActionAid UK

Baroness Hodgson’s introduction

– Adolescent girls face specific needs and vulnerability based on the intersection of their age and gender, interventions which fail to reflect their specific needs can have negative repercussions for the rest of their lives.
– Girls not being in school can lead to early marriages, early pregnancy which result in health complications exacerbating existing inequalities and intergenerational poverty.
– Currently more people are displaced people around the world than ever before, approximately 60 million. In times of crisis domestic violence soars and the rights of women are rolled back.
– For this reason, the women, peace and security agenda must respond to the current context of increasingly protracted crises and widespread displacement.

Hussaini Abdu – Country Director, Plan International Nigeria

– The context and major drivers of the conflict is rooted in a lack of access to formal education, particularly for girls.
– Education is often seen as just a ‘development issue’ and therefore is often not valued or prioritised during humanitarian responses. But this perception is no longer relevant to the global context which is seeing more and more protracted crises.
– 80% of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) are not in camps but are living in host communities. The international community needs to change how we work in protracted crises to facilitate and incentivise education for girls within communities long-term.
– DFID is a major partner of Plan International Nigeria. DFID does value education and Plan International are working to ensure the UK will continue to be a driving positive force and invest more resources into responses specific to issues faced by adolescent girls.

Daphne Jayasinghe – Acting Head of Policy, IRC

– Currently, adolescent girls are caught between the gaps between child and adult services.
– As IRC’s research from South Sudan showed, conflict is a major driver of violence against women and girls (VAWG) as crisis often reinforce harmful gender norms. This research also child, early and forced marriage remains common in South Sudan.
– The policy environment is showing a willingness to act more on gender-based violence (GBV) but there are not enough policies that address adolescent girls specifically. There needs to be a dedicated government strategy for GBV on adolescent girls.
– There are huge shortfalls in GBV funding. To make an impact the UK Government needs to provide more long-term flexible funding.
– When designing programmes there is a need to consider that adolescent girls are not reporting violence and do not know where to report if they tried. This can be tackled by involving girls in the design and implementation of programmes and interventions.

Farah Nazeer – Deputy Director of Advocacy, ActionAid UK

– Adolescence should be a time for exploration and growth for girls, a time when they expand their educational horizons and relations outside of the family. Yet while this is true for boys we see that for girls this is a time where their world begins to contract.
– When there are power imbalances families and girls feel they cannot push back against harmful social norms in their communities leading to increased CEFM (child, early and forced marriage) and FGM.
– Central to ActionAid’s approach to humanitarian programming is shifting power to local leadership and building women’s leadership.
– It is important that more research into the impact of power imbalances takes place.

Read the briefing circulated at the event, with recommendations for the UK Government from Plan International UK, ActionAid UK, IRC and GAPS.

APPG on Women, Peace and Security: “Life in Limbo – adolescent girls in crisis and conflict”

This report was written by Poppy Kennedy, Policy, Advocacy and Research Assistant at Plan International UK. A full version of the report, including a summary of the Q&A, is available as a PDF here. On the week of World Refugee Read More

This report was authored by Yasmine Kherfi, Projects Assistant at the LSE Middle East Centre. Yasmine is interested in feminist theory and praxis, transnational solidarity movements, and development planning in (post-)conflict settings. Find Yasmine on Twitter @yasmine_kherfi.

On Wednesday 10 July 2019, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security (APPG-WPS), along with the LSE Middle East Centre, the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security and GAPS, hosted an event titled “Gender and Conflict in the Middle East: what next for Women, Peace and Security and displacement?”.

The LSE Middle East Centre and GAPS network launched their joint policy report ‘Women, Peace and Security and Displacement in the Middle East’, co-authored by Dr Zeynep Kaya (Research Fellow, LSE Middle East Centre) and Hannah Bond (Director, GAPS). The report was a result of extensive discussions that took place among experts at a workshop organised by the LSE Middle East Centre in Jordan in September 2018. It outlines the gendered impacts of conflict-related displacement in the Middle East, and offers concrete policy recommendations for the ways in which the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda can be used to better address this longstanding issue.

Baroness Hodgson of Abinger CBE, Co-Chair of the APPG-WPS, opened the event by sharing reflections on protracted conflict and its implications on the living conditions and wellbeing of forcibly displaced people. Baroness Hodgson introduced the speakers and report authors Dr Zeynep Kaya and Hannah Bond, who provided a comprehensive overview of the report findings and recommendations.

Dr Zeynep Kaya spoke on the importance of incorporating gendered responses to conflict-related displacement in the WPS agenda, as well as in National Action Plans on WPS (NAPS) in the Middle East. She noted that accounting for displacement through a rights-based framework would help increase understanding of the different needs of women and girls, and enable them to participate in decision-making processes. Zeynep cautioned against the treatment of women and girls as homogenous groups, and stressed the need for WPS programming to consider the multiple factors that distinguish their experiences of displacement. She highlighted the importance of understanding the continuum between different phases of displacement to improve peacebuilding efforts and resolve community tensions, and explained the importance of bridging the gap between humanitarian and development work to ensure that long-term structural challenges are integrated in the relief-to-development transition. Zeynep also elaborated on the reasons for the existing disconnect between the implementation of the WPS agenda and responses to displacement, noting that national security and military concerns are prioritised over the needs of displaced communities. Other reasons contributing to this disconnect include: a lack of accountability mechanisms to ensure the effective implementation of the WPS and displacement agendas, as well as the lack of alignment and coordination between different policy frameworks and actors at the global level.

GAPS Director Hannah Bond presented the recommendations outlined in the report. To ensure the transformative potential of policy, Hannah explained that the gendered impacts of conflict-related displacement must be first and foremost acknowledged. She spoke on the fundamental need for international actors to engage in a participatory and intersectional gender and conflict analysis in the design of any WPS and displacement programme. Hannah noted that such analysis is essential to assess the root causes of discrimination and vulnerability, as well as to adopt an effective approach that is centred on the needs of displaced communities rather than donor priorities. Among other recommendations, she highlighted the need for different actors involved in policy development to undertake meaningful consultations with displaced women and girls, and local civil society constituents at large. Hannah also addressed the importance of the international community’s support for civil society spaces and human rights defenders, and raised issues of funding that impede on women rights organisations’ ability to sustainably operationalise their self-defined priorities. Moreover, she highlighted the necessity to ensure that displacement and WPS programmes adopt long-term approaches, which aim to transform harmful gendered practices. Hannah concluded by reminding attendees that 2020 marks the 20th anniversary of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on WPS, and that this opportunity should be maximised to ensure displacement is integrated into WPS policies and programmes.

Following an engaging discussion with attendees, Baroness Hodgson closed the event, affirming the importance of the report’s contributions, and thanking the speakers for their presentations.

APPG on Women, Peace and Security: “Gender and Conflict in the Middle East – what next for Women, Peace and Security and displacement?”

This report was authored by Yasmine Kherfi, Projects Assistant at the LSE Middle East Centre. Yasmine is interested in feminist theory and praxis, transnational solidarity movements, and development planning in (post-)conflict settings. Find Yasmine on Twitter @yasmine_kherfi. On Wednesday 10 Read More

This article originally appeared on GAPS member UNA-UK’s website, authored by Enyseh Teimory: “UN All-Party Parliamentary Group hosts UN Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs

On 23 April the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the United Nations held a joint meeting with the APPGs for Yemen, on Women, Peace and Security, and on Global Security and Non-Proliferation, entitled: “The Global Humanitarian Landscape: How the UN is addressing crises in Yemen and across the world.”

The UN Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief, Sir Mark Lowcock, addressed attendees alongside Colette Fearon, Deputy Humanitarian Director at Oxfam, on the current state of humanitarian relief operations around the globe before focusing in more detail on Yemen.

At present, Yemen is facing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis – which according to Sir Mark is a direct consequence of the conflict between the Saudi-led coalition and Houthi rebels and one which continues to put immense strain on the UN system.

Sir Mark outlined the scale of the fallout, explaining that in 2019 the UN has had to increase its food support in order to feed 10 million Yemenis per month.  Speaking more broadly about the relief effort in Yemen, Sir Mark stated that the UN’s humanitarian response had “unquestioningly saved millions of lives.”

He noted that while last year was their most successful for fundraising, only 10% of the $4 Billion pledged by member states in Geneva recently had been paid. He warned that should the pledges not be fulfilled in the coming weeks, essential life-saving services – such as cholera treatment centres – would be under threat of closure.

Ms Fearon began by stating: “the people of Yemen are dying a slow death.”  She added that the “total collapse of social infrastructure” has exacerbated suffering on multiple fronts including in the areas of gender-based violence, child soldiers and preventable diseases.

Continuing on, Ms Fearon pinpointed the issue of ongoing British arms exports to the region, stating “We want the UK government to immediately suspend all arms sales to the Saudi and UAE-backed coalition because there is a clear risk they will be used to commit serious violations of international humanitarian law.”

This echoed the conclusions of the recent International Relations Committee report that concluded British arms sold to Saudi Arabia “narrowly on the wrong side [of international humanitarian law]: given the volume and type of arms being exported to the Saudi-led  coalition, we believe they are highly likely to be the cause of significant civilian casualties in Yemen, risking the contravention of international humanitarian law.”

UNA-UK has been calling on the UK to uphold its international obligations and suspend arms sales to all parties to the conflict. See more about their campaign Yemen Can’t Wait.

During the meeting, both Sir Mark and Ms Fearon stressed that a nationwide ceasefire was imperative in order for progress to be made in alleviating the suffering of Yemeni civilians.

Chaired by Lord Hannay, participants at the meeting included MPs Keith Vaz, Chair of the APPG on Yemen, Stephen Twigg, Chair of the International Development Committee and Douglas Chapman, SNP spokesperson for defence procurement, as well as a host of NGOs and academics working on humanitarian issues.

APPG on Women, Peace and Security: “The Global Humanitarian Landscape – How the UN is addressing crises in Yemen and across the world”

This article originally appeared on GAPS member UNA-UK’s website, authored by Enyseh Teimory: “UN All-Party Parliamentary Group hosts UN Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs” On 23 April the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the United Nations held a joint meeting with Read More

On Monday 18 March 2019, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Yemen, the International Rescue Committee, Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS) and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Women, Peace and Security co-hosted the event “Paying the Price: women and girls in Yemen’s war”. The event marked the fourth year of the conflict in Yemen and focused on the unique impact of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen on women and girls. The conflict in Yemen has exacerbated pre-existing gender inequalities, further eroding women and girls’ rights, exacerbating gendered vulnerabilities and increasing gender-based violence. This has impacted directly on women’s ability to participate safely and equally in public life and has prevented women and girls from the safe enjoyment of their rights. The event was chaired by Baroness Hodgson of Abinger CBE, Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security. The Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Yemen, provided opening remarks.

The meeting heard from: the Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP, Minister for International Development and Minister for the Middle East at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Ciarán Donnelly, Senior Vice President for International Programmes at the International Rescue Committee; Marwa Baabbad, Yemen Project Manager for the Strategic Peacebuilding Programme at the Oxford Research Group; and Dalia Qasim, Founder of the Hodeidah Girls Foundation.

Minister Burt outlined the ways in which the UK government is supporting women’s participation in the Yemen peace process, for example through the inclusion of a Gender Advisor role in the UN Special Envoy’s office and through funding to UNHRC, the International Organisation for Migration and UNICEF. Ciarán Donnelly highlighted the disproportionate impact of the war in Yemen on women and girls and called for the humanitarian community to mainstream gender-sensitivity as well as targeted funding to address gender-based violence. The International Rescue Committee has published a report – Protection, Participation and Potential: Women and Girls in Yemen’s War – on the importance of a gender-transformative agenda for Yemen, including recommendations for all humanitarian actors to prioritise the needs of women and girls in Yemen’s conflict and the meaningful participation of women and women-led organisations in peace talks.

Dalia Qasim shared a first-hand testimony on the gendered impact of the conflict on civilians and reminded attendees of the leading role that Yemeni women play in the delivery of humanitarian services and in conflict resolution. Marwa Baabbad spoke on the frustrating lack of representation of Yemeni women peacebuilders in the media and in formal processes, despite all the work that they do on the ground, and on the importance of long-term, flexible funding to grassroots civil society organisations in Yemen.

 

APPG on Women, Peace and Security: “Paying the Price – women and girls in Yemen’s war”

On Monday 18 March 2019, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Yemen, the International Rescue Committee, Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS) and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Women, Peace and Security co-hosted the event “Paying the Price: women and Read More

On Monday 21 January 2019 the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security (APPG-WPS) and Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS) co-hosted the UK government’s oral Report to Parliament in 2018 on the UK National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the Department for International Development (DFID) presented their progress in the implementation of the UK’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (UK NAP) 2018-2022. GAPS launched its Shadow Report, “Assessing UK Government Action in 2018“.

Baroness Fiona Hodgson of Abinger CBE, Co-Chair of the APPG-WPS, opened the event. Baroness Hodsgon reflected on the significance of 2018 as the first year of the implementation of the UK NAP 2018-2022, an opportunity for the UK government to demonstrate its commitment to the Women, Peace and Security agenda.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, FCO Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the United Nations and the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, spoke on the importance of cross-government working to the successful implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda. Lord Ahmad also noted the shrinking civil society space, particularly for women and girls, and emphasised the UK government’s commitment to delivering for women and girls affected by conflict. The new network of Women Mediators across the Commonwealth, hosted by GAPS member Conciliation Resources and funded by the UK government, is one such initiative.

Secretary of State for the MOD, the Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP, outlined how human security is at the centre of the MOD’s work, for example through the newly launched Joint Services Publication 1325: Human security in military operations and the inaugural Military Gender and Protection Advisers course held at the Defence Academy in 2018. The Secretary of State finished his report with a commitment to embrace Women, Peace and Security as fundamental to the MOD’s work and to the ability to make a difference on the ground.

The Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP, Minister of State for DFID, noted that the promotion of the Women, Peace and Security agenda is a global priority for the UK government. Minister Burt highlighted the UK government’s commitment to gender equality and the fulfilment of women and girls’ rights, including through: political participation; economic empowerment; and ending and responding to violence against women and girls.

Hannah Bond, GAPS Director, presented the GAPS network’s Shadow Report for 2018. Hannah welcomed the positive steps taken by the UK government in the development and implementation of 2018-2022 UK NAP. Hannah called for the UK government to prioritise the rights, needs and experiences of women and girls affected by conflict through meaningful consultations and engagement with women and women’s rights organisations, including with women displaced by conflict. Hannah noted the importance of accessible, long-term, core and flexible funding for women’s rights organisations in order to support their vital work in service delivery and conflict prevention. Other key recommendations from the Shadow Report include the need to: track Women, Peace and Security spending; meet international arms control commitments; address the root causes and drivers of gender inequality, violence and conflict; and establish a monitoring and evaluation framework for the UK NAP that includes reporting on impact indicators.

Baroness Hodgson closed the event, welcoming the GAPS Shadow Report and thanking the three UK government departments for their presentations.

Special thanks to Rosy Cave, Head of the Gender Equality Unit and of the Office of the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict at the FCO, for representing Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on the panel during a brief absence to attend to Parliamentary business.

APPG on Women, Peace and Security hosts the UK Government’s annual report to Parliament in 2018

On Monday 21 January 2019 the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security (APPG-WPS) and Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS) co-hosted the UK government’s oral Report to Parliament in 2018 on the UK National Action Plan on Read More

In this shadow report, GAPS assesses the 2018 Annual Report to Parliament by the UK Government and focuses on how the UK Government has used, and could have used, the first year of implementation for this National Action Plan (NAP) to lay a strong foundation for the full five years of the NAP.

While the inward-looking Strategic Outcome 7 on UK Government capabilities is particularly welcome, there remains considerable room for progress. It is vital that the UK Government scales up its Women, Peace and Security efforts, including on: funding for Women, Peace and Security, in particular for women’s rights organisations, women human rights defenders and peacebuilders; addressing the root causes and drives of gender inequality, violence and conflict; meeting arms control commitments; domestic implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda; and community-based peacebuilding.

This report builds on and complements the GAPS’s six-month check-in on the NAP and the Shadow Report for 2017, among others.

Assessing UK Government Action on Women, Peace and Security in 2018

In this shadow report, GAPS assesses the 2018 Annual Report to Parliament by the UK Government and focuses on how the UK Government has used, and could have used, the first year of implementation for this National Action Plan (NAP) to Read More

On Wednesday 18 July 2018 the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Yemen and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security co-hosted the event “Women in Yemen’s war”. The panel discussion focused on the gendered impacts of the conflict with particular attention to how women are affected. Areas of discussion included: women’s access to health services; the secondary and tertiary gendered impacts of the use of explosive weapons in populated areas; the resilience of women’s rights organisations operating in conflict-affected contexts; and supporting women’s livelihoods and economic justice in conflict. Baroness Hodgson of Abinger – Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security – and the Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP – Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Yemen – co-chaired the event.

Speakers at the event included: Laurie Lee, Chief Executive of CARE International UK; Laila Alodaat, MENA Director at the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; Marwa Baabbad, a Fellow at the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security; Fionna Smyth, Head of Humanitarian Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns at Oxfam; and Hanna Quassim, Director of Adalah Yemen.

 

APPG on Women, Peace and Security: Women in Yemen’s War

On Wednesday 18 July 2018 the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Yemen and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security co-hosted the event “Women in Yemen’s war”. The panel discussion focused on the gendered impacts of the conflict with Read More

In January 2018 GAPS welcomed the UK Government’s latest, fourth National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security. Exactly six months on, GAPS is launching the GAPS NAP Six Month Check-In, our response to the 2018-2022 NAP. The response outlines GAPS’s reflections both on the NAP itself and its implementation, including the ongoing development of the UK Government’s Monitoring Evaluation and Learning (MEL) plan.

GAPS remains encouraged by the process in developing the NAP, particularly the consultative nature of it. GAPS welcomes the cross-government approach, senior support and dedication of the team developing the NAP. GAPS believes that the omission of an MEL framework during drafting of the NAP was a missed opportunity, but is encouraged by discussions on its development since the launch and is looking forward to a robust NAP MEL framework. GAPS will continue to encourage the UK Government to increase funding for Women, Peace and Security and to support Women’s Rights Organisations, Women Human Rights Defenders, peacebuilders and Civil Society Organisations in Fragile and Conflict Affected States. GAPS will also continue to support the UK Government in strengthening its focus on the prevention pillar of Women, Peace and Security to move towards a comprehensive approach to conflict prevention.

UK National Action Plan: GAPS Six Month Check-In

In January 2018 GAPS welcomed the UK Government’s latest, fourth National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security. Exactly six months on, GAPS is launching the GAPS NAP Six Month Check-In, our response to the 2018-2022 NAP. The response outlines GAPS’s reflections both Read More

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security (APPG-WPS), in collaboration with the Nigeria INGO Forum and the Somalia NGO Consortium, organised the panel discussion Sexual violence in conflict: Reclaiming women’s agency through law, policy and practice to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict (19 June). Baroness Hodgson of Abinger CBE, Co-Chair of the APPG-WPS, chaired the discussion with representatives from civil society based in Somalia and Nigeria, the UK government, and a global legal expert. Using north-east Nigeria and Somalia as examples of protracted conflicts, the panellists explored and discussed best practices of programming and legislation that offer meaningful support to empower women to be their own agents of change. Baroness Hodgson called attention to the entrenched patriarchy and targeted violence against women and girls in both conflict settings. Welcoming the continuous efforts of the UK government to address sexual violence in conflict and in their role as penholder at the UN on the Women, Peace and Security agenda, the panellists focused their key asks to the UK government. The discussion was lively and informative with Rosy Cave from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office taking stock of the needs and gaps as highlighted by field colleagues and reiterating the UK government’s willingness to engage all actors and continue prioritising gender equality in protracted conflicts.

Somalia

Halima Adan from Save Somali Women and Children outlined the current weak legal and policy framework in Somalia, the deeply patriarchal culture and how customary law stigmatises gender-based violence survivors resulting in low levels of reporting and ability to seek services. Due to poor infrastructure and site planning, 2.6 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) live in congested camps with limited access to basic services. Woman are economically disempowered and, in general, there are not enough specialised facilities to deal with survivors. Somalia is perceived as a humanitarian crisis which hinders the delivery of long-term sustainable funding. Much of the gender-based violence programming does not span for more than a year, sometimes resulting in specialised facilities being shut down.

Adan focused on best practices of legislation and programming. The Somali Sexual Offences Bill – passed in Cabinet in May 2018 and awaiting Parliamentary enactment – is a critical step towards furthering the protection and promotion of women and girls. It is context specific, was drafted by Somali lawyers with international technical support, and was led by the Somali government and civil society. Adan asked that the UK government supports the enactment of the Somali Sexual Offences Bill and Somalia’s ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Adan noted the best practice of the comprehensive one-stop model where women survivors of sexual violence can receive multi-faceted support. This reduces the re-traumatisation of the survivor and creates conditions for continued support. The UK government’s Department for International Development is not currently funding this model despite its clear advantages. Five one-stop centres and three safe houses are funded by the United States government. Multi-year funding and specific programming on gender equality and social norms are also key to the prevention of sexual violence in conflict.

Nigeria

Joe Read from CARE USA introduced the importance of understanding Nigeria in its regional context: the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin. The nine-year violent conflict between non-state armed actors commonly known as ‘Boko Haram’ and the Nigerian Armed Forces has exacerbated existing poverty and patriarchy. Women experience profound political, economic and social exclusion in the Sahel, and sexual violence in conflict is a key feature of the crisis. Women and girls are abused by all parties to the conflict. ‘Boko Haram’ use women and girls as person-borne improvised explosive devices (PBIEDs). Read emphasised the failure of the humanitarian community and the need to take collective responsibility. Local women’s rights organisations are delivering gender-responsive programming in their communities, but they need international support. However, the international response continues to view protection as an add-on rather than a key feature of humanitarian assistance. For example, Nigerian humanitarian response has scaled up since 2014 but the protection sector remains massively underfunded at 8%, with 1.7% for gender-based violence protection and almost 3% for child protection. Read also highlighted the need for high-level political action and the adoption of the Protection of Civilians Policy in Nigeria to ensure accountability.

International legal perspective

Antonia Mulvey, the founder and Executive Director of Legal Action Worldwide (LAW), outlined existing global legal frameworks to further the protection of women and girls and their promotion of their rights, including: the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Istanbul Protocol and the Maputo Protocol. Mulvey noted the slowness and ineffectiveness of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the lack of political will of the International Criminal Court. From Mulvey’s experience in collecting hundreds of testimonies across Uganda, South Sudan, Somalia and Myanmar, survivors want justice. Although the state has the primary obligation for the protection of human rights, in most cases sexual violence cannot be reported or investigated because there is no legal framework in place. Highlighting the importance of legislation, Mulvey gave the example of over 100 prosecutions since the enactment of the Sexual Offences Bill in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mulvey argued against the opinion that legislation cannot be passed in conflict contexts. However, badly drafted legislation can lead to worse outcomes for survivors, including their arrest. Implementation of contextually relevant, precise, concise and specific legislation is key, and requires buy-in from government and civil society. The Somali Sexual Offences Bill, for example, has specific clauses on abuse of power and a clear definition of rape and coercive circumstances.

UK government

Rosy Cave, Head of the Gender Equality Unit and of the Office of the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, reiterated the UK government’s commitment to consciously delivering for women and girls’ rights. Cave outlined the establishment of the UK government’s Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI) and highlighted the International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict and the progress it has made. Cave noted that both Nigeria and Somalia are focus countries for the UK’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. The recent G7 led to the UK partnering with Nigeria under a mentorship programme on Women, Peace and Security. Cave agreed that conflict in Nigeria needs to be treated as a regional crisis with regional programming. The UK government has just opened an office in Chad to support this work.

In Somalia, the UK government supports the Somali Sexual Offences Bill, works with Somali female parliamentarians to change behaviours and attitudes, and has supported the Ministry of Women and Human Rights Development in the development of their National Action Plan and in their work with security forces, including the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

Key asks and concluding remarks

Key asks from the panel and the following discussion included strengthened collaboration between all actors, increased coordinated and targeted advocacy on gender and women’s rights, increased mechanisms for independent oversight, and the transfer of stigma from survivor to perpetrator.

All panellists were asked to give concluding remarks and key ways forward before Baroness Hodgson of Abinger CBE closed the discussion. Adan concluded with the need to prioritise livelihoods within service provision. Read highlighted the need for genuine empowerment. Cave called for civil society to bring evidence-based suggestions forward to influence the international agenda. Mulvey outlined the critical role of legal and policy frameworks and called for the endorsement and implementation of the Somali Sexual Offences Bill and the Protection of Civilians Policy in Nigeria.

With thanks to Roisin Mangan, Policy Advisor at the Nigeria INGO Forum, whose event report forms the basis of the above report.

APPG on Women, Peace and Security: Sexual violence in conflict in Nigeria and Somalia

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security (APPG-WPS), in collaboration with the Nigeria INGO Forum and the Somalia NGO Consortium, organised the panel discussion Sexual violence in conflict: Reclaiming women’s agency through law, policy and practice to mark Read More

There has been a shift in recent years where Women, Peace and Security is increasingly discussed in the context of Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE). This new GAPS paper assesses the impacts of this,  and makes recommendations to avoid women and girls being used as tools in P/CVE as well as the need to prioritise peace.

The paper demonstrates that current approaches to P/CVE do not take seriously the protection of women and girls’ rights, and are inconsistent with peacebuilding processes that promote social empowerment and reform to address the root causes of all forms of violent conflict. It makes recommendations for ways to ensure the protection and promotion of the rights of women and girls, and to address underlying causes of conflict in a way that promotes gender equality.

thumbnail of GAPS report_Prioritise Peace – Challenging Approaches to P & CVE from a WPS perspective

Prioritise Peace: challenging approaches to Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism from a Women, Peace and Security perspective

There has been a shift in recent years where Women, Peace and Security is increasingly discussed in the context of Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE). This new GAPS paper assesses the impacts of this,  and makes recommendations to avoid Read More

Women for Women International UK, the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security and GAPS have released a new report: Displacement and Women’s Economic Empowerment: Voices of Displaced Women in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

This report examines, and makes concrete recommendations for, women’s economic wellbeing and empowerment in the context of conflict-related displacement, focusing on livelihood needs and opportunities. It provides insights into how displacement has affected the position of women in the economic life of the family and community, and captures specific and contextualised aspects of women’s opportunities and barriers to empowerment from their perspective. The key contribution of this report is that it reflects the voices of displaced women in the KRI. Hear directly from women in the KRI in these videos: Alia; Shireen; Raja.

Download the full report

Download the Executive Summary

Displacement and Women’s Economic Empowerment: Voices of Displaced Women in the KRI

Women for Women International UK, the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security and GAPS have released a new report: Displacement and Women’s Economic Empowerment: Voices of Displaced Women in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. This report examines, and makes concrete Read More

For International Women’s Day 2018, GAPS is celebrating diaspora women building peace through projects in the UK and across the world. Their work, from local initiatives to high-level peace processes, is at the forefront of change as they bring their voices, and the needs and challenges facing their communities, to the process of building sustainable peace. This is such important work, which all too often goes unrecognised by formal peace and security actors and institutions.

Women are systematically excluded from peace processes. Women’s rights are perceived as secondary, to be attained once peace has been brokered. This undermines the importance of women’s rights and gender equality, and precludes the opportunity for sustainable peace.

We recognise that the demand that women explain why their voices should be heard and what value they can bring undermines women’s fundamental right to equal participation; we should in fact be demanding explanations from those seeking to exclude women. We see this bias in GAPS’ question to the peacebuilders we are profiling for International Women’s Day, and our decision to keep the question is based on feminist practices of self-reflection and learning, and because of the many wonderful answers we received that deserve to be heard.

Today we are saying thank you to diaspora women working for peace and security as we profile five brilliant women and their important projects.

1. Amna Abdul:

“When I think about peace and security, I am always looking at it through an intersectional gendered lens with the aim to understand what women’s experiences and roles are within it.”

2. Quhramaana Kakar:

“Peace for me is not only the absence of war but the prevalence of harmony and tranquility, and the provision of justice, access and equal opportunity for individuals and societies in their struggle to shape their own narrative and negotiate their own terms.”

3. Camila Marín Restrepo:

“Women within diaspora communities have been subjected to a double invisibility. In their countries of origin, many were exposed to exclusion in relation to political participation. Their migration beyond national borders has meant they now face further barriers when attempting to contribute to peacebuilding conversations taking place in their home countries.”

4. Amparo Restrepo:

“We are now determined to break the silence in order to have our voices heard and to demand that we are included in the process of post-conflict restructuring.”

5. Marwa Baabbad:

“Women shouldn’t be asked why their voices are valuable unless everyone else is asked the same question.”

International Women’s Day 2018: Women building peace

For International Women’s Day 2018, GAPS is celebrating diaspora women building peace through projects in the UK and across the world. Their work, from local initiatives to high-level peace processes, is at the forefront of change as they bring their Read More

On Tuesday 19 December 2017, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security (APPG-WPS) and GAPS co-hosted the Government’s 2017 annual report to Parliament for 2017.  The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence and the Department for International Development presented their progress in implementing the 2014-2017 UK National Action Plan (NAP), the final report for this NAP.

Baroness Fiona Hodgson of Abinger CBE, co-Chair of the APPG-WPS, opened the event. She emphasised that women’s voices must be heard and acted upon, and cited the consultations run by GAPS and its members as a particular highlight of 2017. Women’s rights organisations and women human rights defenders are doing vital and brave peacebuilding work. The consultations were an opportunity to bring their findings and recommendations to the UK Government’s policy-making processes.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (FCO) acknowledged the importance of ensuring women’s equal participation in post-conflict peacebuilding and restated the UK Government’s commitment to work in collaboration with and across departments as well as with civil society. Lord Ahmad drew attention to priority issues covered in the UK Government’s report, for example working with the United Nations to address sexual exploitation and abuse perpetrated by UN peacekeepers.

General Sir Gordon Messenger (MOD) highlighted the progress on WPS that has been made within the MOD and the British armed forces. The MOD is increasing the number of gender advisers in the British military, and will work towards the delivery of gender training pre-deployment and incorporating gender into training on the laws of armed conflict. General Messenger echoed Lord Ahmad on the frontline role that the UK must play to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeepers. Finally, he outlined targets for women’s increased participation in the armed forces, for improved collaboration and information sharing within UK Government and for WPS to be mainstreamed into UK defence plans.

Matthew Wyatt (DFID) drew parallels between the UK’s work on WPS and the development process for DFID’s new Strategic Vision for Gender Equality, noting that gender-based violence is one of the most widespread human rights violations in conflict-affected contexts. DFID’s humanitarian work has pushed for awareness of the specific needs of women and girls and recognises that women’s participation in the design and implementation of humanitarian response is vital. Mr Wyatt also acknowledged the importance of tackling root causes of gender-based violence.

Helen Stawski (International Rescue Committee, Europe), presented findings from the report No Safe Place: A lifetime of violence for conflict-affected women and girls in South Sudan. This report was produced as part of the What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) consortium. Ms Stawski highlighted that the international community’s focus is often on the perpetration of VAWG by armed actors yet the most common form of violence is intimate partner violence, and levels are shockingly high. The study found that levels of VAWG in South Sudan are as high as 65%, among the highest rates in the world. The report recommends that tackling VAWG should be central to all humanitarian response. There should be gender training for security personnel, and donors should ensure that funding is multiyear, accessible to in-country grassroots organisations and require collaboration with local women’s groups to support existing work and build local capacity. Furthermore, Ms Stawski recommended that programmes targeting VAWG should be integrated with those addressing long-term community-based peacebuilding.

Zarina Khan (GAPS) welcomed the presentation of the UK’s annual report as practice of an open and accountable government. Ms Khan presented the GAPS 2017 Shadow Report, which identifies areas of progress and concern. For instance, she highlighted the positive development of GAPS’ relationship with the cross-Whitehall WPS team and supported commitments made to changing internal cultures and attitudes on gender equality. On countering violent extremism, however, Ms Khan drew attention to the ways in which current practices are not in line with WPS principles, and noted that women and women’s rights advocates should have space to influence all UK Government decisions relating to peace and security. Finally, she challenged the UK Government on its support for Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen, which is inconsistent with its commitments to peace. In Yemen the UK is falling short of its obligations to prevent the occurrence of violent conflict, undermining in the process its own humanitarian and WPS efforts.

Zarina Khan called for the UK Government to meet its ambitions not only by listening to the voices of women in conflict, but by acting on them too. The FCO-funded projects to consult with women’s rights organisations and women human rights defenders set an important and welcome precedent for the UK’s NAP development process. GAPS hopes to see this investment in women’s voices continue, and to see action on the recommendations from the consultations.

Jo Churchill MP, Chair of the APPG-WPS, closed the event by thanking all those who presented. She commended the UK Government for its collaboration with civil society actors, and called on the UK as a global leader on WPS to lead by example in providing the space and access necessary for women’s rights organisations to be involved in the design and evaluation of WPS policy and programming.

APPG on Women, Peace and Security hosts the UK Government’s annual report to Parliament in 2017

On Tuesday 19 December 2017, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security (APPG-WPS) and GAPS co-hosted the Government’s 2017 annual report to Parliament for 2017.  The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence and the Department for Read More

Implementation of the new UK NAP must support the work of women building peace

Today the UK Government has released its fourth National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (UK NAP) which sets the direction for the UK’s work on women’s rights, peacebuilding and conflict prevention from 2018 to 2022.

GAPS has been encouraged by the Government’s collaborative approach to informing this new UK NAP, and the increased commitment to hearing the voices of women’s rights organisations and human rights defenders in conflict-affected countries. With involvement of GAPS and its members, academia and Parliament, the Government has revised the UK NAP to ensure a more strategic and comprehensive approach to achieving the full realisation and protection of women’s rights and genuine, sustainable peace.

© Women for Women International

With this new UK NAP comes a recognition that, despite progress made on Women, Peace and Security globally, far more work is needed. “Creating a clear and evidenced strategy is an intensive task and we have been pleased to work closely with the Government to do so, but this is only the beginning,” says Zarina Khan, interim Director of GAPS. “The real test of this National Action Plan will be in its consistent implementation. This means not just listening to, but acting on women’s voices and taking seriously their concerns and ideas. It means dedicating meaningful resources to the work of women’s rights organisations and human rights defenders who are the on the frontlines of conflict, working to make their communities and countries safer and more peaceful in incredibly difficult circumstances.”

GAPS looks forward to continuing its work with Government and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security to ensure that the UK meets fully its commitments set out in the UK NAP, and that women and girls are truly at the heart of all efforts prevent and resolve conflict.

Read more about GAPS’ recommendations for the 2018-2022 UK NAP.

See what women’s rights activists in Somalia, Syria and Afghanistan think are the most pressing issues for the UK’s work on Women, Peace and Security.

You can access the 2018-2022 UK NAP here.

UK launches new National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security

Implementation of the new UK NAP must support the work of women building peace Today the UK Government has released its fourth National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (UK NAP) which sets the direction for the UK’s work Read More

In this new report GAPS assesses the 2017 Annual Report to Parliament by the UK Government, analyses progress in the UK’s Women, Peace and Security work over the past year and makes recommendations for building on this progress including for the new UK National Action Plan (NAP). In this report, GAPS looks at the UK’s work at the UN Security Council, its efforts to support women’s participation in international events, its role in the conflict in Yemen, and other key developments from this year. As the final shadow report for the 2014-2017 UK NAP on Women, Peace and Security, it also provides an overview of the UK Government’s reporting during the course of this NAP.

This report builds on and complements GAPS’ written submission Informing the new UK National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, the summary report Women’s Voices in the UK National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, and previous shadow reports for 2015 and 2016.

Assessing UK Government Action on Women, Peace and Security in 2017

In this new report GAPS assesses the 2017 Annual Report to Parliament by the UK Government, analyses progress in the UK’s Women, Peace and Security work over the past year and makes recommendations for building on this progress including for the new Read More

On Tuesday 31 October, Ambassador Melanne Verveer joined the APPG on Women, Peace and Security and GAPS for a discussion on her work on Women, Peace and Security, and her hopes for creating meaningful change for women’s rights.

Baroness Hodgson, co-chair of the APPG, highlighted Ambassador Verveer’s extensive experience in Women, Peace and Security, spanning government, civil society and academia. Ambassador Verveer was the first ever US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, nominated by President Obama in 2009. In this role, she led the development of the US National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. Ambassador Verveer is now the Director of Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security, working to enhance national and global security by championing the crucial role women play in peacebuilding and security.

Ambassador Verveer opened by describing her early involvement with Women, Peace and Security on the global stage. Ambassador Verveer pinpointed the Beijing Platform for Action in 1995 and the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 in 2000 as pivotal moments for the representation of women’s rights in international frameworks, especially relating to conflict affected and fragile settings.

Baroness Hodgson of Abinger CBE, Ambassador Melanne Verveer & Baroness Goudie

Ambassador Verveer paid tribute to the critical roles that women have played in peace processes, for example in Northern Ireland and Liberia. She expressed frustration at the underrepresentation and lack of documentation of women in peace processes, as this is needed to create a compelling evidence base that resonates with decision-makers. This is what the Georgetown Institute aims to achieve: bridging the silo between theory and practice to persuade decision-makers that Women, Peace and Security is the right framework to invest in and implement.

Ambassador Verveer feels the implementation of Women, Peace and Security is the most practical way to address conflict at the level of root causes. Effective implementation means not only strengthening the top-down approach at the levels of regional, national and local governance, but building capacity at the bottom as well. She articulated this as “heat at the bottom and heat at the top.” Women and women’s rights organisations are at the frontlines of change, and their perspectives and experiences are essential to developing approaches to end violent conflict and build peace. With this in mind, the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security has developed a Women, Peace and Security Index to offer a comprehensive measure of women’s inclusion, justice and security in 153 countries.

Questions from the floor discussed the importance of women’s movements and networks, and how resourcing and support for women’s rights organisations is essential to enabling change. Responding to a question on the need for a greater focus on preventing conflict and violence against women, Ambassador Verveer noted the relevance of international frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) as complementary to the WPS agenda.

Finally, a question from Women for Peace and Participation asked about the major challenges that women still face in accessing the negotiating table, for example in Afghanistan. Ambassador Verveer’s response, drawn from her past experiences, stated that the peace and security architectures still resist the representation of women and women’s rights. Addressing these structural barriers means pushing back on the conventional wisdom that putting women’s rights on the agenda means you will not get a peace agreement.

APPG on Women, Peace and Security: in conversation with Ambassador Melanne Verveer

On Tuesday 31 October, Ambassador Melanne Verveer joined the APPG on Women, Peace and Security and GAPS for a discussion on her work on Women, Peace and Security, and her hopes for creating meaningful change for women’s rights. Baroness Hodgson, Read More

On Wednesday 11 October, the APPG Friends of Syria and APPG on Women, Peace and Security hosted an event with Families For Freedom – a women-led campaign for the rights of all detainees in Syria. They call for the issue of detainees to be treated as a humanitarian priority, separate from political and military bargaining. Their three main demands are as follows:
1) The right to know the fate of detained and disappeared people;
2) Detainees’ right to decent living conditions and freedom from torture and abuse;
3) The abolition of exceptional courts, especially Military Field Courts.

Baroness Hodgson of Abinger, co-chair of the APPG on Women, Peace and Security, briefly outlined the use of arbitrary detention and abuse and torture of detainees in the Syrian conflict. The Syrian Network of Human Rights has recorded more than 117,000 detainees, but some estimates place the number as high as 215,000. Amnesty International has reported that as many as 13,000 people, mostly civilians, were hanged in secret at one prison over a period of five years. Human Rights Watch revealed that at least 6,786 people have died in detention because of torture and abuse. Detention and disappearances affect not only the detainees, but also families left for years with no certain knowledge of their fate. Survivors of detention, and their families, suffer lifelong consequences.

Baroness Hodgson introduced three speakers from Families For Freedom: Amina, Noura and Ghada. Amina experienced detention herself, and three of her brothers were forcibly disappeared in 2011. Amina spoke about the origins of Families For Freedom’s campaign in Geneva, and appealed to the UK media to raise awareness about detainees in Syria, including the circumstances of their arrest and detention. Amina highlighted that the women of Families For Freedom have to struggle against gendered community pressures in order to be able to do their work. She described Families For Freedom as a “revolution against tyranny and traditions.”

Noura, a human rights lawyer and activist for women’s rights, recently learned that her husband Bassel Khartabil, detained in 2012, was executed. She spoke of her personal experience of being denied visiting rights to, and then all communications from, her husband. Noura expressed frustration at the inaction from the international community on Syria’s detained and disappeared. “We appreciate solidarity,” she said, “but we need action.” Ghada sees Families For Freedom as a means to feel stronger together. Since her husband’s detention, Ghada has been determined to spread the message about unjustifiable detention: “I feel very strong, because I have a message, and I have learnt that I always have to talk about it.” Families For Freedom has helped her to do this.

Laila Alodaat, Programme Manager for Crisis Response at the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), spoke on consultations that WILPF and Amnesty International UK ran in conjunction with GAPS. The consultations were held to inform the new UK National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security, but they have wide-ranging recommendations on support for women’s rights and women’s rights organisations that have application beyond a NAP. Women’s civil society organisations have the largest impact in their communities, but they are limited by a lack of financial and technical support. Women’s participation is also essential for the Syrian peace processes. The women from Families For Freedom, active community leaders working for peace, are excluded from the negotiating table. For this to change, the international community needs to start asking how the conflict in Syria is impacting women differently. This needs to be documented and implemented in policies to have accountability.

Baroness Hodgson thanked the speakers for bringing the situation of detention and forced disappearance to the attention of this audience, and for sharing such difficult personal stories. The event was also a powerful reminder of the specific barriers that women’s rights organising faces in the context of conflict, and that the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda still has far to go to be fully realised.

APPG on Women, Peace and Security: Families For Freedom event

On Wednesday 11 October, the APPG Friends of Syria and APPG on Women, Peace and Security hosted an event with Families For Freedom – a women-led campaign for the rights of all detainees in Syria. They call for the issue Read More

In November 2016 the UK Government partnered with GAPS to consult with women’s civil society organisations and women human rights defenders on the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) priorities in their contexts. This video presents a summary of the findings from the consultation in Somalia which took place in March 2017. The consultations were led by GAPS member Saferworld, and two of Saferworld’s local partners and established women’s rights groups: the Somali Women Development Centre (Mogadishu) and the Somalia Women Solidarity Organisation (Kismayo). The overarching theme from these consultations is that women are politically absent from decision making.

Somali Women’s Voices in the UK National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security

In November 2016 the UK Government partnered with GAPS to consult with women’s civil society organisations and women human rights defenders on the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) priorities in their contexts. This video presents a summary of the findings from Read More

In November 2016 the UK Government partnered with GAPS to consult with women’s civil society organisations and women human rights defenders on the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) priorities in their contexts. GAPS members Amnesty International UK and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom supplemented funds from the UK Government to run the Syria Response consultations in Turkey and Lebanon, alongside Women Now for Development. This report reflects analysis by women’s rights activists of the barriers and challenges around WPS, as well as recommendations that will inform the development process of the next UK National Action Plan on WPS.

Syrian Women’s voices in the UK National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security

In November 2016 the UK Government partnered with GAPS to consult with women’s civil society organisations and women human rights defenders on the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) priorities in their contexts. GAPS members Amnesty International UK and Women’s International Read More

In November 2016 the UK Government partnered with GAPS to consult with women’s civil society organisations and women human rights defenders on the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) priorities in their contexts. This report presents a summary of the findings from the consultation in Afghanistan which took place in February 2017. The consultations were led by Women for Women International UK and Medica Afghanistan. The recommendations in this report are direct outcomes from the consultation, proposed by participants, and cover the following: violence against women; access to justice & NGO services; access to funding for women’s rights; support for women human rights defenders; women’s participation; and recommendations for institutions, security, justice and legal frameworks.

Afghan Women’s voices in the UK National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security

In November 2016 the UK Government partnered with GAPS to consult with women’s civil society organisations and women human rights defenders on the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) priorities in their contexts. This report presents a summary of the findings Read More

In November 2016 the UK Government partnered with GAPS to consult with women’s civil society organisations and activists on the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) priorities in their contexts. The aim is to bring these women’s voices directly to the decision-makers, to ensure that the next, fourth UK NAP on WPS (2018-2021) is firmly grounded in the realities that women face. The consultations were conducted in 2017, in four of the UK’s WPS focus countries/contexts: Myanmar, Somalia, Afghanistan, and in Turkey and Lebanon for the Syria Response. This summary report highlights the key findings from the consultations, setting out the many common priorities that women working for peace and security face in such challenging circumstances.

On Wednesday 5 July 2017, the APPG on Women, Peace and Security hosted the event “Women’s voices in the UK National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security” in the Houses of Parliament. This event presented the findings from the reports and the accompanying videos to an audience of civil society, parliamentarians, policy makers and academics. It was a chance to hear the stories of women human rights defenders, to learn about the life-saving and tireless work that they do to protect the rights of women and create peace for their societies, and to hear from them what action can truly help to make a difference to their lives. Speakers at the event included GAPS Director Zarina Khan, representatives from GAPS members Saferworld, Amnesty International UK, and Women for Women International UK, as well as Lord Ahmad, Minister of State at the FCO and Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict. The event was chaired by Baroness Hodgson of Abinger CBE, co-Chair of the APPG on WPS.

Women’s voices in the UK National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security: Summary Report

In November 2016 the UK Government partnered with GAPS to consult with women’s civil society organisations and activists on the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) priorities in their contexts. The aim is to bring these women’s voices directly to the Read More

This submission provides GAPS’ views on the current 2014-2017 NAP, and uses analysis and lessons learned to recommend strategic objectives for inclusion in the 2018-2021 NAP. It builds on previous GAPS documents which include analysis of and recommendations for the UK’s work on Women, Peace and Security (WPS). These findings are intended to complement the findings of our FCO-GAPS country consultations.

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GAPS Submission: Informing the new UK National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security

This submission provides GAPS’ views on the current 2014-2017 NAP, and uses analysis and lessons learned to recommend strategic objectives for inclusion in the 2018-2021 NAP. It builds on previous GAPS documents which include analysis of and recommendations for the UK’s Read More

One year after the conclusions of the UN’s High Level Review on Women, Peace and Security, we, along with the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security and Women for Women International (UK) held a series of roundtables on Sexual Violence in Conflict and the UK’s Women, Peace and Security work. This Chairs’ Summary outlines the Experts’ recommendations.

Experts’ Meeting: Sexual Violence in Conflict and the UK’s Women, Peace and Security Agenda – Chairs’ Summary

One year after the conclusions of the UN’s High Level Review on Women, Peace and Security, we, along with the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security and Women for Women International (UK) held a series of roundtables on Sexual Violence Read More

In this new report GAPS welcomes the 2016 annual report to Parliament by the UK Government, analyses the UK’s Women, Peace and Security work over the past year and makes recommendations for the upcoming new UK National Action Plan (NAP).

Assessing UK Government Action on Women, Peace and Security in 2016

In this new report GAPS welcomes the 2016 annual report to Parliament by the UK Government, analyses the UK’s Women, Peace and Security work over the past year and makes recommendations for the upcoming new UK National Action Plan (NAP).

As the civil war in South Sudan enters into its fourth year, the levels of displacement, insecurity and violence are reaching unprecedented levels. The majority of the displaced are women and girls, who continue to bear the brunt of thed armed conflict. More is needed from the international community to achieve safety, protection, empowerment and long-lasting peace for women and girls in South Sudan. In line with its commitments to WPS, we urge the UK government to immediately undertake the recommendations outlined in this paper.

Three years too many: the impact of conflict for women and girls in South Sudan

As the civil war in South Sudan enters into its fourth year, the levels of displacement, insecurity and violence are reaching unprecedented levels. The majority of the displaced are women and girls, who continue to bear the brunt of thed Read More

Shaheen Chughtai reports back from a recent conversation at the UN

Once in a while, the shroud of coded, diplomatic language that envelops discussions at the United Nations Security Council is ripped away by reality. On 25th October, it was the words of a women’s rights activist from conflict-ridden South Sudan, Rita Lopidia, which gripped the chamber.

“I meet many South Sudanese women, and the stories they share with me are heartbreaking,” Lopidia told the UN Secretary General and assembled diplomats. They had gathered to review progress and challenges in promoting women’s rights and roles in conflict contexts: a theme known as Women, Peace and Security.

“A woman in Bentiu, Unity State told me recently, ‘I have been raped several times, but I still have to go out, what option do I have? I still have to find food for my children.

On a lucky day, I go out and nothing happens. On a bad day, I go out and I am raped’.”

The civil war in South Sudan – where the UK is deploying 400 peacekeeping personnel – has had catastrophic impacts since it erupted in December 2013. Tens of thousands of people have been killed or injured. More than 2.6 million people are displaced, most of them women and girls. Those still inside South Sudan face increased threats of sexual assault, abduction and exploitation among other dangers.

But this isn’t a tale of victims and governments left powerless and static in the face of unstoppable atrocities. Starting from the ground up, local women and men in South Sudan are striving to bolster national and regional efforts to build peace. This is crucial because the key to ending violence and abuse is ending the war itself. To be successful, peace efforts should be based on a rigorous analysis of the causes of conflict that takes into account regional dynamics, and no-one understands those causes and dynamics better than local people and organizations.

Lopidia herself had just travelled from Nairobi where, along with South Sudanese and global partners, she convened a peace dialogue with representatives of the Transitional Government, local and global women’s groups, faith-based organizations and academia. They called on South Sudan’s leaders to rise above tribal feuding and help build a broader-based national identity and politics.

Such inclusive initiatives, in which women have an influential say, are crucial. From Liberia to Northern Ireland, growing evidence from around the world shows that when women take an active part in peace processes, agreements are more likely to be reached and last longer. Women’s participation in South Sudan talks has been very limited to date – but this missed opportunity is something the international community, including the UK, can help change.

The UK has already taken several important and positive actions. These include contributing humanitarian aid, and strengthening its role in UNMISS, the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan – some of whose personnel have been implicated in cases of sexual exploitation and abuse. The UK has also been pushing for a credible peace process. But with the humanitarian situation deteriorating and peace proving elusive, more is required from the UK and its international partners.

The UK should fulfil as quickly as possible recent proposals that at least six percent of its peacekeepers deployed to South Sudan, and 15 percent of other UK personnel such as police officers, would be female. Such deployments help make UNMISS more responsive and accessible to women and girls.

More efforts are needed not just to prevent sexual violence from happening but to ensure justice and accountability when it does. This should include tougher measures to deter sexual abuse and exploitation by UN peacekeepers, as well as ensuring that victims of such crimes are recognised and justice is served – including by the special hybrid criminal court proposed by the African Union to try war crimes in South Sudan.

And crucially, more support is needed for local women’s rights organisations and advocates: not only in their efforts to help women and girls recover from the trauma and deprivations caused by conflict, but also in making sure that – from discussions within communities to national peace talks– women have an influential voice.

Sixteen years ago this week, the first UN Security Council resolution to specifically address the rights and roles of women and girls in conflict was adopted. Since then, the UK has become a global champion of the Women, Peace and Security agenda. At the Security Council last week, the UK’s envoy to the UN, Matthew Rycroft, urged the international community to live up to its pledges.

“Words in this Council aren’t enough,” said Rycroft. “Commitment means action every day throughout the year.”

For activists such as Rita Lopidia as well as women and girls from South Sudan to Syria, Afghanistan to Yemen, such international leadership and resolve to act remains as urgent and essential as ever.

Ends

Shaheen Chughtai co-chairs the policy working group at Gender Action on Peace and Security, based in London.  Rita Lopidia is the co-founder and executive director of Eve Organisation for Women Development, an NGO in South Sudan. Both Chughtai and Lopidia represented the New York-based NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security at the UN Security Council’s Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security in New York on 25 October.

Putting Women at the Heart of Bringing Peace to South Sudan

Shaheen Chughtai reports back from a recent conversation at the UN Once in a while, the shroud of coded, diplomatic language that envelops discussions at the United Nations Security Council is ripped away by reality. On 25th October, it was Read More

GAPS is delighted to join our new host and long term member Women for Women International UK and their fantastic team.  Together we hope to build on our strong foundation to make strides on the Women, Peace and Security agenda. Please follow GAPS and Women for Women International UK on twitter.

Brita Fernandez-Schmidt, Executive Director of Women for Women International UK and new Chair of the GAPS Management Committee said “It is an absolute pleasure for GAPS to join our team at Women for Women International UK. I have loved being a part of GAPS growth whilst on the Management Committee and am delighted we will be working even more closely to support the UK in achieving its Women, Peace and Security commitments and, most importantly, seeing real change for the lives of women and girls affected by conflict.”

GAPS has a New Home

GAPS is delighted to join our new host and long term member Women for Women International UK and their fantastic team.  Together we hope to build on our strong foundation to make strides on the Women, Peace and Security agenda. Please Read More

GAPS has developed feedback on the UK’s midline evaluation of its National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (NAP).  This will feed into the UK’s development of it’s upcoming NAP: NAP 2018+. For the full document please click here.

Next Steps for the New, Forward Looking NAP 2018+

GAPS has developed feedback on the UK’s midline evaluation of its National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (NAP).  This will feed into the UK’s development of it’s upcoming NAP: NAP 2018+. For the full document please click here.

New GAPS report: Assessing UK Government Action on Women, Peace and Security in 2015

Following the publication in December of the UK government’s annual Report to Parliament on its progress against the UK National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (UK NAP), GAPS has today published its shadow report Assessing UK Government Action on Women, Peace and Security in 2015. The shadow report draws on the expertise of GAPS member organisations, as well as the inputs of civil society in conflict-affected countries through a survey of women’s rights organisations in the six focus countries of the UK NAP: Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Libya, Myanmar, Somalia and Syria.

The report commends the UK government for its work to promote Women, Peace and Security on the international decision-making stage, including through the commitments it made at the High-level Review of 1325 in October last year. Looking ahead to 2016, GAPS calls on the UK government to continue to demonstrate its role as a leader on the Women, Peace and Security agenda on the global stage at the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit.

Further still, the UK must do more to go beyond undertaking a series of actions on this agenda, and commit unwavering support for women’s meaningful inclusion, backed up by much needed resources and institutional systems. As champion governments such as Sweden affirm their commitment to ‘Feminist Foreign Policy’, GAPS calls on the UK government to step up and commit to the following minimum standards of engagement on Women, Peace and Security through its own planning, activities, reporting and accountability processes:

  1. Affirm that comprehensive action across the Women, Peace and Security agenda is a UK government priority, with women’s human rights at its core.
  2. Ensure the meaningful participation of women from conflict-affected contexts in all related UK-hosted peace, security, and development talks, and call for women’s meaningful engagement in those hosted by other countries.
  3. Guarantee that the UK government’s Women, Peace and Security plans can be resourced and implemented – earmarking finances for this agenda, tracking spending through gender markers in wider development, humanitarian and stabilisation funding, and through a dedicated budget for the NAP.
  4. Guarantee consultation of women’s rights organisations and local civil society in the design and review of UK Women, Peace and Security objectives and ensure that the views of women and girls and their reflections on new and emerging issues are integrated in UK government planning.
  5. Commit to strengthen transparency with an open book on the UK’s progress against Women, Peace and Security commitments including clear monitoring and reporting processes.

 

You can download the report here.

thumbnail of GAPS-Shadow-Report-Assessing-UK-Government-Action-on-WPS-in-2015

New GAPS report: Assessing UK Government Action on Women, Peace and Security in 2015

New GAPS report: Assessing UK Government Action on Women, Peace and Security in 2015 Following the publication in December of the UK government’s annual Report to Parliament on its progress against the UK National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Read More

Updates

The 10 Steps: Turning Women, Peace and Security Commitments to Implementation

On Tuesday 29 October, GAPS launched its latest consultation report – The 10 Steps: Turning Women, Peace and Security Commitments to Implementation – as part of “Women, Peace and Security week” during the United Nations Security Council open debate on Women, Peace and Security. The report was launched at a joint event of the International Peace Institute, the UK Mission to the UN, the German Mission to the UN and the South African Mission to the UN. Share the report and follow the conversation on Twitter using #WPS10Steps. Download the PDF here.

UNSCR 1325 + 19 and UNSCR 2493

October 2019 marks the 19th Anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. The open debate on Women, Peace and Security takes place at the UN Security Council this week. On Tuesday 29 October, UN Security Council Member States adopted a 10th resolution on the WPS agenda: UN Security Council Resolution 2493

Open Letter to Permanent Representatives to the UN: Recommendations on the Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security

The NGO Working Group on WPS published this open letter on behalf of 438 civil society organisations acros 94 countries in advance of the Security Council Open Debate on WPS. The letter calls on Member States and the Security Council to prioritise and commit full political support for 5 key WPS issues.

2019 Themes for 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

UN Women’s theme for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence in 2019 is Generation Equality Stands Against Rape.

The Centre for Women’s Global Leadership theme builds on their theme in 2018 on the International Labour Organisation to end violence and harassment in the workplace. See the advocacy guide here.


Research & Resources

Women Peace and Security Index 2019/20

The Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, in partnership with the Peace Research Institute of Oslo, has launched the second edition of the global Women, Peace and Security Index (WPS Index) at the UN. They have drawn from recognised data sources to rank 167 countries on women’s comprehensive well-being and analysed trends in women’s equality. The findings show that nearly 60 countries have significantly advanced women’s well-being in recent years, and that the most marked gains for women worldwide were in financial inclusion, access to education, and legal reforms—including in some conflict-affected states. However, progress for Women, Peace and Security overall has remained slow and uneven.

 

Toward A Feminist Funding Ecosystem – AWID Report

Toward A Feminist Funding Ecosystem is both a framework and a practical guide for funders and activists who believe that there is a possibility to move toward a balanced ecosystem in which: feminist movements – particularly in the Global South – are at the centre and equal partners in the political project for global gender justice. In this report, AWID explore what it would take to live in a world where feminist movements are abundantly resourced.

 

 

 

Engaging Women in Sustaining Peace: Guide to Best Practices

The Community of Democracies presented its new publication: Engaging Women in Sustaining Peace: A Guide to Best Practice. This publication takes a global perspective, examining women’s roles in sustaining peace in post-conflict countries in Asia, Eurasia, Latin America, and Africa. Each chapter identifies best practices for engaging women in sustainable peace and includes some challenges emerging from the lessons learned in each region.

Rising to the Challenge

Together First is a global campaign to give civil society a seat at the table when the world’s future is being discussed. The Rising to the Challenge report highlights the important work being carried out by the coalition members, and in five essays; each of the featured individuals and organisations outline their proposals for strengthening, reforming or transforming our global system. At the end of the report, there is a list of other projects coalition members are working on.

Pro bono legal services for survivors of sexual violence

Against a background of media worldwide questioning what to do with foreign fighters and their families and how they should be treated, this article considers the victims of violent crimes perpetrated by foreign fighters. Hogan Lovells and a team of international lawyers acting pro bono for The Lotus Flower, a British-based non-profit for displaced women, are bringing the first civil action to gain compensation for victims of gross human rights violations.

Arbitrary detention of women in Jordan

Amnesty International has launched a new report: Imprisoned women, stolen children: policing sex, marriage and pregnancy in Jordan. The report documents how the Jordanian authorities are imprisoning women where they are perceived to have disobeyed male family members or are accused of sex outside of marriage; how the police take women found to be “absent from home without permission” for invasive and humiliating “virginity tests”, especially where male family members demand it; and how the authorities are systematically removing children born to unmarried women and taking them into state care.

Widows in Crisis and Conflict

In the Human Rights Council Session 42, Widows’ Panel introduced empirical research on violence against widows in Africa and beyond. The aim of the research was to move forward policies to address widowhood. The HRC 42 Panel specifically called for data on widows and for widows’ “mapping” as a catalyst for government engagement and policies. 


Events

Launch of the first community centre for the Afghan people in the UK

The Afghanistan and Central Asian Association are opening the first community centre for the Afghan people in the UK. The launch falls on the 20th Anniversary of the Afghanistan and Central Asian Association and embarks an important and significant turning point in the history of its operations to support the most vulnerable people in the UK. They would like to extend the invitation for the launch event this November.

When: 22nd November 2019, 11am – 2pm 

Where: Unit 9 Griffin Centre, Hounslow, TW14 0HS

The event will be in the format of a talk followed by networking and a tour of the premises, with the audience consisting of local community members, local charities, Afghan and Central Asian embassies, businesses and Afghan Politicians. If you wish to attend, please email myrtostavrikkou.acaa@gmail.com

The BEARR Trust’s Annual Conference

This year, the BEARR Trust annual conference is on Violence and Coercion against Women and Girls in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. They will have speakers from Georgia, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and the UK, and will be looking at the subject from both a research perspective and from the point of view of NGO activity in the region in tackling the consequences of gender-based violence and working to prevent it.

When: 15th November 2019, from 9:00 until 17:00

Where: CAN- MEZZ, 7-14 Great Dover Street, London, SE1 4YR

To book, follow the instructions here. Ticket prices for this event are £45, with a £20 option for full-time students and unwaged individuals. The ticket price includes the cost of lunch (vegan and vegetarian options available), tea and coffee and a glass of wine after the event. 


Opportunities

DAWN Training Institute for young feminists

The DAWN Training Institute (DTI) is an intensive training programme for young feminist activists and advocates from the economic South, where young feminists are exposed to theory, discussions and inter-active processes related to feminism, feminist movements, women’s rights, and local and global strategies to achieve social justice.

The three-week programme draws on DAWN’s feminist analysis, which interlinks issues under the themes of Political Economy of Globalisation (PEG), Political Ecology and Sustainability (PEAS), Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), and Political Restructuring and Social Transformation (PRST).

When: Between 16th November – 6th December 2020

Where: Izmir, Turkey

For more information and to apply click here, the closing date for applications are 1st December 2019.

Adolescent Girls Advisory Council

Global Fund for Women is a global feminist fund that envisions a world where every woman and girl is strong safe, powerful, and heard. No exceptions. The Adolescent Girl Advisory Council will play a critical role in finding, funding and amplifying girl-led groups and expanding their leadership, activism and movement building. Global Fund for Women invites applications from their current priority regions of the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa to form the 2019 Adolescent Girls Advisory Council.

Deadline: Monday 25 November

For more information and to apply, click here.

Call for experts on on gender, peace and security issues

In the light of the 40th anniversary of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the 20th anniversary of UNSCR 1325 and the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, there is a special momentum to work on gender, peace and security. In order to achieve these legal and political gender commitments, Gender Associations identify the need to encourage collaboration and connect the existing expertise from different fields to ensure a comprehensive and effective implementation. They are looking for people to join their expert roster.

For more information and to apply, click here


Jobs & Volunteering

Saferworld

Programme Support and Learning Adviser, apply by Sunday 3 November

Project Manager, apply by Wednesday 6 November

Project Officer, apply by Wednesday 6 November

Conflict Policy Adviser, apply by Sunday 17 November

Amnesty International

Artist Liaison Volunteer, apply by Wednesday 6 November

Business and Human Rights Researcher Volunteer, apply by Wednesday 6 November

Care International

Women’s Economic Empowerment Lead Technical Advisor, apply by Sunday 10 November

Emergency Shelter Researcher, apply by Sunday 10 November

Intern – Knowledge Management & Communications, apply by Sunday 10 November

Programme Funding Coordinator – Africa, apply by Tuesday 10 November

ActionAid

Interim Senior Advocacy Manager, apply by Sunday 3 November

Head of Fundraising Projects and Innovation, apply by Sunday 3 November

Head of Humanitarian Policy and Technical Support, apply by Thursday 14 November

Child Sponsorship Modernisation Project Manager, apply by Tuesday 5 November

Womankind Worldwide

Impact and Learning Advisor, apply by Monday 11 November

Women for Women International UK

Operations Assistant, apply by Thursday 7 November

Finance Officer (Maternity Cover), apply by Thursday 7 November

Oxfam

Funding Officer, apply by Sunday 3 November

Administration Assistant, apply by Tuesday 5 November

Gender and Partnership Program Manager, apply by Wednesday 6 November

Right in Crisis Program Lead, apply by Friday 15 November

International Alert

Research Consultant on Syria, apply by Friday 8 November

Plan International

Research Officer, apply by Sunday 3 November

Procurement Officer, apply by Sunday 3 November

Head of Communications, apply by Thursday 7 November

International Rescue Committee

Grants and Budget Manager

Mercy Corps

Program Advisor: Seed Systems in Emergency and Fragile Contexts

WILPF

Digital Communications Coordinator, apply by Friday 15 November

GAPS Newsletter: October 2019

Updates The 10 Steps: Turning Women, Peace and Security Commitments to Implementation On Tuesday 29 October, GAPS launched its latest consultation report – The 10 Steps: Turning Women, Peace and Security Commitments to Implementation – as part of “Women, Peace Read More

Updates

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security

The APPG on Women, Peace and Security has published event reports for two recent public events: “Life in Limbo: adolescent girls in crisis and conflict” and “Gender and Conflict in the Middle East: what next for Women, Peace and Security and displacement?“. If you want to be notified of events and updates of the APPG on Women, Peace and Security, email appg-wps@gaps-uk.org to be added to the distribution list.

Canadian Government appoints Jacqueline O’Neill as Canada’s first-ever Ambassador for Women, Peace and Security!

Read the Women, Peace and Security Network-Canada’s response to the appointment: “A global leader on women, peace and security, Jacqueline O’Neill is the former President of the Washington DC-based Institute for Inclusive Security and has over 15 years of expertise working with government and civil society. She has supported the creation of national strategies for over 30 countries, as well as NATO, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the United Nations… Her appointment demonstrates Canada’s firm commitment to the Women, Peace and Security agenda. It comes at a critical time globally, with women seeking representation in peace processes in Syria, Yemen and other conflict countries.”

Open Letter to the Group of Friends of 1325

Read this open letter calling on governments to accelerate commitments on Women, Peace and Security as part of their work on sustainable development, including on gender equality and peaceful and inclusive societies. The letter states that “Realising the vision of the 2030 Agenda requires urgent political as well as technical shifts. Deep rather than superficial action is needed for political transformation”. It urges governments to “raise the bar and promote sustainable development and peace that works for every woman and every girl of every age, place, ability and status, and for all of us.”

Beijing+25 & the 64th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women in 2020

In 2020, the global community will mark the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in 1995. 2020 is therefore a pivotal year for the accelerated realisation of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, everywhere. The 64th session of the Commission on the Status of Women is planned to take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 9 to 20 March 2020. The main focus of the session will be on the review and appraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcomes of the 23rd special session of the General Assembly. Read more on UN Women’s webpage for CSW64.


Research & Resources

WPS and Displacement in the Middle East

This joint policy report of the LSE Middle East Centre and GAPS is the result of extensive discussions at a workshop organised by the LSE Middle East Centre in Jordan in September 2018 with national and international experts. The workshop focused on the gendered impacts of displacement and how the Women, Peace and Security agenda can be used to address the issue of conflict-related displacement better. This report offers insights and provides recommendations to support responses to displacement to be gender-sensitive, and to integrate the displacement and Women, Peace and Security agendas through addressing the differential rights, needs and experiences of displaced women, girls, and men and boys.

Conversations with Funders of Women’s Organisations

This Oxfam report aims to help funders and organisations working with women and girls to better understand each other, find solutions to challenges and to work more effectively towards their shared goals. Despite increasing conversations on investing in women and girls, historically the sector has received a fraction as a percentage of overall funding. The report explores the funding approaches that shape investment in this area, and the challenges that may be preventing the rhetoric of support for women and girls from becoming reality. By also consulting women’s organisations, the research reveals the alignments and gaps between the priorities and perspectives of funders and grantees. It demonstrates how more open communication can build mutual trust, encourage stronger partnerships and enable more effective work to improve the lives of women and girls.

WILPF’s Feminist Analysis of the 2019 HLPF on Sustainable Development

Read the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom’s feminist analysis of the 2019 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. This year’s discussion set the stage for what could have been the most exciting space yet at the UN to tackle structural obstacles to gender equality, development and peace. However, most discussions missed the mark on this unique opportunity. Structural issues such as tax justice and plugging of illicit financial flows, arms control and disarmament regulation to prevent exports of violence, and regulation to address the climate crisis remained limited. We need to raise the bar on sustainable development to strengthen women’s participation, protection, and rights across the conflict spectrum. Read more here.

World Pulse’s Women, Peace and Security Report 2019

In the autumn of 2018, World Pulse crowdsourced the stories, experiences, and expertise of women across the world to democratise peacebuilding and security efforts. Despite being nearly 20 years since the passage of UNSCR 1325, women remain on the outside of peace and security decision-making. World Pulse, Our Secure Future and the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership – ICAN collected women’s voices to shed light on what peace and security mean to those who are most immediately impacted by it. This report shares ways women are redefining security by highlighting their security concerns and priorities, their accounts of how violence affects their lives, and their recommendations for including more women in security efforts. 

NGO Guide for Beijing+25 National Parallel Reports

In preparation for Beijing+25 in 2020, NGOs and civil society stakeholders must have their own independent process to report on progress made, challenges and recommendations. The purpose of these NGO Guidelines for Parallel Reports is to provide a common template for NGOs to use for country (city or state) reports. NGOs should adapt it to suit their local contexts and feel free to change it as needed. Although many questions are drawn from UN Women’s official Guidelines for governments, these are adapted to reflect NGO and civil society perspectives. NGOs can prepare their own parallel national reports in preparation for Beijing+25 in order to strengthen the feminist and women’s movement’s collective influence on  governments and have an independent voice at the UN. The NGO parallel reports can help to make governments accountable and ensure the inclusion of the gender equality agenda into national policies. They should be an integral part of local, national and regional reviews that will assess progress made in implementation and identify challenges. 

Gender & Development Journal: Humanitarian Action & Crisis Response

This issue of the Gender and Development Journal was produced in collaboration with UN Women’s Humanitarian Action and Crisis Response Office, and Oxfam’s Global Humanitarian Team. The rate of forced displacement across the world is at an unprecedentedly high level. As of 2018, nearly 71 million people have had to flee their homes. Gender inequality creates a range of specific needs for women and girls in humanitarian crisis. Women need equality, security and the means to survive, while good humanitarian responses desperately need women’s full participation and leadership. Yet funding to protect and promote women’s rights remains painfully low. This issue offers cutting-edge insights on innovative humanitarian programming aiming to advance women’s rights and gender equality. Read the issue blog here.

Stronger Civic Voices Across the Commonwealth

The Commonwealth Foundation has published a report showcasing their projects around the world. The stories within this publication demonstrate their commitment to amplifying less-heard civic voices at all levels of society, from the smallest rural community to the largest international forum. 

Harnessing the Power of Data for Gender Equality

Equal Measures 2030 has launched the 2019 SDG Gender Index, The SDG Gender Index is a tool for girls’ and women’s movements and champions from all sectors to ensure that governments live up to the gender equality promises laid out in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The index finds that, with just 11 years to go until 2030, nearly 40% of the world’s girls and women – 1.4 billion – live in countries failing on gender equality. Another 1.4 billion live in countries that “barely pass”. Even the highest scoring countries have more to do, particularly on complex issues such as climate change, gender budgeting and public services, equal representation in powerful positions, gender pay gaps, and addressing gender-based violence. 

Gender-Responsive Implementation  of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Read the report and recommendations spotlighting SDGs 10 (reduced inequalities), 13 (climate action) and 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) from the expert group meeting on tackling global challenges to equality and inclusion through the gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This report: assesses progress on the three goals (SDGs 10, 13 and 16) and considers the interlinkages between them from a gender perspective; discusses the latest evidence and identify good practices, implementation challenges, as well as research and data gaps, to strengthen the integration of a gender perspective in policies and practices at all levels, including ensuring the principle of leaving no one behind; and puts forward a set of catalytic and actionable recommendations to support the achievement of sustainable and resilient societies through the accelerated and gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda, as well as related UN priorities on prevention and sustaining peace.

Sustainable Development Goals: Transforming Our World

Read UNA-UK’s latest report, investigating the implementation of the SDGs and their stated ambition to leave no one behind. The report, produced in collaboration with Witan Media, contains analysis and recommendations from 36 expert contributors. 

Spotlight on SDG16

Realising SDG 16 on peaceful, just, and inclusive societies requires a power shift that re-centres work on equality, development and peace around the voices, human security and rights of women and those most marginalised. This requires not just technical fixes, but structural transformation that moves from institutionalising a form of governance that enables domination and violence to institutionalising a form of governance that enables equality and peace for people and planet. Read more from WILPF’s Abigail Ruane here.

Global Peace Index 2019

The Institute for Economics and Peace has launched the thirteenth edition of the Global Peace Index, which ranks 163 independent states and territories according to their level of peacefulness. The report presents a comprehensive data-driven analysis to date on peace, its economic value, trends, and how to develop peaceful societies.


Events

A Celebration of Iranian Women’s Leadership

Tuesday 1 October, 18:00-20:00, RUSI, London: Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Executive Director of the Georgetown Institute for Women Peace and Security; Nazenin Ansari, Managing Editor of Kayhan London; and Shéhérazade Semsar de Boisséson, CEO of POLITICO Europe are hosting a celebration of Iranian Women’s Leadership. The event honours Dr Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Laureate and Human Rights Champion, and Mahnaz Afkhami, First Iranian Minister for Women’s Affairs (1975-78) and Founder and President of Women’s Learning Partnership. Register for the event here.

Implementation of the WPS Agenda: National Action Plans and Beyond

Thursday 3 October, 18:30-20:00, LSEAs we approach the 20th anniversary of the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, the LSE Centre for WPS is hosting this event to consider the remarkable successes of the policy architecture formalised by the resolution. The 9 WPS resolutions guide implementation across the UN system and, for implementation at the national and regional levels, states and organisations have devised national and regional ‘action plans’ outlining the priority areas for action. This talk by Professor Laura J Shepherd provides an overview of these mechanisms for implementation and introduces a new database that presents quantitative analysis of the 81 current national action plans to identify trends and emerging issues.

FiLiA 2019 Conference

Saturday 19-Sunday 20 October, Bradford: The FiLiA 2019 conference brings together sisters taking down patriarchy! Learn more about the conference here.


Opportunities

UN Global Call for Nominations

The Global Call for Nominations for the positions of Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) in the United Nations peace operations is an outreach initiative conducted by the United Nations Secretariat. The 2019 Global Call outreach campaign will be open for nominations until 30 September 2019. As applications will be considered on a rolling basis, early submissions are encouraged. This Call for Nominations is open to Member States, international, regional and non-governmental organizations who can nominate up to four individuals with the required level of expertise, leadership skills and motivation to serve in senior leadership functions in United Nations field missions. Individuals can also nominate themselves as long as the same requirements are met. More information available here.

Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy ‘Disrupted’ journal submissions!

The Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy’s print journal ‘Disrupted’ seeks to understand, challenge and critique mainstream foreign policy through highlighting both experienced and emerging voices from across the globe. The 4th edition of ‘Disrupted’ will focus on reproductive health and justice. The deadline for abstracts/proposals is Saturday 31 August 2019, 5pm (UK time). Click here for more information.

Gender Just Climate Solutions Awards

Even after the adoption of a gender action plan at COP23, many decision makers still do not understand how adopting a rights-based and gender-responsive approach can lead to more ambitious and effective climate policies. That is why Women Engage for a Common Future wants to showcase the Gender Just Climate Solutions at the upcoming climate negotiations. The fifth edition of the Gender Just Climate Solutions Awards will honour at COP25 the fundamental contribution of women in the fight against climate change. More information is available here. The deadline for entries is Monday 9 September 2019.

Together First!

Together First is a growing movement of global citizens, coordinated by a network of over 100 experts, practitioners, civil society activists and business leaders from all regions of the world. They are committed to making the best ideas for global governance a reality. The UN’s 75th anniversary in 2020 must be the starting point of a global governance transformation. Together First is campaigning for a multi-stakeholder summit to mark this occasion – to discuss, adopt and initiate the reforms we urgently need, and to unite around a shared vision for the future. Read their report – How to Save the World – and participate in their consultation to improve global governance.

Recognising African Women’s Contributions to Peace and Security

As part of the 20th anniversary of UNSCR 1325 in 2020, the United Nations and African Union are collaborating to publish a commemorative book. The book aims to create a space for African women who have been involved in maintaining and promoting peace and security on the continent to have their voices heard and their stories told. While self-nominations are very welcome, you can also nominate an African woman, young or seasoned, whom you know has been a force of change in maintaining and promoting peace and security in her capacity at the community, national, regional and/or continental level. In short, think of a woman who has engaged in any or all four pillars of UNSCR 1325 which include: (i) participation, (ii) protection, (iii) prevention and (iv) relief and recovery in conflict or in peace-building processes. The call for nominations is open until Monday 2 September 2019! More information here.


Jobs & Volunteering

Womankind Worldwide

Graphic Designer, apply by Wednesday 28 August

Knowledge & Learning Advisor, apply by Wednesday 4 September

Communications Volunteer

Women for Women International UK

People & Culture Manager, apply by Wednesday 4 September

CARE International UK

Programme Team Assistant, apply by Sunday 1 September

Humanitarian Programme Funding Coordinator, apply by Sunday 1 September

Humanitarian Programme Management Coordiator, apply by Wednesday 28 August

Oxfam

Women’s Economic Empowerment Knowledge Hub Coordinator, apply by Tuesday 3 September

UN Association UK

Communications Volunteer, apply by Thursday 29 August

Saferworld

Conflict & Security Adviser, apply by Friday 30 August

International Alert

Peacebuilding Intern, apply by Thursday 29 August

Gender and Development Network

Administration & Communications Volunteer Internship, apply by Tuesday 24 September

Gender and Global Adolescence: Global Evidence (GAGE)

Research Uptake Advisor, apply by Sunday 1 September 2019

Crisis Action

Advocacy & Campaigns Manager, apply by Sunday 8 September 2019

Georgetown Institute for WPS

Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship, apply by Sunday 1 September 2019

GAPS newsletter: August 2019

Updates All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security The APPG on Women, Peace and Security has published event reports for two recent public events: “Life in Limbo: adolescent girls in crisis and conflict” and “Gender and Conflict in the Read More

Updates

UN Women Campaign to mark the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action

UN Women has announced a new multi-generational campaign “Generation Equality: Realising women’s rights for an equal future“. This campaign will mark the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and will bring together the next generations of women’s rights activists with the gender equality advocates who were instrumental in creating the Beijing Platform for Action more than two decades ago. The campaign aims to accelerate efforts to make gender equality and women’s rights a lived reality.

G7 Equality Ministers Declaration

Read the Declaration on Gender Equality signed by the G7 Gender Equality Ministers on Friday 10 May 2019. The declaration recognises that “gender equality is fundamental to the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights” and includes a “call for women’s fair share and meaningful inclusion in all decision-making processes, from political life to peace processes”.


Research & Resources

Supporting local women leaders’ participation in global humanitarian spaces

This guidance note from ActionAid UK responds to recent international commitments to shift the balance of power in humanitarian action from being dominated by international actors to being led by local actors. It seeks to boost the momentum behind steps to ensure gender-responsiveness, not only in ensuring women fairly benefit from humanitarian assistance and are safe from gender-based violence, but also that their leadership is strengthened and their priorities translated into decisions on actions and investments. It draws on the experiences, insights and recommendations of local women leaders who have been directly affected by and led humanitarian response and recovery in communities or who lead organisations involved in building resilience and providing direct services to disaster-affected populations.

The power of feminist programmes to strengthen women’s movements

Womankind Worldwide have published the paper “Stronger Together: The power of feminist programmes to strengthen women’s movements in Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe“. The paper draws on evidence and learning from three projects to better understand Womankind Worldwide’s programmatic approach through project delivery and partnership and to document how women’s movements are strengthened and sustained.

Feminist Realities Toolkit

The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) has developed the toolkit “Feminist Realities: Our Power in Action“. AWID identifies Feminist Realities as both current, existing practices that people and groups are forging as well as the ideas, ways of thinking and doing, the proposals that are in the works. Feminist Realities go beyond resisting oppressive systems to demand a different, fairer world. Feminist Realities: affirm human rights; mobilise communities; increase our collective power. Download the toolkit here.


Events

Tackling gender norms through media

Monday 10 June, 14:00-15:30, webinar
This panel debate, hosted by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and ALIGN, critically analyses the power of media as a space for positive change to gender norms, exploring the merits and limitations of different types of mass media. Register to join the event online here.

LSE events

Monday 10 June, 18:30-20:00: A Feminist Perspective of the Syrian Political Process: Return of Displaced Syrians, Reconstruction, and an Engendered Constitution
Hosted by the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security, this event marks the launch of policy papers by the Syrian Women’s Political Movement.

Musicians for Peace and Disarmament

Friday 12 July, 19:00, Hinde Street Methodist Church, London, W1U 2QJ
Join pianist Viv McLean for the next concert of Musicians for Peace and Disarmament. The programme includes Beethoven, Chopin, Gershwin and Ravel.

Alliance Conference 2019: Putting gender front and centre

Wednesday 25 September, 09:30-17:00, The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, G2 3NY
Join Scotland’s International Development Alliance to explore practical solutions to creating sustainable, enabling environments for women and girls. Register for the event here.


Opportunities

Women in Conflict 1325 Fellowship Programme: The Arts as a Peacebuilding Tool

This fellowship programme will take place in Edinburgh from 18-26 August. The programme is open to applicants from the Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia. The focus is on the use of the arts in general as a peacebuilding tool, with a particular emphasis upon storytelling in all its forms. Find out more about how to apply here. Apply by 4 June 2019.

Professional Development Programme for Gender Trainers

KIT Royal Tropical Institute and the UN Women Training Centre are accepting applications for their Professional Development for Gender Trainers programme, which runs from October 2019 to May 2020. This six-month programme aims to: sharpen training skills and knowledge of gender and development concepts as a gender equality trainer; enable participants to better employ learning and knowledge strategies; support participants to re-claim training for gender equality as a political feminist process; renew participants as a gender equality trainer and their commitment to gender training as a transformative process. Apply by 29 June 2019.


Jobs

Gender and Development Network:

Network Coordinator, apply by Tuesday 18 June

Women for Women International UK:

Corporate & Grassroots Fundraising Assistant, apply by Sunday 2 June

International Alert:

Policy Officer, apply by Sunday 9 June

Saferworld:

Consultancy: conducting a participatory conflict analysis in Nwoya & Adjumani (Uganda), apply by Friday 7 June

EU Policy & Advocacy Officer (Brussels), apply by Monday 10 June

Civil Society Engagement Programme Adviser, apply by Saturday 15 June

International Rescue Committee:

Technical Advisor for Women’s Protection & Empowerment

CARE International UK:

Programme Management Coordinator – Syria, apply by Monday 3 June

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom:

Grants Finance Coordinator (Geneva), applications on a rolling basis

Finance Associate (Geneva), applications on a rolling basis

ActionAid UK:

Senior Technical Adviser: Violence Against Women, apply by Sunday 2 June

Oxfam:

Gender policy advisor, apply by Monday 3 June

Safeguarding advisor, apply by Friday 7 June

Call for proposals: partner for women’s leadership events (South Sudan), apply by Thursday 13 June

Consultant: gender justice monitoring, evaluation & learning, apply by Wednesday 5 June

GAPS Newsletter: May 2019

Updates UN Women Campaign to mark the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action UN Women has announced a new multi-generational campaign “Generation Equality: Realising women’s rights for an equal future“. This campaign will mark the 25th Read More

Updates

UN Security Council Resolution 2467

On Tuesday 23 April 2019, under German presidency, the UN Security Council held the annual Open Debate on Sexual Violence in Conflict and adopted a ninth UN Security Council Resolution as part of the Women, Peace and Security agenda: UNSCR 2467.

Read WILPF’s analysis of the debate and the resolution here.

CSW63 Agreed Conclusions

The Commission on the Status of Women adopted agreed conclusions on “Social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls” on 22 March 2019.

APPG-WPS hosts event marking 4th year of conflict in Yemen

On Monday 18 March 2019, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Yemen, the International Rescue Committee, Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS) and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Women, Peace and Security co-hosted the event “Paying the Price: women and girls in Yemen’s war”.

Equality in law for women and girls by 2030

More than 2.5 billion women and girls around the world are affected in multiple ways by discriminatory laws and the lack of legal protections. In response, UN Women, the African Union, the Commonwealth, Inter-Parliamentary Union, Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, and Secretaría General Ibero-Americana have jointly issued “Equality in law for women and girls by 2030: A multi-stakeholder strategy for accelerated action” in close collaboration with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Equality Now, Global Citizen, Global Campaign for Equal Nationality Rights, International Association of Women Judges, International Development Law Organization, Muslims for Progressive Values, and Women’s Learning Partnership to tackle persisting discrimination in law.

Between 2019 and 2023, this strategy seeks to fast track the repeal of discriminatory laws in six thematic areas—comprehensive reforms, women’s economic empowerment, minimum age of marriage provisions, nationality rights, discriminatory rape laws, and family and personal status laws—in 100 countries and is expected to address the legal needs of more than 50 million women and girls.


Research & Resources

Beyond Consultations: a tool to promote more meaningful engagement of women in fragile and conflict-affected states

GAPS, and GAPS members Women for Women International UK, Amnesty International UK, Womankind Worldwide and Saferworld, launched Beyond Consultations at the UN Commission on the Status of Women held in New York in March 2019. Beyond Consultations is designed to support actors to move towards more meaningful engagement with women in fragile and conflict-affected states in response to feedback that many consultation exercises tend to be extractive, tokenistic and disempowering.

The tool enables a self-assessment of current consultation practices and provides a best practice framework to ensure that women and women’s organisations are fully engaged in decision-making processes. It should be used as early as possible during the planning and design phase of engagement, and regularly revisited throughout the participation activity and its evaluation.

Inclusion in Practice: examining gender-sensitive conflict analysis

Conciliation Resource’s practice paper examines the experiences of peacebuilding practitioners and policy actors in undertaking gender-sensitive conflict analysis and integrating that analysis into programming and policymaking in conflict-affected contexts. It aims to identify and promote good practice by exploring the challenges faced by different actors in doing this work and identifying lessons learned from their experiences.

Justice for Women

The High-level Group on Justice for Women has launched a report on Justice for Women as part of a broader ongoing work of the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies.This report provides a global overview of legal discriminations that exist both on paper and in practice, and brings together evidence demonstrating that investing in justice for women – and especially eliminating legal barriers, reducing gender-based violence and child marriage – produces high returns to the economy and society.

Achieving Social Protection for all Adolescents

Gender and Adolescence Global Evidence (GAGE) has published the policy brief “Achieving social protection for all adolescents: how can a gender norms lens support more effective programming?” Upholding the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) ‘leave no one behind’ framing will necessitate adopting a wider perspective on adolescents’ well-being, and ensuring that social protection programme design and implementation is informed by an understanding of specific life-cycle, gender and other intersecting vulnerabilities (e.g. disability, ethnicity, caste) as well as opportunities to fast-track social change.

State of Civil Society Report 2019

Since 2012, CIVICUS has published the annual State of Civil Society Report to analyse how contemporary events and trends are impacting on civil society, and how civil society is responding to the major issues and challenges of the day. This is the eighth edition of the report, focusing on civil society action and trends affecting civil society in 2018.

Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in the Refugee Context

The SEREDA project has launched a series of working papers focusing on some of the key aspects of the gendered refugee experience. This has been co-authored by SEREDA team members from the universities of Bilkent, Uppsala, Melbourne and Birmingham.

Gender and Disarmament

The International Gender Champions Disarmament Impact Group has published a resource pack on gender and disarmament to contribute to the goal of achieving gender equality in multilateral disarmament forums. It includes basic information on gender equality and its relevance to arms control,
non-proliferation and disarmament, as well as practical ideas that can support diplomats in
applying a gender lens to their work.

Gender Balance in Arms Control, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Diplomacy

UNIDIR has published the report “Still Behind the Curve“, which presents quantitative analysis and key figures illustrating the gender balance in multilateral forums dealing with arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament. Drawing on focus group discussions with diplomats and practitioners, the study also offers reflections on gendered patterns in the diplomatic field. 


Events

Exploring cash transfers’ potential to prevent violence and increase women’s economic empowerment in crisis contexts

Monday 13 May, 10:30-12:00, Broadway House, London, SW1H 9NQ

The International Rescue Committee are pleased to invite you to the launch of their research report alongside other organisations working on humanitarian cash and gender. This study seeks to understand whether cash can improve protection outcomes for women and girls in acute settings, or whether it may put them at further risk. In addition to showcasing What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls research, the event also offers the opportunity to reflect more widely on key gaps and good practice for integrating gender-sensitive and gender-transformative approaches into humanitarian cash transfer programming. The event is a timely opportunity to highlight priorities and recommendations ahead of key processes for the Grand Bargain cash workstream in May and June 2019.

Please RSVP before Friday 3 May to Jean.Casey@rescue-uk.org 

International Day of the Peacekeepers 17th Annual Conference: The Thin Blue Line

Thursday 23 May, 09:30-16:30, Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), London, SW1A 2ET

This annual conference, jointly organised by UNA-UK, UNA-Westminster and RUSI, is the UK’s most authoritative public review of UN peacekeeping activities. It brings together UN practitioners, diplomats, military and the public for an expert discussion of the most pressing issues in peacekeeping today. The conference fee of £25, with a special rate of £15 for students, includes related documents, morning refreshments and lunch.

LSE events

Friday 3 May, 15:00-16:00: Women’s Peace Activism: Iran, Iraq & Syria

Wednesday 22 May, 18:30-20:00: Rethinking Human Rights: a southern response to western critics

Kofi Annan: his life and legacy

Monday 3 June, 18:00-20:00, Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, SW1H 9NH

UNA-UK is hosting an evening to celebrate the life and legacy of Kofi Annan. Mr Annan played a major role in international affairs for almost half a century, becoming one of the world’s most celebrated diplomats. Working at the heart of the UN, including ten years as Secretary-General, he was at the helm grappling with some of the biggest crises of the 21st Century. The venue is wheelchair accessible and an induction loop is available. Tickets cost £10, and £8 for students.


Opportunities

Voices of SDG16+

GAPS member Saferworld, together with the TAP Network and the International Peace Institute, have launched a new campaign to showcase the best examples of work to implement SDG16+ around the world. This is a call for YOU to showcase your work on building peace, on creating an inclusive society, on working for access to justice, on promoting the role of young people, on action to push for gender equality.

This campaign is asking people to submit a short video to explain how they are using SDG16+ or working on issues related to SDG16+. It might be very local work or a national initiative – whatever it does to build a peaceful, just and inclusive society – we want to hear about it. Videos can be submitted in English/Spanish/French/Chinese/Arabic and Russian. To submit a video, visit this page.

The chosen entries will be showcased at an event at the UN High-Level Political Forum in New York in July 2019. Campaign partners will be sponsoring individuals who submitted the best videos to come to New York and present at this event. So please submit your work for a chance to be considered for this opportunity!  If you need to be sponsored, please submit the video before May 15th, 2019.

Join the network of Women Mediators across the Commonwealth

Women Mediators across the Commonwealth (WMC) is an innovative new network of women mediators coming together to exchange and learn from each other, and to advocate for the increased representation of women in peace processes globally. Membership is open to any women involved in mediation at the community, national, regional or global level; who are interested in sharing their experience and expertise; and who are citizens of a Commonwealth country. WMC encourages young women to apply from the Caribbean, Africa and the Pacific, and would be particularly interested to hear from indigenous women from these regions. Unfortunately, WMC is no longer able to accept applications from Pakistan, India, Australia, Canada or the UK as they already have the maximum number of members from these countries. 

The window for applications to the WMC network is now open and will close on 20 May 2019.

Call for papers!

Justice and Accountability for Sexual Violence in Conflict: Progress and Challenges in National Efforts to Address Impunity


Jobs

Gender and Development Network:

Policy Manager, apply by Monday 20 May

International Alert:

Advocacy & Communications Advisor, apply by Sunday 5 May

Saferworld:

Conflict Sensitivity Resource Facility Director (South Sudan), apply by Sunday 5 May

Conciliation Resources:

Programme Director – Cross-Regional Programme, apply by Wednesday 8 May

Project Manager – Colombia, apply by Monday 20 May

Head of Monitoring & Evaluation, apply by Monday 20 May

Programme Officer – Cross-Regional Programme, apply by Wednesday 22 May

International Rescue Committee:

Technical Advisor – Women’s Protection & Empowerment

Oxfam:

Private Sector Gender Advisor, apply by Monday 6 May

Gender Analysis Consultant – Indonesia , apply by Wednesday 8 May

Gendered Conflict Analysis Consultant – South Sudan, apply by Thursday 9 May

ActionAid:

Women’s Rights Campaign Manager, apply by Sunday 12 May

GAPS Newsletter: April 2019

Updates UN Security Council Resolution 2467 On Tuesday 23 April 2019, under German presidency, the UN Security Council held the annual Open Debate on Sexual Violence in Conflict and adopted a ninth UN Security Council Resolution as part of the Read More

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