Welcome to GAPS July wrap-up.
Earlier this year, in March 2023, the ‘Illegal Migration Bill’ was introduced to Parliament, with the aim of preventing people from crossing the Channel in small boats. The Bill ensures that asylum claims will be deemed “inadmissible”, with no further consideration from the Home Office, if someone arrives irregularly to the UK. As a result, many would be further detained and then removed either to their own country, where they have been forced to flee from, or to a “safe” third country if that is not possible.
This month, the Bill has completed all of its stages in Parliament, and as such, it will soon receive royal assent and officially become law. The Bill represents a culmination of years of hostile environment measures, where migrants and asylum seekers have been subject to racist treatment at the border and put at risk for further harm, including sexual violence. Besides the danger this poses to the lives of those protected under international refugee law, it is hypocritical for the UK to act as if its international commitments, especially to Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, do not apply domestically. Together with Amnesty International UK, and Women for Refugee Women, we make clear how this Bill adversely affects women and girls. You can also read more about our thoughts on social media.
At the end of July, the International Development Committee published the FCDO Equality Impact Assessment of the UK aid cuts. GAPS’ members and as a network have long-since warned that the aid cuts would disproportionately impact women, girls and marginalised peoples in fragile and conflict-affected states. The assessment, which Chair of the Committee Sarah Champion aptly describes as grim reading, outlines where the aid cuts have fallen and provides examples of what this has meant on the ground. Many of the countries include priority countries in the fifth WPS National Action Plan. We share headlines and our thoughts on X/Twitter, where we have also shared responses from our members.
In the penultimate episode of GAPS’ Women, Peace and Security Podcast, ‘Mind the GAPS: Season 1’, we are joined by Nathali Rátiva, a PhD candidate in interdisciplinary gender and equalities studies at the University of Salamanca and a Gender Officer at NIMD-Colombia, and Eva Tabbasam who is the Director at GAPS UK, where we discuss what meaningful participation in decision making truly means. You can get listening here!
The Women Deliver 2023 Conference, one of the largest multi-sectoral convenings to advance gender equality, occurred in Kigali, Rwanda, from 17th – 20th July 2023. Numerous high-level speakers with problematic domestic records on human rights and gender equality were invited to headline the conference. This included Katalin Novák, Hungarian president, and an important player in the international “anti-gender movement”. At GAPS, we were disappointed by the organisers’ choices of high-level speakers and raised questions on the impact of these choices, including on the safety of participants. Please read more about our thoughts on social media here. You can also read Women Deliver’s statement in response to criticism they faced.
On Tuesday July 11th, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security (APPG-WPS) organised a collaborative event with Oxfam GB titled “Women’s Leadership in Yemen’s Peace Process.” The event focused on examining the exclusion of women from the political aspects of Yemen’s peace process and exploring ways for the UK to ensure meaningful participation of women in peace negotiations. It was held following the release of Oxfam’s recent report, ‘Speaking Up: The role of women in building peace in Yemen’, which amplifies the voices of Yemeni women striving for greater inclusion in peace negotiations and highlights the major trends affecting their meaningful participation in this peace process. You can learn more about the event on our website.
Finally, following the release of ‘Beyond Women, Peace and Security: Developing a Feminist Vision of Foreign Policy’, GAPS held a convening alongside our member organisations, academics and international partners further examining what role Feminist Foreign Policy plays in the Women, Peace and Security sphere. More information is to come in the next few months, so stay tuned!
Monthly Action Points (MAP) for the Security Council: July 2023
For July, in which the United Kingdom has the presidency of the UN Security Council, the MAP provides recommendations on the situations in Haiti, Sudan, Syria, and the thematic agenda item women, peace and security.
Gender, mental health and reconciliation in the Central African Republic: implications for policy and practice
This report, from our member organisation Conciliation Resources and carried out under a recent UN Peacebuilding Fund project in the Central African Republic, explores how gender norms, relations and hierarchies influence the expectations placed on young men and women, their participation in and experiences of violence, the types of coping strategies they adopt and how they and their wider communities manage trauma and distress. It identifies gendered barriers preventing young people from accessing Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) and offers five recommendations for MHPSS and peacebuilding policymakers and practitioners.
Towards an inclusive and transformative peace
This strategy, by our member Conciliation Resources, sets out the principles which guide and shape our approach to gender, why gender is essential to our peacebuilding vision, and the steps we will take to become a gender responsive, and ultimately gender transformative, organisation.
Women, Peace and Security in a National Security Context: Tensions and Risks
Through a literature mapping exercise, this paper examines how gender and national security are and can be linked. It focuses specifically on the utility of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda for the United Kingdom’s (UK)) national security orientation and argues that paying attention to gender issues is important for a holistic understanding of peace and security.
Beyond inclusion: a queer response to climate justice
As climate impacts escalate and the links between climate and gender are increasingly recognised, this backgrounder, by The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), explores how climate change affects sexual and gender diversities.
Statement of Intent on Feminist Informed Policies Abroad and at Home
This article by African Feminist Collective on Feminist Informed Policies as part of Debating Ideas analyses and offer some criticism on the idea of Feminist Foreign Policy as it has developed across the world. It offers ways in which African contributions can enhance the conversations about transformative change in foreign policy practices of global North countries especially.
Radical Pathways Beyond GDP: Why and how we need to pursue feminist and decolonial alternatives urgently
This discussion paper by our member organisation Oxfam, discusses the unsuitability of GDP as the pre-eminent economic metric. It argues that to dismantle GDP, different social movements will need to coalesce around key metrics that prioritise far greater equality and align with feminist and decolonial values while challenging the systems of power and narratives that are holding GDP in its dominant place.
In case you missed it
Read the UN Refugee Agency and UN Human Rights Office’s statement on the UK Illegla Immigration Bill where they warn of profound impact on human rights and international refugee protection system here.
On July 14th, the UK chaired the UN Security Council open debate on conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV), which this year is titled “Promoting Implementation of Security Council Resolutions on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence”. The open debate focused on closing the implementation gap of the legal and normative framework on CRSV. You can find more about here and read Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon’s statement at the open debate here.
Director of Pacific Programmes, Pacific Region (SEAP), (Melbourne, with travel)
Consultant Annual Report Production, (Indonesia). Apply by 12 August
Program & Policy Manager-Gender Justice, (Zambia). Apply by 15 August
Consultancy- Research on Comprehensive SRHR Curriculum in KRI, (Iraq). Apply by 5 August
Central Supporter Engagement Coordinator, (England). Apply by 6 August