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GAPS Newsletter: June 2024

With the release of the party manifestos over the past weeks and upcoming UK General Election, this month has been filled with anticipation and opportunity. As a penholder for UNSCR 1325, the incoming Government holds the responsibility to re-commit, reform and propel the WPS agenda forward, to enact the meaningful change that has, so far, been underwhelming.  

GAPS urges the incoming Government to ensure the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security is successfully implemented and conflict prevention is centered as a key priority. Spending on WPS remains untracked and funding opportunities offered through the FCDO continue to be short-term and rely on arduous processes for applications and reporting. The WPS agenda must be properly financed; a critical aspect of this includes properly resourcing and funding WROs/WLOs, who are key agents of change working at the frontlines with access to marginalised communities. The UK Government must take inspiration from champion States on WPS, such as Canada who has committed $195 million over five years for sustainable, flexible and responsive programming to WROs globally. There must be consistency across the international and domestic elements of WPS- draconian policies on immigration enacted by the current Government must be immediately repealed and replaced with safe routes of passage for asylum-seekers and migrants, many of whose current vulnerability is a product of UK foreign interference and colonial histories. Finally, increasing military funding which sustains global insecurities, such as the genocide in Gaza, whilst centering international development as a key priority is inconsistent and inherently flawed. Arms control must be implemented in line with the Arms Trade Treaty, and all sales to Israel suspended. 

Short and long-term recommendations for the incoming government have been shared by civil society including GAPS for many years, including through GAPS’s shadow reports. We will continue our ongoing work holding the government to account, providing technical support and facilitating consultations to make the NAP implementation the most impactful it can be.  

June Reads

Where next for feminist foreign policy on humanitarian response?

This brief examines how states that have feminist foreign policies (FFPs) or are inspired by feminist ambitions, known as FFP+, can meaningfully apply feminist approaches to humanitarian action, which is a sub-sector of foreign policy that has received comparatively little attention in FFP debates thus far. Read the full brief here.

Divesting from Death: Resisting the Complexes of Empire

As we enter the eighth month of Israel’s genocidal campaign against Palestinians, the flow of weapons to Israel continues from the United States, Germany, Canada, Italy, Australia, and other Western countries. Even as some governments claim to have halted transfers or to not be sending weapons at all, they continue to provide licences or parts and components that are instrumental to the continuing onslaught. Read the full article here.

A Feminist Perspective on Armed Conflict in Sudan

Despite the magnitude of the violations and galling experiences that women have been subjected to throughout the current armed conflict in Sudan, what has been discussed is only the tip of the iceberg. Women’s experiences of this conflict have yet to be properly revealed and explored. Read the full paper here.

An Opportunity for Renewal? Lessons Learned on WPS in Afghanistan

Women in Afghanistan are currently living in a situation of institutionalised gender oppression, segregation, and impunity for gendered violence, a situation that has come to be known as “gender apartheid.” Since their takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, the Taliban, an ethno-nationalist and religious fundamentalist movement, have engaged in a multi-level power game to strengthen their grip on the state of Afghanistan by restricting every aspect of women’s lives. Read the full report here.

Cultivating a more enabling environment

Around the world, climate crises and conflicts are on the rise, and it is women and girls who are disproportionately impacted. The most climate vulnerable communities are also some of the most affected by conflict and economic insecurity; communities that have contributed the least to the climate crisis. This confluence of risk and vulnerability threatens the lives and livelihoods of communities – and especially women – caught in the middle. Read the full report here.

In case you missed it

GAPS has released the latest episode of the LEAP4Peace podcast, ‘Mind the GAPS’, on LGBQTIA+ people and WPS. Listen to the episode here. 

The Swedish Dialogue Institute for the Middle East and North Africa hosted the inaugural meeting of the WPS Working Group for the Arab States in Amman on 5-6 June. Read the press release here.

The NGO Working Group on WPS sent a letter to the UN Security Council and Member States ahead of the next meeting of Special Envoys and Special Representatives on Afghanistan, urging to centre discussion around the rights of women and girls. Read the full letter here.

UN Envoy defends failure to include Afghan women in upcoming meeting with the Taliban in Qatar. Read the full article here.

Job Board

Action Aid
Senior Technical Specialist- Girls’ Rights (London), 3rd July.

Call for Research Consultancy: Her Voice Fund (London), 8th July.

International Rescue Committee
Grants Manager (London), 25th June.

Oxfam GB
Gender and Feminist Humanitarian Advisor (Ukraine), 6th July.

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