IWTC Women's GlobalNet #282

Activities and Initiatives of Women Worldwide

October 11, 2005


By Mavic Cabrera-Balleza

1. Fifth Anniversary of passage of UN Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1325 prompts activities around the world. During the week of 24 October, a number of activities are being planned by NGOs and the UN alike, to celebrate the 31 October 2000 passage of UN Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1325, a landmark document that marks the first time the UN Security Council addressed the disproportionate and unique impact of armed conflict on women and recognized their contributions to conflict prevention, peacekeeping, conflict resolution and peace-building.

A full calendar of events that are taking place in New York can be found on the website of the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues (OSAGI). Web: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/osagi/

For a calendar of 1325 events that are being planned by groups around the world, visit the peacewomen website. Web: http://www.peacewomen.org

A more detailed description of activities being coordinated by the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security will be featured in a forthcoming IWTC Women's GlobalNet and will also appear on the peacewomen website.

2. Women and Peace Building Cyber Dialogue amplifies women's voices at UN on UN Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1325. On October 27, the International Women's Tribune Centre is convening a Women's Peace Building Cyber Dialogue that will connect women in 11 countries around the world in a "real time" discussion on women's role in peace building and reconstruction with an emphasis on implementation of SCR 1325. Envisioned as a global town hall meeting, the Peace Building Cyber dialogue will connect women activists and academics attending the Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID) International Forum in Bangkok, Thailand, with women working on peace and conflict resolutions in countries in Asia, Africa and Europe and with gender advocates, policymakers and diplomats at UN headquarters in New York who are engaged in a five year review on implementation of SCR 1325.

In addition to participation from groups in New York and Bangkok, the Cyber Dialogue will connect women activists in Nepal, East Timor, the Philippines, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Senegal and Germany. In order to make possible a "real time" interactive discussion (which uses Internet voice chat and/or audio visual teleconferencing) across so many time zones, the discussion will take place on October 27, 2005 at the following times:

New York: 8 am- 10 am

Dakar: 12 noon-2 pm

Harare and Berlin: 2 pm-4 pm

Kampala and Nairobi: 3 pm- 5 pm

Khatmandu: 5.45 pm-7.45 pm

Bangkok: 7 pm- 9 pm

Manila: 8 pm- 10 pm

Dili: 9 pm-11pm

While SCR 1325 mandates a number of actions on women, peace and security, a particular interest of IWTC at this time is on those recommendations related to the importance of women's equal and full participation as active agents in peace and security. The outcome of this discussion will feed into discussions at the AWID International Forum in Bangkok on the role of women as change agents in the peace building process. Outcomes will also be shared with discussants at the Open Debate on 1325 which will take place immediately following the Cyber Dialogue, and will be used as the basis for local radio programs that will reach out to women working at community level.

The 27 October Cyber Dialogue is one component of IWTC's larger multi-media strategy intended to popularize 1325 for use by women at community and country level as a tool to leverage change. Other resources include highly visual learning resources, an on-line advocacy toolkit, handbooks, and a series of local language SCR 1325 radio programs that are being developed in partnership with members of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC). The radio programmes will ensure wider outreach for the outcomes of the Cyber Dialogue and will greatly contribute to raising awareness of UNSCR 1325 and its use by women at community level.

To participate in the October Peacebuilding Cyber Dialogue and/or request more information, contact: Mavic Cabrera-Balleza, International Women's Tribune Centre, 777 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017. Tel: 1212-687-8633 ext.210. Fax: 1212-661-2704.E-mail: mavic@iwtc.org.

"What were once called women's issues have been transformed into matters of primary national and international significance. Stronger women's networks and alliances have taken shape across issues and borders alike. And we understand, more than ever, that no single policy will ensure gender quality; rather a comprehensive policy approach is needed," he added.

He noted the findings of the Commission on the Status of Women earlier this year that many gains had been achieved, including greater access to employment and decision-making, better education and a longer life.

"But they stressed that old challenges remain, such as discrimination and violence, and that troubling new challenges have emerged, such as the terrifying growth of HIV/AIDS among women, and the odious, increasingly common practice of trafficking in women and children." he said.

"Let us not forget that women's rights are human rights. Their full implementation at the national level is thus a legal obligation. Although that may seem, and should be, self-evident, it is a point we must continue to repeat as we move to strengthen the ability of the United Nations system to support national efforts to implement human rights, and to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women."

Mr. Annan stressed that leaders at next month's 2005 World Summit at UN Headquarters in New York should pledge their support to all efforts to achieve the changes to which national governments, international organizations and civil society committed themselves in Beijing 10 years ago.

"Let us all redouble our efforts to turn those commitments into reality, he said. "At this commemorative meeting, you can help to steer them in the right direction." From UN News. 2005-08-29

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