Overview of gender and disarmament activities of DDA and other offices and organizations
Department of Disarmament Affairs
- In September, the Weapons of Mass Destruction Branch developed a pilot database of female experts and women's organizations on security and disarmament matters in order to facilitate the increase of women's participation in conferences and other events.
- The Conventional Arms Branch, along with other Branches, sought qualified female consultants for expert groups.
- As DDA's focal point for gender issues, responsible for the implementation of the Action Plan and Security Council Resolution 1325, the Regional Disarmament Branch (RDB) participated in a number of expert workshops and panel discussions, including a seminar on "Women and Small Arms" on 7 July 2003, as well as contributed substantively to the UN Task Force on Women, Peace and Security. RDB also published articles on the Action Plan for the Disarmament Forum and the Group on Equal Rights for Women at the United Nations (GERWUN), and contributed to the Secretary-General's reports to the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
- The Asia-Pacific Regional Centre and RDB included gender-related items on the agenda of regional conferences in Egypt, Japan and Slovenia.1 The Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UN-LiREC) appointed a Gender Focal Group, organized two capacity-building exercises to familiarize the Centre's staff with gender and disarmament issues, and made efforts to integrate a gender perspective into their weapons destruction programme, firearms training courses, Parliamentary Exchange Initiative and Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) programmes and planning.
- In 2003, the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) became increasingly involved in DDR work. It produced and widely distributed "Gender-Aware Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR): A Checklist"2 to aid practitioners in the planning, design and implementation of DDR processes.3
- UNIFEM also commissioned a study to review UN-DDR initiatives from a gender perspective through: mapping out current and future UN-DDR activities; analyzing three case studies (Albania, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Liberia); and designing a range of tools to assist agencies and practitioners.
- In collaboration with the UNDP Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR) and the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC), UNIFEM held a seminar from 10 to 11 November 2003 in Kinshasa entitled "Mainstreaming Gender in the DDR of Combatants and Those Associated with Armed Groups."
- Furthermore, UNIFEM launched a web-portal on women, peace and security that specifically highlights the topics of small arms and light weapons, landmines and DDR.4
- DPKO's mandate includes DDR processes and mine action, and thus it focused on: increasing the number of women in peacekeeping operations; integrating a gender perspective in peacekeeping operations; training in gender awareness and HIV/AIDS issues; preventing and responding to serious misconduct by peacekeeping personnel; and trafficking.5
- In 2003, DPKO deployed gender advisors to Afghanistan, DRC, Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Timor Leste. In addition, gender advisor posts were established for Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia and DPKO headquarters.
- DPKO also undertook to produce three field manuals: a Gender Resource Package, a practical manual on gender mainstreaming in peacekeeping operations; Guidelines for Gender Mainstreaming in Mine Action; and a gender training module for military commanders.
- Through the collaborative efforts of DPKO's UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), DDA and OSAGI the project of drafting "Guidelines for Gender Mainstreaming in Mine Action" was initiated in 2003. This project entails: a survey of existing literature; a questionnaire sent to all mine action partners; a series of field visits to UN-supported mine action programmes; and the field-testing of the draft guidelines in a mine-affected country. The end result, user-friendly guidelines for the integration of gender dimensions into the five pillars of mine action is due for completion and distribution in June 2004.
- The IAEA took steps to implement its 2002 Action Plan for Achieving Gender Equality through the establishment of an International Advisory Group for Gender Issues and the creation of an online women's portal detailing key resources and links for women.6
- In September, the General Conference of the IAEA also adopted a resolution on "Women in the Secretariat" that asserted the principle of equal gender representation.7 Subsequently, for the first time, a female Deputy Director General was appointed, and the Secretariat was urged to implement a comprehensive policy on gender mainstreaming.
- In December 2003, UNIDIR published an edition of the Disarmament Forum entitled "Women, Men, Peace and Security."8
- Non-governmental organizations too, especially women's organizations, have played a strong role through research, advocacy, training and practical disarmament work. In conjunction with the First Biennial Meeting of States on the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons from 7-11 July 2003, a number of gender-related events were organized by non-governmental organizations, including the Bonn International Centre for Conversion (BICC), the Women's Network of the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA), International Alert and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).9 The BICC also included a chapter on "Gender and Small Arms" in their 2003 Conversion Survey.10 The Policy Commission of Women Waging Peace launched a series of reports documenting women's contributions to peace processes across conflict areas worldwide, including DDR in El Salvador and Sierra Leone.11 At grassroots levels throughout the world, women's organizations became increasingly active in organizing, contributing to, and participating in disarmament initiatives. For instance, on 12 December 2003, "Concerned Women of Liberia" held a press conference in Monrovia at which they denounced flaws within the DDRR process and requested that the United Nations Mission in Liberia include representatives of women's groups in their DDRR programmes.12
Conference titles, venue and dates were: "UN-OSCE Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects in South Eastern Europe", Brdo pri Kranju, Slovenia, 11-12 March; "Arms Control, Disarmament and Their Future", Osaka, Japan, 19 to 22 August 2003; "SCR 1325 on `Women, Peace and Security'" at the Conference on the Implementation, by the Arab States, of the UN Programme of Action on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons", Cairo, 16 to 18 December 2003.
Vanessa A. Farr, Gender-aware Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR): A Checklist
. at www.womenwarpeace.org/issues [accessed 25 July 2004].
The Checklist has been translated into French and discussed with practitioners in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo, United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UN-LiREC), the South Eastern Europe Small Arms Clearing House (SEESAC) and UN personnel planning the interventions in Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia.
Available from www.womenwarpeace.org [accessed 25 July 2004].
See Press Release SC/7908 of 29 October 2003 for statement by Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations, to the Open Meeting of the Security Council on Women, Peace and Security.
Available from http://www.iaea.org/Resources/Women [accessed 25 July 2004].
Resources/Women, GC(47)RES/14, "Personnel Women in the Secretariat," 22 August 2003 [accessed 25 July 2004].
: Women, Men, Peace and Security, 2003
, No. 4. (UNIDIR publication, December 2003).
Events included: "Women and Small Arms Seminar," "Beyond Disarmament - Gender and Security" and "Training to Promote a Gendered Approach to Small Arms Action," available from International Action Network on Small Arms Women's Portal, http://www.iansa.org/women/women_bms.htm [accessed 25 July 2004].
Vanessa A. Farr, Gender and Small Arms, Conversion Survey 2003: Global Disarmament, Demilitarization and Demobilization.
(Bonn International Centre for Conversion, Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, 2003).
Reports Adding Value: Women's Contributions to Reintegration and Reconstruction in El Salvador
and From Combat to Community: Women and Girls in Sierra Leone
, available from http://www.womenwagingpeace.net [accessed 25 July 2004].
Estella Nelson, Women Identify Flaws in DDRR Program, Want to Assist,
available from www.peacewomen.org/news/Liberia/Dec03/flaws.html [accessed 25 July 2004].