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Women and Armed Conflict
11 October - 19 November 1999

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Working Group Summaries
  • Oct. 11 - Oct. 15, 1999
  • | English | franšais | espa˝ol |
  • Oct. 18 - Oct. 22, 1999
  • | English | franšais | espa˝ol |
  • Oct. 25 - Oct. 29, 1999
  • | English | franšais | espa˝ol |
  • Nov. 1 - Nov. 5, 1999
  • | English | franšais | espa˝ol |
  • Nov. 8 - Nov. 12, 1999
  • | English | franšais | espa˝ol |
  • Nov. 15 - Nov. 19, 1999
  • | English | franšais | espa˝ol |

    About the Working Group

    In 1995 the Fourth World Conference on Women agreed on a Platform for Action (PfA), which called upon governments, the International community and civil society, including non-governmental organizations, to:

    1. Work towards the promotion of peace and security at global, regional and local levels, and,
    2. Forge policies to prevent aggression and ethnic cleansing as crucial steps for the protection of the human rights of women and the girl child and the elimination of all forms of violence against women.

    Sustainable peace and security, together with sustained efforts towards the achievement of peaceful transformation of violent conflict, were seen as pre-conditions for economic and social progress as well as for women's equality. The PfA recognised that women are increasingly central actors in a variety of capacities in the movement of humanity for peace.

    The PfA discussed this concern and the situation of women in armed conflict and identified six strategic objectives:

    1. Increase the participation of women in conflict resolution at decision making levels and protect women living in situations of armed conflict or under foreign occupation;
    2. Reduce excessive military expenditures and control the availability of armaments;
    3. Promote non-violent forms of conflict resolution and reduce the incidence of human rights abuses in conflict situation;
    4. Promote women's contributions to fostering a culture of peace;
    5. Provide protection, assistance and training to refugee women, other displaced women in need of international protection and internally displaced women;
    6. Provide assistance to the women of the colonies and non-self-governing territories.

    Since the Beijing Conference we have witnessed a growth in the number of civil conflicts and an increase in abuse of the human rights of women and girls by state and non-state actors alike. In the last five years there has been an increasing awareness of the need to address the critical needs and rights of women and girls both in the context of conflict and also in post-conflict reconstruction and rehabilitation of war torn societies.

    The objective of the WOMEN AND ARMED CONFLICT working group is to explore and synthesize experiences in protecting women and girls and in promoting a meaningful role for them both in preventing conflict and in post-conflict reconstruction and peacekeeping. We also want to hear your views on emerging issues that relate to women in armed conflict.

    The discussion is organised around five themes:

    1. Participation of women and women's organizations in peace processes and peace-building, including the strengthening of women's peace organizations.
    2. Strengthening women's roles in post-conflict reconstruction, rehabilitation and reconciliation of their societies, and addressing gender considerations in reconstruction.
    3. Ending impunity for crimes against women and ensuring redress.
    4. Protection and participation of refugee, returnee and internally displaced women.
    5. The role of women in influencing efforts by the international community towards demilitarisation and reduction of the arms trade.

    The outcomes of this working group will also be fed into an international campaign "From the village council to the negotiating table: Women in peace-building" convened by International Alert. Information about this campaign will be sent to you shortly.

    We look forward to discussing and sharing your experiences and ideas in relation to women, armed conflict and peace-building. Your ideas will give life and will bring grassroots women to the heart of the Beijing +5 Review. Join the exchange and provide your input!

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