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protecting women's rights in conflict situation

A Panel Discussion with CEDAW Experts, co-sponsored by the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders and the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN, met to discuss CEDAW General Recommendation #30. 

Madeleine Brecher, ICJW Representative to the UN/NY, explains. 

Security Council Resolution 1325 , adopted unanimously in 2000, called for the adoption of a gender perspective that includes the special needs of women and girls during repatriation and resettlement, rehabilitation, reintegration, and post conflict reconstruction. It was the first formal and legal document from the UN Security Council that required parties in conflict to respect women’s rights and to support their participation in peace negotiations and post-conflict reconstruction.

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW ) was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1979 and is often described as an international bill of rights for women. By accepting the Convention, States commit themselves to undertake a series of measures to end discrimination against women in all forms. The newly adopted General Recommendation #30 gives authoritative guidance to countries that have ratified CEDAW on measures they need to take to ensure women’s rights are protected in conflict prevention , conflict and post conflict situations.

Conclusions:

Until now, SC1325 and CEDAW recommendations were very fragmented. With the passing of GR 30, the two should complement eachother making cooperation and coordination, with an emphasis on prevention, much easier. GR 30 provides greater clarity with its guidance framework to insure compliance and the protection of women’s human rights. In SC 1325, implementation and monitoring are not even mentioned. States parties must now monitor and report on their implementation of 1325 through GR30 which addresses technical assistance for national action plans, guidance for adequate budgeting, best practices,  AND country specific recommendations.