UNSCR 1325 What has Uganda done?

UNSCR 1325 was adopted unanimously on October 31, 2000 as the first formal and legal document from the United Nations Security Council to address the unique impact of armed conflict on women.

The Resolution also moved to recognize women’s contributions to conflict prevention, peacekeeping, conflict resolution and post conflict reconstruction. UNSCR 1325 sought to increase the number of women in decision making positions especially in areas affected by conflict.

A senior four student I met in Tibur Soroti reading out the needs of women in the post conflict area.

Uganda adopted the resolution and has gone ahead to put in place a National Action Plan in 2008 to address gender-based inequalities and violence against women.

Isis-Women International Cross Cultural Exchange (Isis-WICCE) and its partners will hold a Peace Exposition in Soroti town from Friday 29th to Sunday 31st to commemorate 10 years of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.

The Peace Recovery and Development Plan for the conflict affected districts in North and North Eastern Uganda launched last year is one way the country could address the challenges of women ranging from access to health services, justice for victims of sexual violence, promotion of women’s economic empowerment and participation in peace and recovery.

However the National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325 remains largely unimplemented.

Special needs of women and girls during resettlement and post-conflict reconstruction have largely been ignored. The school dropout rate of the girl-child in most conflict torn areas remain a challenge, land rights of women continued to be denied and many women remain on the fringes of decision making process in the reconstruction programme.

Women have, with little, made strides in making progress from victims of war to community and national leaders.

This 10th anniversary comes at a time when Uganda is chairing the United Nations Security Council, and Uganda peace activists will be gathered in Soroti on the eve of the anniversary to deliberate on the achievements and challenges faced in implementing the Resolution.

The Peace Exposition in Soroti is an opportunity to involve and enable the grassroots women in Uganda to celebrate and express themselves together with their colleagues around the world on implementing Resolution 1325.

These valiant women will be able to recognise that they have contributed to a global framework and that they have the potential and resilience to continue to make change through their tireless efforts on the ground.

Isis-WICCE and its partners will hold a peace march, debates and exhibitions of stories, challenges and achievements of Ugandan women in conflict affected areas at Soroti sports grounds for three days.

Get in touch if you need details or women’s voices from the grassroots.

3 thoughts on “UNSCR 1325 What has Uganda done?

  1. In Lesley Abdela’s latest feature on OpenDemocracy she presents her belief UNSCR1325 is equally critical and appropriate in recovery from political upheavals of the kind the world is witnessing in Tunisia and Egypt as it is in post-deadly-conflict reconstruction.

    For features by Lesley Abdela on OpenDemocracy see http://www.opendemocracy.net/author/lesley-abdela

    Please also circulate –

    ‘Egypt: the transition to democracy needs women’ by Lesley Abdela

    ‘Across the political spectrum the Arab regions flow with women leaders.’

    Extracts –

    ‘The Media report that Egyptian authorities are preparing to talk to opposition leaders, including – potentially – the Muslim Brotherhood. But where are the women? Watching BBC TV, Al Jazeera and other television networks it is hard not to be struck by the prominence of women in the squares alongside the men calling for democracy. When the going got tough, right there in Liberation (Tahrir) Square were Egyptian women doctors tending the wounded.’

    ‘The willingness to use brute force against the Egyptian people has been a hallmark of the Egyptian President for many years. The 1995 elections were extremely violent, a major factor in preventing many women’s participation in politics as candidates or voters. I was in Egypt at the time conducting women’s leadership workshops. In my notes I wrote ‘one participant said, “It was the worst election we have had in Egypt since parliament began. This new element of violence in political life is unprecedented.” She said, “Violence came from the public and the police, armed terrorism and armed counter-terrorism. Those who killed so many people haven’t even been tried in the courts.”’

    ‘Throughout the workshop I was asked repeatedly, “How do you deal with violence and financial corruption in elections?” and “As a candidate how do you protect yourself from physical harm?”’

    ‘Two former female MPs claimed they had been re-elected by voters but their opponents were announced the winner. One of them said “We won by democracy. We lost by violence. We witnessed fraud. There’s no Party that could truly get 79% of seats.”’

    ‘Egypt could learn a lot from South Africa about peaceful transition, using inclusive wide-reaching consultative processes. South Africa’s Constitution, built on an acute awareness of the injustices of the country’s past, is still widely regarded as one of the most progressive in the world. Notably, there were approximately an equal number of women and men on the Committee deciding on the Constitution. Women had also played a critical role in the dismantling of Apartheid. During the difficult and protracted end-of-Apartheid negotiations, each time the men wanted to quit the talks, the women insisted they come back and keep talking.’

    ‘What now if Egypt’s people do overthrow the Mubarak regime? In common with many post-conflict regions I have worked in – Kosovo, Aceh, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Iraq, Nepal – to transition from oppression into a modern, fully- functional state, Egypt’s people will urgently need security system reform of the police, prisons, the judiciary, as well as human security – freedom from fear as well as freedom from want by individuals and communities. The consultative and inclusive processes used in South Africa in the dismantling of Apartheid would be a good template. South Africa held widespread public consultations, specifically including the women. The active involvement of women in South Africa changed the focus of security system reform from a predominantly male technical debate (on issues of size, budget and types of weapons) to the larger issue of human security, the militarised state, and its political and social costs. Discussions resulted in a shift from traditional notions of security to a political framework that placed human security in the form of economic development, alleviation of poverty, access to food and water, education and public safety at the epicentre of the national security framework.’

    ‘We have just passed the 10th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325. A similar Resolution was passed in 2000 by the European Parliament in support of 1325. A recommendation accompanying the EP resolution calls for at least 40% women’s representation in all levels of decision-making in peace–building. Elements of Resolution 1325 could be extremely opportune in bringing about a positive outcome to the street revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia.

    Lesley Abdela: lesley.abdela@shevolution.com
    February 2011

    1. For information only

      Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration Course
      Barcelona, Spain November 17-21, 2011

      Workshops include

      • Gender in DDR seminar/UNSCR1325 (Gender/post-conflict specialist Lesley Abdela)
      • SSR and DDR
      • Monitoring and Evaluation
      • DDR Participants and Stakeholders
      • Demobilization and Cantonment Planning
      • DDR in Peacekeeping and Development Contexts
      • UN Military and Police Roles in DDR
      • Community Security
      • UN Approach to DDR

      Participants from Centre for Peace Initiatives in Africa, OAS-MAPP, Sudan DDR Commission, UNIRP Nepal, African Union HQ, UNAMID, UPEACE Africa Programme, European Inst. of the Mediterranean, UNHCR New York, UNMISS, KFOR HQ Kosovo, EUPOL/EUSEC DR Congo

      Information: Hans Thorgren Hans.Thorgren@folkebernadotteacademy.se

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