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Abstract: The past century has seen a transformation in women’s legal rights, with countries in every region expanding the scope of women’s legal entitlements. Nevertheless for many of the world’s women the laws that exist on paper do not translate to equality and justice.
Progress of the World’s Women: In Pursuit of Justice looks at how the legal system can play a positive role in women accessing their rights, citing cases that have changed women’s lives both at a local and at times global level. It also looks at the important role women have played and continue to play as agents for change within the legal system, as legislators, as lawyers, as community activists but also asks why, despite progress on legal reform, the justice system is still not delivering justice for all women.
The report focuses on four key areas: legal and constitutional frameworks, the justice chain, plural legal systems and conflict and post-conflict. Drawing on tangible examples of steps that have been taken to help women access justice, the report sets out ten key recommendations for policy and decision makers to act on in order to ensure every woman is able to obtain justice.
Abstract: This report is the culmination of a six-month project commissioned
by the Women’s Refugee Commission and co-funded by the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to address the
rights and needs of displaced persons with disabilities, with a
particular focus on women (including older women), children and
youth. Based on field research in five refugee situations, as well as
global desk research, the Women’s Refugee Commission sought to
map existing services for displaced persons with disabilities, identify
gaps and good practices and make recommendations on how to
improve services, protection and participation for displaced persons
with disabilities. The objective of the project was to gather initial
empirical data and produce a Resource Kit that would be of
practical use to UN and nongovernmental organization (NGO) field
staff working with displaced persons with disabilities.
Abstract: Since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in November 2006, one of the
greatest challenges for the Government of Nepal has been to maintain public security.
This has not been easy in a country where police posts and government offices were
displaced for many years as a result of the conflict. In the Terai in particular, non-state
armed groups have taken advantage of this law and order vacuum, and have engaged in
killings, abductions, threats and extortion. This has taken a severe toll on local
communities, and also on the morale of the police. In response, the Government of
Nepal has increased its police presence in the Terai and expanded the roles of the
paramilitary Armed Police Force and the Nepal Army in the context of national parks,
without a corresponding increase in support to and reform of the civilian police and
criminal justice system. There are preliminary indications that violent criminal activity
has decreased since the Government began implementation of its Special Security Plan
in 20091 . Though the Plan incorporates a commitment to protecting human rights, 2
credible allegations of unlawful killings have continued to surface, most of which,
according to information received by OHCHR, have gone uninvestigated.
OHCHR supports government efforts to counter criminal activity, increase public security
and enhance respect for the law, but stresses that these initiatives should be consistent
with international human rights standards and the Interim Constitution. Unfortunately,
over the years, OHCHR monitoring teams have documented a troubling pattern in which
the security forces resort to the use of excessive and sometimes unwarranted lethal
force during their operations. Drawing on OHCHR’s monitoring experience, this summary
of concerns attempts to identify problems of law, policy and practice that contribute to
persistent allegations of extra-judicial killings, and the failure to fully investigate such
allegations. It provides a tool to address extra-judicial killings with concrete and specific
recommendations developed in consultation with or building upon the work of partners
including members of civil society organizations, the National Human Rights Commission
- NHRC, the Office of the Attorney General, and police personnel at the regional and
district levels. The summary of concerns was developed with the cooperation of the
Nepal Police and Armed Police Force Human Rights Cells, and formal comments on a
draft version were received from the Nepal Police, Armed Police Force, NHRC, Office of
the Attorney General and the Nepal Army. OHCHR believes that strong and effective
policing can best be achieved by respecting international human rights standards.
Abstract: In October 2008, the Council of Ministers took a decision to withdraw 349 criminal cases
against numerous political party cadres, including two senior members of the Cabinet.
The case withdrawals were said to be necessary to promote the peace process and fully
implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), a provision of which calls for
the withdrawal of cases brought against individuals “due to political reasons”.2 As
opposed to political charges, however, the most frequent offences alleged in the cases
are murder and attempted murder, numerous incidents reported well after the signing
of the CPA in 2006, along with other serious crimes such as rape and mutilation.
According to the Ministry of Law, the Council of Ministers has subsequently
recommended the withdrawal of at least 41 additional cases, as successive
governments have come under pressure from political parties, armed groups and
indigenous and ethnic groups demanding that criminal cases against their supporters be
dropped. More than a third of the most recent 41 cases also deal with allegations of
murder or attempted murder.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has consistently requested that the
Government justify its rationale for all of those proposed withdrawals. Observing that
numerous cases withdrawn by the Government are clearly criminal in nature, and have
nothing to do with politics, the NHRC has also maintained that the Government needs to
consult the Commission prior to withdrawing cases involving human rights violations,
especially cases on which NHRC has already conducted investigations and
Abstract: After World War II, nations got largely divided between the two blocs dominated
by the United States of America (USA) and the erstwhile Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics (USSR). With the end of the Cold War, the international power equation
unilaterally shifted towards the USA, which emerged as the world’s only superpower.
Since then, the regional, ethnic, linguistic, resource, geo-political, and religious
issues began to have more importance. But, whenever a state failed to
properly address these problems, the latent conflicts turned violent. Poor and
developing countries have been found more vulnerable to violent conflicts due to
inequality in distribution of resources and opportunities, inadequate service delivery
system, injustice to identities and beliefs, ineffective governance and administration,
inefficient socio-political transformation and intolerant leadership. Therefore,
while most violent conflicts of the twentieth century were waged between
the states, almost all the major conflicts around the world that took place in the
1990s were fought within the state. As a result, the frequency and intensity of the
volatile internal conflicts are significantly increasing in number around the world.
Between 1989 and 1996, 95 of the 101 armed conflicts identified around the
world were such internal confrontations. Describing the intensity
of the violent conflicts around the world, Bishnu Raj Upreti writes: “In 1999 there
were 40 armed conflicts being fought within the territories of 36 countries, up
from 36 armed conflicts in 31 countries in 1998, and 37 in 32 countries in 1997.
The People’s War initiated in Nepal in 1996 is considered as the creation of
interwoven and complex web of socioeconomic, legal and politico-ideological problems.
Little attention was paid to it in the beginning both at national and international
levels, but it quickly intensified across the country. It has now become
Nepal’s most pressing political, socio-cultural and economic problem.
The escalation of armed violence due to the People’s War has resulted in disruption
of lives, livelihoods and security; serious damage or destruction of public
and private properties; possible disintegration of unity in diversity and disturbance in harmonious relationship among communities; massive exodus and displacement
of people; and increased hardship for the poor, marginalized, disadvantaged
and vulnerable people in getting access to basic needs, resources and services as
basic rights. I agree with Upreti as he writes, “When conflict escalates into violence
and civil war, persuasive despair, sorrow, and grief are the unwanted realities
and irrepressible damage to society is unavoidable. Building peace in such a
situation becomes far more costly and difficult than to address the root causes of
social conflict before it escalates into such violence”. Therefore, the
armed conflict or People’s War has become a grave threat to life, liberty, security
and dignity of poverty-stricken people and its frequency and intensity are continuously
escalating the violations and abuses of human rights in Nepal.
Abstract: The Examples from the Ground are concrete illustrations of ways in which a gender perspective has been integrated in different security sector institutions around the world. They range from measures to counter human trafficking in Kosovo, to women’s organisations’ involvement with security institutions in Nepal, to female parliamentarians’ contribution to post-conflict reconstruction in Rwanda. These examples can help policymakers, trainers and educators better understand and demonstrate the linkages between gender and SSR.
The examples are organised around the following nine themes, for which a short introduction is provided:
• Police Reform and Gender
• Defence Reform and Gender
• Justice Reform and Gender
• Penal Reform and Gender
• Border Management and Gender
• Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector and Gender
• National Security Policy-Making and Gender
• Civil Society Oversight of the Security Sector and Gender
• SSR Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation and Gender
Individual examples can also be downloaded individually, in English or in French, at: http://gssrtraining.ch/index.php?option=com_content&view;=article&id;=4&Itemid;=131〈=en
Abstract: Russia and Mexico, two of the world’s most murderous countries for the press, are heading in different directions in combating deadly anti-press violence, the Committee to Protect Journalists has found in its newly updated Impunity Index. The index, which calculates unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country’s population, found improvement in Russia as journalist murders ebbed and prosecutors obtained two high-profile convictions. But deadly anti-press violence continued to climb in Mexico, where authorities appear powerless in bringing killers to justice.
Colombia continued a years-long pattern of improvement, CPJ’s index found, while conditions in Bangladesh reflected a slight upturn. But the countries at the top of the index—Iraq, Somalia, and the Philippines—showed either no improvement or even worsening records. Iraq, with an impunity rating three times worse than that of any other nation, is ranked first for the fourth straight year. Although crossfire and other conflict-related deaths have dropped in Iraq in recent years, the targeted killings of journalists spiked in 2010.
“The findings of the 2011 Impunity Index lay bare the stark choices that governments face: Either address the issue of violence against journalists head-on or see murders continue and self-censorship spread,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “Convictions in Russia are a hopeful sign after years of indifference and denial. But Mexico’s situation is deeply troubling, with violence spiking as the government promises action but fails to deliver.”
CPJ’s annual Impunity Index, first published in 2008, identifies countries where journalists are murdered regularly and governments fail to solve the crimes. For this latest index, CPJ examined journalist murders that occurred between January 1, 2001 through December 31, 2010, and that remain unsolved. Only the 13 nations with five or more unsolved cases are included on the index. Cases are considered unsolved when no convictions have been obtained.
Impunity is a key indicator in assessing levels of press freedom and free expression in nations worldwide. CPJ research shows that deadly, unpunished violence against journalists often leads to vast self-censorship in the rest of the press corps. From Somalia to Mexico, CPJ has found that journalists avoid sensitive topics, leave the profession, or flee their homeland to escape violent retribution.
Abstract: This brief is largely based on several discussions organised at Observer Research Foundation over a period of time. These discussions were enriched by the presence of some of the well-known experts on water issues in the country, like former Union Minister for Water Resources, Dr. Suresh Prabhu, current High Commissioner of Bangladesh, Tariq Ahmad Karim, Mr. Sunjoy Joshi, Director, Observer Research Foundation, Ms. Clare Shakya, Senior Regional Climate Change and Water Adviser, DFID*, India, Mr. Samir Saran, Vice President, ORF and Dr. Dinesh Kumar, Executive Director, Institute for Resource Analysis and Policy, Hyderabad.
It is estimated that by 2030, only 60 per cent of the
world's population will have access to fresh water
1 supplies . This would mean that about 40 per cent
of the world population or about 3 billion-people
would be without a reliable source of water and
most of them would live in impoverished, conflictprone
and water-stressed areas like South Asia.
Water is already an extremely contentious, and
volatile, issue in South Asia. There are more people
in the region than ever before and their dependence
on water for various needs continues to multiply
by leaps and bounds. The quantum of water
available, for the present as well as future, has
reduced dramatically, particularly in the last half-acentury.
This is due to water-fertiliser intensive
farming, overexploitation of groundwater for
drinking, industrial and agricultural purposes,
large scale contamination of water sources, total
inertia in controlling and channelising waste water,
indifferent approach to water conservation
programmes and populist policies on water
Abstract: The popular uprisings that swept the Arab world in early 2011 have been compared by some commentators to the fall of the Berlin Wall. In an exhilarating push for democratic change, long-term rulers have been ousted and others challenged seriously for the first time. But despite what has been achieved, many voices from the region have urged caution: even in those countries which have seen the greatest changes, the internal security apparatus and other structures of repression have remained largely intact and the struggle for real constitutional reform continues. The ability of a state to undergo political change without violence is widely considered a hallmark of a mature democracy (although the record shows that democracies, even very old ones, are hardly immune from violent conflict). Which combination of circumstances, then, makes the onset of mass killing more likely and which conditions lower the risk of a state, even an autocratic one, descending to bloody violence? It is to help answer such questions that Minority Rights Group International has developed the Peoples under Threat index. Since 2005 Peoples under Threat has pioneered the use of statistical analysis to identify situations around the world where communities are most at risk of mass killing. On numerous occasions since the index was first developed, countries that have risen sharply up the table have later proved to be the scene of mass human rights violations.
Abstract: In the last five years Nepal has made some steps towards reducing structural gender discrimination. On 2nd
May 2005 a Supreme Court verdict abolished all discrimination against women; and in 2006 the CPA included
a provision endorsing the principle of non-discrimination and equality of women and girls. Nonetheless, reforms
in the legal and justice system are lagging behind. According to the Forum for Women, Law and Development,
‘over 118 clauses/Sections/Rules, two Rules in their entirety, and 67 Schedules/Annexes/Forms in 54 different
laws including the Constitution are discriminatory against women’. Main areas of gender discrimination relate
to property, trafficking and sexual abuse, education, employment, health including reproductive-health rights,
marriage and family, and legal procedure and court proceedings. Despite the passing of the Domestic Violence
Bill (2009) and 2010 being declared the prime minister’s Domestic Violence-Free Year, SGBV remains the most
pervasive security threat that confronts women.
This paper forms part of an initiative implemented by Alert between October 2009 and September 2010 to build
the capacity of civil society organisations (CSOs) to inform and monitor public security reform processes from
a gender perspective. Alert worked in close partnership with Shanti Malika, a network of Nepali organisations
promoting peace from a gender and women’s rights perspective. The project worked with women’s organisations
at the local, district and national level to generate concrete evidence of gender-specific security concerns
and to support the delivery of evidence-based advocacy with Nepali policymakers, service providers and the
international community. Given the lack of women’s voices within the security and justice sector at both policy and
implementation levels, the initiative looks at security from the perspective of women’s access to and experience
of security and justice services, rather than from a broader gender perspective.
Abstract: Nepal is entering a new phase in its fitful peace process, in which its so-called “logical conclusion” is in sight: the integration and rehabilitation of Maoist combatants and the introduction of a new constitution. The Maoists, the largest party, are back in government in a coalition led by the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist), UML party. Negotiations, although fraught, are on with the second-largest party, the Nepali Congress (NC), to join. Agreement is being reached on constitutional issues and discussions continue on integration. None of the actors are ramping up for serious confrontation and few want to be seen as responsible for the collapse of the constitution-writing process underway in the Constituent Assembly (CA). But success depends on parties in opposition keeping tactical threats to dissolve the CA to a minimum, the government keeping them engaged, and the parties in government stabilising their own precariously divided houses. It will also require the Maoists to take major steps to dismantle their army.
Abstract: China’s rise on the international stage has been accompanied by an increase in its military’s presence. Beijing’s expanding ambition is prompting calls on the country’s leaders to be more proactive in protecting its national interests. These calls by Chinese analysts have raised concerns about the military’s capability to mobilize troops to defend the country’s vast borders.
Abstract: The Portfolio of Mine Action Projects is a resource tool and reference document for donors, policy-makers, advocates, and national and international mine action implementers. The country and territory-specific proposals in the portfolio reflect strategic responses developed in the field to address all aspects of the problem of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW). This country and territory-based approach aims to present as comprehensive a picture as possible of the full range of mine action needs in particular countries and thematic issues related to mine action. The portfolio ideally reflects projects developed by mine- and ERW-affected countries and territories based on their priorities and strategies; the approaches are endorsed by national authorities. The portfolio does not automatically entail full-scale direct mine action assistance by the United Nations, but is in essence a tool for collaborative resource mobilization, coordination and planning of mine action activities involving partners and stakeholders. A country portfolio coordinator (CPC) leads each country portfolio team and coordinates the submission of proposals to the portfolio’s headquarters team. While the majority of the CPCs are UN officials, this role is increasingly being assumed by national authorities. The country portfolio teams include representatives from national and local authorities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the United Nations and the private sector. Locally based donor representatives are invited to attend preparation meetings. Each portfolio chapter contains a synopsis of the scope of the landmine and ERW problem, a description of how mine action is coordinated, and a snapshot of local mine action strategies. Many of the strategies complement or are integrated into broader development and humanitarian frameworks such as national development plans, the UN development assistance frameworks and national poverty reduction plans. This 14th edition of the annual Portfolio of Mine Action Projects features overviews and project outlines for 29 countries, territories or missions affected by landmines and explosive remnants of war. There are 238 projects in the 2011 portfolio. Africa accounts for the largest number: 92.
Abstract: Youth in Nepal have historically played a critical role in the country's democratic development. However, in recent years political party youth wings have become increasingly associated with aggressive activity, notably since the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (UCPN(M)) Young Communist League (YCL) was re-activated in 2006. In the run up to the 2008 Constituent Assembly election, the YCL was implicated in extortion, intimidation and violent activities. Since the election, Nepal has seen the formation of a “Youth Force” by the Communist Party of Nepal - Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML) as a counter-YCL group. Additionally, there have been repeated allegations of YCL, CPN-UML Youth Force, and other party or identity group youth wing involvement in actions which negatively affect the political, economic, and security environment in districts throughout the country. Nepali politics at the local level has never been entirely peaceful and there is certainly historical precedent of youth being mobilized as “muscle,” but the rising trend since 2006 has raised the attention of district administration officials, political party members, civil society, community members, international observers, and both domestic and international media.
The report is based on recent findings of Carter Center observers throughout the country, who have observed the post-election peace and constitutional drafting process since June 2009. The Center collected information on youth wings in 30 districts through interviews with political party youth wing members, district administration officials, political parties, civil society, and citizens. The Center‟s report looks into who joins political party youth wings, what they receive, and what their aspirations are after joining. It also addresses what kinds of activities political party youth wings engage in and to what degree these activities are in compliance with the peace process agreements signed by their mother parties. An annex at the end of the report provides information on individual youth wing organizations such as self-reported membership estimates and organizational structures.
Abstract: Objective: There is abundance of literature on adverse effects of conflict on the health of the population. In
contrast to this, sporadic data in Nepal claim improvements in most of the health indicators during the decadelong
armed conflict (1996-2006). However, systematic information to support or reject this claim is scant. This study
reviews Nepal’s key health indicators before and after the violent conflict and explores the possible factors
facilitating the progress.
Methods: A secondary analysis has been conducted of two demographic health surveys-Nepal Family Health
Survey (NFHS) 1996 and Nepal Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) 2006; the latter was supplemented by a
study carried out by the Nepal Health Research Council in 2006.
Results: The data show Nepal has made progress in 16 out of 19 health indicators which are part of the
Millennium Development Goals whilst three indicators have remained static. Our analysis suggests a number of
conflict and non-conflict factors which may have led to this success.
Conclusion: The lessons learnt from Nepal could be replicable elsewhere in conflict and post-conflict
environments. A nationwide large-scale empirical study is needed to further assess the determinants of Nepal’s
success in the health sector at a time the country experienced a decade of armed conflict.
Abstract: Most studies of truth commissions assert their positive role in improving human rights. A
firstwave of researchmade these claims based on qualitative analysis of a single truth commission
or a small number of cases. Thirty years of experience with truth commissions and
dozens of examples allow cross-national statistical studies to assess these findings. Two
recent studies undertake that project. Their findings, which are summarized in this article,
challenge the prevailing view that truth commissions foster human rights, showing
instead that commissions, when used alone, tend to have a negative impact on human
rights. Truth commissions have a positive impact, however, when used in combination
with trials and amnesties. This article extends the question of whether truth commissions
improve human rights to how, when and why they succeed or fail in doing so. It presents a
‘justice balance’ explanation, whereby commissions, incapable of promoting stability and
accountability on their own, contribute to human rights improvements when they complement
and enhance amnesties and prosecutions. The article draws on experiences in
Brazil, Chile, Nepal, South Korea and South Africa to illustrate the central argument.
Abstract: Since making its transition to democracy in 1990, Nepal has experienced
considerable political and social turmoil. The country was plunged into civil war after
Maoist insurgents launched a revolution against the state between 1996 and 2006. The
conflict was ended by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed between
the warring parties in November 2006. However, the failure of major political parties –
which now include the former Maoist rebels – to compromise has prevented significant
progress on key aspects of the peace process. Indeed, the deadline of 28 May 2010 for
drafting a new constitution has lapsed and been extended until 13 April 2011 as Nepal
once again flirts with political crisis.
Consequently, the integration of the Maoist Army combatants into state security
agencies and the demobilisation and rehabilitation of former Maoist Army combatants
into civilian life, as enshrined in Article 4.4 of the CPA, have been desperately slow.
By February 2010, all of the 4,008 who had failed to meet the criteria established by
the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) had been discharged. Meanwhile,
the 19,602 qualified combatants who had met the criteria remain confined to seven
main and twenty-one satellite military cantonments spread over the five development
regions of Nepal.
Successful rehabilitation and integration is dependent upon political consensus
among and buy-in of all political parties, including the Unified Communist Party of
Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M), and state security agencies. Success can also be built upon
responding to lessons learnt from the process of rehabilitating the discharged combatants.
Successful rehabilitation and integration is complicated by the fact that these
qualified combatants have been subjected to a further four years of Maoist political
education while living in the cantonments and the growing number of new armed
ethno-political and criminal groups who are eager to recruit militarily trained and
politically aware Maoist cadres.
Abstract: Gender-based violence, including sexual violence was a common feature of the 10-
year-long armed conflict between the security forces and the Communist Party of
Nepal – Maoist (CPN-M), yet few individual incidents were reported. Human rights
activists, journalists and international observers paid very little attention to gender-based
violence directed at women and girls.
This invisibility has continued since the end of conflict. Nepal is living in an uneasy
peace with many of the reforms agreed in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement
(CPA) of November 2006 still to be implemented. Little has been done to ensure
that women and girl victims and survivors have access to effective reparations
which address their continuing suffering and help them to rebuild their lives.
Women and girls are largely absent from a number of “interim relief” programmes
initiated by the state since the end of the conflict. None of the government relief
programmes and compensation schemes includes assistance for victims of sexual
violence, and some of these existing schemes discriminate again st certain
categories of women.
Despite the end of conflict in 2006, neither the state nor the Maoists have publicly
apologised to the many survivors of rape and sexual violence. In the CPA, both
parties to the conflict promised to form a high-level Truth and Reconciliation
Commission (TRC), a Disappearances Commission and a National Peace and
Rehabilitation Commission. To date, none of these has been established.
This report by Advocacy Forum – Nepal (AF), in collaborat ion wi th the
International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) – Nepal, documents women’s
experiences of conflict in Nepal. It explores not only the various abuses women
suffered, but also the many roles they played during the conflict and how their
lives have changed as a result.
Abstract: Federal restructuring of the state has emerged as a major demand of ethnic and regional activists in Nepal. The debate about it is extremely politicised. Federalism is not simply the decentralisation of political power; it has become a powerful symbol for a wider agenda of inclusion, which encompasses other institutional reforms to guarantee ethnic proportional representation and a redefinition of Nepali nationalism to recognise the country’s ethnic and cultural diversity.
Activists demand the introduction of reservations to guarantee proportional representation of marginalised groups in government and administration. They want provinces to be named after the most numerous ethnic and regional groups and boundaries drawn to make them dominant minorities. Some claim to be indigenous to these regions and demand preferential rights to natural resources and agradhikar – priority entitlement to political leadership positions in the future provinces.
Ethnic and regional demands were important parts of the Maoist agenda during the civil war; in eastern Nepal, much of their support depended on it. State restructuring became a central component of the 2006 peace deal. After violent protests in the Tarai in 2007, federalism was included in the interim constitution as a binding principle for the Constituent Assembly.
Abstract: This 41-page report renews calls for the government to investigate and prosecute those responsible for crimes committed during the conflict, and documents three emblematic cases since the conflict ended to show how the same neglect of justice applies to new crimes. A lack of political will and consensus, prevailing political instability, and a lack of progress in the peace process have resulted in the government’s failure to deliver on its promises in the 2006 peace agreement to prosecute these crimes, Human Rights Watch and Advocacy Forum said.
Abstract: In this opinion, Rita Manchanda takes a look at progress made in the representation of Nepali women in politics and in the recognition of their rights, since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2006. She also examines how the country's current political crisis threatens to unravel recent progress in this matter. This opinion is the third in a series of five commissioned in 2010 to leading practitioners and analysts in the fields of mediation and peacemaking, gender relations, international security and peace processes. This series seeks to mark the 10th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which calls for more involvement of women in conflict resolution and greater consideration of gender issues in peace processes. It is produced as part of the HD Centre's project, ‘Women at the Table: Asia Pacific', which brings together high-level women active in peacemaking across the Asia-Pacific region to identify and employ strategies for improving the contribution of women to, and participation in, peace processes.
Abstract: UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (SCR 1325, 2000) was hailed a victory for women’s rights activists around the world. The adoption of the resolution represented a significant step forward in recognising the strategic contribution that women can make to peace and security policy, as well as acknowledging the increasing use of violence against women as a tactic of war. Yet a decade later, women are still largely absent from peace negotiations. Ten years on from the initial adoption of SCR 1325, CARE International launched this study to reflect on our own operational experience, and the perspectives of our local partners in civil society and the communities with which we work. Our survey in Afghanistan, Uganda and Nepal found that many thousands of women have used SCR 1325 to mobilise political action and resources in support of their rights and participation in peace and security policy. Yet despite all these efforts, women remain largely absent from the negotiating table. Participation by women in the negotiation of a political settlement, peacebuilding and post-conflict governance remains often inconsistent and tokenistic. Huge volumes of policy statements and seminar reports on SCR 1325 have been issued, but much of the action remains declarative rather than operational – translating into changes in practice and impacts for women on the ground. The present research conducted with communities in Afghanistan, Uganda and Nepal offers many examples of both innovative achievements and missed opportunities in connecting grassroots activism for peace and rights up to sub-national and national level political processes. Going forward, all stakeholders – UN, governments, donors, NGOs and local civil society – need to do much more to foster these linkages.
Abstract: Since the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and
Security in October 2000, there has been growing international recognition of women’s role in
conflict resolution and peacebuilding. However, while implementation of Resolution 1325 is taking
root at the international strategic and policy levels, worldwide experience shows that there remain
significant barriers to the full integration of a gender perspective in peace and post‐conflict processes
at the country level. For instance, women’s participation in peace negotiations continues to be
limited, and women remain underrepresented at all levels of decision‐making during the crucial postconflict
Based on case studies of two countries that recently emerged from armed internal conflict − Burundi
and Nepal − this report examines one fundamental aspect of Resolution 1325: the provisions to
increase women’s participation in post‐conflict decision‐making. While Burundi and Nepal display
many differences, the two countries present interesting similarities in terms of achievements and
challenges in relation to involving women in decision‐making following the end of armed conflict. For
example, women in both countries have traditionally been barred from access to public and political
life, and during the Burundian and Nepali peace processes no woman took part in the formal
negotiations in either country.
This marginalization notwithstanding, Burundi and Nepal stand out in their efforts to advance
women’s involvement in national politics following the end of armed conflict. Introduction of
mechanisms for affirmative action prior to the first post‐conflict elections in each of the two
countries led women to obtain close to one‐third of the seats in their respective legislatures. Women
in civil society have also been heralded for their mobilization and efforts throughout the peace and
post‐conflict process in both countries, and women’s organizations have been an important driving
force behind women’s engagement in political life and the promotion of provisions stipulated in
These positive achievements, however, should not blind us to the many remaining challenges that
impede women’s effective participation in decision‐making in Burundi and Nepal. Even though
women’s representation in political institutions has substantially increased, entrenched patriarchal
norms, gender inequality and discriminatory practices continue to limit the ability of women to
participate in and influence political decision‐making in both countries.
Abstract: Nepal is currently undergoing the rehabilitation
phase of its United Nations (UN) supported
programme on the discharge and rehabilitation
of Verified Minor and Late Recruit (VMLR) Maoist
paper aims to identify the opportunities and
challenges for the rehabilitation of Verified Minors and Late Recruits (VMLRs) of
the Maoist People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and
forthcoming reintegration of qualified members
from a gender-perspective. Such research will
distinguish between the peace and security issues
that women face and those that men face. It will
also attempt to apply the acquired information
into recommendations for work within the
thematic areas of United Nations Security Council
Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security
(UNSCR1325) and security sector reform (SSR).
Based on a theoretical review of good practices
and lessons learned in gender and DDR and
consideration of rehabilitation efforts (CPA,
Action Plan, Rehabilitation Package), the
paper will address the following question:
What are the challenges and opportunities for
the rehabilitation and reintegration of Maoist
combatants in the Nepal context?
Abstract: The Mediation Practice Series (MPS) was initiated in 2008 as
part of the HD Centre’s efforts to support the broader mediation
community. Based on the shared view that mediators often confront similar
dilemmas although mediation differs widely across peace
processes, the HD Centre has decided to produce a series of
decision-making tools that draw upon the comparative experience
of track one mediation processes. As mediators consider engagement with armed groups they
face a variety of challenges and options – including whether it is
wise to engage at all. This contribution to the Mediation Practice
Series addresses engagement by those working toward peace
processes which involve formal interaction between leaders.
The focus is on the dilemmas, challenges and risks involved in a
mediator’s early contacts with an armed group and subsequent
engagement as interlocutor, message-carrier, adviser and/or
facilitator – all roles that may precede and accompany formal
negotiation between parties to a conflict.
The armed groups considered are those whose rebellion or
resistance explicitly challenges the authority of the state, rather
than the full spectrum of non-state armed groups (which would
include criminal organisations and gangs, as well as paramilitary
actors accountable to the state). The former claim their violence
is rooted in legitimate self-defence against the infringement of
their rights. Political in its origin – if at times criminal in its conduct
– armed action is pursued as a means to a political end. While
military pressure, or other actions by security forces, may be necessary to counter it, in almost all cases a lasting resolution to
the conflict will depend on some form of political accommodation
or agreement. Case studies include: The FMLN and the UN in El Salvador (p. 8-13), Dilemmas of talking to the Taliban (p. 13-14), Private mediators and the GAM
in Aceh (p. 15-18), Coping with pre-conditions
on Hamas (p. 20-23), The ICC and the LRA in conflict
at the peace table (p. 23-28), Case study : Norway and the LTTE (p. 28-29), Case study : Engaging the Maoists in Nepal (p. 31-35).