Key Resources: Conflict and violence
Women, conflict and violence
Gender analyses of war
International responses to gender in conflict and violence
Organisations and websites
Women, conflict and violence
Conflict, peace and violence’ (2013), Jill Steans, Chapter 5 in Jill Steans,Gender &International Relations (Third Edition), Cambridge, UK and Malden, MA: Polity, ISBN: 9780745662794, 288 pp., website: www.polity.co.ukDo not be intimidated by the fact that this overview comes from an International Relations textbook! This chapter is a clear, succinct, and accessible introduction to gender, conflict, peace and violence, and feminist thinking around these issues. Of particular value is the discussion around what Jill Steans calls ‘the Feminine/Peace Nexus’ and ‘the Masculine/War Nexus’; ideas which have, historically, been taken for granted when talking about women, men, and conflict and violence. The chapter goes on to consider gendered violence in conflict – looking not only at sexual violence, but women’s roles as perpetrators of violence. The chapter ends with questions for reflection, seminar topics, and suggestions for further reading, making it ideal for use in teaching.Violent Conflict and Gender Inequality: An Overview, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 6371 (2013), Mayra Buvinic, Monica Das Gupta, Ursula Casabonne, and Philip Verwimp, Washington, DC: World Bank, http://elibrary.worldbank.org/content/workingpaper/10.1596/1813-9450-6371
37 pp. (last accessed September 2013)For the authors of this interesting and timely paper, the current focus of attention on sexual and gender-based violence neglects other, important issues when considering the gender impact of conflict. The authors organise their evidence around a framework that identifies both the differential impacts of violent conflict on women and men (which they term first-round impacts) and the role gender inequality plays in responses to conflict (second-round impacts).
Women and Wars: Contested Histories, Uncertain Futures (2012), Carol Cohn, Cambridge: Polity, ISBN: 9780745642451, 256 pp., website: www.polity.co.uk
This important book seeks to gender the phenomenon of war, so often treated in historical and academic accounts as involving men alone. As the chapters in the book make clear, women experience war in many ways: as soldiers, civilians, care-givers, sex workers, sexual slaves, refugees and internally displaced persons, anti-war activists, community peace-builders, and more. The book makes an ideal teaching tool, as along with an excellent introductory framing chapter, each subsequent chapter ends with a list of questions for debate, and suggestions for further reading.
War as Experience: Contributions from International Relations and Feminist Analysis (2012), Christine Sylvester, London and New York: Routledge, ISBN: 978-0-415-77599-1, 150 pp., website: www.routledge.com
In another book from the field of International Relations (IR), one of the pioneers of feminist IR seeks, in a beautifully written work, to demonstrate how war is experienced emotionally and physically, as a ‘body-based politics’, in contrast to the traditional IR approach, which tends to operate at more abstract levels of analysis when studying war. Divided into two sections, the first part of the book – ‘International Relations and Feminists Consider War’ – outlines the state of war studies in IR, security studies, and feminist IR. In the second part – ‘Rethinking Elements and Approaches to War’ – the author discusses war as a physical experience, and as an emotional experience, drawing on examples from liberation wars in Africa; the Israel–Palestine conflict; and military intervention in the Balkans, Iraq, and Afghanistan, amongst others.
Sex and World Peace (2012), Valerie M. Hudson, Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Mary Caprioli, and Chad F. Emmett, New York: Columbia University Press, ISBN: 978-0-231-13183-4, 304 pp., website: www.cup.columbia.edu
For the authors of this book, gender inequality – that is to say, the subordination of women – is a form of violence. Marshalling an impressive amount of data, they make the connection, theoretically and empirically, between micro-level gender violence, and macro-level state peacefulness, or otherwise, in global settings, demonstrating that the security of women is a vital factor in the security of the state and its incidence of conflict and war.
Making Gender, Making War: Violence, Military and Peacekeeping Practices (2011), Annica Kronsell and Erika Svedberg (eds.), London and New York: Routledge, ISBN: 978-0-415-84936-4, website: www.routledge.com
In this edited work, contributors examine, through a range of case studies, the ways in which war-making is closely connected with the construction of gender. The contributions are organised around four themes: gender, violence, and militarism: how the making of gender is connected to a remaking of the nation through military practices; United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and gender mainstreaming in institution practices; and gender Eminent International Relations academic Christine Sylvester’s preface to the book provides helpful scholarly context, referring to the historic reluctance of feminists to engage with the analysis of war.
Women and War: Gender Identity and Activism in Times of Conflict (2010), Joyce P. Kaufman and Kristen P. Williams, Sterling, VA: Kumarian Press, ISBN: 978-1-56549-309-4, 159 pp., website: www.kpbooks.com
Inspired by eminent feminist International Relations (IR) scholar Cynthia Enloe’s famous question ‘where are the women?’, the authors apply their guiding research question – ‘what happened to the women’ – to conflict situations, drawing on traditional and feminist IR to examine the roles women play in the lead up to, during, and after conflict.
Women and War in the Middle East: Transnational Perspectives (2009), Nadje Al-Ali and Nicola Pratt (eds.), London and New York: Zed Books, 288 pp., ISBN: 9781848131866, website: www.zedbooks.co.uk
With a focus on Iraq and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and based on original empirical research, this excellent edited collection considers the interaction of local and transnational groups in shaping the experiences of women in conflict situations, and in determining the possibilities for women’s participation in peace-building and post-conflict reconstruction. The book is divided into three sections. Contributions in the first section providing a gender analysis of what the editors term ‘the Neo-liberal, Imperial Project’. In the second, contributors examine transnational women’s activism in relation to peace-building and post-conflict reconstruction, with an emphasis here on Palestine. In the third section, the focus is on gender and citizenship. Common themes in the collection include critiques of neo-liberalism, and the hostility secular women’s rights activists face from other women in the region who do not share their secular outlook.
Mothers, Monsters, Whores: Women’s Violence in Global Politics (2008), Laura Sjoberg and Caron E. Gentry, London and New York: Zed Books, ISBN: 978-1842778661, 232 pp., website: www.zedbooks.co.uk
In this book, the authors examine the biological, psychological, and sexualised stereotypes through which women who commit political violence are viewed. Looking at military women who engage in torture, suicide bombers, and female participants in genocide in Bosnia and Rwanda, the authors argue that the conventional depiction of these women is rooted in assumptions about what is appropriate female behaviour and that this depiction perceives of women as having no agency – either in everyday life, or in the global political sphere.
Globalization and Militarism: Feminists Make the Link (2007), Cynthia Enloe, Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, ISBN: 978-0-7425-4112-2, 200 pp., website: https://rowman.com
In this work Cynthia Enloe examines the way that militarism is being globalised today, with certain ideas regarding ‘femininity; and ‘masculinity’ at its heard. The author explores government’s narrow conceptions of national security, how post-war reconstruction has marginalised women, gender in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, and demilitarisation of societies, combining in her analysis, the macro level of international politics, and the micro level of women’s and men’s everyday lives.
Gendercide and Genocide (2004), Adam Jones (ed.), Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, ISBN: 9780826514455, 336 pp., website: www.vanderbiltuniversitypress.com
This collection opens with an important essay by editor Adam Jones, a leading genocide scholar, in which he ‘genders’ genocide, stressing in particular the gender-specific targeting of civilian, ‘battle-aged’ males in both wartime and peacetime contexts. Contributors to the book come from a range of disciplines, and expand on and diversify the notion of ‘gendercide’, both from empirical and theoretical standpoints, and interestingly, the book includes three contributions from authors who critique the notion of gendercide.
Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics (Updated Edition with New Preface) (2001), Cynthia Enloe, Berkeley, CA and London: University of California Press, ISBN: 9780520229129, 263 pp., website: www.ucpress.edu
Much of the study of gender and conflict and violence has been carried out by feminist thinkers in the field of International Relations and International Politics. This groundbreaking and classic work by Cynthia Enloe, first published in 1989, asked the question ‘where are the women?’, and inspired so much of the work on gender in International Relations and Politics that has been produced subsequently. In the book, Cynthia Enloe looks at governments promoting tourism, companies moving their factories overseas, soldiers serving on foreign soil (of particular relevance to this issue of Gender & Development) – and shows that the globalised world system is inherently gendered.
Sexual Violence as a Weapon of War? Perceptions, Prescriptions, Problems in the Congo and Beyond (2013), Maria Eriksson and Maria Stern, London and New York: Zed Books, ISBN: 9781780321639, 168 pp., website: www.zedbooks.co.uk
In this important and thoughtful book, the authors challenge the recent prominence given to sexual violence in conflict, highlighting the problems with isolating sexual violence from other violence in war. Incorporating their own, original fieldwork from the Democratic Republic of Congo, along with research from other conflict zones, the authors examine and question the current, prevailing understanding of rape as a weapon of war. (A review of this book appears in the Book Reviews section of this issue of Gender & Development.)
No, war doesn’t have to mean rape’ (2013), Michele Lent Hirsch, Women Under Siege, 2 July, www.womenundersiegeproject.org/blog/entry/no-war-doesnt-have-to-mean-rape (last accessed September 2013)
In this informative, well-written, and accessible blog by the associate editor of the Women Under Siege online project, the author questions the often automatic assumption that conflict equals sexual violence, drawing on evidence from several studies, in particular ‘Variation in Sexual Violence During War’ by Elizabeth Wood – see www.sscnet.ucla.edu/polisci/cpworkshop/papers/Wood.pdf for this paper.
Sexual Violence and Armed Conflict (2011), Janie L. Leatherman, Cambridge, UK and Malden, MA: Polity, ISBN: 9780745641881, 176 pp., website: www.polity.co.uk
With the aim of, in the words of the author, ‘ending the silence’ around sexual violence in war, this book analyses the causes, consequences, and responses to sexual violence in contemporary armed conflict, exploring the function and effect of wartime sexual violence, and examining the conditions that make women and girls most vulnerable to these acts both before, during, and after conflict. In the first two chapters of the book, the author provides historical context, outlines theoretical approaches to the study of sexual violence in conflict, and establishes a framework for her following discussion, which draws on evidence from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, the Balkans, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, amongst other places, stressing the role of hegemonic masculinity in explaining sexual violence in conflict. The book concludes with a consideration of efforts to tackle sexual violence in conflict, from prevention and protection, to new programmes being set up on the ground to support the rehabilitation of survivors and their communities, incorporating ‘an ethic of care’ (p. 30).
Why do soldiers rape? Masculinity, violence, and sexuality in the armed forces in the Congo (DRC)’ (2009), Maria Eriksson Baaz and Maria Stern, International Studies Quarterly 53(4): 495–518
This groundbreaking article explores the ways soldiers in the Congo speak about the massive level of rape committed by the armed forces in the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, focusing on the reasons that the soldiers give as to why rape occurs. The authors show how the soldiers distinguish between ‘lust rapes’ and ‘evil rapes’ and seek to explain how these soldiers’ understanding of what it is to be a man leads to rape and its normalisation in this conflict.
Women forced to flee: refugees and internally displaced persons’ (2013), Wenona Giles, in Carol Cohn (ed.), Women & Wars, Cambridge, UK and Malden, MA: Polity, ISBN: 9780745642451, pp. 80–101, website: www.polity.co.uk
This well-considered chapter in Carol Cohn’s Women & Wars (discussed above) examines the gendered causes and experiences of displacement and exile for women and girls, analysing what author Wenona Giles calls ‘four gendered spaces of displacement’, namely long-term displacement; internal displacement; resettlement; and repatriation; and follows with an extremely helpful survey of feminist responses to policy and practice relating to gender and displacement from the 1980s onwards.
Women and Conflict in the Middle East: Palestinian Refugees and the Response to Violence (2013), Maria Holt, London: I.B. Tauris, ISBN: 9781780761015, 288 pp., website: www.ibtauris.com
Women in conflict zones face a wide range of violence: from physical and psychological trauma to political, economic, and social disadvantage. And the sources of the violence are varied also:from the ‘public’ violence of the enemy to the more ‘private’ violence of the family. The author uses research from the Palestinian refugee camps of Lebanon and in the West Bank to look at the forms of violence suffered by women in the context of the wider conflict around them. Drawing on first-hand accounts of women who have either participated in, been victims of, or bystanders to violence, she examines the complex situation of these refugees, and explores how many of them become involved in resistance activities.
Shifting Sands: Changing Gender Roles Among Refugees in Lebanon (2013), Claire Harvey, Rosa Garwood, and Roula El-Masri, Oxford: Oxfam, 42 pp., http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/shifting-sands-changing-gender-roles-among-refugees-in-lebanon-300408 (also available in Arabic, French, and Spanish) (last accessed September 2013)
The current conflict in Syria has created a humanitarian crisis, with almost two million people having fled to neighbouring countries in the hope of escaping the violence, putting increasing pressure on the ability of host communities and aid agencies to provide them with support. The situation has created intense levels of stress for refugees, as in many cases they are forced to take on new responsibilities at odds with their traditional gendered social roles. This report from Oxfam and the ABAAD-Resource Centre for Gender Equality presents the findings of a gender situation and vulnerability assessment among Syrian refugees and Palestinian refugees from Syria now living in Lebanon, undertaken in order to understand these changing roles and to contribute to an improved understanding of the gendered impact of the Syrian conflict and subsequent displacement on refugees now in Lebanon. The report concludes with recommendations for development and humanitarian practitioners and donor agencies, to help them design and implement gender-sensitive programmes that address these shifting gender roles and help to minimise stress and tensions among refugee populations (at individual, household and community levels) and between refugee and host communities.
Gender, Conflict and Migration (2006), Navnita Chadha Behera (ed.), New Delhi: Sage, ISBN: 978-0761934554, 328 pp., website: www.sagepub.com The essays in this edited collection, which focuses on South Asia, examine the changes in status, identities, and power relations among women and men as they move from a conflict situation at home, to migrant camps, and to the post-conflict or peace-building context when they return home. The contributors use a variety of research methods including ethnography, dialogue, oral history, and textual analyses.
International responses to gender in conflict and violence
United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1325, 1820, 1888, 1960, 1820, 1960, http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/un-documents/search.php?IncludeBlogs=10&limit=15&tag=”Security Council Resolutions” AND “Women Peace and Security”&ctype=Women, Peace and Security&rtype=Security Council Resolutions&cbtype=women-peace-and-security
Beginning in 2000, with the adoption of United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 1325 (see Article 10), the UN Security Council has adopted a series of resolutions relating to sexual violence in conflict. The most recent, UN Security Council Resolution 1960, was adopted in June 2013, and addresses impunity of perpetrators of sexual violence in conflict.
What is the Evidence of the Impact of Initiatives to Reduce Risk and Incidence of Sexual Violence in Conflict and Post-conflict Zones and Other Humanitarian Crises in Lower and Middle-income Countries? A Systematic Review (2013), J. Spangaro, A. Zwi, C. Adogu, G. Ranmuthugala, G.P. Davies, and L. Steinacker, London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London, ISBN: 978-1-907345-53-1, 163 pp., website: http://eppi.ioe.ac.uk/cms/Default.aspx?tabid = 3405 (last accessed September 2013)
Funded by the Australian Agency for International Development, this survey of programmes was undertaken to discover how best to direct efforts to address this problem. The review identifies several innovative practices that could be used in future interventions to address sexual violence in conflict. The review is summarised in a two-page Policy Brief, which can be found at www.ausaid.gov.au/Publications/Pages/policy-brief-reduce-risk-incidence-sexual-violence-conflict-zones.aspx (last accessed September 2013), and author John Spangaro talks about the research in a blog, ‘What works when tackling conflict-related sexual violence’, at https://ausaid.govspace.gov.au/2013/06/26/what-works-when-tackling-conflict-related-sexual-violence (last accessed September 2013)
Female Soldiers in Sierra Leone: Sex, Security, and Post-conflict Development (2012), Megan H. MacKenzie, New York: New York University Press, ISBN: 978-0814761373, 272 pp., website: www.nyupress.org
In this book, the author draws on interviews with 75 former female soldiers and over 20 local experts, arguing that post-conflict reconstruction is a highly gendered process, and demonstrating that a clear recognition and understanding of the roles and experiences of female soldiers are central to both understanding the conflict and to crafting effective policy for the future. The introductory chapter to the book can be read at http://nyupress.org/webchapters/mackenzie_intro.pdf.
On the Frontlines: Gender, War, and the Post-conflict Process (2011), Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, Dina Francesca Haynes, and Naomi Cahn, New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN: 978-0-19-539665-2, 358 pp., website: www.oup.com
In this analysis, the authors consider a range of policies designed to bring issues of sexual violence, discrimination, and exclusion into peace-making processes. They argue that such initiatives have met with too little success, and that this is in part a product of a focus on simplistic policies, rather than a deeper attempt to alter the cultures and societies that are at the root of much of the violence experienced by women. They contend that this broader approach would not just benefit women, however. Gender mainstreaming and increased gender equality has a direct correlation with state stability and functions to preclude further conflict. With this in mind, they examine the efforts of transnational organisations, states, and civil society in multiple jurisdictions to place gender at the heart of all post-conflict processes, and they offer concrete analysis and practical solutions to ensuring gender centrality in all aspects of peace-making and peace enforcement.
Women, Peace and Security: Translating Policy into Practice (2011), Funmi Olonisakin, Karen Barnes, and Eka Ikpe (eds.), London: Routledge, ISBN: 978-0-415-58797-6, 246 pp., website: www.routledge.com
UN Resolution 1325 was adopted in October 2000, and was the first time that the security concerns of women in situations of armed conflict and their role in peacebuilding was placed on the agenda of the UN Security Council. This book provides a critical assessment of the impact thus far of UN Resolution 1325, by examining the effect of peace-building missions on increasing gender equality within conflict-affected countries, drawing together findings from eight countries and four regional contexts to provide guidance on how the impact of Resolution 1325 can be measured, and how peacekeeping operations could improve their capacity to effectively engender security.
UN Women Sourcebook on Women, Peace and Security (2012) New York: UN Women, www.unwomen.org/en/digital-library/publications/2012/10/un-women-sourcebook-on-women-peace-and-security (last accessed September 2013)
Aimed primarily at practitioners and policymakers, this comprehensive work from UN Women seeks to provide analytical and practical guidance on implementing what has come to be known as the Women, Peace and Security agenda, which had its beginnings in the adoption by the United Nations of Security Council Resolution 1325, in 2000. Resources are grouped into the following thematic areas: frameworks for implementing the women and peace security resolutions; women’s engagement in conflict resolution; gender-responsive conflict prevention and protection; women’s participation in peace-building and recovery; gender and transitional justice.
Security and peacekeeping’ (2013), Jill Steans, Chapter 6 in Jill Steans, Gender & International Relations (Third Edition), Cambridge, UK and Malden, MA: Polity, ISBN:9780745662794, 288 pp., website: www.polity.co.uk
In another chapter from the excellent Jill Steans book (see above), the reader is taken through the concept of security, and the various approaches to it. There then follows a section on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and related measures to mainstream gender in security and peace-keeping debates and practice. The final section illustrates how both women’s rights and gay people’s rights might be framed as security issues, and considers the consequences of the securitisation of human rights in the foreign policies and security strategies of major states.
From Where We Stand: War, Women’s Activism and Feminist Analysis (2007) Cynthia Cockburn, London: Zed Books, ISBN: 978-1842778210, 288 pp., website.www.zedbooks.co.uk
This study by the eminent scholar of gender and conflict, Cynthia Cockburn, explores women’s activism against war in diverse contexts, including Sierra Leone, India, Colombia, and Palestine. The author describes the work of women on different sides of conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and Israel, who address racism, refusing to engage in ‘othering’. She moves on to look at international networks of women opposing US and Western European militarism and the so-called ‘war on terror’, finding that these movements are generating an anti-militarist feminism and challenging how war and militarism are understood, both in academic studies and the mainstream anti-war movement. For the author, gender is inextricably intertwined with economic and ethnic and nationalist factors in the perpetuation of war.
UNHCR Handbook for the Protection of Women and Girls (2008) Geneva: UNHCR, www.refworld.org/docid/47cfc2962.html, pp.404 (last accessed September 2013)
This well-designed resource is aimed primarily at practitioners. It outlines the challenges faced by those seeking to secure the protection of refugee women and girls, setting out the legal standards and guidelines that apply; describing specific tools that can be used to identify women and girls at risk and ensure their protection; and, in relation to specific rights, actions that can be taken to promote respect for them.
UNHCR Policy on Refugee Women (n.d.), Geneva: UNHCR, www.unhcr.org/3ba6186810.html, 9 pp. (last accessed September 2013) This document sets out the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ policy on refugee women, providing the framework for UNHCR’s work to ensure the organisation meets its specific obligations with regard to programmes for refugee women, who along with their dependents, constitute 80 per cent of the beneficiaries of UNHCR programmes.
Women, Girls, Boys and Men: Different Needs – Equal Opportunities (2006) Inter-Agency Standing Committee, Geneva: IASC, www.unhcr.org/50f91c999.html, 120 pp.
This is another guide aimed at practitioners in the field, setting out standards for the integration of gender issues from the outset of a new complex emergency or disaster, giving guidance on gender analysis and planning, and providing checklists to assist in monitoring gender equality programming.
Vulnerable Bodies: Gender, the UN and the Global Refugee Crisis (2004), Eric K. Baines, Aldershot, UK and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, ISBN: 978-0-7546-3734-9, 234 pp., website: www.ashgate.com
Looking at three refugee crises – Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rwanda, and Guatemala – the author of this work examines the response of the United Nations in each case. In doing so she reveals the gap between global policies on gender equality and humanitarianism, and the actual implementation of these policies, along with the internal politicking of the UNHCR.
Organisations and websites
Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS UK), 56–64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT, UK, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, website: www.gaps-uk.org
Formally established in 2006, GAPS-UK is an expert working group of peace and development non-government organisations, academics, and grassroots peace-builders in the UK, promoting, facilitating, and monitoring the meaningful inclusion of gender perspectives in all aspects of UK policy and practice on peace and security. The working group collaborates on research and advocacy around key policy instruments such as the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, and the UK National Action Plan on women, peace and security. GAPS-UK also runs the ‘No Women, No Peace’ campaign – www.nowomennopeace.org – to build public awareness of and campaign for women’s right to inclusion in peace-building processes.
Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), Rue de Chantepoulet 11, CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland, tel: 41 (0)22 741 77 00, fax: 41 (0)22 741 77 05, email: email@example.com, website: www.dcaf.ch (postal address: P.O. Box 1360, CH-1211 Geneva 1, Switzerland) Established in 2000 on the initiative of the Swiss government, DCAF is an international foundation working to assist the international community in pursuing good governance and reform of the security sector. The Centre provides in‐country advisory support and practical assistance programmes, develops and promotes norms and standards, conducts tailored policy research, and identifies good practices and recommendations to promote democratic security sector governance. DCAF is currently composed of 61 member states from around the world and works with partners including a wide range of governments, parliaments, international organisations, non-governmental and private actors. The Foundation works on a number of different areas, and since 2003 has been working to support the integration of gender issues in institutions in the ‘security sector’ and security sector reform processes – see www.dcaf.ch/Programmes/Gender-and-Security.
The Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP), c/o WEDO, 355 Lerxington Avenue 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10017, USA, tel: 1 646 663 3230, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, website: www.gnwp.org
GNWP is a network of organisations from around the world that are working on advocacy and action on UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and the related UN Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security. The network has helped countries in the preparation of their National Action Plans and the implementation of 1325 and supporting resolutions. The Network’s website provides a list of and information on all member organisations, plus information on the work of the Network, and resources.
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Case Postale 2500, CH-1211 Genève 2 Dépôt, Switzerland, tel: 41 22 739 8111, fax: 41 22 739 7377, email: via the website, website: www.unhcr.org
Recognising that gender inequality, particularly discrimination and gender-based violence, that exists in cultures and societies can be exacerbated in situations where people are displaced, the UNHCR, the United Nations’ refugee agency, has committed to promoting gender equality and ensuring equal protection and assistance to women and girls. The agency aims to integrate a gender perspective across all its work, and to undertake actions targeting women and girls where specific action is needed. UNHCR provides information on its work on gender equality and women and girls on its website, along with some relevant resources, at www.unhcr.org/pages/49c3646c1d9.html (last accessed September 2013)
UN Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict, email: email@example.com, website: www.stoprapenow.org/about
Established in 2009, UN Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict is a co-ordination network under the leadership of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, which brings together the work of 13 different United Nations (UN) bodies with the aim of ending sexual violence in conflict. UN Action’s work has three pillars: country-level action, supporting programming by UN Country Teams and peace-keeping operations; creating a UN knowledge hub on the scale of sexual violence in conflict, and effective responses to it; and ‘Advocating for Action’ which seeks to raise public awareness and generate political will. This includes the Stop Rape Now global campaign – www.stoprapenow.org – the website of which provides suggestions for campaigning actions, news, advocacy resources, and a short collection of testimonies.
UN Women, 405 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017, USA, tel: 1 646 781-4400, fax: 1 646 781-4444, website: www.unwomen.org
UN Women is the United Nations’ body responsible for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls, working to promote the empowerment of women and the achievement of gender equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action, and peace and security. One of UN Women’s ‘focus areas’ is peace and security, and information relating to the United Nations’ women, peace, and security agenda, including Security Council Resolution 1325, and specific work undertaken by UN Women, can be found at www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/peace-and-security (last accessed September 2013)
Women for Refugee Women, 4th Floor, Tindlemanor, 52-54 Featherstone Street, London EC1Y 8RT, UK, tel: 44 020 7250 1239, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, website: www.refugeewomen.com
This non-government organisation works with women and children seeking asylum in the UK, undertaking advocacy and campaigning work alongside the ‘Women Asylum Seekers Together London’ self-help group, and other women’s refugee groups around the UK. Information and contact details for these groups can be found on the Women for Refugee Women’s website. The organisation is undertaking an innovative project – Home Sweet Home – in which women seeking asylum in the UK document their lives through photography, producing revealing, moving, and sometimes beautiful images.
Women in Black, email: via the website, website: www.womeninblack.org
Women in Black is a network of women committed to peace and opposed to injustice, war, militarism, and other forms of violence. They adopt a feminist perspective, holding that male violence against women in domestic life and in the community, in both peacetime and war, are interrelated. Their website states that ‘We are not an organisation, but a means of communicating and a formula for action’. This action primarily takes the form of vigils in which groups of women (and sometimes men) regularly gather in a particular public space and demonstrate peacefully, often holding placards, expressing their political beliefs. Women in Black, which originated in Israel in 1988, was inspired by earlier movements of women who demonstrated on the streets, making a public space for women to be heard–particularly Black Sash, in South Africa, and the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo, seeking the ‘disappeared’ during political repression in Argentina – but shares much in common with other women’s peace groups in other times and places. The movement has won several awards and held its most recent Biennial International Conference in August 2013.
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), 1 rue de Varembé, Case Postale 28, 1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland, tel: 41 (0)22 919 70 80, fax: 41 (0)22 919 70 81, email: email@example.com, website: www.wilpfinternational.org, New York Office, 777 UN Plaza, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10017, USA, tel: 1 212 682 1265, fax: 1 212 286 8211, email: via the website, website: www.wilpfinternational.org
With its beginnings in women’s peace campaigning during the First World War, WILPF’s work today is concentrated in three areas: disarmament – addressing the challenges of security, including a critique of militarism, over-armament, and the use or threat of use of force; human rights – the programme seeking to bring together issues of peace and security with women’s human rights; and the Peacewomen Programme – which works to ensure women’s rights and participation in international peace and security efforts. The Peacewomen website (www.peacewomen.org) contains many publications and resources, including the Peacewomen Monitoring Section, which follows activities relating to the Women, Peace, and Security agenda, both within the United Nations system, and at national level, while the WILPF online journal (available at www.wilpfinternational.org) provides up-to-date and informative articles on relevant issues.
Women’s Refugee Commission, 122 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10168-128, USA, tel: 1 21 551 3115, fax: 1 212 551 3180, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, website: www.womensrefugeecommission.org
This US-based, non-profit organisation, affiliated with the International Rescue Committee, works to identify critical problems that affect displaced women, children and young people, and to advocate at national and international level, and with humanitarian organisations and donors for improved policy and practice. WRC works on a range of issues related to women, children, and young people and displacement, information on which can be found on the WRC website, which also has a resource section containing WRC reports on these issues.
Women Under Siege Project, Women’s Media Center, 320 W 37th St #12A, New York, NY 10018, USA, tel: 1 212 563-0680, fax: 1 212 563-0688, email: email@example.com, website: www.womenundersiegeproject.org
Women Under Siege is a project of the US-based Women’s Media Center and is an online journalism project investigating how rape and other forms of sexualised violence are used as tools in genocide and conflict. The Project has two main components. The first is public education to demonstrate that rape is not only a crime of war, but also a strategic tool. This includes providing testimony from and partnership with survivors of modern wars from Bosnia to Darfur. The second is an action plan to push for the creation of legal, diplomatic, and public interventions to ensure the United Nations international tribunals, and other agencies with power, will understand the gender-based threats as a tool of genocide and will design protocols to intervene and halt gender-based violence. One of the particular strengths of the project is the high-quality blogs that feature on the website.
Women for Women International (WfWI), UK Office, 32–36 Loman Street, London SE1 0EH UK, tel: 44 020 7922 7765, fax: 44 020 7922 7706, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, website: www.womenforwomen.org.uk, US Office, 2000 M Street, NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036, USA, tel: 1 202 737 7705, fax: 1 202 737 7709, email: email@example.com, website: www.womenforwomen.org
WfWI is a non-government organisation working with socially excluded women in eight countries that have experienced war and conflict. Women on the one-year WfWI programme learn job skills and receive business training so they can earn a living, and are coached in rights and leadership skills, enabling them to fight for those rights in their homes, communities, and countries. Supporters of the organisation are invited to provide funding for individual participants on WfWI programmes, through the ‘Sponsor a Sister’ initiative.