News, features and analysis from around the world.

  • DRC: The bleak calculus of Congo’s war without end
    Many villagers hardly know who is attacking them in an IDP camp of Kitchanga, 5 km – or four hours by road – north of provincial capital, Goma. There are two camps in the Kitchanga area. One has an estimated 25,000 displaced people, while the other has 18,000. And the numbers are growing. "Both sides have guns. There are still weapons everywhere and it's hard to know who is attacking." Another man reports that the army has issued guns to a 'local defence' person in each village – but the rebels simply killed them and took the weapons. He says, "It's unbelievable that the army gave us guns instead of defending us." Soldiers on all sides use sexual violence as a weapon.
  • The Philippines: 1325/1820 plan includes SALW control
    The Philippines is the first Asian country to adopt a National Action Plan (NAP) on UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820. Thanks to the expertise of IANSA women such as Dr. Jasmin Nario-Galace of the Center for Peace Education & Sulong CARHRIHL, the NAP is the first ever to include a specific section dealing with small arms control in relation to violence against women.
  • Guinea: Solidarity mission
    Under the leadership of Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS), a Pan-African organisation based in Dakar, Senegal, a Solidarity Mission was organised in support of the women of Guinea, particularly the victims of the 28th September 2009 crisis.
  • International: Conference report 'Putting Policy Into Practice'
    Conference report of 'Putting Policy Into Practice: Monitoring the Implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security' organised in November 2009 by FOKUS Forum for Women and Development, the United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (UN-INSTRAW), and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • USA: Maryland Receives More than $2.4 Million through Federal Violence Against Women Act
    “Last year, 53 individuals died as a result of domestic violence in Maryland and, of those, 27 were killed with a firearm. Programs funded through the STOP program help us ensure that women throughout Maryland feel safe and secure." Governor Martin O’Malley
  • International: Guns: the unending cycle of violence
    "Somewhere in Colombia, a girl is hiding. Somewhere in Colombia, a woman is silently enduring her husband’s beatings. Somewhere in Colombia, an adolescent girl is being raped in front of her community. Somewhere in Colombia, a woman’s tears are being silenced. What do all these stories have in common? One word. Guns." To a packed audience, Rebecca Gerome of The Advocacy Project, opened the event 'In Harm's Way: Girls in Settings of Endemic Armed Violence' organised by the IANSA Women's Network, the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs, and the Mission of Norway to the UN, at the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
  • International: 2010 UN Commission on Status of Women - Outcomes
    For more than 3,500 civil society representatives and hundreds of government delegates who traveled to New York for this year’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), it was an occasion to mark large and small victories over the last 15 years and to focus on the challenges that remain.
  • DRC: IANSA women meet the UN SR SG on sexual violence in conflict
    On 10 March 2010, IANSA women including Congolese members Bibiane Tshefu of Women as Partners for Peace in Africa and Jeanine Ngungu of Campagne Nous Pouvons met Margot Wallstrom. Ms Wallstrom was particularly interested in meeting with members who have knowledge of the DRC to prepare for her upcoming visit to the country.
  • International: Global Virtual Knowledge Centre to End Violence against Women and Girls
    An online resource in English, French and Spanish, designed to serve the needs of policymakers, programme implementers and other practitioners dedicated to addressing violence against women and girls.
  • USA: Iowa House bans guns after domestic abuse convictions
    Passage of a domestic violence bill its sponsor said would "prevent the violence, terror and death that occurs when domestic abuse is mixed with easy, easy access to guns" took the Iowa House most of the day Wednesday 10 March 2010.
  • OSCE: Launch of The Gender Monitor on International Women's Day
    The OSCE has launched the first issue of The Gender Monitor, an e-newsletter which provides a comprehensive overview of gender-related updates from within the OSCE, but also resources and news on events taking place throughout the OSCE region. It places a special focus on the accomplishments of OSCE field operations and their concrete efforts in implementing the 2004 Action Plan on Gender Equality.
  • International: UN establishes expert group on role of women in peace and security
    The United Nations has appointed a group of independent experts to advise on ways to better protect women in conflict situations, and to ensure that their voices are heard in peace processes and that they are included in post-conflict reconstruction and governance structures.
  • USA: Domestic conflicts, weapons don’t mix
    When someone we care for dies a tragic and preventable death, those of us left behind are bound to spend countless hours pondering the “whys” and the “what-ifs.” Eight years ago, when my sister-in-law was murdered in front of her two children, we as her family were nearly crushed under the weight of the burden of such questions.
  • International: Women's empowerment vital for peace, security and development
    More than a decade after world leaders agreed to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women, their empowerment remains a necessary element in attaining development targets, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his address to the UN Commission on the Status of Women for International Women's Day 2010.
  • Rwanda: 'Don't Let The Suffering Make You Fade Away'
    This paper presents ethnographic data gathered over 14 months (September 2005 to November 2006) in southern Rwanda on resilience among genocide-rape survivors who were members of two women's genocide survivor associations.
  • Guinea: “You did not want the military, so now we are going to teach you a lesson”: The events of 28 September 2009 and their aftermath
    Amnesty International (AI) has released a report on Guinea, covering the massacre, rape and subsequent human rights violations perpetrated in September 2009 by Guinea's security forces in Conakry in West Africa; and the international supplies of arms and military assistance which have provided the tools to perpetrate these violations.
  • USA: Domestic violence gun ban to be heard en banc
    The Seventh Circuit on Feb. 22 took the rare step of granting a petition for an en banc hearing. ('En banc' is used to refer to the hearing of a legal case where all judges of a court will hear the case rather than a panel of them. It is often used for unusually complex cases or cases considered of unusual significance.) This summer, the entire court will consider the constitutionality of 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(9), which makes it a crime for a misdemeanant convicted of a domestic violence charge to possess a firearm.
  • DRC: UN expert urges Judges not to neglect girl soldiers in the Lubanga trial
    On 7 January 2010, Radhika Coomaraswamy, UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, was called to give expert testimony by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the case of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo.
  • Canada: Use party line to save gun registry, coalition asks leaders
    A local coalition of political and community groups that includes a survivor of the 1989 Polytechnique massacre wants the federal Liberals and New Democratic Party to vote en bloc against a private member's bill abolishing the long-gun registry when it comes before Parliament.
  • International: Sexed Pistols Points Barrels at Cultures of Violence
    A review of the book 'Sexed Pistols: The Gendered Impact of Small Arms and Light Weapons' by Masum Momaya of the Association For Women's Rights in Development (AWID).