For women’s full participation in conflict resolution and peacebuilding

An initiative from Kvinna till Kvinna

New UN resolution on sexual violence in conflict

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Yesterday the UN Security Council adopted a new resolution to strengthen efforts to end impunity for sexual violence in conflict. Resolution 2106 is the fourth resolution dealing with sexual violence in conflict, the previous being 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009) and 1960 (2010).

According to the UN News Center, during the debate on women, peace and security in which the resolution was adopted, the Security Council emphasized “more consistent and rigorous investigation and prosecution of sexual violence crimes as a central aspect of deterrence, and ultimately prevention”.

There has been objections among women’s rights activists over the last years focus on sexual violence in the Security Council, critics claiming that although this is a heinous crime that needs to be dealt with, it is used to obscure other parts of resolutions on women, peace and security, namely the need for women’s equal participation in peace processes.

However, resolution 2016 contains some strong writings on this subject too, like “emphasizing that acts of sexual violence in such situations not only severely impede the critical contributions of women to society, but also impede durable peace and security as well as sustainable development” and “expresses its intent to employ, as appropriate, all means at its disposal to ensure women’s participation in all aspects of mediation, post-conflict recovery and peacebuilding and to address sexual violence in conflict“.

“The resolve of this Council and the international community as a whole has set us firmly on the path of accountability and prevention. We must stay the course, until we achieve the ‘critical mass’ of action that will turn the tide on history’s oldest and least condemned crime” said UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura, during the debate.

Read the whole resolution 2016 text here.

Malin Ekerstedt

Zainab Hawa Bangura new UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict

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UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki moon has appointed Zainab Hawa Bangura as new Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict. Zainab Hawa Bangura is currently the Minister of Health and Sanitation in Sierra Leone. She is the second person to recieve this mandate, and will replace Margot Wallström, who concluded her two years on the post on the 31st of May this year.

Zainab Hawa Bangura

Zainab Hawa Bangura, new UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict. Photo: UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras.

Zainab Hawa Bangura has worked for over 20 years with issues of governance, conflict resolution and reconciliation in Africa.

She was responsible for managing the largest civilian component within the UN peacekeeping operations in Liberia (UNMIL), and in Sierra Leone she has been an important advocate for the elimination of female genital mutilation, has managed the country’s Peace building commission and been instrumental for the development of national programs on affordable health. She is also an experienced civil society, human and women’s rights campaigner and democracy activist.

Read the UN statement on the appointment of Zainab Hawa Bangura here.

Malin Ekerstedt