Women in times of transition. 1325 in Sri Lanka

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This briefing paper summarizes the Baseline Study ‘Women in Times of Transition: 1325 In Sri Lanka’carried out by FOKUS, which highlights the extent of participation of women in peace and securityinitiatives, both state and non state and the challenges faced by wo

Text of Women in times of transition. 1325 in Sri Lanka

  • The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 was adopted by the United Nations Security Council in 2000. The Resolution recognizes the role women play in conflict resolution, conflict management and sustainable peace. It calls women of all levels to participate in the decision making process and in State mechanisms for the prevention and management of conflict. The 4 pillars highlighted by the resolution are participation, protection, prevention, relief and recovery. All member States including Sri Lanka has an obligation to take measures to implement the Resolution at domestic level.This briefing paper summarizes the Baseline Study Women in Times of Transition: 1325 In Sri Lanka carried out by FOKUS, which highlights the extent of participation of women in peace and security initiatives, both state and non state and the challenges faced by women in post conflict Sri Lanka and recommendation for the effective implementation of UNSCR 1325.

    1. Chronology of Women, Conflict and Peace Building - Past and Present

    FINDINGSWomen have been active in the area of peace for many years. However UNSCR 1325 is not utilized as an entry point to address womens needs.

    yAlthough womens groups collaborate on specific issues of concern, there is no distinct womens movement in Sri Lanka.

    yWomens efforts on peace building are diverse and are included within a broader framework of developmental, political and social, cultural and economical issues.Militarization in the North and Vanni has impacted womens security. A sense of

    insecurity and fear leaves little room for reconciliation and peace building efforts.Post war has left many women as widows to bear primary responsibility for income

    generation as female heads of households creating new labour demands.Securing land rights in the light of government policies on resettlement, land

    documentation, dismantling of HSZ, availability of usable land and inability to prove title due to lack of documentation has added to the vulnerabilities of women.

    Women in Times of Transition

    1325 in Sri Lanka

  • 2. Implementation of UNSCR 1325State meCHaNISmS aND FRameWoRkS the State has the sole responsibility and obligation to ensure the implementation of UNSCR 1325.

    However, the State does not have a formal mechanism or framework to ensure its realization. The implementation of 1325 is through existing institutions or networks or through mechanisms especially created after the conflict for the conflict affected areas. These primary institutions and initiatives broadly include:

    yThe Draft National Action Plan on Women (NAP) which includes a component on women in armed conflict;

    yThe Presidential Task Force on Northern Development (PTF) 2009 on resettlement;

    yDevelopment and security in Northern Province;yThe Sri Lanka Joint Plan for Assistance Northern Province 2011;yThe Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) 2010 and the yThe National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP) 2012.

    CIvIl SoCIety meCHaNISmS aND FRameWoRkSThere are many civil society organizations working at the national level as well as in post conflict areas that encourage and advocate womens participation in peace building and reconciliation.

    this work is not always directly related to or done for the purpose of enforcing 1325 but contribute towards womens empowerment, womens participation in politics, equal rights and prevention of GBv, livelihood options and economic development.

    Civil society organizations and initiatives are largely concentrated in Batticaloe, Trincomalee, Polonnaruwa border village areas, Vanni, Jaffna, Vauniya, Ampara, Akkaraipattu and in Puttlam in IDP centres.

    UNIteD NatIoNS aND INGo meCHaNISmS aND FRameWoRkSthe United Nations Development assistance Framework (UNDaF) supports governance, peace, gender and poverty initiatives through its implementing agencies.

    the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPa) specifically targets its initiatives based on 1325 in providing support for local womens organizations and national NGos, womens centres at village level and the Human Rights Joint Programme focuses on promotion and implementation of womens participation in peace and security.

    INGOs such as the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Diakonia and CARE provide legal aid and psycho social recovery and reintegration of people affected by war.

    CaRe supported a project Women Headed Households for Development and Peace and sought to support 1325 by strengthening WHH in the decision making processes.

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  • 3. Baseline: Has the 1325 mandate been realized?GeNeRal CoNClUSIoNS the UNSCR 1325 has made a minimal impact in Sri lanka due to lack of accountability and commitment on the part of the State.

    yCurrent challenges in the North, East and Vanni impede work on 1325.yFailure to accept or realize that gender concerns are paramount to rebuilding war

    tone areas by the state imposes a threat to peace building and reconciliation. yThe 1325 label has not been attached to majority of current peace building work

    thereby minimizing its impact. yLack of awareness on the UNSCR 1325 by the state, civil society and even the UN

    agencies pose difficulties in monitoring its work. yThere is minimum engagement with the media on introducing and implementing

    the UNSCR 1325.yThe inordinate delay in implementing the Draft National Action Plan for Women

    which includes a section on Women in Armed Conflict is a drawback to the implementation of the resolution.

    yLack of a concerted effort to coordination and advocacy by civil society organizations together with the state on issues such as land rights, resettlement, housing and security has impeded work under 1325.

    yLack of systematic documentation of research and advocacy and a systematic approach to trainings and workshops organized by womens organizations and donor agencies minimize impact made by 1325 activities.

    It is important to pick leaders amongst the women through workshops. training fifty women does not mean you educate them. It is also important that the chosen women are those that command the respect of the community at largea change of strategy is needed ms. Ferial ashraff, Former minister

    4. Recommendations GeNeRal ReCommeNDatIoNS The implementation of UNSCR 1325 should be context oriented: taking into account womens meaningful participation in peace building given the lack of livelihood options, democracy and security, erosion of media freedom and the right to freedom of speech and dissent.

    leadership and commitment to enforce the resolution must come from the State.

    yA Link should be drawn with other international instruments such as CEDAW concluding observations relating to gender and 1325 to ensure a holistic approach to gender based interventions.

    yGeneral intervention to empower women through increase in womens participation in politics is vital to development.

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  • SPeCIFIC ReCommeNDatIoNS Demystification of UNSCR 1325 Create awareness on content and impact of UNSCR 1325 through local translation and dissemination

    yUN Agencies to apply and label 1325 to research, advocacy and funded projects to encourage and expedite the implementation of the UNSCR 1325.

    yWomens groups within and outside the state to identify initiatives based on their international obligations such as the UNSCR 1325.

    yTo tap into existing awareness campaigns such as the SthreeMela to create awareness.

    training Programmes to include a module on 1325a 1325 module to be developed and include procedural as well as substantive aspects of peace building

    yThese modules should be included into ongoing existing training programmes such as the Mediation programme and the CSHR Advanced Training Course on Women and Peace Building.

    ySuccessful models such as the Womens Centres, WRDSs and Study circles should be replicated to mobilize and empower women at the grassroots level.

    Data Collection and Research there is an urgent need for systematic documentation of data disaggregated by gender

    yThere is a need for systematic documentation of those who have lost their legal documents due to war, displacement, tsunami, etc and provision of the same to secure land rights and other entitlements.

    yCollection of Data should be disaggregated by Gender to target gender sensitive development initiatives.

    yOrganizations should develop necessary skills and training for systematic documentation

    yResearch should be targeted and new research areas should be identified in the North, East and Vanni.

    Identification of Specialists groups to empower, to network and coordinate the State needs to identify specific officers and groups with the existing government administrative framework to channel initiatives to maximize on resources and impact.

    yIdentify potential partners and political groups such as Club 1325, faith based groups, informal groups such as Team1325, GBV networks and local community groups to lead advocacy on womens issues.

    yWomens organizations especially in affected areas to network and coordinate at a local, district and national level to ensure a top down and bottom up approach.

    Inclusion of media in 1325 workyBuild awareness on the part of the Electronic, Print and New Media with regard to

    UNSCR 1325 in order to create mass awareness and disseminate information

    BRIEFING PAPER NO-01, March 2014 Published by: FOKUS WOmEN - 34 A, Sulaiman Avenue, Colombo 5, Sri Lanka. Tel/Fax: +94112055404 Web: www.fokuskvinner.no

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