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Updated On: Sunday, November 19 2017

Session on Women Peace and Security

Content by: South-South News

31 October 2017, New York, USA | South-South News — Speaking at a UN Security Council meeting on Women Peace and Security on October 27, the Chef de Cabinet of the UN Secretary-General, Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, said, “It is simply unacceptable that in 2017, only 3 per cent of our peacekeepers, the most visible face of the United Nations are women.”

Reiterating that women are under-represented in the justice and security sectors, and the upper echelons level of political power, Viotti said it “likewise increases their exposure to harm.” She added “this extreme political marginalization undermines the potential of women as actors for conflict prevention, a vital role that the Security Council has emphasized repeatedly.”

Viotti also highlighted that women are the “overwhelming majority of victims of rape, used as a weapon of war, as well as abductions in human trafficking.” She said, “The lower women’s status in terms of health, wealth and education, the greater their exposure to harm.”

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the Executive Director of UN Women, also pointed out to the Security Council members that it has been 17 years calling for more women in peacekeeping, but “the numbers are still very low.”

She also said it is “dispiriting” to see gender advisory posts being lost or downgraded due to cuts in the peacekeeping budget. She said, “It should not be gender that it is cut fast whenever we have to manage the budget for very good reason. This is a time when we need more gender expertise and capacity in our missions and country teams, rather than less.”

In her closing, Mlambo-Ngcuka expressed her firm belief that “the chorus of voices that are appalled by the persistent political marginalization of women in decision-making is speaking louder. The number of people who are determined to find new solutions to the human suffering caused by conflict is growing.”

She added that the Women, Peace and Security agenda “unites us because people from all over the world, every day, look up to the United Nations for peace equality and inclusion.”

Speaking about the women activists who risk life to fight for rights in the justice system in Colombia, activist Charo Mina-Rojas said, “There’s an urgent need to establish a direct line of communication between the indigenous and Afro-descendant authority and representatives of women organizations in all mechanism of the comprehensive system for truth, coexistence, reparation and non-repetition.”

She added that the cases of violation of women rights need to be prioritized and their perpetrators should be brought to justice and the survivors are provided with lifesaving medical and psycho social services.”

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