Security Council revisits resolution on Women, Peace and Security

Thu, Nov 6, 2008

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United Nations Radio / By Bissera Kostova and Sandra Guy

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As every year since 2000, when it adopted its historic resolution 1325, calling for women’s participation in peace negotiations and post-conflict recovery, the UN Security Council once again revisited this issue in October. As Ines Alberdi, the head of UNIFEM reminded Security Council members, no peace is complete if, as is often the case, women continue to suffer from violence after the conflict is over and their violators go unpunished. Rachel Mayanja, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Advancement of Women, said women are often a driving force for the prevention and management of conflicts, yet they continue to be marginalized and ignored. The Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Alain Le Roy, gave examples of how resolution 1325 has changed the way the UN does business in peacekeeping.

Human Rights of women in Iran

A recent report by the UN Secretary-General on the human rights situation in Iran reveals a mixed picture when it comes to women’s rights. Women have made gains in health, literacy and education, but continue to suffer discrimination under the law, and the women’s rights movement is enduring increasing crackdowns by the government. Mahnaz Afkhami, founding President of the Women’s Learning Partnership and former Minister of State for Women’s Affairs in Iran comments on some of the issues covered in the Secretary-General’s report.

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About Mahnaz Afkhami

A lifetime advocate for the rights of women, Mahnaz Afkhami works with activists across the world, especially in Muslim majority societies, to help women become leaders. She is Founder and President of Women’s Learning Partnership for Rights, Development, and Peace (WLP), Executive Director of Foundation for Iranian Studies...more

Quotables – Human Rights

"We must pose the question: why is it that the denial of the most rudimentary rights to civil treatment for women is always based on some fundamental point of culture? Is this culture real, or is it a fetish that is used to maintain some economic, social, or simply psychological privilege?" - A Vision of Gender in Culture

"Women's status in society has become the standard by which humanity's progress toward civility and peace can be measured." - Architects for Peace

"The crass infringement of women's rights we see in the Muslim world has more to do with power, patriarchy, and misuse of religion as political weapon than with religion properly understood as individual faith." - Gender Apartheid, Cultural Relativism, and Women's Human Rights

"Rights and empowerment are interconnected: unless a substantial number of women in a community come to believe that they have rights and demand to exercise them, right remains an abstraction." - Faith and Freedom

Quotables – Iran Women’s Movement

"Now, when I look back [on the work of the WOI], it seems to me that our main mistake was not that we did not do other things which we should have done. Our main mistake was that we created conditions in which the contradictions related to modernity, progress, equality, and human rights, especially women’s rights, increased and the reaction to our work put perhaps too much pressure on the country’s social fabric." - Fate of the family protection law

"Iran’s One Million Signatures Campaign for the Reform of Discriminatory Laws is an extraordinary phenomenon. It is democratic, nonhierarchical, open, and evolving in a polity that is none of those things." - Iranian Women’s One Million Signatures Campaign for Equality: The Inside Story, Foreword

At the time of her execution, [Ms. Parsay] wrote one of the most moving letters to her children. And in that she expressed the same courage and the same steadfast belief in her principles that she had followed all of her life. And that was that: I’m a doctor. I know what it means to die, that takes only a minute. I’m not afraid of that. What I’m afraid of is to be pressured into denying 50 years of service to women. - Executed But Not Forgotten

“Prostitution was the code word for activism during the early part of the revolution” - I Was Iran's Last Woman Minister