UN official says status of women "under siege"
The head of the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality said on Tuesday that the status of women is "under siege," more than 20 years after the UN Security Council passed a milestone resolution on women, peace and security.
Addressing a Security Council high-level open debate on women, peace and security, UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous cited examples in Afghanistan and other conflict-affected countries where the status of women is being threatened.
The debate is on the theme "toward the 25th anniversary of resolution 1325." The resolution was adopted by the Security Council in October 2000, recognizing that women have a right to full, equal and meaningful participation in peace processes, conflict resolution and peacebuilding.
A concept note on the open debate, prepared by Mozambique which now holds the Security Council presidency, pointed to the fact that "women continue to be, to this day, the segment of society most affected by armed conflicts around the world."
Women's rights continue to be seriously violated and they continue to be marginalized and excluded from decision-making in matters of peace and security, said the document.
"It is obvious that we need a radical change of direction," Bahous told the Security Council debate.
She called for mandating women's participation in every meeting and decision-making process "in which we have authority."
"We need to broaden our reach to get resources to those who most need them – and don't have them," added Bahous.