For the abolition of the immunity of members of peacekeeping missions of the UN!
On the 31st of October, 2000, the Security Council (SC) of the UN passed Resolution 1325 (R1325), “Women, Peace and Security”. It was the first time that the UN Security Council called for the inclusion of women in peace processes and in the implementation of peace agreements. At least, those were the ideas behind the R1325, for which many peace activists all around the world have been working tirelessly.
The R1325 focuses on four major points: (1) participation of women in peace processes and decision-making on peace. (2) Incorporate gender in peace processes and training on gender perspective in what we call “peacekeeping missions”. (3) Protection of women in armed conflict and post-conflict situations. (4) Incorporation of gender perspective in the UN reports and in the mechanisms used in the implementation of peace agreements.
However, the implementation of the R1325 is far from reaching expectations. A large number of feminist-antimilitarist activists and regional and global experts in security, whose points of view we share, insist on the fact that the problem is not just the application of R1325, but the problem itself is the military character of the resolution.
- The patriarchal and militaristic character of Resolution 1325 is reflected in the fact that it deals almost exclusively with the theme of war and military conflict as a permanent state of affairs, natural and inevitable, which is contradictory with the role of the UN to maintain peace and security in the world. We believe that with this Resolution, the UN is attempting to glamorize war as the sole remedy for conflict and at the same time give it the role of alternative for the resolution of conflicts and wars. That is why we will continue to strive for the demilitarization of R1325. We maintain that war and the militarism that it generates are the main enemy of civil society, of women and children, with the result that war will always be their principal enemy.
- Resolution 1325 presents militarization of feminism and feminist demands through the introduction of a gender perspective in this way: a more numerous participation of women in the security sector and militaristic structures reduces the demands of equal access to power solely to the participation of women in patriarchal authoritarian structures in the military power and militaristic conception of security, while the most important point of concern for women, human security, is given a secondary importance in the R1325. Human security goes beyond military intervention. As recognized by the UN itself, speaking about security one must also speak about security regarding food, the environment, community, economy, etc. In family and work environments, women also live an existence conditioned by the violence exercised on them. A woman is killed or mistreated for not fulfilling the results expected of her. While governments consider that this sort of violence belongs to the private sector, it will always be present in our societies. Security is absence of violence against women, equality of access to power (political, economic and social). The struggle against violence towards women must be incorporated into the national security strategies.
- The colonial and hegemonic spirit: R1325 is mainly applied in the poor southern countries in post-conflict areas, in the so-called transition countries. Not even all members of the UN Security Council have adopted national action plans for the implementation of R1325. This Resolution is increasingly a concern of states or NGO elites, who are far from the major sectors of the population, especially women. That is why R1325 has a very limited impact on the situation of poor women and punishment of violence and crime. Based on reports compiled over 10 years of existence of R1325, it appears that little progress has been made in reducing the number of sexual offenses in war zones. After cease fire in a war, the UN sends in the Blue Berets, humanitarian armies, to the conflict zones. Instead of protecting the women, in many parts of the world these forces abuse women and young girls sexually, taking advantage of the prostitution to which they feel doomed by the extreme poverty in which they live, or by taking advantage of female sex slaves forcibly retained by mafias that exploit them, sometimes raping them, which the women on only rare occasion dare to denounce, rapes that remain in impunity because of the protection afforded to the soldiers.
In the XVI International Meeting of Women in Black in Montevideo, Uruguay, held between 19 and 24 August 2013, it was decided that Women in Black, as an international feminist antimilitarist movement, would start a global action for the abolition of the immunity of the members of the “peace missions” of the United Nations, the so-called “blue helmets”.
Remembering the 13th anniversary of Resolution 1325 this past 30 October, and on 25 November, International Day of Violence Against Women, we begin with the global mobilization campaign, in order to:
♀ abolish the immunity of the members of UN missions for peace, as well as place sanctions on sexual and other offenses, putting an end to impunity.
We will keep up our struggle for de demilitarization and against war through nonviolence. We consider that all wars are illegal and illegitimate and a burden for the ecosystem. We will continue to press to designate military expenditures instead for social, expenditures, education, health, culture, cooperation and the security of women.
In this way, we start a global campaign to abolish the immunity of peace missions. As part of the campaign, we will carry out multiple activities — to be decided.
Women in Black Belgrade, Women in Black Madrid, and
Bay Area Women in Black (San Francisco), Women in Black London (UK), Women in Black Leuven (Belgium), No Dal Molin di Vicenza (Italia), Colectivo Mujeres Libres Yazirat, Alternativa Antimilitarista. MOC las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain), Montserrat Fenosa Choclán (Catalunya), Grupo Jaima, amigas y amigos de la RASD (Saharawi friends, Spain), Brigadas Feministas MZC – Córdoba (Spain).
Translation: Eva Aneiros and Trisha Novak