UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The trampling of women’s rights and “deep-seated misogyny” are connected in many ways to today’s global challenges, from the proliferation of conflicts to growing attacks on human rights, the United Nations said Thursday. Deputy Secretary General of the UN.
Amina Mohammed told a UN Security Council meeting on women, peace and security that “despite decades of evidence that gender equality offers a path to sustainable peace and conflict prevention, we are moving in the opposite direction.”
“We cannot separate the dangerous state of peace in our world from the destructive effects of patriarchy and the silencing of women’s voices,” she said.
Mohammed urged the nations of the world to denounce “misogyny as it manifests itself in the abuse and discrimination women face on the street, at home, at work and online.” They must challenge “the social, political and economic structures and norms that sustain it,” he said.
The Security Council was assessing the status of a resolution it adopted on October 31, 2000, calling for the equal participation of women in peace negotiations, a goal that remains as distant as gender equality.
Mohammed said that between 1995 and 2019, the percentage of peace agreements with provisions on gender equality increased from 14% to 22%. But, he said, women “made up on average only 13% of the negotiators, 6% of the mediators and 6% of the signatories in major peace processes.” She said that 70% of peace processes did not include any women.
“Women’s participation in peace processes and their influence on decisions that affect their lives continue to lag behind, creating a real barrier to inclusive, lasting and sustainable peace,” she said.
Mohammed said the UN is helping to boost women’s participation in peacebuilding, noting a target of 40% for women in delegations to the Sudan peace talks and an increase in women on a committee that oversees the 2015 Mali peace agreement from 3% to 38%.
“We must build on these examples,” he said. “We need full gender parity, including through special quotas to speed up the inclusion of women, in election monitoring, security sector reform, disarmament, demobilization and justice systems.”
UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous, whose agency promotes gender equality, told the council that “generational gains in women’s rights are being pushed back in the face of growing security threats.”
“Violent conflict, displacement, the repercussions of the global pandemic and the growing climate emergency exact their highest price from women and girls,” said Bahous.
She pointed to women human rights defenders around the world, from Iran and the conflict-ridden Tigray region of Ethiopia, to Ukraine and Afghanistan, who risk their lives every day “in the name of peace and human rights.” and for the good of their communities and our planet.”
Bahous cited indigenous Colombian human rights defender Daniela Soto, who survived two gunshot wounds in May, and Siti Alnfor Ahmed Bakr, a Sudanese nurse and activist killed by security forces last November.
She also praised women human rights defenders in Afghanistan who continue to speak out for their rights against the Taliban’s repression of women and girls despite harassment, detention and torture.
Bahous called for adequate funding for women, peace and security.
“Funding for women’s organizations in conflict-affected countries, where it is needed most, went from $181 million in 2019 to $150 million in 2020,” she said.
This year in Afghanistan, she said, 77% of women’s civil society organizations have not received any funding and are no longer running programs. In Myanmar, about half of women’s groups had to close following the military coup on February 1, 2021, she said.
“It’s a false economy that increases military spending, which is now at an all-time high, while neglecting those investments that make it less necessary,” Bahous said.