UN LAUNCHES NEW GUIDE TO TACKLING GENDER ISSUES THROUGH PEACEKEEPING New York, Oct 29 2004 6:00PM The United Nations today published its Gender Resource Package for Peacekeeping Operations - a comprehensive guide for those serving in the field and at Headquarters aimed at integrating concerns about equality and the particular concerns of women into the workings of missions across the globe. With an initial printing of 3,500 and a French translation expected by the end of this year, the 228-page document is the latest manifestation of a growing trend towards tackling gender issues in the once male-dominated world of peacekeeping. It also reflects the changing nature of conflicts themselves, which increasingly not only target women but involve them as fighters as well. The manual offers detailed guidance for peacekeeping personnel working on a range of issues, including human rights, HIV/AIDS, the protection of children, the media, law enforcement and staff security. While the focus is on meeting the specific needs of women and girls - including those who have suffered sexual violence, and those who may be pregnant or mothers - the text also highlights how men can make a difference. Specific instructions are offered for sensitizing peacekeeping personnel to gender issues. These range from providing both male and female condoms to increasing women's representation in the missions, especially in the higher ranks. According to the publication, women represented only 1.5 per cent of all military personnel provided by Member States to UN operations in 2003. "The launch of this Package is an important milestone in the evolution of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations' commitment to mainstreaming a gender perspective in all functional areas of peacekeeping operations," said Assistant Secretary-General Hédi Annabi at a panel discussion in New York. In 2000, there were only two peacekeeping missions with gender advisers, a figure which has jumped to 10 today. The Department of Peacekeeping also has a permanent gender adviser, Comfort Lamptey, who also addressed gender issues in the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). "Today, we can point to some improvements, even whilst we recognize that we have only taken 'baby steps' in a long process aimed at transforming our Department into one which both understands and embraces the principle of gender equality as a necessary ingredient for ensuring operational effectiveness in today's world of peacekeeping," Mr. Annabi added. In a forward to the book, which comes with a CD-Rom containing additional resources, Jean-Marie Guéhenno, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping, says gender mainstreaming is "in many ways, still a new concept and we will, no doubt, learn many lessons as we move forward." As such, he says, the guide is "very much a work in progress." ========== Psychology and Human Rights listserv ========== Send mail intended for the list to <email@example.com>. Archives of the list can be found at: http://www.hrea.org/lists/psychology-humanrights-l/markup/maillist.php To subscribe to the list, send a message to <firstname.lastname@example.org>, with the following text in the message: subscribe psychology-humanrights-l To unsubscribe from the list, send a message to <email@example.com>, with the following text in the message: unsubscribe psychology-humanrights-l If you have problems (un)subscribing, contact <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
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