Philippines move to protect women's rights during armed conflict
31 March 2010
Amnesty International has welcomed a decision by the Philippine governmentto implement a United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution, which aims toensure the protection of women's rights during armed conflict and post-conflictsituations.
The Philippine government launched the National Action Plan (NAP) on WomenPeace and Security in Quezon City, on Friday, 26 March.
"This is a step in the right direction. Forming this National Action Plannot only provides a framework for the protection of women in armed conflict andpost conflict situations, but could also empower women as peace advocates andhuman rights defenders," said Donna Guest, Amnesty International's DeputyDirector for Asia and the Pacific.
UN Security Council resolution 1325 was adopted in October 2000. Its main aimwas to urge member states to increase women's involvement in the prevention andresolution of conflict.
Among other things, the resolution calls on all parties to armed conflict to caterto the special needs of women and girls during resettlement and post-conflictreconstruction.
It also calls for specialized training to be provided to military, police andcivilians for the protection of human rights needs of women and girls inconflict situations.
"Given the Philippines' history of intermittent armed conflicts withious insurgent groups, it is high time for the government to look at thespecial needs of women and girls, particularly in the context of displacementand resettlement, when women face a high risk of being targeted," saidDonna Guest.
"Women give birth in overcrowded camps for displaced persons; mothers areleft to fend for their children on their own in camps or villages while theirhusbands try to make a living elsewhere; young girls are sent to neighbouringtowns as domestic workers to help their family survive – these and otherconflict-related women's human rights issues must be addressed.
"The new plan is a promising first step. However the real test will be howit is implemented on the ground, which we will be monitoring."
The Philippines is the first Asian country to produce a National Action Plan(NAP) implementing the resolution.
According to media reports, the Philippine NAP has four goals:
- Protection and Prevention: To ensure the protection and prevention of violations of women's human rights in armed conflict and post-conflict situations;
- Empowerment and Participation: To empower women and ensure their active and meaningful participation in areas of peace building, peacekeeping, conflict prevention, conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction;
- Promotion and Mainstreaming: To promote and mainstream gender perspectives in all aspects of conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and peace building;
- Capacity Development and Monitoring and Reporting: To institutionalize a monitoring and reporting system to monitor, evaluate and report in order to enhance accountability for the successful implementation of the NAP and achievement of its goals.