News

Women suffer worst war consequences

22 October 2010

Women rarely wage war, but they suffer the worst of its consequences, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) representative, Ms Aisha Camara-Drammeh, has said. Officiating at the launching ceremony of a report on The State of World Population themed: From Conflict and Crisis to Renewal: Generations of Change on Wednesday, Ms Camara-Drammeh, said women participation in peace building was a prerequisite to its success.

GABORONE - Women rarely wage war, but they suffer the worst of its consequences, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) representative, Ms Aisha Camara-Drammeh, has said.
Officiating at the launching ceremony of a report on The State of World Population themed: From Conflict and Crisis to Renewal: Generations of Change on Wednesday, Ms Camara-Drammeh, said women participation in peace building was a prerequisite to its success.
Ms Camara-Drammeh said the report had shown that when women enjoyed rights and opportunities, they were more resilient to disaster and conflict and could play a central role in reconstruction, peace building and recovery.
On the other hand, she said when girls suffer deep discrimination, they would be more vulnerable to the worst effects of disaster and war, including rape. She said this year's report was about the three Rs, which she said were; resilience, renewal and redefining roles between boys and girls as well as men and women.
"Renewal means creating new opportunities and rectifying entrenched inequalities. Renewal requires empowerment of all members of society who are vulnerable women, the young and the elderly so they may all become agents for positive change," she explained.
The UNFPA representative also added that conflict and disaster could worsen inequalities between men and women. The report showed that recovery from conflict and disaster also presented a unique opportunity to rectify inequalities, ensured equal protection under the law and created space for positive change.
The adoption of resolution 1325 by the United Nations Security Council 10 years ago, Ms Camara-Drammeh said, changed the way the world viewed sexual violence in armed conflict, adding that violence against women and girls would no longer be tolerated as an unpreventable by-product of war.
So far, according to Ms Camara-Drammeh, more than 30 countries were receiving support from UNFPA to implement parts of resolution 1325. She said the UNFPA was working with other United Nations (UN) agencies to address and measure the extent of gender-based violence in conflict-affected societies and the extent to which countries are funding and providing services to survivors.
She also commended the government for having a National Disaster Risk Management Plan to address emergencies and humanitarian needs. She said although not associated to conflict, the disaster management team had structures in plan to respond to the humanitarian needs.
She also mentioned that the UN also has a contingency plan to support government to prepare and respond to emergencies- developed based on the national plan.
"The compelling stories in this year's report tell what it means to finfish what the Security Council started ten years ago, to work towards a world where peace is secured, human rights are protected, and conflicts prevented," she said.
The UNFPA is an international development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and children to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity.
The fund also supports countries in using population data for policies and programme to reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV. BOPA