CEDAW adopts landmark document on women and conflict

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Nicole Ameline

A UN women's rights committee has adopted a landmark document on women and conflict.

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) said States that have ratified the UN Women's Rights Convention are obliged to uphold women's rights before, during and after conflict when they are directly involved in fighting, are providing peacekeeping troops or donor assistance for conflict prevention, humanitarian aid or post-conflict reconstruction.

CEDAW also said that ratifying States should exercise due diligence in ensuring that non-State actors, such as armed groups and private security contractors, be held accountable for crimes against women.

CEDAW Chair Nicole Ameline said "This document is comprehensive. It includes recognition of women's central role in preventing conflict and in rebuilding devastated countries."

She said "Women's experiences are regularly dismissed as irrelevant for predicting conflict and women's participation in conflict prevention has historically been low," adding, "But in reality, there is for example a strong correlation between an increase in gender-based violence and the outbreak of conflict."

The General Recommendation spells out States' obligations under the Convention, including due diligence obligations to prevent, investigate, punish and ensure redress for crimes against women by non-State actors.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’16″

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