We would like to congratulate everyone involved in another successful Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence. Events were organised all over the world with incredible levels of participation, impact and media coverage, illustrating again the diversity and strength of the global movement. IANSA Women were particularly active and built on advocacy successes in relation to the ATT and UNPoA, and the Disarm Domestic Violence campaign.
The Arms Trade Treaty
The IANSA Women’s Network, The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), Amnesty International and Religions for Peace launched a Joint Policy Paper outlining how the ATT can help prevent gender-based violence. This will be a useful tool as we enter the negotiations in July, and to assist licensing officers and others involved in arms transfer decisions: http://www.iansa-women.org/sites/default/files/Joint_policy_paper_gender...
For more general background on the IANSA Women’s Network position to date, please see 'The ATT: An important opportunity to prevent gender based violence at gunpoint'.
The UN Programme of Action on small arms
We continue to promote the 'Guidelines for gender mainstreaming for effective implementation of the PoA', which provide practical gender guidelines and concrete examples designed to assist UN policy makers and field personnel in incorporating gender perspectives in the implementation of thePoA. See: http://www.iansa-women.org/sites/default/files/iansa_wnk_poa_prepcom_201...
Disarm Domestic Violence
Join the campaign to get guns out of the hands of actual or potential domestic violence abusers. Since 2009 IANSA women have been working to address one of the most serious, but least-known, aspects of violence against women – the deaths, injuries and fear caused by guns in the home. For more information about work to date, see: http://www.iansa-women.org/disarm_dv
We are delighted to share with you highlights of IANSA Women's participation in the Week of Action 2012:
Argentina: Asociacion para Politicas Publicas (APP) conducted an analysis of firearm-related homicides reported in the media during the Week of Action in 9 countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, Jamaica, Guatemala and Colombia). Out of a total of 89 homicides in 5 days, 93% of the victims were men, confirming global gender and gun homicide statistics. 89 cases in five days would equate to more than 32,000 firearms-related homicides in one year. Maria Pia Devoto (APP) stated that “gun violence is a health issue and we are facing an epidemic.” The results of the study were distributed to journalists, parliamentarians, national NGOs and regional networks.
Australia: Jocelynne Scut wrote an article entitled 'Is the Problem Facebook? Guns, Sport and the Macho Mentality', on the current debate in Australia surrounding two Olympic swimmers who put images of themselves in a Californian gun shop up on facebook and twitter. The article references the IANSA Women’s Network and ourcampaigns. It is available here: http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=13728
Burundi: The Eastern African Sub-Regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI) is conducting a training on gender and small arms for representatives of the DRC, Central African Republic and Burundi, all Regional Centre on Small Arms (RECSA) Member States. The expert trainers were trained by IANSA Women at EASSI. The objective of the training is to sensitise participants about the gender dimensions ofsmall arms and light weapons. Trainers will address issues of violence against women in conflict and post conflict situations as well as key international and regional instruments, such as UNSCR 1325, among others.
Cameroon: Women in Alternative Action- WAA Cameroon were the main guests on the National Radio broad audience programme Morning Safari. The interactive, call-in programme was geared towards bringing attention to theArms Trade Treaty (ATT) Diplomatic Conference in July and the UNPoA Review Conference in August, as well as on the need for the Cameroon Government toratify the Kinshasa Convention and to harmonise the draft firearms law proposed by WAA Cameroon to Ministries and Parliament. Listeners sought to know how the ATT and UNPoA would curb the proliferation of SALW and to understand the purpose of the ATT and WAA Cameroon’s expectations for the treaty. WAA-Cameroon stated that expectations are high, and called on the Cameroon delegation totake active part in the negotiations. The event was described by outside commentators as “successful awareness-raising on a topic as sensitive as SALW”. Following the show, media outlets such the Daily Newspaper and The CameroonTribune contacted WAA-Cameroon for an interview on the ATT and the Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence. WAA-Cameroon also met with authorities of the Ministry of External Relations to bring attention to the forthcoming ATT conference and the need for quick ratification of the Kinshasa Convention and to call for improvement of Cameroon’s gun policy.
DR Congo: Femmes des Médias pour la Justice au Congo (FMJC) undertook a range of activities throughout the week. Around 50 people attended their launch event, including journalists and activists. Ms. Kenneth Enim Ampi of FMJC retraced the movement against gun violence since 2001 and presented civil society’s main goals, including ratification of the Kinshasa Convention and adoption of a national law on SALW control in the DR-Congo, as well as effective implementation of both. After having put up large banners with key messages on main streets, FMJC broadcast advertisements and organised a march against the negative consequences of armed violence in Eastern DRC. They also met Congolese officials to encourage them to adopt the law on SALW in DR Congo and to ratify the Kinshasa Convention and organised a workshop on the content of the ATT and the review of the PoA.
DR Congo: CJR/1325 (Centre for Studies on Justice and Resolution 1325) in the DR Congo held a meeting with the Foreign Affairs Minister to advocate for the implementation and ratification of the Kinshasa Convention. The Centre also launched a debate on how to link implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security with the fight against gun violence.
Georgia: Georgian women of the Cultural Humanitarian Fund Sukhumi also joined the Week of Action. Members of the Ozurgeti Club of Women-Voters from Western Georgia gathered in the Ozurgeti Centre of Civic Engagement and declared: “No war! No violence! No armed conflicts!” Among the participants was Nino Nikolaishvili, a journalist of the local newspaper “Alioni”, who covered the campaign.
India: Manipur Women Survivors Gun Network held a one-day community consultation to commemorate the Week of Action. The consultation highlighted survivors’ rights in conflict-ridden zones and called on the government to provide victim assistance and include provisions for it in the ATT. It alsoincluded a screening of the film, “The story of Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network” and a discussion on the UNPoA. Panelists included several professors from Manipur University and civil society representatives including Mrs. Rose Mangsi, President of the Kuki Women Organisation, W. Joykumar, Human RightsInitiative, and Ms. Binalakshmi Nepram, Founder of Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network. N. Edina and Mr. Philem Johnson of Moirang shared testimonies of survivors. Guests of honor included the Deputy Chief of Missions of Finland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland.
Nepal: The Institute of Human Rights Communication Nepal (IHRICON), the Armed Violence Reduction Working Group and National Women Security Watch Group organised an interactive workshop on the “Arms Trade Treaty and Gender”. Ms. Prassanata Wasti presented data on the security situation of Nepal since 2010. Ms. Shobha Gautam, IHRICON’s founder and president, presented her paper on the Arms Trade Treaty and Gender. She suggested linking UNSCR 1325, 1820 and CEDAW to the ATT and focusing on gender issues to make the Treaty more gender friendly, and briefly talked about the role of Nepal in this regard. The participants jointly agreed that not only the ATT, but also the existing laws, should be effectively enforced to increase the security situation of Nepal. The existing networks from national level to district level should be used to spread awareness on the ATT and reduce the effects of small arms.
The Philippines: Around 80 people, mostly women dressed in black, gathered in front of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila to call on the Philippine government to support a strong, gender-responsive Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Participants were from the Women Engaged in Action on 1325 and from the Philippine Action Network to Control Arms, and led by the Center for Peace Education, Amnesty International, GZO Peace Institute and Pax Christi-Miriam College. Representatives of the group were allowed to enter the Department of Foreign Affairs to meet with officers of the United Nations and International Organizations Office (UNIO). Jasmin Nario-Galace IANSA Woman of the Center for Peace Education and WE Act 1325, handed over a letter forPresident Benigno Aquino III, as well as lists of signatures from parliamentarians, interfaith leaders and women's groups declaring support for a robust Arms Trade Treaty. She also handed a bundle of bananas to raise the point that if there are global rules regulating the trade in bananas, thereshould be a treaty as well for the trade in weapons. The event was widely covered by the media and broadcast on evening news: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_t-swjgIp-o&feature=player_embedded
Sierra Leone: SLANSA and the Sierra Leone National Commission on Small Arms held a joint press conference on the ATT and the UNPOA at the Commission’s Conference Room. The conference was attended by a cross section of the media and the story was carried by five radio stations, national TV and four print media. Ms Florella Hazeley, National Coordinator, gave an overview of the annual Week of Action and issued a statement, while the Deputy Commissioner informed the press of their position and preparedness to make the ATT sessions in New York a success for the world in general and African and developing countries in particular.
Uganda: The Eastern African Sub-Regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI) is holding a workshop the Kapchorwa District in Eastern Uganda with the district task force of the National Focal Point on Small Arms. The objective is to create awareness about gender dimensions on small arms and the ATT, and to educate the participants on Uganda’s gun legislations and gun policies. Marren Akatsa-Bukachi, Executive Director of EASSI also wrote an article the need to include ammunition in the ATT that was published in the daily newspaper the New Vision.
The latest updates and news on IANSA members' participation in the Week of Action can be found here: http://iansa.org/campaign/global-week-of-action-against-gun-violence