Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry called on the UN Security Council to increase efforts in securing women in conflict zones, in remarks at the Council’s open debate on women, peace and security at the UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday.
Shoukry was quoted in a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as saying: “The threat of terrorism acts towards women is as dangerous and destructive as armed conflicts.”
According to Shoukry, Egypt was among the first African countries to adopt, implement and monitor Council resolution number 1325. The resolution urges all actors to increase the participation of women and incorporate gender perspectives in all UN peace and security efforts.
It also calls on all parties in conflict to take special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse, in situations of armed conflict. The resolution provides a number of important operational mandates, with implications for Member States and the entities of the United Nations system.
UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, said during the debate on Tuesday: “We face new challenges. Extremist groups are targeting women’s rights as a deliberate, devastating method for subjugation and control.”
She also reviewed results of a global study on this issue, saying that currently 97% of peacekeepers and 90% of police forces are men. The percentage of girls in secondary education in conflict countries has dropped, and rates of maternal mortality in these settings are more than double the global average.
Furthermore, she recognised the Nobel Peace Prize which was given to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet as “such peace-makers include the vibrant women’s movements, who continue to work tirelessly to safeguard some of the gains of the Arab Spring and elsewhere”.