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22 April 2016

Germany: medica mondiale demands more protection for women and girls during armed conflicts

In the midst of war, fleeing conflict zones, or seeking refuge in Germany – women and girls are being subjected to massive sexualised and gender-based violence throughout the world. VENRO, the umbrella organisation of development and humanitarian aid non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Germany, is calling on the German government to increase its efforts to protect women and girls during armed conflict. Specifically, Germany needs to revise its National Plan of Action to Implement United Nations Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security in order to ensure it focuses more on achieving tangible impacts. medica mondiale supports these demands.

On October 31, 2000, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1325 on “Women, Peace and Security”. The main demands of the UN council were to improve protection for women and girls during armed conflict and to ensure they are appropriately involved in peace processes. More than 15 years later, there are still significant deficits in the practical implementation of this resolution. This can be seen clearly in current crises worldwide, including those in Afghanistan, Syria or DR Congo.

Deficits in the current action plan regarding crisis prevention and combating reasons to flee

As it adopted its National Plan of Action for the period 2013-2016, the German government wanted to set a more strategic direction for its foreign, development and security policy as it affects the issue of "women, peace and security". Despite funding numerous projects on the protection of women's rights in times of armed conflict, there is still a lack of coherent implementation in all relevant fields of policy, whether it concerns the combating of reasons for displacement or civil crisis prevention.

The relevant criterion in a new plan of action has to be: impacts!

VENRO is calling on the German government to further develop the action plan with a focus on these issues and ensuring coherence across relevant fields of policy. Furthermore, impact-orientation has to be the backbone of the new plan of action, including a requirement for regular reports on its implementation to both Parliament and the public. “This time, the German government has to commit itself in a binding way to tangible measures, and make available sufficient funding and staffing to achieve the aims of the action plan. This is the only way of ensuring any impact in practice,” declares Jeannette Böhme, Advocacy and Human Rights Officer at medica mondiale.