The challenge of addressing the needs of women and girls during conflict in the Arab region has been put under the spotlight at a parliamentary workshop in Tunisia.
Focusing on the landmark UN resolution 1325, which recognizes the disproportionate and unique problems faced by women in conflict and calls for their protection, MPs, parliamentary staff and representatives from Ministries for Gender Affairs, institutions and organizations in Arab countries explored how the resolution could be put into full effect across North Africa and the Middle East.
The region has in recent years been particularly hit by crises, conflict and violent extremism that continue to impact on millions of lives. Parliaments and their members can and must protect women and girls by legislating, budgeting and overseeing implementation of international commitments on rights and equality.
The meeting examined how Resolution 1325 could be integrated into parliamentary work, including through the passing or revision of laws, raising awareness and coordinating work with relevant government machinery and NGOs. Issues such as marital rape, child marriage and protecting female refugees were put on the table, with MPs highlighting both current challenges and progress made in their own countries. The workshop was organized by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA) in cooperation with the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and IPU. The participants will meet again early next year.