This week the British Embassy in Stockholm hosted a roundtable discussion on violence against women with Mark Lowcock, the Permanent Secretary of the Department of International Development
This week the British Embassy in Stockholm hosted a roundtable discussion on violence against women with Mark Lowcock, the Permanent Secretary of the Department of International Development (DFID) in the UK. Present were a number of Swedish non-governmental organizations and government agencies working with women’s rights.
Although the focus of the roundtable was on violence against women the first paragraph of resolution 1325 on women’s participation was central in the discussion on how to address the issue. Both Mr. Lowcock and the participants agreed that violence against women can only be addressed successfully if women are the drivers of the solution.
Civilian teams to tackle SGBV
Mr. Lowcock also talked about a new initiative by the UK government to deploy teams of experts to conflict areas with a high number of sexual violence cases. These teams of experts made up of gender-based violence specialists, doctors, lawyers, and forensic experts are to be deployed with short notice to investigate cases and document them. The first teams will be ready for deployment in January 2013. Although this initiative is much appreciated Operation 1325 pointed out the importance of prevention and the need for inclusive security sector reform. As long as women are excluded from reform processes and the security sector in general, violence against women will remain a problem.
Promoting UNSCR 1325 in the G8
The roundtable discussion was constructive and Operation 1325 was glad to see so much focus on women’s participation and empowerment. Mr. Lowcock also announced that the UK government will be putting resolution 1325 on the agenda for the next G8 meeting, which is great news. The UK plays an important role in the international community and has a lot of influencing power, hence it is promising that the government is putting so much focus on resolution 1325 and violence against women.
Project Manager, Operation 1325