A women's leader from the refugee camp in Gassire speaks to UN and NGO respresentatives at a meeting near Goz Beida, Chad. © UN/Olivia Grey Pritchard
In its Resolution 1325 (2000)
, on Women, Peace and Security, the Security Council “… [e]xpresses its willingness to incorporate a gender perspective into peacekeeping operations and urges the Secretary-General to ensure that, where appropriate, field operations include a gender component.”
MINURCAT’s Gender Unit is tasked by Resolution 1778 to work towards the implementation of Security Council Resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1820 (2008) on Women, Peace and Security in the mission’s area of operations. In its 2008-2009 work plan, the Gender Unit has identified three main objectives: promote the implementation of Resolutions 1325 and 1820 in the area of operations; strengthen the capacity of the Détachement Intégré de Sécurité (DIS) to protect women and children; and mainstream gender within MINURCAT.
To facilitate the implementation of Resolutions 1325 and 1820, the Gender Unit considered that it was necessary to disseminate the resolutions. Thus, it organized in October 2008, at the Kempinsli Hotel, a sensitization workshop on the resolutions for its partners: United Nations agencies, the Ministry of Social Affairs, CONAFIT, the Network of Women Ministers and Parliamentarians, and civil society organizations. The First Lady of Chad, Mrs. Hinda Deby Itno, officially opened the workshop and spontaneously offered to be the Patron of any sensitization campaign on sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) that would be organized in the future.
Consultative Workshops in Goz Beida and Farchana
The Unit has also organized two consultative workshops with the women refugees, IDPs and from the host communities in Goz Beida and Farchana. The objectives of these activities were to sensitize the women on Resolutions 1325 and 1820, to begin a dialogue among the women from the three communities, and to identify women leaders to participate in the inter-community dialogue workshops, which will be organized by the Political and Civil Affairs Section (POLCA).
Sexual and Gender-based Violence
Resolutions 1325 and 1820 cover many topics. The Unit chose to focus on two of them: SGBV and inter-community dialogue. For SGBV, the Unit has trained the UNPols and DIS on the prevention and management of sexual violence cases. The Unit has also begun to work with UNPols Police de Proximité for the establishment of Women and Children Protection Units. To this end, the Unit and its partners have already visited the police stations of Abéché, Farchana and Guereda. Finally, the Unit is working with the members of the SGBV Sub-Cluster, both within and outside the mission, to harmonize SGBV-related interventions.
Since the creation of the Unit, training of MINURCAT’s personnel has been one of its core activities. The Unit has trained not only international and national civilian staff, but also the members of DIS and UNPol. The training of the DIS and UNPol focused on the concept of gender and on the role of UNPols/DIS with regard to SGBV. Since the month of February, the Unit has begun training members of MINURCAT’s new military component.
Gender Focal Points
To mainstream gender within the mission, the Unit has begun working with Gender Focal Points from key sections, including Training, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, UNPol, Human Resources, Corrections, and PIO. The Unit plans to add focal points from the military component of the mission.
Gender Units’ Staff
The Gender Unit comprises three international and three national staff members. They are deployed in N’Djamena and Abeche, but travel throughout the area of operations, including Goz Beida, Farchana, and Iriba.
For more information on the work of the Gender Unit, please contact Maryse Fontus, Chief of the Unit, at email@example.com