UN in major effort to halt rebel forces’ advance in DRC

Date: January 1, 1970
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The article is about the United Nations efforts to stop renewed fighting in the eastern DRC.

This article may be used to:
1.      Highlight how conflict disproportionately affects women and children.
2.      Discuss lack of female perspectives in the news.
3.      Raise discussions about the importance of women in peace processes, particularly in relation to UN Resolution 1325.
Trainer’s notes
The article describes events occurring is Congo as fighting with the country is renewed. The article relies mostly on spokes people, perhaps indicative of the difficulties in reporting within a conflict zone, or maybe lack of initiative in the part of the journalist to seek out these sources. The journalist could have noticed several gender aspects. For example, there are many additional dangers that women and children face when they are forced to sleep by the roadside. First hand war account experiences from women would have added shown the gravity of the gender dimensions of the situation.
The article further demonstrates the extent to which conflict is a male sphere in terms of actors – rebels, soldiers, leaders – though women and children are most affected. This brings up Resolution 1325. The adoption of Resolution 1325 by the United Nations was historic and unprecedented for a number of reasons:
The Resolution 1325 marks the first time the Security Council addressed the disproportionate and unique impact of armed conflict on women, recognised the under-valued and under-utilised contributions women make to conflict prevention, peacekeeping, conflict resolution and peace-building, and stressed the importance of their equal and full participation as active agents in peace and security;
as a Security Council resolution, 1325 is effectively international law; it is binding upon all UN member nations;
– civil society groups, especially women’s organisations, played an instrumental and leading role in the adoption of Resolution 1325, in particular, through their advocacy efforts and their participation in drafting the resolution.
Discussion Questions
1. What are the challenges in reporting during conflict, and how can these be overcome?
2. What are some of the gender angles that the journalist could pick up on?
3. Are there gender differences in the impact of war? If so, what ?
4. What is the importance of involving women in peace processes? 
Training exercises
1. Conduct research to look at the nature and partners of conflict in Africa and the world over. Compare who sits on the round tables to discuss “peace deals” and heads armies with who are most affected through the direct and indirect effects of war.
2. Choose a gender angle found in this story, and write a commentary about gender and conflict.
3. Review progress on the implementation of Resolution 1325.   
Other training resources
Peace Women – Resolution 1325 Toolkit
 International Women’s Tribune Centre Radio resources
Picture our lives: Gender and images
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