Women Call for a Strong #ArmsTreaty

July 11 2011, 10:16 AM  by Oistein Thorsen

We, peacewomen advocates from 53 countries, call for a strong Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

We laud the fact that nations of the world are deliberating a Treaty on the arms trade. Women have paid the cost of arms proliferation for too long. We suffer the consequence for the lack of controls on today’s billion-dollar trade in arms. We are particularly at risk of certain crimes because of our sex – crimes such as violence in the home, on the streets and in the battlefield.

Small arms are the weapons of choice in committing violence against women. Hence, we call for a strong and robust Treaty containing the highest possible, legally-binding standards for the international transfer of conventional weapons, including small arms and ammunition within its scope.

Small arms facilitate a vast spectrum of women’s rights violations, including killing, threats and intimidation, rape and other forms of sexual violence. They facilitate the assault on women in both conflict and non-conflict situations. We hardly ever fight the world’s wars, but we often suffer the most – directly and indirectly.

Hence, we ask that the ATT does not authorise the transfer of arms if they will be used to perpetrate acts of armed violence, especially gender based violence including sexual violence used as a weapon and tactic of war.

International law includes women’s rights, but these are not explicit within the UN Charter or the Geneva Conventions and other instruments of international law used by diplomats in the disarmament community. However, they have been recognised by UN Security Council resolutions and other binding instruments of international law and form part of international law that is relevant for the ATT.

Therefore, to protect women’s rights, the relevant binding international instruments covering gender-based violence, including rape and sexual violence, must be included in an arms trade treaty to be applied in arms transfer decisions.

It is time that women take on the role of peacebuilders and our role is recognised. Stop the victimisation of women fuelled by the irresponsible trade in small arms. Forge a strong Arms Trade Treaty that will complement the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms – now!

National Organisations

1.        Reconstruction, Health and Humanitarian Assistance Committee (HEWAD), Afghanistan

2.        Asian Circle 1325, Asia

3.        Amnesty International, Belgium

4.        Mouvement d’Actions à Travers Monde, Belgium

5.        ESPASSO CONSEG, Brazil

6.        Amnesty International, Burkina Faso

7.        Dounia Solidarité, Burkina Faso

8.        Coalition pour le Développement et la Réhabilitation Sociale – CODR UBUNTU, Burundi

9.        Fontaine Isoko for Good Governance and Integrated Development, Burundi

10.     Ligue Burundaise des Droits de l’Homme Iteka, Burundi

11.     Women and Allies Peacebuilding Network, Burundi

12.     Cameroon Youths and Students Forum for Peace (CAMYOSFOP) Cameroon

13.     Women in Alternative Action, Cameroon

14.     Amnistie Internationale Canada francophone

15.     Partnership Africa Canada (PAC), Canada

16.     Vision Gram, Canada

17.     Centro Popular para AL de Comunicación, Colombia

18.     Colectivo de Mujeres Pazificas de Cali, Colombia

19.     Liga Internacional de Mujeres por la Paz y la Libertad (LIMPAL), Colombia

20.     Red Nacional de Mujeres de Colombia

21.     Sororidad, Ecumenismo y Democracia (SED), Colombia

22.     Mouvement Panafricain de la Jeunesse Féminine pour la Paix (MOPAJEF), Côte d’Ivoire

23.     Femmes, Droits et Développement (FE2D), Côte d’Ivoire

24.     Amnesty International, Czech Republic

25.     Association Féminine pour la Lutte contre les Violences faites à la Femme et Enfant (AFLVF), DR Congo

26.     Collectif des Femmes Rurales pour le Développement, DR Congo

27.     Femmes des Médias pour la Justice au Congo, DR Congo

28.     Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), DR Congo

29.     Amnesty International, France

30.     African Women’s Active Nonviolence Initiatives for Social Change (AWANICh), Ghana

31.     Cultural-Humanitarian Fund “Sukhumi”, Georgia

32.     Pacific Regional Media and Policy Network, Femlinkpacific, Fiji

33.     Peace and Disarmament Program – Pacific Foundation for the Advancement of Women, Fiji

34.     Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network, India

35.     Coalition of Women for Peace, Israel

36.     Gun Free Kitchen Tables, Israel

37.     Movement of Democratic Women in Israel, Israel

38.     New Profile and Machsom Watch, Israel

39.     Violence Prevention Alliance, Jamaica

40.     Amnesty International, Japan

41.     Amnesty International, Jordan

42.     Tears of Women Organisation, Kenya

43.     Lebanese Council to Resist Violence Against Woman (LECORVAW), Lebanon

44.     Center for Democratic Empowerment (CEDE), Liberia

45.     Liberians United to Expose Hidden Weapons (LUEHW), Liberia

46.     Voice of the Voiceless, Liberia

47.     Centre For Conflict Management and Women Development Affairs (CECOWDA), Malawi

48.     Amnesty International, Mali

49.     Association des Femmes pour les Initiatives de Paix (AFIP), Mali

50.     Swe Tha Har Social Services Yangon, Myanmar

51.     Namibia Non Governmental Organisations’ Forum (NANGOF) Trust, Namibia

52.     Women for Peace and Democracy Nepal (WPD-Nepal), Nepa

53.     YWCA, Nepal

54.     IANSA Women’s Network, Nigeria

55.     Defend International, Norway/Denmark/MENA region

56.     Organisation for Development and Peace, Pakistan

57.     Rozan, Pakistan

58.     Society for The Empowerment of People (STEP), Pakistan

59.     Women’s Action Forum, Pakistan

60.     Leitana Nehan Women’s Development Agency, Papua New Guinea

61.     Amnesty International, Peru

62.     Movimiento Manuela Ramos, Peru

63.     Red Nacional de Promoción de la Mujer, Peru

64.     Aksyon para sa Kapayapaan at Katarungan (AKKAPKA) Philippines

65.     Ang Komunidad para sa Ikauunlad ng Tao, Inc., Philippines

66.     Center for Peace Education, Philippines

67.     CORE, Philippines

68.     SLCB-Cultural Heritage Research Center, Inc., Philippines

69.     Mindanao Commission on Women Butuan City, Philippines

70.     Paghiliusa sa Paghidaet-Negros, Philippines

71.     Pax Christi Metro Manila, Philippines

72.     Philippine Action Network to Control Arms, Philippines

73.     Sulong CARHRIHL, Philippines

74.     Women Engaged in Action on 1325, Philippines

75.     Young Moro Professionals Network, Philippines

76.     Observatory on Gender and Armed Violence (OGAV), CES, University of Coimbra, Portugal

77.     Groupe de Travail Femmes, Paix et Sécurité, Senegal

78.     Réseau Sénégalais pour la lutte contre les ALPC (RESAAL), Senegal

79.     Victimology Society of Serbia, Serbia

80.     National Organisation for Women, Sierra Leone

81.     MARWOPNET, Sierra Leone

82.     Sierra Leone Action Network on Small Arms (SLANSA), Sierra Leone

83.     Amnesty International, South Africa

84.     Ceasefire Campaign, South Africa

85.     Amnesty International, Spain

86.     Centro de Educación e Investigación para la Paz (CEIPAZ), Spain

87.     Mannar Women’s Development Federation, Sri Lanka

88.     Women’s Action Network, Sri Lanka

89.     Amnesty International, Sweden

90.     SweFOR, Sweden

91.     Sudanese Women’s Voice for Peace (SWVP), Sudan

92.     Christlicher Friedensdienst (cfd), the feminist peace organisation, Switzerland

93.     Vois Blong Mere Solomons, Tonga

94.     Ma’afafine moe Famil Inc, Tonga

95.     Women’s Institute for Alternative Development (WINAD), Trinidad and Tobago

96.     Umut Foundation, Turkey

97.     Eastern African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI), Uganda

98.     Women Worldwide Advancing Freedom & Equality (WWAFE), UK/Australia

99.     Amnesty International Women’s Human Rights Coordination Group, USA

100.  Center for Women’s Global Leadership, Rutgers University, USA

101.  Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights, USA

102.  Global Action to Prevent War, USA

103.  Global Justice Center, USA

104.  Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, USA

105.  Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND), USA

International Organisations

106.  Amnesty International, International Secretariat

107.  Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS)

108.  Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) International Coordinating Team

109.  IANSA Women’s Network

110.  International Alliance of Women (IAW)

111.  Open Society Foundation

112.  Pax Christi International

113.Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

1.        Elba Zeballos, Bolivia

2.        Nelly Neema, Canada 

3.        Sahar Vardi, Israel

4.        Ronit Marian-Kadishay, Israel

5.        Fatima Zafar, Pakistan

6.        Tomasa Ravines Burga, Peru

7.        May Magno, Philippines

8.        Krystel Robiso, Philippines

9.        Stephanie Ortega, Philippines

10.     Key Bobadilla, Philippines

11.     Katherine Abulencia, Philippines

12.     Raevene Morillo, Philippines

13.     Charlene De Perio, Philippines

14.     Aila Conopio, Philippines

15.     Kezia Ortiz, Philippines

16.     Sarah Garcia, Philippines

17.     Meriel Perez, Philippines

18.     Erika Diaz, Philippines

19.     Sarah Garcia, Philippines

20.     Jayme Uy, Philippines

21.     Nikki Delfin, Philippines

22.     Beverly Orozco, Philippines

23.     Mirma Tica, Philippines

24.     Loreta Castro, Philippines

25.     Frances Piscano, Philippines

26.     Dyan Mendoza, Philippines

27.     Criselle Rosales, Philippines

28.     Raquel Callangan, Philippines

29.     Jazirah Janabajal, Philippines

30.     Kelly Ann Rala, Philippines

31.     Katrina Fernis, Philippines

32.     Renee Facelo, Philippines

33.     Kerstin Tagumpay, Philippines

34.     Angelica Reyes, Philippines

35.     Cristina Lopez, Philippines

36.     Cherie Maglasang, Philippines

37.     Catherine Paciencia, Philippines

38.     Jermaine Pena, Philippines

39.     Anna Rica Tagad, Philippines

40.     Aimee Rentoy, Philippines

41.     Ysabel Rodriguez, Philippines

42.     Regine Reyes, Philippines

43.     Clara Paulite, Philippines

44.     Jamila Monjardin, Philippines

45.     Catalina Garcia, Philippines

46.     Ma. Patricia Suarez, Philippines

47.     Johnna Acha, Philippines

48.     Ruviemel Dangcalan, Philippines

49.     Maria Melissa Tenazas, Philippines

50.     Gisells Robles, Philippines

51.     Jeanette Sabella, Philippines

52.     Jaimee Vidal, Philippines

53.     Marion Cortes, Philippines

54.     Bonghui Ham, Philippines

55.     Hannah Garduque, Philippines

56.     Pfiona Aijalle Canapi, Philippines

57.     Maria Rosario Galvez, Philippines

58.     Anne Esmele, Philippines

59.     Camille Quiangco, Philippines

60.     Angelica Cimatu, Philippines

61.     Charmaine Aguilar, Philippines

62.     Jinky Semana, Philippines

63.     Hazel De la Rosa, Philippines

64.     Johanna Acosta, Philippines

65.     Rarah Lykal Takai, Philippines

66.     Armina Aaron, Philippines

67.     Jean Claisse Carlos, Philippines

68.     Mikael Cruz, Philippines

69.     Clara Emmanuel, Philippines

70.     Samantha Asuncion, Philippines

71.     Kim Coronado, Philippines

72.     Franchesca Cortes, Philippines

73.     Jaon Balonkita, Philippines

74.     Alecxa Potillos, Philippines

75.     Jean Patindol, Philippines

76.     Sr. Arnold Noel, Philippines

77.     Marco Ortiz, Philippines

78.     Mike Ortiz, Philippines

79.     Marissa Ortiz, Philippines

80.     Moreen Ortiz, Philippines

81.     Miriam Tica, Philippines

82.     Faye Tica, Philippines

83.     Rae Tica, Philippines

84.     Aileen Cruz, Philippines

85.     Victoria Cruz, Philippines

86.     Miguel Ortiz, Philippines

87.     Jay Tampus, Philippines

88.     Karlo Kardenio, Philippines

89.     Marta Pietrobelli, UK/Italy

90.    Garba Audu, USA