The 2012 Review Conference of the UN Program of Action (PoA)  SALW
Small arms are cheap, light, and easy to handle, transport and conceal. A build-up of small arms alone may not create the conflicts in which they are used, but their excessive accumulation and wide availability aggravates the tension. The violence becomes more lethal and lasts longer, and a sense of insecurity grows, which in turn lead to a greater demand for weapons.

Most present-day conflicts are fought mainly with small arms, which are broadly used in inter-State conflict. They are the weapons of choice in civil wars and for terrorism, organized crime and gang warfare.The 2012 Review Conference of the UN Program of Action (PoA) represents an important opportunity to strengthen international cooperation to more effectively address the illicit trafficking and use of small arms and light weapons (SALW). 


The States participating in the Second Review Conference of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects, convened in New York from 27 August to 7 September 2012 to review the progress of implementation and explore ways to strengthen the existing implementation framework.

In this regard IANSA has identified key talking points that the members including the:

Gender dimension.
There are specific gender dimensions to the impacts of SALW proliferation. To be consistent with the broader UN practice of mainstreaming gender by paying attention to differing impacts on women and men in all frameworks, policies and programs, the PoA should recognize the specific impact of the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons on women. The presence of SALW facilitates and perpetuates gender based violence, although women are only rarely the owners, operators, or traffickers of these weapons. It is critical that PoA implementation directly and appropriately address this reality. Incorporating gendered language, and encouraging women’s participation in all phases of PoA implementation will help influence laws and policies that will ultimately protect women. Also, attention should be paid to understanding the linkages between guns and masculinity, with the active participation of men and women as stakeholders, more specifically in military and law-enforcement agencies.”

To stay informed over the next two weeks, please keep a close eye on the IANSA website, as well as these helpful sources:

-The Official PoA Review Conference Website 

-The Small Arms Survey briefing paper: 2012 and Beyond: Advocacy and Action in the UN -Small Arms Process 

-Reaching Critical Will 

-Global Action to Prevent War 

The power of words: Drafting a new constitution in Tunisia

The path to democracy hardly begins and ends with elections. In the case if Tunisia the National Constituent Assembly is responsible for the first draft of the new Tunisian constitution. In addition to drafting a constitution, the NCA has also assumed legislative powers to review discriminatory laws inherited from the former regime and enact new legislation to govern the country and prepare for the next cycle of elections.  The NCA has created six permanent commissions, each of which are responsible for drafting articles under specific chapters of the future constitution, the commissions are each composed of 22 members, one of the six commissions is presided over by a woman. Three female members were elected as deputies and six as rapporteurs, Once finalised within the NCA each article of the constitution will be put to a vote/referendum[i].

Besides the lack of female representation within the drafting committee two additional factors may further isolate or marginalise women’s rights. The Rules of Procedures only two weeks for the dissemination of the draft articles to the public and its submission to the NCA for a vote. This could have a negative impact of people’s knowledge of the constitution and it’s individual articles. Furthermore… recent drafts of the preamble have revealed conflicting views about the role and rights of women

The language used describes a woman as a “complement with the man in the family and an associate to the man in the development of the country.” Out of the 20-person committee overseeing the drafting of this language, twelve members voted for it.  On a positive note the final constitution expected in December 2012, which has become the focus of debates, general discussions, has also encouraged a coalition of women’s organizations to launch a shadow constitution. The shadow constitution which is the result of a collaborative approach including more than 300 participants predominantly women seeks to highlight the importance of acknowledging women as equal citizens in all spheres of life in the future Tunisian constitution.

Highlight of the month

The African Women Power (AWP) is a network organization, which showcases entrepreneurial stories including the business challenges and successes of African women and youth entrepreneurs. The African Women Power network began with the idea to provide business related content to African entrepreneurs anywhere in the world –with a particular focus on women and youth. The AWP network seeks to eradicate poverty through providing an online space, which enables a sense of community and promotes dialogue about entrepreneurship. The network is dedicated to offering business support and inspiration and seeks to promote a positive image of African women and youth . read more...


Interview of the month

Betty Makoni has inspired millions around the world to replicate the Girl Child Empowerment Model that she developed. Besides her work with Girl Child Network Worldwide and building many Girl Child Networks in Africa and throughout the world, Betty Makoni is a mentor, coach, and trainer for women and girls who want to do similar work. She has 28 global awards for innovation, commitment and passion for her work to protect over 300,000 girls in Zimbabwe. Betty Makoni (BA Gen, BA Special Hons) is CNN Hero 2009 for Protecting the Powerless, where she was honoured by Nicole Kidman. Besides her work with Girl Child Network Worldwide and building many Girl Child Networks in Africa and throughout the world, read more....



Women, Peace and Security 

SOUTHERN AFRICA: Southern African Women Making Inroads Into Peace and Security Sector 

Source: Institute for Security Studies South Africa 

In 2008 the Southern Africa Development Community's (SADC) Heads of State and Government adopted the SADC Gender and Development Protocol. Southern Africa is making marked progress in terms of both the number of women in security service institutions and the number of women deployed in UN peace missions. 

INTERNATIONAL: UN Women Welcomes First Reparations Order Issued by International Criminal Court 

Source: UN WOMEN 

Landmark ruling paves the way for strengthening women’s access to justice for conflict-related crimes. The ruling made by the International Criminal Court this week regarding reparations to victims in the case of convicted former Congolese militia commander Thomas Lubanga reflects a growing recognition in international law that justice must go beyond mere prosecutions and a focus on perpetrators to include an equal focus on victims’ rights to redress and reparation.

Violence Against Women 

WEST AFRICA: ECOWAS Promotes Campaign to End Violence Against Women 

Source: Economic Community of West African States
ECOWAS Commission and the Africa Unite Campaign are rallying ECOWAS Member States to help end violence against women and girls in sub-Saharan Africa. To this end, the 5th Regional Committee Meeting of Africa Unite held at the ECOWAS Commission's Abuja headquarters on 2nd and 3rd August 2012 agreed on the joint implementation of Africa Unite's communication strategy by the two organizations.

SOUTH AFRICA: South Africa To Launch Gender-based Violence Council 

Source: Leadership
The National Council for Gender-based Violence in South Africa, which will lead and monitor the implementation of a 365 Days Plan of Action against gender-based violence for Children and People with Disabilities, will be launched on Saturday.

Political Participation and Leadership

SIERRA LEONE: In Sierra Leone, Women Candidates Prepare their Political Platforms 

Source: UN WOMEN
The gathering in a well-lit Sierra Leone classroom comes off as remarkably joyful. “By my side… by my side…” chants a group of vibrantly-clad women, swaying and clapping in unison. “No longer men in front and the women at the back, but women and men walking side-by-side.”

LIBYA: Hopeful Signs Emerge in Libya 

Source: Al Jazeera
This article isn't about elections. In fact, passing a pleasant but rather uneventful summer on holiday in Libya, I felt no compulsion or desire to say anything about the country's recent elections, which went better than anyone had anticipated, barring a handful of incidents that were quickly contained.

Economic Empowerment

MALAWI: Clinton Praises Malawi's Banda for Economic Reforms 

Source: Chicago Tribune
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton paid a lightning visit to Malawi on Sunday to congratulate its new president, one of only two female heads of state in Africa, for pulling her impoverished country back from the economic brink after a political crisis.

TANZANIA: Women at the Heart of Africa’s Development: “Barefoot Engineers” Bring Light to Remote Villages in Tanzania 

Source: UN WOMEN East and Horn of Africa
Six women from three remote and far flung villages in Mtwara and Lindi districts in Southern Tanzania have helped to bring a new way of life to their communities after training as solar engineers.

HIV/AIDS & Reproductive Health

INTERNATIONAL: Investing in Women’s Leadership is Vital to Turn the Tide on AIDS 

Source: UN WOMEN
As more than 22,000 people gathered at the XIX
International AIDS Conference (IAC) this week in Washington D.C., UN Women convened a dialogue “Women Leading, Organizing and Inspiring Change in the AIDS Response,” among eight transformative leaders. Representing government, national AIDS coordinating authorities, women living with HIV, and caregiver alliances, panelists shared experiences from Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean on how to ensure meaningful participation of women at all levels of the AIDS response.

INTERNATIONAL: Over 99% of Maternal Deaths Occur in Developing Countries 

Source: World Bank
Every day, 800 women die from pregnancy-related causes during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum. Over 99% of these 287,000 annual deaths occur in developing countries, and most are avoidable, as the health-care solutions to prevent or manage complications are well known. About 56% of the deaths occurred in Sub-Saharan Africa with another 29% in South Asia – these two regions together account for  85% of maternal mortality in the world.

Human Rights of Women

TUNISIA: Thousands Rally in Tunisia for Women's Rights 

Source: Reuters
Thousands of Tunisians rallied on Monday to protest against what they see as a push by the Islamist-led government for constitutional changes that would degrade women's status in one of the Arab world's most liberal nations.

SOUTH AFRICA: Pursuing fair play: Up Close and Personal : Lulu Xingwana Has a Dream 

Source: Sunday World
LATTER day court-jesters have dubbed her the minister of everything but men, but Lulama Xingwana has a serious dream that all South Africans ought to share.


TOGO: Togo Women Push Sex Strike to Unseat President 

Source: Associated Press
The female wing of a civil rights group is urging women in Togo to stage a week-long sex strike to demand the resignation of the country's president.

INTERNATIONAL: Women 'are the foot soldiers of climate change adaptation' 

Source: Alert Net
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AlertNet) – In 2006, when the Asian Development Bank (ADB)  decided to launch a multi-million dollar rural water project in eastern and north central regions of Sri Lanka, there was one overriding requirement – women would be placed in key positions.


Strengthening Women’s Leadership and Capacity Building 

Date: Saturday 15th September 2012
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30pm
Venue: 52-54 Featherstone Street, London, EC1Y 8RT

Programme details  

This training is designed to empower women to become leader within their communities and gain confidence to advocate and represent others at different levels of decision making authorities within local, regional and International settings

Training Content 

The training will provide different methods and opportunities available to participate and to shape policies and services that affect them.  The training will focus on:

Participants who will be trained will be supported to set up their own community / area of interest based project on which their acquired leadership skills, awareness and knowledge will be practised.

They will also be guided on how to access community/ social oriented projects funding in order to implement their ideas/social solutions.

Skills and Qualifications

The course is aimed at those with no or limited experience in community leadership. Interest in changing, shaping community/society related issues as well as is required. Good knowledge of Word processing and internet skills is required.

To book your place,
please download the
booking form and send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

[i] http://www.cartercenter.org/resources/pdfs/news/pr/tunisia-statement-051112-en.pdf