Koenders and Van Middelkoop stand up for women’s rights in conflict zones

Development minister Bert Koenders, in the presence of defence minister Eimert van Middelkoop, education minister Ronald Plasterk and interior minister Guusje ter Horst, signed an agreement concerning the position of women in conflict zones and tackling violence against them.

The agreement, which is also being signed by fifteen NGOs, stems from the Schokland Agreement, which was signed in June 2007. The new agreement will contribute to the implementation of UN resolution 1325, which calls for support for initiatives giving women a greater role in conflict resolution and reconstruction. ‘Various ministries and NGOs are working to stand up to the terrible violence in countries like Congo and Sudan”, said Koenders, who also announced a contribution of 4 million euros to the special United Nations fund, UNIFEM, that combats violence against women.

"It's high time we make up the lost ground in achieving the Millenium Goals concerning women's rights and maternal mortality rates. That's why the Cabinet decided to sign the agreement on UN resolution 1325 with so many representatives of civil society. We're standing up for women, peace and security. Women's rights are everyone's business," stated Koenders.