Snapshot from the past: The UN Security Council adopts Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security on 31 October 2000. UN Photo/Milton Grant
Twenty years ago, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, aimed at addressing the situation of women in conflict. Despite ten resolutions as part of what has come to be known as the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda, we still live in a world with war and violence, where women are disproportionately impacted. And over the past 20 years, the WPS agenda has increasingly been interpreted in militarized ways, focusing on making war safe for women - not ending and preventing war.
In this year of landmark anniversaries, it is evident that structural changes are required in terms of achieving gender equality and a world free of war and violence. Women must be fully and meaningfully included in all peace processes. All actors have the responsibility to work to end and prevent violence, which includes demilitarising and stopping participation in the arms trade. National Action Plans should focus more on advancing women’s leadership in peace and supporting women peacebuilders, rather than opening spaces for women to participate in militarized structures. Peace processes must focus on the needs and human rights of all people, not the attempts at power of warring parties.
The lack of political will to holistically implement the WPS agenda, as well as the staggering pushback against women's rights at a global scale, clearly demonstrate that the impending anniversary is note a cause for celebration. Instead, we need action that addresses the root causes and gendered impact of conflict, reaffirms the rights of all women and girls, and is oriented towards conflict prevention, disarmament, and demilitarization.
As we meet the upcoming anniversary of 1325, WILPF is amplifying the voices of our members and partners on the progress and gaps of WPS implementation.
Some of our activities will include:
Publishing a report examining gaps, challenges and progress on the WPS agenda from civil society perspectives, with a launch event in mid-October. Read more below for more information about the report, and stay tuned for more information about registration!
Expanding our widely-recognised National Action Plan monitoring to more deeply focus on implementation and commitments to the WPS agenda.
Launching a video featuring WILPF members and partners sharing what peace and the Women, Peace and Security agenda mean to them.
Muna Luqman, Chairperson of Food for Humanity Yemen, speaking at a convening on the peace process in Yemen, 2019. Photo: WILPF
Six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the already disastrous humanitarian situation in Yemen has further worsened due to the ongoing war, a weakened currency, a drop in remittances, and a failure of donors to meet humanitarian pledges. The war in Yemen has been ongoing now for 5 years, despite the repeated calls for a ceasefire and peace by the Yemeni people. On 15 September 2020, the UN Security Council held its monthly meeting to discuss this situation and progress towards peace.
Read our blog on the situation in Yemen, focusing on key women, peace and security issues including the state of women’s participation, as well as the role of arms transfers in perpetuating the conflict.
In the backdrop of the many landmark anniversaries that mark our collective effort towards peace and gender equality, WILPF will be publishing a new report on the state of implementation of the women, peace and security agenda after 20 years.
This report is based on global research, interviews, and consultations with WILPF members, partners, and WPS practitioners. The consultations have provided insight into what WPS implementation looks like on the ground for activists and peacebuilders, who were essential to the adoption of the UNSCR 1325 and who tirelessly work towards its implementation. It will assess the major progress and gaps in WPS implementation thus far, and take stock of the major barriers to true achievement of the agenda.
Stay tuned for the release of the report next month. We will also be hosting a virtual launch event in mid-October. The event will feature women peace activists who have worked towards the implementation of UNSCR 1325 in their own national and local contexts.
Leading up to the anniversary of UNSCR 1325, WILPF would like to hear from its members, sections, and partners about their thoughts on progress and gaps in WPS implementation.
Please take a moment to fill out our brief, four-question survey to share your thoughts and contribute to our collective effort to amplify women's voices on the implementation of the WPS agenda.
You may access the survey through this link, available in English, French, and Spanish.
The survey will remain open until September 28.
Adapting in-person meetings and discussions into virtual spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic has presented numerous challenges, but also many opportunities for expanding our ability to engage with feminist peacebuilders throughout the world.
From 15-17 September 2020, WILPF convened a three-day online consultation to hear from WILPF members, partners, peacebuilders, and other relevant WPS practitioners on their assessment of the WPS agenda implementation. The asynchronous, text-based format allowed participants to log in and contribute at their convenience from anywhere in the world, in English, Arabic, French, or Spanish.
Over 180 participants joined us online, where we had more than 400 comments across 10 discussion threads. Across the three days, participants contributed to discussions on WPS implementation, key gaps and emerging issues within the WPS field, and on the role of civil society. These contributions will help guide the findings of WILPF’s forthcoming report on UNSCR 1325.
Many thanks to all who participated in the consultation for sharing your time and valuable insights!
To mark the start of Intra-Afghan talks in Doha, WILPF Afghanistan has released a press statement highlighting the significance of the moment and demanding that women and minorities be put at the centre of this peace process so as to be inclusive and successful. The statement also calls for the introduction of a comprehensive and country-wide ceasefire, which is critical for upholding human rights and building trust across the country.
Read the full press statement here.