This article describes how the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and the Peace Research Institute of Oslo have developed a new global index that captures both peace and security — and women's inclusion and justice — for the first time ever. They drew on recognized international data sources to rank 153 countries around the world — covering more than 98 percent of the world's population — in a way that focuses attention on key achievements and major shortcomings.
Women are at the heart of efforts to achieve sustainable peace through inclusion, justice, and security worldwide. This notion is explicit in the 2000 agenda established by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. The agenda urged all actors to increase women's participation and incorporate gender perspectives in all UN peace and security efforts. In 2016, the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Security Council adopted resolutions on "Sustaining Peace," which have been hailed as a transformative shift, from peacebuilding to sustaining peace as "a goal and a process to build a common vision of society." The Sustaining Peace Agenda complements the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which recognizes the need to build inclusive, just, and peaceful societies for all.
Global indices are a way to assess and compare national progress against such goals, by distilling an array of complex information into a single number and ranking. While there are a growing number of global indices, none has brought together the three important dimensions of women's inclusion, justice, and security. Gender indices are typically limited to indicators of inclusion, such as whether women complete secondary school or are in paid work. These aspects of inclusion are undoubtedly important, but they are incomplete in the absence of aspects of justice and security. It is surely misleading to focus exclusively on girls' schooling where girls are not safe in their home or community. Likewise, traditional measures of security include an array of conflict indicators and assessments but invariably ignore systematic bias and discrimination against women and girls.
The Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and the Peace Research Institute of Oslo have developed a new global index that captures both peace and security — and women's inclusion and justice — for the first time ever. We draw on recognized international data sources to rank 153 countries around the world — covering more than 98 percent of the world's population — in a way that focuses attention on key achievements and major shortcomings.
A primary goal of the Index is to accelerate progress on both the international Women, Peace and Security agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. Our Index is the first gender index to be developed in the framework of the 2030 Agenda, and reflects a shared vision that countries are more peaceful and prosperous when women are accorded full and equal rights and opportunity. The Index will be updated every two years and will track progress ahead of the UN High-level Political Forum in 2019, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 20th anniversary of 2000 UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. The Index will have important utility for many sectors. Policymakers will be able to use its rankings to evaluate progress and set priorities, for the private sector it offers a tool for risk analysis, and civil society activists can celebrate achievements, highlight gaps, and hold their governments accountable for implementing the women, peace and security agenda.
The index will be launched 26 October in New York, as a side-event to the 2017 UN Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security.