This article discusses how the government of Bangladesh and UN Women held a National Symposium to further the development of a National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security (WPS). The NAP will be a blueprint for Bangladesh’s efforts to ensure women’s meaningful participation in the prevention of conflict and violent extremism, and the protection and advancement of women’s rights to promote resilience during crises.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali has said women must be at the centre of Bangladesh’s work to prevent conflict, build peace, and respond to emergencies.
“Our National Action Plan will demonstrate our continued leadership and commitment put this principle into action,” he told delegates at the closing session of a symposium held in Dhaka on Tuesday.
Pursuing joint efforts to enhance gender equality to build inclusive and sustainable peace, the government of Bangladesh and UN Women held a National Symposium on Monday-Tuesday to further the development of a National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security (WPS).
The NAP will be a blueprint for Bangladesh’s efforts to ensure women’s meaningful participation in the prevention of conflict and violent extremism, and the protection and advancement of women’s rights to promote resilience during crises, said the UN Women.
The NAP, which will include time-bound goals for the advancement of women’s participation and rights, with indicators to measure success, is being developed by a working group of eight government ministries and divisions led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Globally, 73 countries have adopted national action plans on women, peace and security.
“Today, Bangladesh is taking an important step, by identifying national priorities to ensure that the objectives of Security Council resolution 1325 and subsequent Women, Peace and Security resolutions are translated into results,” said Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
Mlambo-Ngcuka applauded the government’s inclusive approach to developing the NAP in partnership with civil society, and recommended that this collaboration continue in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation stages.
“For Bangladesh’s NAP to be effective, civil society actors must continue to play an integral role going forward, sharing their invaluable expertise and vision for a more peaceful and equal society.”
The National Action Plan reinforces Bangladesh’s continued efforts in establishing peace and security within and beyond its border by ensuring women’s greater role in peacekeeping, peacebuilding, disaster management, prevention of violence against women and preventing violent extremism among others.
The National Action Plan will focus on the ways of enhancing women’s participation and meaningful contribution to these significant areas.
As part of the process, UN Women-supported activist women’s organisation Bangladesh Nari Progati Sangha, to hold community consultations throughout the country in order to hear the women, peace and security priorities of communities for the NAP.
The consultations were attended by local community members, including teachers, academics, students, NGO workers, journalists, local government officials and others.
At the national symposium, attendees focused discussions on prevention of conflict by
addressing root causes, including gender inequality and violence against women; women’s role and agenda in disaster, humanitarian, and emergency responses; and women’s role and agenda in preventing conflict and violent extremism.
“Bangladesh’s National Action Plan will be stronger because of its inclusive design process, incorporating the outcomes of community consultations into commitments to change,” said Meghna Guhathakurta, a member of the National Human Rights Commission of Bangladesh and lead consultant supporting the government working group to develop the NAP.
The symposium was attended by representatives of government and civil society.
Globally, UN Women supports countries developing and implementing NAPs, and serves as the Secretariat for the WPS National Focal Points Network, working with Member States as well as other UN agencies, regional organizations and civil society partners to strengthen advocacy, develop synergies, and support monitoring efforts towards advancing the women, peace and security agenda.