In October 2000, in response to calls by women’s civil society, Resolution 1325 was drafted and adopted by the United Nations Security Council. It has been followed by seven other Security Council Resolutions (1820, 1888, 1889, 1960, 2106, 2122 and 2242), which make up the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, a powerful tool for moving from exclusive to democratic decision-making, from gender inequality to gender justice and from conflict and violence to sustainable and feminist peace. It recognises that women’s agency, voices and capacities are critical to local dialogues, better policies and lasting peace.
The Security Council has a unique responsibility to implement the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, including by upholding its obligations on peace and security under Chapter V of the United Nations Charter (Article 24 (1)). When the Security Council adopted this Agenda, it committed itself to include gender analysis in its decision-making process, which requires a shift from militarised crisis response toward addressing root causes for conflict prevention and feminist peace. However, it fails to concretely and consistently recognise and support women’s meaningful participation and empowerment as fundamental to achieving holistic peace and security.
The Permanent Members of the Security Council (the Permanent Five) -- the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia and China -- are also some of the top contributors to the global arms trade, which exacerbates sexual, gender-based and other forms of violence. They also contribute to the shrinking of space for civil society organisations, especially for women’s organisations, support militarism as a way of thought and consequently undermine long-term conflict prevention essential for achieving feminist peace.
This research brief maps trends on compliance with relevant international standards around Women, Peace and Security by the Permanent Five in the period between 2010 and 2016. It addresses all four pillars of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda (participation, conflict prevention, protection and relief and recovery), analyses state actions at both the international and national levels and demonstrates the main gaps in the Women, Peace and Security implementation efforts, including around gender power analysis, disarmament and financing. It shows that strengthening women’s meaningful participation, conflict prevention and disarmament are critical areas to address for achieving feminist peace.