2015 High Level Review - Resources

The Global Study builds on extensive consultation, country visits, commissioned research, an online portal, a civil society survey and other components, as well as the annual Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) that have been held since 2010.

Please find resources and policy briefs submitted by civil society organizations and research institutes providing key implementation gaps and recommendations below.

In April and May 2015, WPS Programme reviewed public submissions to the Global Study and compiled a Summary Report titled "Through the Lens of Civil Society: Summary Report on the Public Submissions to the Global Study on the Women, Peace and Security Agenda" providing nine strategic recommendations for the Global Study, which have been submitted to the Global Study lead Author, Radhika Coomaraswamy and the Global Study team. The content of the Summary Report is based on 47 public submissions from various civil society organizations (CSOs), academics and research institutes from around the world. As such, it is a civil society contribution and does not necessarily reflect the positions of WILPF or the WPS Programme. As a whole, the Summary Report highlights good practices and activities of CSOs, Member States and United Nations (UN) Agencies in the effective implementation of the Agenda. Access the Summary Report, the Executive Summary of the Summary Report, and the infographic of our nine strategic recommendations via the yellow buttons below.

Executive Summary | Through the Lens of Civil Society: Summary Report of the Public Submissions to the Global Study on Women, Peace and Security

Through the Lens of Civil Society: Summary Report of the Public Submissions to the Global Study on Women, Peace and Security

Global Study Backgrounder

Infographic: 9 Strategic Policy Recommendations for the Global Study

Social Media Package- October 2015: High-Level Review on the 15t​h Anniversary of 1325 and Global Study

  • Date of paper: Monday, October 12, 2015

    In preparation for the 15th anniversary of UNSCR 1325 and the Open Debate and High-Level Review of Women, Peace and Security, PeaceWomen has created this comprehensive social media packet for WILPF sections and partners as a resource for strategically engagement with key target groups in order to mobilise commitments into actions. 

Forfait de médias sociaux- Octobre 2015: Révisons à haut niveau de la 15 anniversaire de 1325 et étude mondiale

  • Date of paper: Monday, October 12, 2015

    En préparation pour le 15ième anniversaire de UNSCR 1325 et pour le débat ouvert et la révision à haut niveau sur les femmes, paix et la sécurité, PeaceWomen a créé ce forfait de médias sociaux pour les sections et partenaires de WILPF comme ressource pour l’engagement stratégique avec les groupes cibles importants afin de mobiliser les engagements en actions. 

Localising the Women, Peace and Security Agenda: A toolkit for leveraging UNSCR 1325's 15th anniversary

  • Date of paper: Friday, September 18, 2015

    In preparation and in honour of the 15th Anniversary of the Adoption of UNSCR 1325 and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, PeaceWomen has created an advocacy toolkit in order to provide WILPF Sections and Partners with the advocacy resources necessary to engage with local and national governments, civil society, and the media in order to mobilise pressure on member States and donor countries to turn commitments into action. 

Women’s Participation and Inclusive Peace Processes: Lessons Learned from Mindanao and Beyond - Conciliation Resources

  • Date of paper: Wednesday, April 15, 2015

    This short submission builds on Conciliation Resources’ practical peacebuilding experience to promote more inclusive peace processes. Despite international commitments to greater inclusion in the field of peace and security, including increased women’s participation, peace processes remain male-dominated and elitist. This submission identifies the obstacles that limit increased participation of women in peace talks, and challenges the over-emphasis on formal peace talks at the expense of other, more inclusive and democratic deliberation and decision-making processes beyond the negotiating table. It presents the Mindanao peace process as a case study in which women in both formal negotiations and parallel peacebuilding efforts achieved high levels of meaningful participation. Lastly, it presents recommendations for key stakeholders, which are listed below.

    Strategic recommendation(s):
    • To further prioritise and invest in context analysis, specifically gender analysis so that efforts to increase women’s participation are strategic and tailored to local conditions, and to ensure that all peace and security efforts are gender-sensitive.
    • To provide greater political and financial support to women peacebuilders, and civil society organisations including but not limited to women’s rights organisations. Women’s contributions to peace processes need to be acknowledged with greater financial and political support.
    • To base support to peace processes and mediation efforts on an understanding of peace processes as a series of complementary and mutually reinforcing initiatives (both formal and informal) which can bring about an end to armed conflict, create the basis for a new inclusive political settlement and support reconciliation.

Implementing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda and Reducing Armed Violence - Global Alliance on Armed Violence

  • Date of paper: Wednesday, April 15, 2015
    Organization / institution website: GAAV » GLOBAL ALLIANCE ON ARMED VIOLENCE

    This paper draws on inputs from nearly 30 contributors from around the world – Asia, Europe, Africa, the Americas and Oceania. They include grassroots activists, global level experts, peace negotiators, former MPs, researchers, academics and civil society champions. The paper makes a case for broadening ways the WPS agenda is applied, so to tackle various manifestations of violence – including violence conflict, non-conflict armed violence, IPV to violent extremism – their gender dimensions and weapons use. It draws on recent evidence on violence and violent deaths, and normative frameworks to promote cohesive WPS policy linked to agendas for arms control, gun control, disarmament, and armed violence reduction and prevention (AVRP).

    Strategic recommendation(s):
    • Calls for strengthened national and global data collection practices for WPS via mandated institutions and with specific approaches to disaggregation.
    • Recent evidence on different forms of violence and violent deaths, gender dimensions, and global weapons circulation.
    • Focus on masculinities and the need to account for men and boys in improved gender analysis. 
    • Calls to apply WPS norms more widely to tackle different forms of violence and in situations not classified as ‘armed conflict’, including in donor countries.
    • Focus on the prevention pillar which looks at different forms of violence (political, criminal to violent extremism), gender dimensions, and ways to strengthen small arms controls, including by harmonising domestic violence laws and gun laws. This area also includes recommendations to harmonise NAPs on WPS with ATT implementation.
    • Recommendations on the protection of the rights of survivors of armed violence and how these issues should be dealt with in peace agreements.
    • Recommendations on holistic approaches to SGBV based on evidence and trends, and in response to the focus on ‘conflict related sexual violence’.
    • Attention on PMSCs, accountability and human rights issues, and ways to strengthen regulatory frameworks, including via WPS national policy provisions.
    • A focus on civilian disarmament, demilitarisation and building cultures of peace in post-war recovery efforts.
    • Recommendations to connect development and WPS agendas via Sustainable Development Goals and measuring and monitoring systems.

Recommendations to Develop Strong National Action Plans on UNSCR 1325 and Improve Their Implementation - Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP)

  • Date of paper: Wednesday, April 8, 2015

    The Global Network of Women Peacebuilders has provided support to national action planning processes in different countries including Nepal, the Philippines, Guatemala and South Sudan. It enhances civil society capacities by training them in developing NAPs incuding in drafting and formulating indicators. Upon request it also provides technical support to Member States. The attached recommendations are informed by its many years of experiences in NAPs.

    Strategic recommendation(s):

    Recommendations to develop strong National Action Plans on UNSCR 1325 and improve their implementation:

    1. Ensure sustained and institutionalized awareness and knowledge raising on UNSCR 1325, 1820 and the supporting resolutions—Given than Government and UN leadership change, training and capacity building should be a constant component of staff development programs. It should not be optional.
    2. Ensure the involvement of a broad range of civil society actors and government agencies from the onset of the national action planning process and in each and every phase, in order to guarantee ownership and participation in implementation. Part of this process is to determine and agree on what each actor is bringing to the table including the private sector, the UN and other multilateral agencies, donors, and other external partners
    3. Begin the NAP development process with in-depth conflict analysis, raising the questions: What is the stage of the conflict now? What are the post-conflict realities we face? For countries not affected by conflict, the question to examine is:, What is the country’s role in addressing peace and security issues around the world? Answering these questions will ensure clarity of purpose and answer the fundamental question: What is the added value of a NAP?
    4. Develop the NAP by building on existing policies that could serve as foundations for the NAP (e.g., national action plan on women, SGBV policies and framework, country-specific strategy on sexual violence). Do not develop and implement the NAP in isolation. Do not create more silos!
    5. Integrate costing and budgeting in the NAP development process. National governments should integrate the budget for the NAPs in their national budgets. This demonstrates political will and guarantees sustainability. While it is understandable that conflict-affected countries are largely dependent on official development assistance and other external funding, it is important that governments allocate funding for NAP implementation in their own national budgets. This will not only demonstrate political commitment. It will also guarantee a certain level of sustainability even if the funds from external sources run out. The unavailability of funds from foreign sources is often used as a convenient excuse by developing country governments to discontinue implementation.
    6. Support the establishment of the Global Acceleration Instrument on WPS that is meant to facilitate dedicated financing for NAP implementation.
    7. Develop indicators and integrate a monitoring and reporting mechanism in the NAP using these indicators. This mechanism should be simple and practical so that it can be used by developing country governments with limited human, technical and financial resources. (We don’t need a Rolls Royce to drive through the rough roads of Eastern DRC or Jonglei, South Sudan. We need a functional motorcycle!)
    8. Analyze the connection or disconnect between NAPs and the work of National Security Council/national defense councils. In a number of countries, the lead agencies for NAP implementation do not have a seat in the National Security Council. It is critical for the lead implementation agencies to have a seat in this highest decision making body on national security to ensure that security policies are informed by the principles of the NAP on UNSCR 1325/WPS. This could lead to broader and more constructive concepts of security.
    9. Ensure that the lead implementing agency has the resources, capacity and political clout to mobilize support and participation among the different government agencies and competing national and local priorities.
    10. Develop incentives (in the form of awards or citations) for Member States who are performing well in NAP implementation.
    11. Mainstream the NAPs on UNSCR 1325 across government agencies through internal action plan (e.g., What does the NAP mean for the National Housing Commission? For the Ministry of Justice? For the Ministry of Defense?) We need to operationalize the whole of government approach. This should also come with the necessary funding in each government agency. 12) Actualize the provisions and purposes of NAP1325 in all relevant circumstances and at all levels of governance, the UN and civil society’s work from local to global; and global to local.

Implementing Locally, Inspiring Globally - Localizing UNSCR 1325 in Colombia, Nepal, Sierra Leone, the Philippines and Uganda - Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP)

  • Date of paper: Thursday, October 31, 2013

    The Localization program of GNWP, which directly engages local authorities, traditional leaders and local women in the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and 1820 in local communities, complements the efforts of governments, civil society and other national actors and ensures that the Women and Peace and Security (WPS) resolutions—and National Action Plans (NAPs)—are owned and carried out at the local level. The Localization program is a people-based, bottom-up approach to policy-making that goes beyond the local adoption of a law, as it guarantees the alignment and harmonization of local, national, regional and international policies and community-driven strategies to ensure local ownership, participation and links among communities, civil society organizations and government. The program is not designed to increase bureaucratic functions or add more work for local officials. Rather, the program allows local communities to analyze their everyday government functions and policies to see what is enhancing or hindering the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and 1820. The Localization of UNSCR 1325 and 1820 program thus creates channels for better coordination, cooperation and coherence among national and local stakeholders in the work around the WPS resolutions.

    Examples of good practice:

    COLOMBIA - Lacking a National Action Plan (NAP), participants in Localization Workshops in 2012 drafted Departmental, Municipal Action Plans on UNSCR 1325 and 1820 in 16 municipalities and departments and a Sectoral Action Plan for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual Community. Participants are now conducting their own advocacy campaigns and workshops to hold the offices of mayors and public attorneys accountable for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and 1820 at the local level. The Localization Program has become an alternative mechanism for implementation of the resolutions.
    LIBERIA - The Localization Program in Liberia produced Local Action Plans in seven districts and initiated a planning process to train county superintendents to become champions of the National and Local Action Plans implementation.
    NEPAL- The Localization program led to the integration of UNSCR 1325 and 1820 in school curricula and the inclusion of UNSCR 1325 and 1820 in police and army training. In addition, the Ministries of Peace and Reconstruction and Federal Affairs and Local Development and Nepali CSOs developed NAP Localization Guidelines that serve as a manual to assist local peace committees, Village and District Development Committees in integrating the NAP on 1325 and 1820 in their development plans.
    SIERRA LEONE - The implementation of Sierra Leone’s 1325 and 1820 NAP (SiLNAP) through the local development plans in communities is now part of the performance evaluation of local district officials. So part of the evaluation of the job performance of mayors, local councilors and other local officials includes their work on contributing to SiLNAP’s implementation. Moreover, the Localization program in Sierra Leone has also led to the establishment of Local Steering Committees on SiLNAP. These committees team with the National Steering Committee, composed of government and civil society and led by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, in coordinating the implementation of SiLNAP nationwide. The training for customary law officers on UNSCR 1325 and 1820 is also an important achievement of the Localization program. Localization of SiLNAP Guidelines were developed by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, with inputs from the Localization workshop participants, including civil society.
    UGANDA - Local authorities in Dokolo, Bushenyi and Lira Districts and CSOs developed Local Action Plans on UNSCR 1325 and 1820, which focus on sexual and gender-based violence. The local action plans are translations of the NAP 1325 in these conflict-affected districts.

    Strategic recommendation(s):

    To National Government and Local Government Actors

    1. Adopt the Localization program as a strategy for UNSCR 1325 and 1820 and NAP implementation, since it has proven effective in furthering the implementation of the WPS resolutions and has had a positive impact on the lives of women and girls;

    2. Participate in Localization workshops, Training of Trainers workshops as well as in the drafting and validation of UNSCR 1325 and 1820 /NAP Localization guidelines;

    3. Provide funding or counterpart funding for the implementation of the Localization workshops, Training of Trainers workshops and the development of Localization guidelines through WPS budgeting at national and subnational levels; and

    4. Endorse, launch and roll out UNSCR 1325 and 1820/NAP Localization guidelines for the implementation of UNSCR 1325/NAP at subnational levels.

    To Civil Society Organizations

    1. Advocate to adopt the Localization program as a strategy for UNSCR 1325 and 1820 and NAP implementation at subnational levels;

    2. Build alliances among different civil society organizations to jointly and more effectively raise resources to implement the Localization program;

    3. Strengthen collaboration, coordination, communication and consultation with other CSOs, government ministries/agencies and national and local level agencies as well as UN entities to jointly implement theLocalization program; and

    4. Continue to be proactive in taking the UNSCR 1325 and 1820 and the NAP to grassroot levels through the Localization program.

    To the Donor Community and UN Agencies

    1. Support the Localization program that aims to increase UNSCR 1325 and 1820 and NAP implementation at local levels and creates positive impact on the lives of women and girls;

    2. Support the development of more information, education and communication materials on UNSCR 1325, 1820 and the supporting resolutions, particularly those targeted to local audiences, which can be used during the Localization workshops; and

    3. Establish transparent and flexible funding mechanisms for WPS initiatives, particularly those implemented in conflict-affected communities. Such mechanisms should recognize the limited capacities of community- based women’s groups and CSOs in preparing grant proposals and reports. Therefore, simple and efficient application and reporting processes need to be established.

"The Power These Men Have Over Us" Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by African Union Forces in Somalia - Human Rights Watch

  • Date of paper: Monday, September 8, 2014
    Organization / institution website: Human Rights Watch | Defending Human Rights Worldwide

    This 71-page report documents the sexual exploitation and abuse of Somali women and girls on two AMISOM bases in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, since 2013. The AU soldiers, relying on Somali intermediaries, have used a range of tactics, including humanitarian aid, to coerce vulnerable women and girls into sexual activity. They have also raped or otherwise sexually assaulted women who were seeking medical assistance or water at AMISOM bases. Human Rights Watch interviewed 21 women and girls who described being raped or sexually exploited by Ugandan or Burundian military personnel serving with the AU forces.

    Strategic recommendation(s):
    • Establish a permanent and adequately resourced independent investigative body, staffed by professional and independent investigators, to investigate allegations of misconduct and abuses, including sexual exploitation and abuse, in all AU peace support operations; the body should investigate abuses by military, police, and civilian personnel.
    • If there are substantial grounds to believe that personnel of peace support operations forces are committing serious violations of international human rights or humanitarian law, including sexual exploitation and abuse, and where the relevant authorities have failed to take the necessary corrective or mitigating measures, raise public concern and urge the AU and the troop-contributing country to carry out immediate investigations.
    • If substantial allegations are not adequately addressed, consider ending military assistance to AU peace support operations forces, including AMISOM. No assistance should be provided to any unit implicated in abuses for which no appropriate disciplinary action has been taken.

“Those Terrible Weeks in their Camp” Boko Haram Violence against Women and Girls in Northeast Nigeria - Human Rights Watch

  • Date of paper: Monday, October 27, 2014
    Organization / institution website: Human Rights Watch | Defending Human Rights Worldwide

    This report is based on interviews with more than 46 witnesses and victims of Boko Haram abductions in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa states, including with girls who escaped the April 2014 abduction of 276 girls from Chibok secondary school. Their statements suggest that the Nigerian government has failed to adequately protect women and girls from a myriad of abuses, provide them with effective support and mental health and medical care after captivity, ensure access to safe schools, or investigate and prosecute those responsible for the abuses.

    Strategic recommendation(s):
    • Provide access to adequate medical and mental health services to victims of abduction and other violence; develop confidential referral systems and health posts in high-risk areas, such as large or isolated internally displaced persons’ (IDP) camps, which can facilitate referrals and access to emergency treatment for women who are victims of sexual violence.
    • Ensure that support to the Nigerian government forms part of a fully integrated strategy aimed at assisting all of the victims of abductions and sexual abuse through prosecutions of those responsible, the provision of comprehensive support to victims, and action to strengthen the rights of women and girls.
    • Any military strategy to rescue any abducted civilian must be planned with critical human rights and protection concerns in mind to protect the right to life of all civilians including any who risk being caught up in the crossfire.

A Revolution for All: Women’s Rights in the New Libya - Human Rights Watch

  • Date of paper: Monday, May 27, 2013
    Organization / institution website: Human Rights Watch | Defending Human Rights Worldwide

    This 40-page report highlights key steps that Libya should take to meet its international obligations by firmly rejecting gender-based discrimination in both law and practice. The report calls on Libya’s parliament, the General National Congress (GNC), to ensure that women are involved on equal terms with men in the entire constitution drafting process, including active participation in the Constituent Assembly tasked with preparing the draft.

    Strategic recommendation(s):
    • Guarantee effective protection of human rights as they are recognized internationally, including those of equality and nondiscrimination.
    • Take concrete steps to address the educational and informational needs of marginalized groups of women, including women who live in remote and rural areas, illiterate women, women who do not have access to the Internet, elderly women, and women with disabilities.
    • Assist in building the capacity of female election candidates, who require enhanced support to address the barriers that they face, and develop capacity-building initiatives such as campaign management or leadership training for female candidates. 

Impact of Firearms on Women and Girls in Post-Conflict Settings - Small Arms Survey

  • Date of paper: Wednesday, April 15, 2015
    Organization / institution website: Small Arms Survey - Home
    Paper / Document:

    Women and girls experience armed violence within and across contexts. This is especially so in post-conflict settings, which tend to be long-lasting and often characterized by residual fighting or high levels of lethal violence. Yet, there is a continuity of violence across contexts: conflict-era dynamics surrounding VAWG influence the magnitude and types of VAWG in post-conflict environments. Disarmament programmes rarely translate into the total removal of all firearms from the community. This results in the proliferation of licit firearm ownership but also illicit firearm possession and trafficking. Guns used for war-making are thus also used in acts of VAWG in the post-conflict period (both within and outside the home). The combination of experiences of wartime violence by combatants with the presence of a firearm within the home, for instance, increases the risk of the use of guns in against intimate partners or family members. The trafficking of illicit firearms not only undermines levels of law and order in society, but is also linked to higher levels of female victimization outside the home, as guns are used in cases of femicide and sexual violence.

    Text draws on:

    Examples of good practice:

    1. Gender-sensitive firearms licensing in Senegal: The prevalence of guns in highly militarized settings increases the risk of VAWG, especially inside the home. Evidence suggests preventing and reducing domestic violence in such contexts can be done through gender sensitive firearms licensing. Senegal is a case in point. Due to the high participation of women’s groups and gun-control CSOs in the drafting of the Senegalese 1325 NAP, the plan stipulated clear commitments to addressing the negative impact of firearms ownership, proliferation and small arms trafficking in the country. In relation to firearms licensing, a new legislation was proposed in 2013, including provisions for ensuring that firearm permits are not granted where there is a ‘risk’ of them being used in perpetrating domestic violence. Assessment of risk is determined by taking note of a history of domestic violence – both through taking note of past accusations and prosecutions of domestic violence, and obtaining input from the applicant’s partner (male or female).

    Example drawn from: http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/fileadmin/docs/A-Yearbook/2014/en/Small-A...

    2. Illicit firearms and VAWG in Liberia: Firearm trafficking has been found to have an impact on the patterns of female victimization, including instances of rape and sexual assault as well as domestic violence. The effects of arms trafficking on VAWG are compounded when there is inadequate enforcement of existing national laws, and when women and women’s organizations are excluded from the prevention of proliferation of small arms and monitoring of their trafficking. These insights are echoed in the Liberian 1325 NAP, which includes provisions to review and revise legislation dealing with VAWG and to increase the role of women in conflict and violence prevention, by including their participation in early warning systems and on combating the illicit small arms trafficking. Specifically, it refers to the training of 150 women in border areas, for supplying information to public authorities as part on an early warning system for armed violence and conflict. These women would report signs of impending violence, spikes in gender-based violence but also, in the illicit small arms trafficking in their area, allowing thus for timely and targeted government intervention.

    Example drawn from: http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/fileadmin/docs/A-Yearbook/2014/en/Small-A...
    and http://www.un.org/womenwatch/ianwge/taskforces/wps/nap/LNAP_1325_final.pdf

    Strategic recommendation(s):
    1. Assess and monitor the impact of DDR programmes on domestic violence in post-conflict settings. Examine how the exposure of former combatants to violence can affect the levels of domestic and intimate partner violence in the post-conflict period. Explore the inability of DDR programmes to collect all firearms in the community, and the use of these firearms in acts of VAWG (especially intimate partner and domestic violence). Examine the role of un-surrendered firearms in heightening perceptions of insecurity, both inside the home and in the community. Include women and women’s organizations in the decision making process and monitoring of DDR programmes.
    2. Encourage the development of gender-inclusive and sensitive firearms control mechanisms. Take account of domestic violence when drafting firearms legislation, or reviewing firearms ownership and licencing procedures. Facilitate the involvement of women and women’s organizations in firearms collection and registration campaigns. Encourage the participation of women in the management of state weapons and ammunition stockpiles in an effort to limit the proliferation of illicit small arms and their trafficking.
    3. Support the collection of survey data (gender disaggregated) on security perceptions and victimization as a result of armed violence (including deaths and injuries). The collection of data would allow for the monitoring of UNSCR 1889 (2009) indicators 14 and 17 (on armed violence against women and girls and on national mechanisms for the control of illicit SALWs). It would also ensure that data is collected in order to develop targeted policies and programming which, in turn, would allow for a significant reduction in all forms of violence and related death rates in the world (as per the proposed SDG 16.1.).

    Text draws on: 

Reaching Gender Equality, Peace and Security Through Small Arms Control - Small Arms Survey

  • Date of paper: Wednesday, April 15, 2015
    Organization / institution website: Small Arms Survey - Home

    During and following conflict, men, women, boys, girls and gender minorities are often direct victims of small arms violence including domestic violence, sexual violence, forced recruitment into armed groups, injury, and death. Indirect consequences of armed violence include taking care of injured family members and an inability to access work, education, and health care. Yet armed conflict can also create spaces to transcend traditional gender roles. While some women and girls willingly smuggle weapons or take up arms as combatants, others become community leaders at the forefront of local, national, and international initiatives to control arms. Regional and national action plans on UNSCR 1325 and on small arms have the potential to be stronger and more effective by focusing on preventing armed violence, including domestic violence; removing arms from communities; and consulting with women’s civil society organizations on laws, policies, education processes and monitoring progress.

    Text adapted from:

    Examples of good practice:

    Philippine UNSCR 1325 NAP: In order to address the high rate of gun violence in the Philippines, women’s CSOs lobbied their government vigorously for the ATT and the inclusion of small arms control in the UNSCR 1325 NAP. On the basis of community-level consultations, the CSOs proposed a separate action point in the UNSCR 1325 NAP for the creation and enforcement of laws regulating possession of small arms. The government argued against this point but a compromise was reached to include an indicator on the adoption of regulations on SALW transfer and usage. Regrettably, CSOs were not consulted in the development of the following Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act nor did the Act reflect the provisions in the UNSCR 1325 NAP. However, in 2013 the police service began consultation with CSOs on the implementation of the Act.
    Example drawn from: http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/fileadmin/docs/A-Yearbook/2014/en/Small-A...

    Guns, social norms and VAWG in Nepal: Although most armed violence in Nepal tends to involve unsophisticated instruments, gun violence targeting women and girls is also present. Social norms seem to play a particular role in the presence of firearms in Nepali society as well as their use in violence against women and girls (VAWG). Gun ownership is closely tied to power and social status, as it is often seen to be the prerogative of powerful Nepali men, rather than of then women or ‘common people’. Although public authorities and NGOs alike have campaigned for an end to VAWG in the country, there have been few initiatives that have taken a targeted approach by focusing on particular risk or aggravating factors, such as gun ownership or social norms that condone VAWG. Despite these challenges, the year 2010 was declared as the ‘Year to End Gender-Based Violence’ by the Government of Nepal with an emphasis on changing social norms, including the use of guns in VAWG. The campaign resulted in the formulation of a national strategy for the prevention of gender-based violence and paved the way in 2011 for the development of a five-year national action plan on the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820. Regrettably, the NAP does not include any reference to gun violence or small arms or control of illicit arms, highlighting a clear area for continuing efforts to prevent VAWG.
    Example drawn from: http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/fileadmin/docs/A-Yearbook/2014/en/Small-A...

    Strategic recommendation(s):
    1. Enhance national capacities to develop, implement and measure progress through NAPs on 1325 and small arms: Support concrete action on gender equality and small arms control through NAPs on 1325 and small arms. Measure progress through indicators such as the sex, age and ethnicity-disaggregated percentage of domestic homicides and injuries involving arms. As is mandated by UNSCR 1889 (2009), ensure that data is collected and monitored on indicator 14 (on armed violence against women and girls) and indicator 17 (on national mechanisms for the control of illicit SALWs).
    2. Assess risks for gender-based violence before arms export: State parties to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) should develop robust risk assessment tools in line with Article 7(4), with arms export authorization withheld should such risks be identified.
    3. Address the gendered root causes of armed violence: Prevention of armed violence requires altering social norms that influence men and women’s attitudes toward physical, psychological and financial violence, as well as socially constructed notions of masculinities and femininities. Involving men in violence-prevention activities is particularly important.

    Recommendations drawn from:

Guns and Violence against Women: Submission to the High Level Review of UNSCR 1325 - IANSA Women

  • Date of paper: Wednesday, April 15, 2015
    Organization / institution website: www.iansa-women.org

    This paper discusses the relationship between guns and violence against women, with specific attention to violence in the home. Women are at a higher risk of violence and death in the domestic sphere especially in cases where there is access or possession of firearms. This argument is supported by using case studies in South Africa, the UK and the US. In domestic violence cases, almost 70 per cent of fatalities are women and the perpetrator is usually a current or former partner. In these cases, about one in three of these femicides is committed with a firearm. Gender inequality, the tolerance and cultural acceptance of the use of violence against women, and common notions of masculinity that embrace firearms possession all combine to create a climate that places women at risk of IPV involving firearms. The objective of UNSCR 1325 is to improve women’s safety and to ensure that women are able to exercise their rights as citizens and fully participate in society. The proliferation and misuse of firearms affects the rights and participation of women in society, both in conflict and non-conflict settings. It is thus important to strengthen the reach and impact of UNSCR 1325 by including the protection of women not only in conflict situations but in others such as intimate-partner/domestic violence situations. It will also be important for national policies to adapt to the WPS agendas to allow full protection of women.

    Examples of good practice:

    1. Link national and local laws, policies and practices on domestic violence with those on firearms access and ownership. This means a prohibition on gun possession for anyone who has been involved in perpetrating domestic or gender-based violence. A determination on whether a current or potential gun user has a history of violence should be based not only on criminal records, but also on applications for civil restraining orders, record of complaints, information and insights from local police, and references from current and former spouses or partners. Likewise, any proceedings or procedures related to complaints of actual or threatened violence should include compulsory suspension of firearms licences or permits and removal of the guns, until a considered determination is made by the authorities on whether the weapons can be safely returned or whether the suspension should continue. Linking gun regulation and domestic violence in this way requires a well-resourced registration system for all firearms and all people and organisations authorised to possess firearms. 2. Establish National Commissions on Small Arms – as required by the UN Programme of Action – and include in its membership the government ministries responsible for women’s rights, public health and youth, as well as civil society organisations dealing with these topics. 3. Institute strong and comprehensive regional, national and local firearm regulation designed to reduce the proliferation of small arms and ammunition. This should include a licensing system so that only people who meet exacting standards may be authorised to buy, possess or use guns or ammunition, registration of all firearms, restrictive limits on the number and types of weapons and ammunition that individuals may possess or use, strict conditions for safe storage and use, and effective procedures for cancelling the authorisation and removing weapons from users who breach the rules or prove themselves unsuitable to possess deadly weapons. The regulatory scheme should require implementation of the International Tracing Instrument on small arms and the establishment and operation of adequately resourced units for tracing firearms and investigating arms trafficking.

    Strategic recommendation(s):
    1. Emphasise, in materials related to 1325 and in current and future related resolutions, the clear link between the proliferation of guns, and the outbreak and sustainability of armed violence, and women’s victimisation.
    2. Integrate strong regulation of firearms and the reduction of gun proliferation in National Action Plans on 1325.
    3. Emphasise the role that women currently play and can play in firearm policy-making, weapons collection and other disarmament and arms regulation initiatives. 

Promoting Gender Equality through Security Sector Reform - Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) and International Alert

  • Date of paper: Wednesday, April 15, 2015
    Organization / institution website: http://www.dcaf.ch/Programmes/Gender-and-Security

    Security sector reform is explicitly mentioned in many of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCRs on WPS): UNSCRs 1820, 1888, 2106, 2122. It is also implicitly mandated in the UNSCRs on WPS’ calls for reform within peacekeeping, armed forces, police services and the judicial system, as well as increased collaboration with civil society. From the full and equal participation of women in decision-making to ending impunity for sexual and gender-based violence, security sector reform that is designed and implemented to promote gender equality is absolutely necessary for the successful implementation of the UNSCRs on WPS. 

    Examples of good practice:

    Preventing and responding to sexual violence in South Africa’s prisons
    The Detention Justice Forum is a coalition of South African civil society organisations, lawyers and academics formed in 2012 to advance the rights and well-being of detainees. One project aims to prevent HIV transmission by reducing sexual violence against detainees and, following release, their family members. Activities include research and evidence collection, advocacy for legal reform, capacity building for prison staff, media campaigns and measures to hold the government accountable.

    Changing institutional culture through the Swedish Gender Coach Programme
    Sweden’s Gender Coach programme involved assigning a coach – usually a senior gender expert from an NGO – to high-level members of security and humanitarian agencies. This partnership involved regular meetings to develop and implement personal action plans to mainstream gender and implement activities mandated by the Swedish National Action Plan on 1325. The programme successfully raised the visibility and high-level support for gender equality initiatives in institutions such as the armed forces.

    Benefits of the Sierra Leone Police’s gender self-assessment
    In 2011, the Sierra Leone Police undertook an institutional gender self-assessment with the support of DCAF to measure achievements and gaps in promoting gender responsiveness since the reform process began in 1997. The assessment, which was also a capacity building exercise, triggered the review of policies on gender mainstreaming and sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment; the creation of a gender unit; and the streamlining of gender structures into a gender directorate.

    Eliminating gender bias in Bosnian courtrooms
    DCAF and Atlantic Initiative undertook two innovative projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina: a study examining gender bias in the judiciary, and the drafting of a domestic violence benchbook by a panel of judges from across the country. These projects provided entry points for future work on gender equality in the country such as the development of an officially endorsed gender training curriculum and guidelines to prevent sexual and gender-based harassment in the judiciary.

    Strategic recommendation(s):

    Urge Member States, United Nations bodies, donors and civil society:

    • To ensure that SSR processes and initiatives promote gender equality, including within the broader mission and mandate of security sector institutions as well as within their institutional culture.
    • To ensure that the security and justice needs of diverse groups of men, women, girls and boys  as well as sexual and gender minorities are assessed in a comprehensive and participatory manner as a starting point for post-conflict planning, including SSR.
    • To engage with overlooked actors in the security sector, including customary and religious leaders, private military and security companies, security sector oversight actors and the penal system, in order to strengthen gender equality, including through prevention and response to human rights violations such as sexual violence.
    • To improve gender equality within the security sector by linking strategic-level transformation that takes into account the institutional, sectoral and social linkages together with institutional-level, practical actions that increase people’s access to security and justice. 
    • To support the institutionalization of mandatory gender-related education and training for all security sector personnel through a comprehensive process of curriculum review, development, implementation and assessment in national and regional training academies.  
    • To ensure that provisions are made to foster family-friendly and non-discriminatory work environments free of all forms of harassment and violence within security sector institutions, in order to further the goal of gender equality, including increasing the participation and retention of female personnel in the security sector and in deployments.
    • To ensure that security sector institutions critically assess their internal institutional cultures and modes of operation from a gender equality perspective, examining inter alia  whether or not these are reinforcing gender inequality, hampering effective service, undermining public trust, and obstructing the recruitment and retention of a more diverse base of talent.
    • To ensure that internal accountability, oversight and control mechanisms are equipped, trained and mandated to uphold laws and policies aimed at maintaining a non-discriminatory work environment free of harassment and violence as well as ensuring professional service provision to all women, men, girls, boys, sexual and gender minorities.
    • To ensure that all institutions responsible for external oversight, including women’s organisations, are equipped, trained and mandated to hold the security sector accountable for its obligations in respect of gender equality and service provision to all women, men, girls, boys, sexual and gender minorities. 

Global Study on UNSCR1325. Recommendations and Supporting Evidence for Themes - Oxfam Somalia

  • Date of paper: Wednesday, April 15, 2015
    Organization / institution website: Somalia | Oxfam International

    Oxfam Somalia has worked for the last twenty years on women, peace and security. This has been in partnership with Somali Peace Line and Elman Peace and Human Rights Centre (EPHRC). In our work we have gathered evidence and seek to share these and recommendations for further work on UN1325. Recommendations cover women in peace processes; peace building and conflict prevention; and prevention of gender based violence and sexual violence themes. 

    Strategic recommendation(s):

    Women in peace processes, peace building and conflict prevention


    1. Approaches to peace-building must be inclusive of the needs of both women and men
    2. Enable women to engage in peace and security processes by addressing their basic needs (including food, water, shelter etc) as an entry point
    3. Build capacity of women’s movements and organisations to engage in international processes

    Supporting evidence:

    • In Somalia, Oxfam worked with women led community based organisations and women’s regional/district organisations. The women regional/district organisations are governmental organisations mandated by government to promote peace and raise issues affecting women and girls. Oxfam worked with them to build their capacity on various elements – organisational management, report writing, advocacy, leadership, dealing with the etc. This worked well as they became more confident to speak up against armed groups, clan militia and promote peace.
    • In the implementation of our project, Oxfam realised that in order to increase women’s participation in peace processes or in security, it was important to ensure that they were not worrying about basic needs – food, medicine, housing and education - for their families. We worked with vulnerable women and trained them on vocational skills that they could then use to generate income. As a result they became more interested in becoming members of peace committees in their villages and interacting and lobbying the district security personnel. 

    Prevention of gender-based violence and sexual violence


    1. Discussing violence against women in public spaces
    2. Build women’s led organisations’ management capacity and technical capacity as well as their ability to advocate on a global stage.

    Supporting evidence:

    • Oxfam undertook this in partnership with Somali partners. Fartuun Aden and her daughter Ilwad of Elman Peace and Human Rights Centre have been involved in advocacy work at the AU, UN in New York,  London and Paris meetings on Somalia. At these platforms they continue to raise awareness on the importance of prevention of VAW/GBV and call for more support in services for survivors in south central Somalia.
    • This has raised the profile of Elman Peace and Human Rights Centre and they are now a resource to others. They are currently running a flagship project dubbed ‘Sister Somalia’ - http://www.sistersomalia.org with funds from various sources. Through this project, they are able to support survivors of violence with counselling, medical services, relocation, education and with business start up kits.


The Pieces of Peace: Realizing Peace through Gendered Conflict Prevention - WILPF PeaceWomen Programme

  • Date of paper: Wednesday, April 15, 2015

    The Women, Peace and Security agenda will only be fully realized when states and other key stakeholders prioritize its radical premise of preventing conflict and violence rather than just cleaning up the pieces afterward. This requires an integrated approach that dismantles the current economy of violence and war and instead invests in an economy of gender justice and peace.

    This WILPF PeaceWomen publication supports the civil society roadmap outlined by the NGO Working Group on Women Peace and Security and outlines eight key interlinked components critical for effective gendered conflict prevention: inclusive participation; gender analysis; demilitarization; disarmament; women’s human rights; environmental sustainability and development justice; local to global responses; and an independent women’s movement.

    To address critical gaps, we particularly recommend action on the following three issues:

    1. Conflict Prevention and Disarmament
    2. Women’s Participation:
    3. Gender Financing
    Examples of good practice:

    In Sweden, conflict prevention and disarmament have had substantial attention. Minister for Foreign Affairs, Margot Wallström, stated in her first day in office in 2014 that Sweden would run a feminist foreign policy. She later denounced the Saudi authorities for their human rights record and in particular the sentence of 1,000 lashes and flogging of liberal Saudi blogger Raif Badawi.

    However, Wallström took the next step of moving from words to action. Following concerted outreach and advocacy by WILPF-Sweden demanding Sweden not to engage in far reaching military cooperation with a regime that systematically and brutally violates women’s rights, the Swedish government in March 2015 declared it would not continue a heavily criticized military cooperation agreement with Saudi Arabia. This was hailed as a feminist victory, with WILPF Secretary General Madeleine Rees stating that “this is what feminist foreign policy looks like.” WILPF stands behind Wallström and demands that more states enact feminist foreign policy through concrete actions for disarmament, gender justice, and peace.

    In Colombia, inclusive peace processes ensuring women’s participation at the peace table and realization of women’s human rights in peace agreements have been a critical demand after the decades-long conflict between the Government and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC).

    Although peace negotiations between the Government and the FARC beginning in 2010 had an all-male government delegation, women peace leaders succeeded in changing this. WILPF Colombia advocated for CEDAW’s 2013 Review of Colombia to fast-track the inclusion of women in peace processes. These recommendations were supported and became part of the mobilization resulting in the appointment of two women in the Government delegation conducting peace talks with the FARC and later, the establishment of a Sub-Committee on the negotiations on Gender in 2014. Despite these gains, women civil society does not have formal space in negotiations. This is a critical gap around the world and needs to be addressed.

    Strategic recommendation(s):

    Conflict Prevention and Disarmament

    • Implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty, including Article 7(4), addressing gender-based violence
    • Banning of nuclear weapons through an international legally-binding treaty
    • Implementation of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration programmes that prioritize and are set up in consultation with women and girls

    Women’s Participation

    • Peace talks that include women as negotiators, experts and stakeholders, and peace agreements that fully incorporate women’s human rights.    
    • National parliamentary debates on Women, Peace and Security
    • Fully financed, developed and implemented Local, National, and Regional Action Plans on UNSCR 1325

    Gender Financing

    • Gender budgeting and financing to ensure gender equality and women’s participation and rights in conflict prevention, resolution and reconstruction
    • Reduction of military spending and increased investment in gender equality in all development planning

Making the Normative Case: Implementing Security Council Resolution 1325 as Part of a Legal Framework on Women, Peace and Security - London School of Economics, Department of Law

  • Date of paper: Wednesday, April 15, 2015
    Organization / institution website: LSE - London School of Economics - Department of Law

    This submission makes the normative case for understanding Security Council Resolution 1325 (SCR 1325) and related resolutions on women, peace and security (WPS) as an integrated part of an established and growing framework of international and regional law that upholds the rights of women and girls in relation to conflict (the legal framework). This legal framework is grounded in international and regional human rights law, international humanitarian law (IHL) international criminal law and international refugee law. These sources of law are reflected in the commitments in the Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security (WPS) to uphold the rights of women and girls, and men and boys, in relation to conflict. The legal framework places binding obligations on states, non-state actors, the United Nations (UN) and other organizations, and is sourced from treaties and customary international law. Situating SCR 1325 and its following resolutions on WPS as part of this legal framework, rather than seeing them as isolated political statements, allows them to be understood a part of a body of obligations that uphold human rights at all stages of conflict, from prevention to resolution to transitions towards peace.

    Section 1 situates the resolutions on WPS in the context of an established and growing legal framework that recognises the duties to uphold the human rights of women, girls, men and boys, held by all parties involved in conflicts, including states, non-state actors, and international and regional organizations. The legal framework, when fully implemented, allows women, girls, men and boys, to claim their rights and hold perpetrators accountable for violations of those rights, in ways that guarantee both substantive and transformative equality.

    Section 2 of the submission considers how the legal framework on WPS outlined in Section 1 could be implemented, via National Action Plans (NAPs). This section contains six case studies of SCR 1325 NAPs from different regions around the world.

    • The Democratic Republic of the Congo (Africa)
    • Myanmar (Asia)
    • Nepal (Asia)
    • Bosnia and Herzegovina (Europe)
    • Chile (Latin America)
    • Iraq (The Middle East)

    Section 3 of the submission assesses existing monitoring processes and remedies at the UN, and how these could be improved to guarantee substantive equality. This section also discusses the emergence of transformative reparations for women and girl victims of rights violations including sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). The UN’s currently fragmented system must be reformed to effectively to monitor the accountability of states and other actors involved in conflict, and to provide redress for victims. Women and girls must be empowered to access remedy mechanisms that provide for transformative equality.

    Examples of good practice:

    From Section 2:
    Two factors seem to have the greatest impact on the effectiveness of the NAP process (design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation). These are: women and girls’ participation and inclusion; and government-buy in and civil society engagement on the legal framework, both via NAPs and other actions.
    Participation is the only one of the “three Ps” of SCR 1325 (the other two being prevention and protection) to feature as a priority in every NAP in the case studies. While the NAPs focus on the other three pillars of SCR 1325 to varying degrees (the fourth pillar being relief and recovery) either explicitly or implicitly, the meaningful inclusion of women and girls is crucial to the NAP process. In Myanmar, the only country yet to implement a NAP, preliminary measures to promote women’s political participation include a National Strategic Action Plan for the Advancement of Women 2013-2022 (NSPAW).
    Buy-in by governments and the involvement of civil society are crucial to implementing SCR 1325 and upholding the legal framework. In each case study, political will largely determines the adequacy of the design and content of NAPs. Civil society advocacy makes a difference in holding political leaders accountable to put NAPs into action, and to monitor and evaluate them. The levels of government buy-in and civil society engagement are affected by: the immediacy of conflict in a country; post-conflict political instability and leadership vacuums; and the coordination by the UN, development agencies, and civil society actors in supplementing government actions on WPS.
    The relatively successful NAPs, like those of Nepal and Chile, are designed to work closely with development agencies and civil society at local and national levels, and across government. Consultation appears to best secure government buy-in where, as in Myanmar and Nepal, it is initiated at the beginning of the NAP process to involve all relevant stakeholders, including women’s ministries, national women’s machineries and women’s and girls’ organizations. In Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) the federal structure of the government coupled with official denial by the regional government hampered implementation of the first NAP. The second NAP of BiH shows promise by incorporating lessons learned from the CEDAW Committee and the country’s obligations under the legal framework. In Iraq, efforts to enforce the newly adopted NAP must be understood against a backdrop of renewed conflict from the recent military campaign by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL). The DRC retains the title of the world’s ‘rape capital’ and the government’s inadequate implementation of its NAP indicates a lack of political will.

    Strategic recommendation(s):

    Recommendation 1: Understand the obligations in SCR 1325 as an integrated part of the legal framework on women, peace and security (the legal framework)

    SCR 1325 and subsequent Security Council resolutions on WPS should be understood in light of the binding obligations and commitments reflected in their contents. This understanding of the Resolutions should integrate both the Security Council’s political commitment to act on women’s rights in conflict, and obligations from the legal framework. The key elements of the legal framework that uphold commitments held by all parties involved in conflicts include:

    The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW);
    Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) General Recommendation No. 30 on women in conflict prevention, conflict and post-conflict situations (CEDAW GR No. 30);
    The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action 1995 (BPfA) notably its two critical areas of concern on Violence against Women and Women in Armed Conflict;
    The UN General Assembly Outcome Document of its 23rd Special on Women 2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the 21st Century 2000 (UNGA Outcome Document);
    The UN Commission on the Status of Women Agreed Conclusions on the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls 2013 (CSW Agreed Conclusions 2013).

    Recommendation 2: Implement SCR 1325 and the legal framework by increasing women and girls’ meaningful participation and inclusion in the National Action Plan (NAP) process (design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation)

    SCR 1325 National Action Plans (NAPs) must be created with the meaningful participation and inclusion of women and girls and their non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and allies. Women and girls, and their civil society organizations, should be empowered to jointly design, implement, monitor and evaluate NAPs together with governments, development partners, and other stakeholders, including private actors (especially non-state actors involved in post-conflict reconstruction and transitional justice situations).An active and engaged civil society plays a key role in ensuring that NAPs are substantively implemented. States must budget for adequate financial and human resources so that the following groups can shape, enforce and continually improve the NAP process: female political leaders, women’s and girls’ organizations, victims and survivors of conflict-related violence, and women, girls, men and boys affected by conflict.

    Recommendation 3: To allow for transformative equality, which is provided for in the legal framework, especially under CEDAW, including by providing transformative remedies for women and girl victims of rights violations

    To guarantee transformative equality, international, regional and national courts, judicial and quasi-judicial bodies, informal justice mechanisms and all relevant bodies with the power to provide remedies to victims of rights violations, including those in transitional justice situations, should apply transformative remedies that both provide meaningful redress for victims and survivors, and hold perpetrators fully accountable for their actions.

    (see the full submission for Recommendations 3 and 4).

Beyond 2015 for Women, Peace and Security CARE International Position on the 15th Anniversary of UNSCR 1325 - CARE International

  • Date of paper: Wednesday, April 15, 2015
    Organization / institution website: CARE International | CARE

    This paper outlines recommendations from CARE International and its local civil society partners towards the 15th anniversary review of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (SCR 1325) on Women, Peace and Security (WPS), and the Global Study informing the review.  The following are three major opportunities in the current year to strengthen and accelerate progress in realizing women’s rights and gender equality through the framework and operations established by this landmark resolution.  

    First, to regain the transformative intent behind the Resolution, the international community needs to step up efforts at all levels to enable meaningful participation by women and girls from the grassroots in decision-making processes. Efforts to include women are too often ad-hoc and tokenistic; the voices of women worst affected by conflict should be heard.

    Second, we believe that progress on UNSCR 1325’s “relief and recovery” pillar has been inadequate, but that with the UN World Humanitarian Summit process underway, the time is ripe for efforts to reform the humanitarian system to better protect, assist and empower women and girls in emergencies.

    Third, the new Sustainable Development Goals and the Women, Peace and Security agenda beyond 2015 need to be complementary and mutually reinforcing. There are documented good practices upon which to build, such as the use of Gender Markers in humanitarian response; participatory approaches to the National Action Plan on 1325 in Nepal; and the use of “Community Score Cards” to promote more effective service delivery and state-citizen relations in Rwanda.  In the years following 2015, we need to take these experiences to scale.

    Examples of good practice:

    Nepal National Action Plan on SCRs 1325 and 1820 – Case study of a participatory approach

    With root causes including inequality, caste, ethnic and gender-based discrimination, the armed conflict in Nepal left more than 14,000 dead and around 200,000 displaced. The impact on women and girls was especially devastating, including sexual and gender based violence (SGBV). Poor, vulnerable, and socially excluded women were particularly affected. Around 30–40% of the Maoist combatants were estimated to be female, and women were also heavily involved in bringing about an end to the conflict. Yet Nepali women were absent from the formal peace negotiation table.

    In 2011, following extensive advocacy by the Nepali women´s movement and UN, and under the leadership of Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction (MoPR), the Government of Nepal launched its National Action Plan (NAP) on UNSCRs 1325 and 1820. The process to develop the NAP was highly participatory from national to district level including participation by line ministries, civil society, women´s organizations and external development partners. Suggestions from women and girls directly affected by conflict were also taken on board. A key entry point for this effort was CARE and it’s partner organisations’ long-standing trust and good relationships with women and the wider community at the local level. Long-term support from CARE to women to form women’s solidarity groups and the facilitation of participatory approaches to identify their social, economic and other development needs provided a basis for consultations on the NAP.

    The NAP follows the 4 pillars of the UN system-wide action plan: (1) Participation; (2) Protection and Prosecution; (3) Prevention and Promotion; (4) Relief and Recovery; plus Nepal added an extra pillar: (5) Resource Management, Monitoring and Evaluation. A civil society “1325 Action Group” was established to monitor implementation. In addition, the MoPR adopted a “NAP Localization Guideline” in 2013 with the goal of integrating NAP activities directly into the local planning processes. Programs along with budgets were granted to provide orientation to the “District Coordination Committees” (DCCs), as well as to the Local Peace Committees (LPCs), which are also supported by NGOs. With support from CARE International, Saathi, a national NGO, and the MoPR undertook the latest NAP Mid-Term Monitoring Report launched in October 2014.

    That review points to important areas of progress, including increased awareness of how WPS should inform policy implementation, resource allocation, and capacity building of government and security officials. WPS is also seen as increasingly mainstreamed into wider development efforts, such as in the delivery of basic services. The report also documents how women have become more active as peace agents and human rights defenders, resolving conflicts at the family and community levels and assuming leadership roles that were previously considered culturally inappropriate. The need to address the specific “rehabilitation needs” of women is also increasingly recognized by Gender Focal Points in some local government offices.

    However, challenges are also reported. There is a persistent lack of dedicated budget to address gender and WPS-related needs as well as weak coordination between responsible agencies. Accurate data regarding conflict-affected women and survivors of SGBV is often missing, which makes it harder to push for effective action by agencies, such as the Local Peace Committees. Finally, Nepali survivors of conflict-related violence, including gender-based violence, continue to face obstacles in seeking transitional justice and related compensation and reparations.

    Challenges remain in terms of strengthening the day-to-day implementation of the localisation guidelines, which would require local planning and budgeting processes to be revised to ensure that the NAP activities are systematically incorporated.

    CARE’s Experience of Implementing a “Gender Marker++” Across the Full Project Cycle in Syria and Mali

    In 2014 CARE International began piloting an innovative Gender Marker within its humanitarian response in the Sahel and Syrian regional crises. The CARE Gender Marker goes beyond the equivalent IASC tool (currently limited to proposal stage) by also monitoring gender integration across design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. The first six months of the pilot indicate that it is possible to implement a Gender Marker++ across all phases of project cycles. An initial evaluation indicates that doing so has brought gender into project decision-making in a more deliberate fashion and keeps it present in the minds of staff in CARE and our local civil society partners.

    Key challenges arising thus far from the Gender Marker++ pilot relate to how to “grade” and do on-going assessments of how gender is incorporated. Current wider tools for assessing humanitarian response in terms of the kinds of qualitative and complex issues at stake for gender equality tend to happen only after a response is completed. It has proven less easy to assess the extent to which gender is integrated at the six-week, three-month and six-month stages. This year, CARE will pilot gender equality measures in the Jordan response in partnership with other agencies with a view to lessons learned informing a wider roll-out in other contexts in the coming period.

    Strategic recommendation(s):

    1. Participation pillar: The Global Study on SCR 1325 and the 15th anniversary review should make recommendations, identify best practices and propose options for scale-up on:

    • Strengthening “NAP localisation processes” to connect National Action Plans on 1325 to grassroots-level consultation on priorities and monitoring of progress. Donors, regional bodies and multilateral institutions should support conflict-affected states and civil society to implement participatory approaches to developing and monitoring policies, strategies and programmes on peace and security. Leading examples include embedding “localisation” strategies into technical assistance and funding to National Action Plans on SCR 1325, promoting gender-responsive budgeting and participatory monitoring in peace, security, governance and development strategies, and use of “social accountability tools”, such as “Community Score Cards”, to empower women to participate in defining priorities and monitoring and accountability efforts regarding service delivery and governance at the local level.
    • Enhancing participation by grassroots women in UN Security Council (SC) decision-making on peace and security by: (a) establishing new annual Open Briefing Sessions on UNSCR 1325 participation efforts relating to countries on the Security Council agenda; (b) bringing grassroots women to New York to contribute to SC deliberations for each political or military mission mandate renewal and/or emergency SC meetings on country-specific mandates; (c) authorizing groups of SC experts to visit selected countries under SC mandate to assess progress on participation; and (d) establishing an Assistant Secretary General (ASG) or a D2 level senior official position at UN Women whose portfolio would prominently feature fast-tracking women’s participation in peacemaking and peacebuilding efforts.

    2. Humanitarian relief and recovery pillar: The Global Study on SCR 1325 and the 15th anniversary review should assess both why progress has been slow on factoring gender into the humanitarian planning and response system, and outline strategic ways forward:

    • Strengthen humanitarian leadership and coordination for gender equality, women’s empowerment and gender-based violence prevention and response efforts through enhanced and regularised cooperation and alignment of effort across the IASC Gender Reference Group, the GBV Area of Responsibility (AoR) and the global Call to Action on Violence Against Women and Girls in Emergencies.
      • At the technical level, a joined-up approach to technical support for inter-agency strategy development, mainstreaming across clusters/sectors, programme design and capacity-building for both gender and GBV should become standardised, building on the Gender Stand-By Capacity Project (GENCAP) and the Regional Emergency Gender Based Violence Advisors (REGA) mechanisms.
      • At the political level, UN Women should collaborate with the state chairing the Call to Action to convene annual reviews of donor and southern state engagement and progress on gender and GBV in emergencies commitments pegged to the GBV AoR annual retreat, the ECOSOC humanitarian segment and reviews of the post-Sendai framework for disaster risk reduction. 
    • Review progress and catalyse momentum behind a more comprehensive and aligned approach to Gender Markers by donors, UN agencies and NGOs to hold aid agencies accountable for addressing gender across the humanitarian programming cycle in line with the UN target to allocate 15 percent of funding in conflict contexts to gender-related efforts.
    • Include results and recommendations of the Global Study to identify technical, funding and other gaps in the delivery of the Minimal Initial Service Package on Reproductive Health in Emergencies (MISP).
    • Link post-2015 implementation of the UNSCR 1325 relief and recovery pillar, the post-Sendai global framework for disaster risk reduction and the World Humanitarian Summit outcomes, for example through promoting systematic engagement by local women’s groups in both global and country-level humanitarian policy and practice.  National action plans on both resilience and women, peace and security provide important entry-points for this.

    3. Link to post-2015 agenda: The post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should address longer-term structural and developmental barriers to peace, development and gender equality. This must include agreement on a stand-alone goal on gender equality with targets addressing gender-based violence, mainstreaming of gender across the wider SDGs and a clear framework to involve women in participatory monitoring and accountability at national and local levels.


Strengthening Gender Mainstreaming in Africa’s Peace Operations - The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)

  • Date of paper: Tuesday, April 14, 2015

    The changing nature of conflict has placed numerous demands on peace operations, giving more emphasis to multidimensionality and the need to increase women participation as well as mainstream gender issues in a mission environment. Women peacekeepers have proven that they can perform the same roles, to the same standards and under the same difficult conditions, as their male counterparts.  It is also important to note that there has been an increased commitment by the African Union (AU) reflected through several AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) open sessions on women, peace and security and deployment of gender officers to its peace operation mission. The commitment by the UN Security Council is exemplified through the resolutions like 1325,1820, 1888, 1960, 1889, 2106, and 2122  which have supported gender mainstreaming in peacekeeping. Despite these gains, there are considerable challenges in mainstreaming gender considerations into UN and AU peace operations. Overall the UN system, the Security Council, the AU and all Member States must more consistently address women, peace and security issues across their work in order to meet their obligations.

    Examples of good practice:

    Increase funding to the local actors implementing 1325: Inadequate funding and staffing for gender remains to be a problem in the planning and implementation of peace operation. To facilitate the effective integration of a gender strategy within peace operations there needs to be a genuine commitment to provide sufficient amount of funding to ensure meaningful implementation, monitoring and evaluation- with specific gender sensitive indicators- of efforts by all actors. In order to strengthen gender in African peace operations, funding support for regional women’s organisations and for non-governmental organisations working to achieve gender equality is an important element that peace operations can explore for supporting women’s empowerment and participation in protection strategies. These organisations often have detailed knowledge, rooted in local realities, of the social and cultural barriers to gender equality and promotion and protection of women’s rights and can recognise and address the impact of gender inequalities at local, national and international levels .
    Gender-sensitivity training resources: The UN should encourage and support the availability of gender specific training resources to all personnel from contributing countries for the purposes of national pre-deployment preparation. It should also ensure that there is dedicated gender training expertise in the UN training departments for strengthened capacity at the strategic level and in the field mission training cells. Further, the UN should ensure that mission force commanders commit to training their troops using country-specific training modules, which emphasizes on the gender issues specific to the mission. This can be done by ensuring that the training resources include ‘’Contextualised Mission Gender Packs’’ that could be made available to all troops in the entire deployment zone, specifically to strengthen the fight against sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) and provide key practical recommendations for peacekeepers.
    Constructive partnership with other actors on generating and developing capacities: It is important to leverage the capacity of institutions outside of the UN system in order to take advantage of specialised skills that could not be readily available in a mission environment. These niche skills can be found in member states — in government, in civil society and in the private sector. It is therefore expedient that UN strengthen its external partnership with think tanks and social movements through to address gender issues in peace operations. UN peace operations also should improve opportunities for collaboration with women’s groups at the local and regional levels to encourage and promote women participation in peace processes and state building. Political processes supported by UN peace operations should prioritise the development of dedicated dialogue platforms for the inclusion of women issues into peace processes as well as state building approaches. Specific attention should include identifying, supporting, and training women leaders in mission environments to boost their engagement in mediation at all levels.

    Strategic recommendation(s):

    Continuous, specialised and sustained training: The UN should consider the need for continuous training on issues of gender and women’s rights under international humanitarian law and international human rights law. This is vital for the implementation of international legal frameworks for strengthening gender perspectives in Africa's peace operations. Due to the complex nature of current peace operations, there is an increasing need for the military, police and civilian personnel to be equipped with practical skills and contextual knowledge to interact with local women and men in the environment they operate in. Training thus helps to explain the basic gender concepts and how attitudes and behavior towards gender may impact one’s own performance in support of the mission. Noting training as crucial step for properly targeted interventions, there is therefore a dire need to integrate practical training on women, peace and security issues, including the prevention of sexual and gender based violence, into police, civilian and military training, supplemented by mission-specific training for peacekeepers. They should explicitly incorporate information on the impact of armed conflict on women and girls, and on the roles and contributions of women and girls in conflict situations. These trainings should be sustainable and not just one - off events. They should therefore be incorporated as part of mission specific induction training and ongoing in-mission specialised training.  

    Strengthening monitoring and evaluation on implementation of 1325: The level of implementation of the national action plans (NAPs) for implementation of 1325 and its successes remain debatable. This is because the reviews and assessments done on 1325 have not been consistent. Every review has its own approach; the UN can therefore establish a standard mechanism for reviewing the work done on implementing 1325. The UN should establish strong, results-based monitoring and evaluation mechanisms that offer clear indicators and outline specific timeframes for all activities which are regularly reviewed. The NAPs developed by member states have some indicators to be used in the monitoring process, but they are mostly quite vague and generic. More frequent review of the progress, challenges and best practices on the implementation of 1325 should be undertaken. The reviews on women, peace and security should be done at shorter intervals by the UN, on a yearly basis to ensure the implementation of 1325 is on track. The member states measure their success differently using country specific indicators. However, this monitoring is inconsistent and adhoc, thus there is need for a more common approach to monitoring and evaluating the implementation of 1325 at the national and regional level. The UN can help in this regard by training member states on how to monitor and evaluate the progress of 1325. A process to include civil society and relevant actors in the design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation process is key. The UN should ensure that sex disaggregated data should reflect in the reporting and in the benchmarking of the global indicators on women, peace and security accompanied by an analysis of the data. The UN should consider putting in place an appropriate mechanism or procedure of the Security Council to systematically monitor commitments by parties in implementing 1325.

    Increase coordination and reporting in continental and regional Mechanisms: There are numerous efforts and processes that support the implementation of 1325 in Africa and this should be coordinated to avoid duplication of efforts and maximise on the utilization of the resources to achieve greater impact. In order to ensure that gender considerations are meaningfully and effectively mainstreamed into peace operations, the UN should strengthen coordination efforts with the African Union Commission for reporting and information sharing on gender mainstreaming activities in peace operations. These reports should contain an analysis and barriers to implementation, not just general information and lists of activities. Reports should further include concrete recommendations on ways to improve implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda across the work of the missions. The UN should further support efforts by appropriate regional organisations to engage in dialogue with State and non-State parties to elicit commitments, including engagement, as appropriate, with the business community, diaspora, religious and traditional leaders or others who may exert influence on issues of women, peace and security.

    Support community infrastructure for protection of women: In most conflict environment where local women protection activities exist, there are weak or no structure in place to facilitate the work that needs to be undertaken in protecting women. For example, there are hardly any structures available to deter or prevent violence against girls or women in the community. This negatively affects the protection of women and children in poor communities. The UN should emphasize its support to women in this regard. A key success inherent in peace and security issues is to utilize and engage community structures to support a particular goal. Most often, women at the grass root level do not have maximum benefit from the implementation of the peace and security agenda. In order to have impact on all women in a conflict society, increased local engagement should be emphasized in a peace operations environment. The UN should therefore support processes and coordination systems that ensure the inclusion of local authorities including indigenous and traditional women leaders in development, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of strategies to guarantee ownership and inclusive participation.

    Establish formal funding mechanism to support implementation of resolutions on women, peace and security: Crucially, the UN working with other actors like the AU should establish a formal funding mechanism to support implementation of resolution 1325 and the six subsequent Security Council Resolutions including 1820, 1888, 1889, 1960, 2106 and 2122 in Africa. This mechanism should fall within the budgets of peacekeeping missions of the UN and regional organizations. More often the funding for the implementation of these resolutions are limited and adhoc.

Enhancing Women’s Participation in Peace Processes. Submission to the Global Study on Women, Peace and Security - Escola de Cultura de Pau

  • Date of paper: Wednesday, April 15, 2015
    Organization / institution website: Escola de Cultura de Pau

    Women’s peace and security agenda has advanced notoriously in the last 15 years. The adoption of the seven UNSCR on this issue as well as National Action Plans and other regional tools have contributed to the political impulse the WPS agenda has acquired during this period. Nevertheless, there is a long way ahead before the objectives that were clearly set up in 2000 are fully accomplished. This submission will focus on the need to enhance and increase women’s participation in peace processes as these initiatives constitute one of the main collective efforts to put an end to armed conflict.

    In spite of the international obligations that States and international organizations have, women continue to be absent or severely underrepresented in peace talks, but it is also worth pointing out that some peace talks that began with no women on the table have undergone important transformations leading to the inclusion of women. The existence of UNSCR 1325 has served in these cases as an important tool for the empowerment of women organizations that have been reinforced in their demands appealing to the States’ international commitments on gender equality and peace.


    Strategic recommendation(s):

    Escola de Cultura de Pau recommends that the Global Study on Women, Peace and Security:

    • Contains a wide set of women’s experiences of participation in different peace processes analyzing the mechanisms and dynamics that led to women’s inclusion.
    • Analyzes what concrete effects women’s inclusion in negotiations has had in those processes where they have been actively present and what have been the consequences of women’s exclusion in those where women have not had the chance to be present.
    • Calls the United Nations to make mandatory the inclusion of gender experts in all peace negotiations where the UN is taking part in whatever role.
    • Develops strategies for promoting that non-regular armed actors are offered and provided with gender training when engaged in peace talks. 

Rebalancing from Protection to Participation - WILPF Australia

  • Date of paper: Tuesday, April 14, 2015

    In recent years, the international community has drawn increasing attention to sexual violence in armed conflict. The Stop Rape Now Campaign saw more coordinated efforts to address sexual violence in armed conflict. But the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict exponentially raised the profile of the issues. However, none of the pillars of the WPS agenda has higher importance than the others. Addressing issues of SGBV is inextricably linked to women’s participation, enhanced participation leads to enhanced protection. 

    The first part of this submission will provide examples of how, in fragile states, women’s participation in politics and decision making, justice and security, and peace processes is crucial to addressing sexual and gender based violence (SGBV). The second part of the submission will outline some ongoing barriers to women’s participation in international and local peace processes. The submission concludes with key recommendations for the Global Study.

    Strategic recommendation(s):
    1. Integrate the International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict to all relevant United Nations agencies and national agencies responding to international crisis.
    2. Gather more data to demonstrate the link between participation and protection.
    3. Increase the number of women employed as Special and Personal Representatives, Envoys and Advisors of the Secretary General.
    4. Increase the number of female police deploying on peace operations.
    5. Ensure the Acceleration Instrument is responsive to local needs, and ensures the participation of women from grassroots civil society organisations in local, national and international peace process of their own community.

Strengthening Peace and Security Approaches through Long-Term Prevention of Conflict, Human Security Strategies and Documentation of Local Women’s Voices - Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC)

  • Date of paper: Tuesday, April 14, 2015
    Organization / institution website: Home - GPPAC

    The recommendations of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) propose a conflict prevention approach throughout the Global Study, in three priority areas: long-term prevention of conflict, human security strategies, and documentation of local women’s voices. For each area we provide examples on a country and regional basis, illustrating how recommendations can be adapted to local realities. While our input relates mainly to the Prevention chapter (VI) of the Study, it also addresses issues that are listed in other chapters (notably chapters II, V and VIII), as well as the theme of security which comes back throughout the Study.
    Our recommendations are grounded in our global network of civil society experts and specifically in the perspectives of our regional Gender Focal Points, who keep stressing that implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda needs to build more strongly on women's activism in conflict prevention.

    Examples of good practice:

    1. In Azerbaijan, work with women activists in conflict-affected communities has shown that civil society development delivers concrete value, filling many of the security vacuums. Small, local level activist groups can contribute to building a sense of community, facilitate community decision-making, deliver reliable information, reach the most vulnerable groups and represent community interests with authorities.
    2. In Canada, women peace activists and researchers have lobbied and informed about peacebuilding, conflict prevention and the role of women therein. Finding the window for participation in policy making considerably reduced, they have connected in loose networks to continue their work, for example documenting the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in Canada through the creation of databases, a request for a national inquiry, and campaigns.
    3. GPPAC's "Stories of Human Security" publication provides findings from six countries relating to the role of the state in providing security, rule of law, the need for empowered communities to ensure the right protection, security dialogues as a tool to enhance agency, and using UNSCR 1325 as an opportunity to emphasise a people-centred approach to security.

    More examples in our full paper, in our publication "Empowerment and Protection - Stories of Human Security" and at https://www.peaceportal.org/web/taking-women-beyond-1325/women-and-conflict

    Strategic recommendation(s):

    To the UN, its Member States, regional organisations, security providers and donors:

    1. Provide long-term support to local civil society, and to women within broader movements: create spaces to listen actively; respond to challenges as defined locally; and provide multi-year support to long-term cooperation and to women’s agency in peacebuilding movements.
    2. Adopt a Gender, Peace and Human Security strategy to implement the WPS agenda: address specific security challenges faced by women; facilitate a strategy that incorporates different gender perspectives; and pioneer a human security approach in UNSCR 1325 implementation practice.
    3. Support access to and capacity building on communication and technology, enabling women to document their perspectives: through in-country documentation; activist-oriented research in accessible formats; and digital tools for women enhancing their privacy and security.

    Recommendations should be adapted to local contexts - for examples see our full paper.

Peacebuilders’ Reflections on Gender, Peace and Security - International Alert, Saferworld, Conciliation Resources

  • Date of paper: Tuesday, April 14, 2015
    Organization / institution website: International Alert

    UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) and the broader women, peace and security (WPS) framework has been incredibly important in bringing gender onto the peace and security agenda. It has secured greater attention for women’s participation in peace and security efforts and raised attention to women’s specific needs in conflict-affected countries. It has not, however, resulted in the integration of a gender perspective in peace and security efforts. The term ‘gender’ is used interchangeably with ‘women’. The WPS framework has also not led to a more substantial shift in how the international community approaches peace and security more broadly. As organisations dedicated to building peace, Conciliation Resources, International Alert and Saferworld, we have come together to argue that this undermined the transformative potential of the WPS agenda, namely to change the way we approach peace and security to be more inclusive. 

    Strategic recommendation(s):
    • Integrate a broader gender approach into peace & security efforts and institutions, including analysis of the roles and experiences of men and sexual and gender minorities as well as women, and the interaction of gender with other identity factors such as age, social class, geographical location, sexuality or marital status - Directed to: donors, UN, agencies and INGOs. 
    • Acknowledge and investigate how gender and conflict interact, including how particular constructions of masculinities and femininities, which are used to justify and reinforce inequalities, might also contribute to militarisation and conflict, and vice versa. - Directed to: donors, UN, agencies and INGOs.
    • Support inclusive peace processes and promote women’s participation by earmarking greater financial and political resources and harnessing informal efforts to influence the formal peace process and build local-level peace - Directed to: donors, UN, agencies and INGOs. 

Security, Women and Peace - Hayi Mark Godwin Foundation

  • Date of paper: Monday, April 13, 2015
    Organization / institution website: http://www.hmgfoundation.org.ng

    It is no gainsaying that promoting security should be a priority for every nation (security of lives and properties). Every life counts, male or female, young or old. Security, peace and development are words that intertwine. A country with a high level of security will experience a high level of peace as well as development.

    Narayan et al 2000(as cited in GSDRC Applied knowledge services 2015) opines that safety, security, and justice are of paramount concerns to citizens and these include a stable income, consistent housing, clothing and food supplies as part of the predictability of daily life, protection from crime and psychological security.

    Narayan et al 2000;DFID 2007(as cited in GSDRC Applied knowledge services 2015) states “women, men, girls and boys often have different safety, security and justice perceptions, experiences and needs that require targeted responses. For example, insecurity and injustice contribute to gender-based discrimination and social exclusion as a result of women’s inadequate property rights, unequal access to assets and discriminatory social norms and power structures”.

     When there is a bridge in security a nation creates room for violence, citizens tend to be less patriotic and it becomes a situation of all man for himself, one tends to forget the promise and loyalty to the nation. Eno .A. Fred at the HMGF Peace and Conflict Resolution Talk 2014 states “Our promise as a nation, what I call ‘The Nigerian Promise’, remains a distant dream for too many of our compatriots today. We are citizens, yet settlers in the same space we are supposed to protect and preserve as one. How we continue to function as indigenous citizens of Nigeria and yet cannot be indigenes within the same territorial space called  Nigeria because I moved from point A to point B is truly the biggest oxymoron of all times. Yet we claim to be building one Nigeria… When citizens work in harmony towards set objectives and the common ideals which they all consider noble and just, they inspire one another. In a nutshell, this is what true PATRIOTISM is all about.”

    Strategic recommendation(s):

    Gender equality and empowerment cannot be over emphasized, give the woman a voice and empower her to be able to handle cases of violence. Save a woman, a girl child and you save the world at large
    Include women especially those in the rural communities to participate in peace talk forums, let them have the opportunity to express themselves and also dialogue and network with other women facing similar violence and learn security measures.

    Starting from our homes to our communities, our religious places then to the nation at large, we must all be patriotic, peace and security can only be achieved by loving each other as one. We must understand that our strength sure lies in our diversity, and we should strive for peace as a nation, for without peace development is truncated and without development peace become a scarce commodity

The Role of Women in Peace and Security Processes in Africa - Atuhaire Pearl Karuhanga

  • Date of paper: Friday, April 10, 2015

    The aim of this paper is to elucidate on the various roles women play in the peace and security initiatives. It shows how extreme violence that women suffer during armed conflict does not arise solely out of the conditions of war; it is directly related to the violence that exists in women's lives during peacetime. Throughout the world, women experience violence whether physical, psychological and sexual because they are women, and often because they suffer the imbalances of power relations. This essay explains the role of women in peace making initiatives, peacekeeping and peace building and the role of women as armed combatants.   The essay also explains the regional and international instruments that guide women in Peace and security processes.

    Examples of good practice:

    The systematic nature of patriarchal gender designations and roles constitutes a highly significant and much neglected aspect of the study of gender and peace. This is because gender is perceived virtually as every issue being addressed by peace and conflict studies, hence these elements should be integrated in peace education. Patriarchy has diverse effects on both women and men therefore an inclusive gender perspective which takes into account patriarchy's disadvantages offers a unique opportunity to engage in transformational learning towards peaceful, just and gender equal global order. Hence to fight patriarchy would mean to fight patriarchal cultures and structures and arriving at more equitable power sharing between men and women.

    Strategic recommendation(s):

    For so long, women have been marginalized in various ways during and after conflict hence mainstreaming gender analysis of conflict and peace is very important. Women's interests, rights, and specific priorities are rarely given keen attention during formal peace negotiations. Therefore, understanding gender relations is key to effectively addressing armed conflict/violence and building sustainable peace. Member states should have a gender lens that sheds light on the different experiences of women and men in armed conflict, which are in turn the result of socially constructed concepts of masculinity and femininity. Promoting and mainstreaming gender analysis of conflict and peace is a way to understand and address the power dynamics at play at all stages of the peace process.

    The United Nations should work hand in hand with civil society organizations to empower women in post-conflict settings especially women in refugee camps and internally displaced camps in Uganda and Africa as a whole. These women have been referred to as the forgotten identity because of the numerous problems they face in their confines. To mention but one major problem is sexual and gender based violence they face on a daily basis because they are forced to comprise their dignity due to poverty, hence vulnerable to abuse by their male counterparts or other community members. Despite the hardships these women face, they are willing and able to work, hence if these women are empowered with knowledge and skills, they will be able to take care of themselves and their families. Very little has been done for these women and therefore a solution such as income generating activities for these women would be efficient to solve their plight.


Women, Peace and Security in Post-Conflict and Peacebuilding Contexts - NOREF - Norwegian Peacebuilding Resoure Centre - Jacqui True - WILPF Academic Network

  • Date of paper: Thursday, March 14, 2013

    Post-conflict peacebuilding processes present major opportunities for advancing women’s rights and gender equality. But a gender perspective needs to be more effectively operationalised in post-conflict institutions and peacebuilding processes. A key challenge for the United Nations (UN) and its member states in progressing the women, peace and security agenda in post-conflict settings is bridging the gap between the interdependent political and economic security pillars of peacebuilding.

    This policy brief suggests concrete ways to mainstreaming gender equality and women’s empowerment in post-conflict processes, building on the UN secretary-general’s 2010 seven-point plan on women’s participation in peacebuilding. 

    Strategic recommendation(s):
    • Women should be recruited and trained for decision-making positions across the public and private sectors, but crucially in senior positions relating to the protection and physical security of citizens.
    • Accountability mechanisms for ensuring women’s descriptive representation in post-conflict governance should be bolstered. Governments should compile data on the presence/number of women and men (and their positions) in a census of women’s participation in post-conflict governance, and interventions should be planned and implemented where women’s presence is below one-third (cf. APeC, 2002).
    • Women’s substantive representation in post-conflict governance should be improved by providing direct technical and capacity-building support to women’s involvement “at the table” in the peacebuilding processes.

Gender Mainstreaming in Peace and Security Policymaking - Jacqui True - WILPF Academic Network

  • Date of paper: Thursday, April 9, 2015

    Over the last two decades, gender mainstreaming has been adopted in a variety of forms, creating both opportunities and risks for advancing women's rights and gender equality. This policy brief reviews a selection of gender-mainstreaming practices implemented in the context of peace and security, and assesses their potential impact. It further calls for a more transformative model of gender mainstreaming that would utilize a gender perspective to challenge existing frameworks. For this to be achieved, the policy recommendations include the participation of women and women's organizations in designing and implementing gender-mainstreaming policies and the involvement of UN Women in strengthening the relationship between governments, and civil society in delivering gender-mainstreaming programs.

    Examples of good practice:

    Margot Wallström’s recent decision not to continue the cooperation on arms deals with Saudi Arabia, where the access to weapon is considered a driver of human rights abuses and violence against women specifically, presents the security policy which integrates a gender perspective in order to deliver equality and justice.

    Strategic recommendation(s):

    The effects of gender mainstreaming have so far been limited. To overcome the shortcomings of gender mainstreaming policy, an integrated framework for action is required. This research report brings forth the following three recommendations:

    1. Gender-mainstreaming practices should address both institutional and structural barriers to equality faced by different groups of women (and men). To do so, gender analysis should inform any gender-mainstreaming actions.
    2. The expertise of women and women's civil society organizations must be substantially involved in designing, implementing and monitoring gender-mainstreaming programs for gender analysis to be credible and relevant.
    3. UN Women can play a crucial role in strengthening relationships between governments, universities, and civil society actors for a transformative vision of gender mainstreaming in peace and security that would reconnect mainstreaming efforts with feminist goals of justice and equality.

Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security and the Response from Civil Society - Women, Peace and Security Network - Canada

  • Date of paper: Wednesday, April 8, 2015
    Organization / institution website: Women, Peace and Security Network - Canada

    The submission briefly outlines Canada's National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security and the response of Canadian civil society organizations. It includes 3 recommendations on building better NAPs arising from this experience.

    Strategic recommendation(s):
    1. While having a National Action Plan is an important step, it is not a sufficient indicator of meaningful progress.  It is important to ask: Does the NAP make robust and meaningful commitments to advancing the goals of the WPS agenda? Are there financial and human resource allocations that support the achievement of these goals?
    2. National Action Plans should include specific and sufficient resource allocations. Canada’s National Action Plan does not have a budget. Government departments are expected to implement the Plan with regular budgetary resources. There are no specific allocations for funding, no funds to support women human rights defenders and women’s organizations working for peace in conflict-affected areas, no resources for Canadians working on these issues and no way of tracking whether resources dedicated to women, peace and security objectives by the government have increased or decreased since the start of the NAP.
    3. Reporting on NAP implementation should be timely, public and results-based.  While the Government of Canada has provided public reporting on the NAP, this reporting has been extremely slow. When the reports have been released, information in the reports has often been out of date. The Canadian reports also tend to list activities and it is difficult to understand what has actually been achieved or accomplished.

Protection from Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Sex and/or Gender Identity - Erinyes Autonomous Activist Lesbians | Lesbian Feminist Network

  • Date of paper: Sunday, November 7, 2010

    The discrimination faced by lesbians is greater than the discrimination faced by heterosexual women because lesbians are discriminated against both as women and as lesbians. What distinguishes the human rights violations of Lesbians is based firstly on misogyny and then on homophobia. The combination of misogyny and homophobia results in an intensification of discrimination, harassment and vilification that is greater than that against heterosexual women, gay men and transgendered people. Lesbians’-born-female, raised as girls, rights are not protected under the umbrella term of GLBTI and will be seriously disadvantaged by the inclusion of gender identity. It is the experience of lesbians that the idea of ‘gender’ hides misogyny and lesbophobia and it is because of this that the authors of this submission, on behalf of Erinyes, focus specifically on ‘gender identity’. 

    Strategic recommendation(s):
    1. Transgender protections should not over-ride the human rights of lesbians and other women born female.
    2. That males are no longer reclassified to become fully women.
    3. Women born female and identified as female at brith should have their rights of freedom of association protected.

National Implementation of the UN Security Council's Women, Peace and Security Resolutions - NOREF - Norwegian Peacebuilding Resoure Centre - Aisling Swaine - WILPF Academic Network

  • Date of paper: Thursday, March 14, 2013

    The implementation of the women, peace and security resolutions of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) faces ongoing challenges. National action plans (NAPs) have been developed as a means to address the implementation gap, with 40 such NAPs developed by UN member states to date. NAPs aim to enable states’ commitments under the various UNSC resolutions to become the actions they take in both domestic and foreign policy. Stand-alone NAPs offer significant opportunity to advance the national implementation of the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda. They also present risks, however, most notably in terms of how strategic provisions of the various WPS resolutions are translated into actions in an action plan. Successful implementation of the WPS agenda is thus not just contingent on the adoption of an NAP, but the proper implementation of that NAP. This policy brief provides an overview of the key opportunities and constraints presented by NAPs and the action planning process itself, and concludes with a range of recommendations for enhancing the development and implementation of NAPs for the overall fulfilment of the WPS agenda.

    Strategic recommendation(s):
    1. Give a “results focus” to action planning, implementation and evaluation: A “results” focus is required to ensure that NAPs are structured around the results and outcomes that the WPS resolutions intend to achieve. The evaluations of NAPs should assess the substantive quality of the actions themselves, i.e. whether they are contributing towards the normative changes envisioned by the resolutions, rather than simply whether actions themselves have been performed or whether thematic aspects of the resolutions have been addressed. 
    2. Employ comprehensive and inclusive processes to develop and revise NAPs: Factors that lend themselves towards a more successful NAP need to be incorporated in all aspects of NAP development and implementation. These include:
      1. Wide stakeholder involvement, including a broad range of ministries, parliamentary representation, civil society members, women’s organisations, and diaspora and refugee organisations;
      2. The inclusion of monitoring and evaluation mechanisms; and
      3. A clear statement of funding specifically earmarked for the implementation of the NAP from each ministry concerned. 

Advancing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda: 2015 and Beyond - NOREF - Norwegian Peacebuilding Resoure Centre - Laura J. Shepherd - WILPF Academic Network

  • Date of paper: Thursday, August 28, 2014

    This expert analysis evaluates the current state of the United Nations’ Women, Peace and Security agenda, with particular focus on three themes drawn from the most recent UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) (S/RES/2122): the articulation of a whole-of-UN mandate for improving performance in the implementation of UNSCR 1325; the importance of civil society inclusion at all stages of peace and security governance, including conflict resolution and peace negotiations; and the upcoming High-Level Review that will take place in 2015 on the 15th anniversary of the adoption of UNSCR 1325.

    Strategic recommendation(s):

    Based on the above discussion, the expert analysis recommends:

    • That the UNSC develop better links with the UN Peace-building Commission;
    • That the UNSC give consideration to the creation of an SRSG-WPPSG to complement the SRSG-SVC;
    • That UNSC member states consistently and regularly make available mechanisms through which meaningful interactions with CSOs can occur at UN Headquarters and in country settings;• that WPS academic collectives are developed at the national level to consolidate research on WPS issues and engage in advocacy with national governments; and
    • That funds be made available through UN Women to build links with research centres, CSOs, and universities to enhance information sharing and inform the 2015 High-Level Review. 

Engaging Women In Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR): Lessons for Colombia - Institute for Inclusive Security

  • Date of paper: Tuesday, March 31, 2015

    Colombia has incorporated gender perspectives and women’s inclusion to varying degrees in DDR processes for multiple armed groups. Starting in 2003, the government implemented an innovative reintegration policy based on more expansive "second generation DDR” processes, which focus on both combatants and the larger communities affected by armed violence. Yet, as is common around the world, significantly fewer eligible females than males participate in these programs.

    The following recommendations address how to design an inclusive program for the reintegration of former FARC combatants. While the current peace talks in Havana are primarily focused on “dejar las armas” (leaving behind weapons), many of these worldwide best practices should apply to the resulting program. Learning from these global insights and recognizing their potential relevance to the Colombian context will maximize chances for a successful transition.

2015 The Netherlands - Civil Society input Global Study on Women Peace & Security - WO=MEN Dutch Gender Platform

  • Date of paper: Wednesday, April 1, 2015
    Organization / institution website: WO=MEN | Dutch Gender Platform

    2015 The Netherlands - Civil Society input

    Global Study on Women Peace & Security 

    Strategic recommendation(s):

    It has been 15 years after the adoption of UNSCR 1325. Besides this first resolution, 6 successive UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions followed. Today the WPS agenda should move beyond ‘being the most advocated but the least implemented’ set of resolutions. There is a great need to accelerate implementation. This WPS Agenda should be reaffirmed and applied effectively by all Member States, both to prevent conflicts and in all current conflict situations. Over the past 15 years a comprehensive normative framework has led the foundation of the WPS agenda, now the challenge lies at the implementation level: in walking the talk and in sustaining and improving progress made to date.

    Member States, the United Nations and other international bodies are called upon to:

    • Review their policies and (national) action plans on WPS and strengthen them with the outcomes and recommendations of the Global Study on WPS and hence to develop – together with civil society - a  5 years (2015-2020) actionable and budgeted roadmap to accelerate implementation. Set monitoring mechanism to measure its time-bound implementation.
    • Reinforce, apply and monitor the implementation of  the UN indicators on Women, Peace and Security (2010)
    • Effectively implement CEDAW Recommendation 30  to ensure that governments are held accountable for their UNSCR WPS implementation. Provide political space and support for civil society monitoring and shadow reporting.

    Only a transformative approach to the Women, Peace & Security agenda will lead to effective implementation of the resolutions, to effective prevention of conflict and to sustainable change in (post) conflict settings. A transformative approach to the WPS agenda requires:

    • Increased attention for the following underdeveloped peace and security elements: conflict prevention, disarmament, non-violence and human security. It is crucial to consider the nexus between peace, security and development.
    • Increased attention for underlying gender power relations especially in fragile states and (post) conflict settings that hampers women and girls from being safe and being involved in decision-making processes. Peace and security needs to be redefined from a holistic gender perspective including a masculinities perspective that uncovers the gendered roots of militarism and armed conflict.  Analysis of the gendered roots of armed conflict should inform steps towards a long-term goal of taking a preventive, rather than reactive, approach to conflict.
    • Promote gender equality and invest in women’s human rights, economic empowerment and continue support to women’s access to basic services (education including literacy, healthcare etc.).
    • Increased attention for intersectionality such as class, culture, background etc. it is crucial to keep in mind that women play a variety of rules. Varying from victims to perpetrators and everything in between. It also allows us to see how in some situations some men may be more vulnerable than some women, for example.

Why Women's Leadership is Key to Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict - Institute for Inclusive Security

  • Date of paper: Thursday, June 10, 2010

    As the UK launched the first Global Summit to End Sexual Violence, Summit organizers pledged to “situate this issue within the broader women, peace, and security agenda,” which means engaging women not just as victims or beneficiaries but as vital partners whose leadership is integral to devised solutions. This is an important step. Only when women are fully integrated into decision making related to peace and security will we see a substantial shift against the widespread use of rape as a weapon of war. As the world prepared for the largest-ever gathering on this topic, The Institute for Inclusive Security discusses three critical strategies for ensuring women's leadership as the key to ending sexual violence in conflict.

Australian Case Study of Civil Society Engagement with Government on the National Action Plan - WILPF Australia

  • Date of paper: Monday, March 30, 2015

    This is a brief account of the Annual Civil Society Dialogue and Report Card process in Australia, improving the engagement between civil society and governmenty on the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. 

    Examples of good practice:

    The Australian Civil Society Dialogue on Women, Peace and Security has led to improved relationships between government and civil society on WPS, improved government implementation of the WPS agenda and increased the coordination within civil society on the issues.

    Strategic recommendation(s):

    Civil society in other parts of the world could consider running similar events in their own country, in order to improve implmentation of an existing National Action Plan, and to improve engagement with government.

Women, Peace and Security - Janet Benshoof

  • Date of paper: Saturday, June 14, 2014
    Organization / institution website: Home

    The last two decades have seen a dramatic transformation in the Security Council’s (Council) role in advancing and enforcing international humanitarian law (IHL). The changing nature of armed conflict, the universal acceptance of human rights, the calcification of certain precepts of international law into jus cogens, and advances in international law have all redefined the limits of state sovereignty and influenced the modern understanding of the Council’s mandate under the United Nations Charter (Charter).

    Within this new paradigm, the Council has made protecting civilians in armed conflict central to its duty to maintain international peace and security. As part of this effort, the Council has passed a series of resolutions addressing the impact of armed conflict on women and the use of sexual violence in conflict (Women, Peace and Security Series, WPS Series).Despite these efforts, the resolutions have failed to achieve one of the Council’s main goals – ending sexual violence perpetrated against women in armed conflicts around the world.

    The chapter, Women, Peace and Security, in the forthcoming publication, Security Council in the Age of Human Rights, examines the Council’s actions in the WPS Series against its duties to act under the evolving imperatives of IHL, in particular those rules considered jus cogens. The chapter argues that the Council has a duty to take stronger and more effective measures to address sexual violence against girls and women in armed conflict, in order to successfully deter its use.

    Strategic recommendation(s):
    • The Council should restructure the monitoring and implementation of the WPS Series: The Council must make clear the duties of States and UN entities to "respect" and "ensure respect" for IHL in all circumstances, and ensure that the rights and protections guaranteed by IHL are fully implemented and enforced. This requires a radical restructuring by the Council of the monitoring and implementation of the WPS Series to ensure that UN entities and states ensure and advance IHL rights where applicable. Furthermore, to help remediate the failure of the WPS Series to distinguish women’s rights under IHL, the Council can separate measures taken under Chapter VI and Chapter VII, as it has done in the past.
    • The Council must make clear that use of rape as a tactic of war is prohibited and triggers intransgressable duties on states and the UN to take all measures possible to end it use: As part of this effort, the Council should require States, at a minimum, to amend their national laws to include sexual violence along with other unlawful means or methods of warfare, such as starvation, under IHL. Additionally, the Council must affirm the rights of women victims of sexual violence used in this manner to the same rights to accountability, cessation, and reparations as victims of other unlawful means or methods. Lastly, the Council should expand the Secretary-General’s reporting mandate under Resolution 1960 to include a list of parties, even those not on the Council’s agenda, who are using sexual violence in order to guide Council engagement.
    • The Council should ensure multisectoral response to victims in accordance with IHL: The 2013 Secretary-General’s Report on sexual violence in conflict reminds Member States of the need “[t]o ensure that multisectoral assistance and services are tailored to the specific needs of girls and boys.” This requirement must be read in conjunction with the non-discrimination mandates of IHL – which requires that girls and women victims of sexual violence in conflict have access to the full range of medical, legal and psychological services, and that such services are provided without discrimination and in accordance with IHL and international human rights law. Therefore, the Council should require Member States to conform to the nondiscriminatory mandates of IHL.
    • Furthermore, this highlights the fact that women are “often forced to carry out unwanted pregnancies resulting from rape, or undergo dangerous abortion.” It thus recommends that “access to safe emergency contraception and services for termination of pregnancies resulting from rape should be an integral component of multisectoral response.” In line with this recommendation, the Council should remind States of their obligations to ensure the provision of safe abortion and emergency contraception as a component of any multisectoral response to sexual violence in conflict.

Spectrum of Perspectives: Review and Analysis of UNSCR 1325 in Asia-Pacific Region - Women in Governance - India (WinG-India) and the Asia Pacific Women's Alliance on Peace and Security (APWAPS)

  • Date of paper: Monday, March 30, 2015

    The Asia Pacific Region has had some of the most intractable and longest running conflicts anywhere in the world. Eighty-two percent of conflicts in the region since 1948 have been internal conflicts[1], although many have had inter-state and even regional and international dimensions. Many of  the conflicts are also sub-national armed conflicts[2] which are not formally recognized and do not therefore benefit from any formal peace negotiations or efforts to end the violence and address their deep-rooted origins as part of peace initiatives.

    The online discussion on UNSCR 1325 was undertaken against this changed backdrop and renewed push for State obligation. A core focus of the dialogue was to lead the discussions to how  in going forward the WPS agenda can get  more strongly informed by a rights based approach and issues of conflict transformation and peace building are necessarily understood and articulated using a human rights and justice lens. The discussions were clustered around four primary issues of concern - militarization, security, categories of women, accountability and access to justice.

    A. Militarization:

    • A strong critique that has come from the women’s movement is that although UNSCR 1325 in itself is grounded on strong feminist politics the way it has been used is different. Increasingly UNSCR 1325 has been used as a management tool- of making wars safe rather than questioning the structural causes of wars and armed conflicts and its long term impact, or of new partnerships and alliances that are forged to keep wars going and the sinister crimping of women’s rights through these alliances. 
    • The participants pointed out that it is difficult to draw lines between short and long term implications of militarization. In the short term militarization impacts upon the bodily security of women and in the long term it affects their livelihood and takes away their rights. For indigenous women it is their right to forests and land. This dispossession makes them extremely vulnerable making them dependent and rob them of their autonomy. It was pointed out that one of the biggest problems faced by indigenous communities (especially women) in Bangladesh and most other countries is the mainstreaming of militarization in society and of the military being in charge of so many vital sectors including ‘law and order’. In many other countries in the Asia Pacific undergoing internal and protracted armed conflict civilian spaces and institutions have gradually and silently got  militarized which has serious and extremely alarming implications for women and human rights defenders. Export and trade in arms is essential to militarism and militarization and this has increased exponentially in many countries in the region. In addition in situations of prolonged and intractable armed conflict there has been huge proliferation of arms including small arms in the communities which has contributed significantly towards heightened levels of violence in the community with women being especially impacted. Militarization therefore implies a system of governance, in or without uniform, where the voices of people are either curbed or silenced and in many instances through constitutional means.
    • In a post war scenario the issue is even more problematic. In situations where a war is militarily ended and there have been records of gross human rights violations as in Sri Lanka, civil society organizations and human rights defenders become particularly vulnerable. Security and intelligence agencies establish well-oiled surveillance and monitoring system capitalizing on the vulnerabilities of different groups of people which leads to erosion of trust within communities making it difficult to rebuild social networks. Surveillance by the military restricts activities of civil society and makes human rights work extremely difficult. In a post war scenario there is huge economic gains to be made and increasing nexus is being forged between the military and corporations for economic activities.
    • Finally concerns were raised about the review of UNSCR 1325 implementation and numbers. One indicator of how UNSCR 1325 is being implemented focus on the percentage of women in the military. Increased numbers of women is viewed as 'progress'. This is especially problematic in countries that are experiencing ethnic/religious conflict. It is critical to have a more nuanced understanding of the politics of actively recruiting women from certain communities into the military and the way in which it impacts broader political issues at the heart of the conflict especially when the conflict was drawn along ethnic divides. 

    B. Security:

    • Concerns were raised over the securitization of women’s rights as a result of their inclusion in the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. The participants reiterated that the security discourse for women is essentially about comprehensive human security and goes move beyond a narrow military or state centric preoccupation and articulates the concerns of women whose voices are marginalized in the mega narratives of conflict analysis and peace building. This analysis is totally missing in the implementation of UNSCR 1325. The tools that are used to measure UNSCR 1325 implementation do not give adequate importance to socio-economic vulnerability in the post-war context, which makes women open to vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, especially in a militarized context. It was pointed out that in villages of post conflict Nepal, security has been equated with establishment of new police posts, which were destroyed during the conflict, with the help of the Peace Trust Fund. These police posts are nowhere capable of ensuring security for those who need food, shelter and treatment for their physical and mental well being.
    • Many participants strongly surfaced the need to work with UNSCR 1325+ and CEDAW together as CEDAW is legally binding while resolutions are political commitment. The adoption of CEDAW General Recommendation 30 which brings in the issue of extra territoriality this need is especially critical and strategic in post conflict “development” agendas and scenarios. It was suggested that whatever one chooses as the specific focus, women need to put their respective ideas within the general systemic framework of all forms as integral to militarized security and the urgency of women's participation in all aspects of security policy making as essential to conceptualizing and implementing plans to demilitarize security.

    C. The vulnerability and agency of different categories of women in the conflict continuum

    • As anywhere else women in WPS  are not a homogenous group but include  very diverse categories such as  peacemakers, combatants, sympathizers, human rights defenders, survivors of sexual violence etc. This diversity with diverse needs, voices and perspectives has often been missing in UNSCR 1325 work. Views from both Nepal and Sri Lanka clearly pointed out the need for a more nuanced, sensitive and culturally relevant handling of sexual violence in conflict and that this has not been adequately done so. On the other hand in recent years, the Security Council has come under considerable criticism of having uneven focus on protecting women from sexual violence with the adoption of a number of UNSCRs on women, peace and security at the expense of promoting women’s participation in decision-making. A participant opined that one of the rare positive impacts of armed conflict on gender relations is the increased movement, mobility and opportunities for women in political spaces for leadership in constructing and reconstructing peace in the society during conflict and post conflict situations. However policy makers before and after UNSCR 1325, have continued to focus and perpetuate women as victims without an adequate acknowledgment of their agency. Additional resolutions on WPS were added in successive years by the Security Council without first focusing on the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and primarily reaffirming women's victimhood and sexualized violence. Additionally when women do come forward to report the legal processes fail them. A participant pointed out that while protection is important, protection without accountability only leads to further impunity for sexual violence. Participants especially from Sri Lanka emphasized that existing formal legal systems in countries cannot handle sexual violence cases in war-affected countries.
    • The other group that featured in the discussions was women combatants of armed rebel groups. It was pointed out that women combatants are especially vulnerable and extremely disempowered in a post conflict scenario. Many join revolutionary groups aspiring for ‘equality’ and ‘justice’ and challenging patriarchal hierarchies but are pushed back into stereotypical gender roles when the ‘revolution’ ends. Furthermore sexual violence experienced by women combatants who are perceived to have transgressed traditional and accepted gender and societal norms are even less reported or justice sought. In any peace negotiation or peace agreement justice and redress for sexual violence for ex women combatants or other non party women never feature.

    D. Issues around access to justice and accountability

    • The main discussions that ensued under this category were the issue of disappearances which somehow do not feature under UNSCR 1325 and the other is the issue of violations by non stat actors. It was pointed out that women seeking truth and accountability have reached nowhere and that women can only play leadership roles in peace building if there is a sense and promise of justice in their personal lives. Women urgently need justice and closure regarding disappearances of family members. A participant from Nepal added a word of caution saying that although it is important to use UNSCR 1325 but one should not conflate its importance. Nepal’s 33 per cent women members in the Constituent Assembly did not happen because of UNSCR 1325 but because of the political parties. Therefore it could be useful to recognize and identify national transformative opportunities for gender justice. Another participant however added that even while looking at national opportunities one needs to be discerning. There is an urgent need to restructure the governance system which was present before conflict, replacing those who were in charge of security forces during the conflict otherwise there can be no justice. Women cannot seek justice regarding ‘missing’ family members from the very people who made them ‘disappear’.
    • The second focus was on the issue of non state actors. A participant stressed that she believes at this moment, one of the most complex issues in contemporary concerns in human rights discourse is killings by non-state actors. She pointed out that the Security Council perceived ‘peace for women' as something achievable by militaristic approach but  however in reality it created chains of armed non-state groups victimizing women further. International laws and policies or customs are yet to come up with structures that can hold non-state actors accountable and end the impunity enjoyed by them. Broadly defined as armed groups that operate beyond state control the category of non state actors cannot be readily placed under a clear definition and this increases the complexity. There is therefore an urgent and critical need for the adoption of legal structures like International Criminal Court as that would be another route of addressing issues of justice and accountability under Women, Peace and Security.


    Strategic recommendation(s):


    • UNSCR 1352 needs to widen its definition of peace and make inclusive democracy (not any specific model of democracy) an integral part of peace.
    • Revisit the numerical focus of UNSCR 1325 and ensure politics and human rights perspectives are factored in while increasing numbers.
    • Ensure a more nuanced analysis of conflict with a focus on social justice precedes the implementation of UNSCR 1325.
    • Document, assess and challenge the growing nexus between the military and corporations for economic activities in conflict contexts.
    • Prioritize addressing and ending ‘Impunity’ especially of those in charge of "law and order" in conflict and post conflict contexts.
    • Ensure greater focus and efforts towards conflict prevention and ending the cycle of the “continuum of conflict” by addressing issues of arms flows, export of arms also small arms which are  essential to the cultures of militarism and militarization.
    • Assess the impact of growing militarization on conflict affected communities and societies with special focus on indigenous women.
    •  Focus on the social impact of post-war militarization which has a debilitating effect on efforts to rebuild social networks.
    • In a post conflict scenario and communities in transition ensure the building of truly democratic systems and decentralized democratic structures based on the principles of equality and equity that address women's needs and accommodate women's voices.


    • Advocate for and change the present understanding of security in UNSCR 1325 and make human security central to the new focus. 
    • Work towards formulating a People's Action Plan till women are ready for a NAP which is driven from realities from the ground and not the State or any agency promoting it.
    • Work towards cross border strategies, locally derived and implemented by women's CSOs or local women's groups. (viz: Pakistani women's protection plan to help women vote in the face of efforts that include threats of violence to stop them from voting ).
    • Promote and work together for a holistic Plan of Action for the Asia/Pacific countries. The region need to rally together as one Voice under one banner to call for Peace and protection of all nations.
    • Institutionalize WPS implementation and monitoring by jointly using the provisions of UNSCR 1325 and CEDAW GR 30.

    The vulnerability and agency of different categories of women in the conflict continuum

    • Create alternate and fundamentally different justice processes to support women survivors of sexual violence in conflict and post conflict scenarios.
    • Provide security and support for women reporting sexual violence.
    • Ensure violence against women in the informal political space is fore grounded.
    • Draw up strategies and time bound action plan for wide dissemination of the provisions of the other WPS resolutions.
    • Recognize both the vulnerability and agency of women ex combatants.
    • Address the needs and violations against ex women combatants and draw up strategies to involve them as peace builders and peace advocates. 
    • Ensure all post conflict reconstruction and reintegration undertaken using the CEDAW principles of substantive equality and non-discrimination.

    Issues around access to justice and accountability

    • Include within the UNSCR 1325 mandate, mandatory security sector and governance reform by all governments/countries that are signatories to peace agreements to ensure justice and security for women affected by conflict.
    • Need to elaborate the definition of peace and security in UNSCR 1325  to ensure that people affected feel secure, have  room to live in peace and have access to justice.
    • Include and address the issue of ‘disappearances’, (enforced or otherwise) under the UNSCR 1325 + and draw up strategies for action.
    • Address and monitor the issue of violations by the whole range of non state actors and advocate for accountability. 
    • Push for restructuring of governance and justice systems in countries in transition to ensure access to fair and unbiased systems for victims seeking redress.
    • Ensure closer and more cohesive operational linkages between legal structures like ICC and CEDAW to the WPS architecture.


Recommendations to Radhika Coomaraswamy on the Global Study for Implementation of UNSCR 1325 - Asia-Pacific Women’s Alliance on Peace and Security (APWAPS)

  • Date of paper: Monday, March 30, 2015

    The adoption of UNSCR 1325 has undoubtedly brought about greater attention, yet there continue to be huge gaps in the actual implementation of UNSCR 1325 + and the Global Study provides a much needed  opportunity to highlight some of these glaring gaps and recommend strategies for the full realization of the transformative potential of UNSCR 1325 and for its effective implementation. 

    The more recent adoption of CEDAW General Recommendation 30 on Women in Conflict Prevention, Conflict and Post Conflict situations in October 2013 is of immense significance   in the work on WPS and is rightly being looked upon as a game changer for it finally creates a cohesive link between the issue of peace building and conflict transformation with issues of human rights, gender equality and gender justice. More importantly it reins in the issues of accountability and state obligation from the margins and makes it central to the WPS agenda. Using the provisions and analysis laid out in GR 30 we would therefore like to make the following recommendations for consideration to the Independent Expert.

    The CEDAW Framework - As women’s human rights and peace activists we see the adoption of CEDAW GR 30 as a landmark victory of our struggles as it brings back to the WPS agenda the fundamental and crucial elements of gender equality and women’s rights perspective that either got diluted or got completely missed in UNSCR 1325 over these last fifteen years. GR 30 prioritizes protecting women’s human rights at all times and advancing substantive equality before, during and after armed conflict and makes it central to the WPS agenda.
    Definition of Conflict - For the Asia Pacific region which has some of the longest running conflicts many of which are sub national in nature and do not often get recognized as conflicts. CEDAW GR 30’s definition is particularly significant specifically to the Asia Pacific region for these long drawn, intractable conflicts in the region have perpetuated a culture of impunity and violations against women have taken on different ramifications.
    Different Categories of Women and their diverse needs and vulnerabilities - CEDAW GR 30 reiterates that in a situation of conflict it is important to understand that women are not a homogenous group and are not only passive bystanders or victims.  “They have historically and continue to have a role as combatants, as part of organized civil society, human rights defenders, members of resistance movements and as active agents in both formal and informal peace building and recovery processes”.

    Amongst these diverse categories of women we note with concern that the needs and special vulnerabilities of women ex combatants and women human rights defenders have received the least attention in the last 15 years of UNSCR 1325. While they play  leadership  and other important roles during the period of conflict, in transition or post conflict recovery processes the  voices of women combatants are silenced or marginalized or they are forced to fit into gender stereo typed reintegration packages without an understanding of the challenges of fitting back into roles that they have left behind. Furthermore in post conflict scenario women ex-combatants are objectified and excluded in various peace building processes by both civil society and state. In addition we are especially concerned about the vulnerabilities of women human rights defenders who challenge gender discriminatory practices and customary laws within communities or take on politically contested  issues like ‘disappearances’ extra judicial killings and other human rights violations. These are especially relevant in the context of the ethno centric or protracted nature of conflicts in the Asia Pacific region.

    The issue of ‘disappearances’, ‘missing people’ and extra judicial killings are core concerns of women in situations of protracted armed conflict. UNSCR 1325 has not recognized this need and the urgency of addressing it.

    Extraterritorial Obligations: One of the most critical and relevant issues highlighted by CEDAW GR 30 is the  issue of extraterritorial obligations of the State which applies to all persons within their effective control even if not within the territory  so far as their actions affect the human rights of others. This is of great and special relevance in the Asia Pacific context, and has long term implications for ending the protracted and cyclical nature of conflicts and is especially crucial in post conflict stabilization processes. 

    Accountability of Non State actors:  GR 30 brings in the issue of non state actors which is one of the most complex issues of accountability in the present contexts of war and conflicts and resonates well with the challenges confronting peace building in the Asia Pacific region. The non state actors include armed groups, paramilitaries, corporations, private military contractors, organized criminal groups and vigilantes.
    Conflict Prevention:

    One of the weaker and less focused areas of the WPS agenda is the issue of conflict prevention which is especially important for ending the long drawn conflicts in the region. As pointed out by feminists from the region - ‘When natural resources, not only energy resources but also key minerals, primary products, and narcotics, are at the center of militarized struggles for power, conflicts tend to take longer to resolve and its internationalization makes resolution even more complicated to achieve, as political struggle over legitimate grievances becomes enmeshed with economic greed’.

    Above all though we are deeply concerned that in these last 15 years UNSCR 1325 has become more a management tool of making wars and conflicts safe for women rather than addressing the root causes and politics of wars and conflicts. We strongly urge that in going forward the priority is on Peace” with justice which necessarily entails addressing the complex and often uncomfortable reasons for the continuum of wars and conflicts. 

    Strategic recommendation(s):

    The CEDAW Framework:

    • While acknowledging  that UNSCR 1325+ are “crucial political frameworks for advancing advocacy regarding women, peace and security” any analysis of the impact of conflict and post conflict contexts on the lives of women must take into consideration all the rights enshrined in CEDAW.
    • Strategies for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 plus monitoring ongoing progress must necessarily be based on a substantive equality model and all issues of WPS including sexual violence framed and addressed within the provisions of CEDAW and its Optional Protocol.

    Definition of Conflict:

    • Global Study should revisit the definition of armed conflict and expand it to include the above and ensure political commitment to issues of WPS within the context of this expanded definition.
    • Given the nature of conflicts in the Asia Pacific region, UNSCR 1325 implementation in the Asia Pacific should be done with an understanding  of the ‘continuum of conflict’  and that ‘the transition from conflict to post-conflict is often not linear and can involve cessations of conflict and then slippages back into conflict’.
    • Highlight the linkages of the nature and duration of conflict to increased impunity of violations. 

    Different categories of women and their diverse needs and vulnerabilities:

    • The critical role of women human rights defenders towards protection and advancing women’s human rights are recognized and their safety and security prioritized in the implementation of UNSCR 1325.
    • The leadership potential as well as the extreme vulnerability of women ex combatants or women family members of ex combatants are recognized and implementation of UNSCR 1325 include gender sensitive reintegration packages for  them with a focus on  their socio economic needs and with identifying leadership roles  of peace building at different levels.
    • To build durable peace the issue of ‘disappearances’, ‘missing people’ and extra judicial killings have to be addressed and a definitive and time bound process should be initiated to end impunity for perpetrators.

    Extraterritorial obligations:

    • A special focus on extraterritorial obligations as it extends to military or mercenaries, international peacekeeping or peace-enforcement forces, bilateral or multilateral donor assistance for conflict prevention, humanitarian aid for post-conflict reconstruction or as third parties in peace or negotiation processes to be incorporated for the effective implementation of UNSCR 1325.

    Accountability of non-state actors: 

    • Focus on the issue of accountability and due diligence obligation of State parties towards addressing violations including gender based violence by non state actors must be at the core of the political commitment to UNSCR 1325 and that gender justice and women’s rights cannot be bartered away to appease such non state actors.

    Conflict Prevention:

    • Prioritize conflict prevention by focusing and addressing the root causes of conflict, women’s ability to identify early warning, need for preventive diplomacy and mediation, and the regulation of the arms trade including the proliferation of small arms.
    • Women’s priorities, knowledge, experience and roles in conflict prevention is given proper and adequate recognition, more clearly enunciated and expanded under UNSCR 1325.
    • A critical mass of women is included in international negotiations and peacekeeping activities and all levels of preventive diplomacy are mandated and form the core of UNSCR 1325 implementation.

Misogynistic Attitudes underlying the Surgical Reassignment of Intersex Infants - The UK Intersex Association (UKIA)

  • Date of paper: Sunday, March 29, 2015
    Organization / institution website: The UK Intersex Association (UKIA)

    The West is now becoming more aware of the widespread genital modification done abroad, with attention especially centring on the highly controversial practice of "female circumcision," which involves mutilation of the labia majora and/or labia minora and clitoris. Far less publicity however is given to the practice in Western medicine of surgically reassigning an intersex infant to be an anatomical match with (what is regarded as standard) male or female, irrespective of the child’s true sex or gender identity. One part of this process involves reconstructive surgery of the genitalia of male infants which also involves the removal of the gonads and consequent fertility. Inherent in his procedure is the attitude that an infertile, surgically constructed ‘female’ is preferable to a fertile, underdeveloped male. This speaks loudly to assert that “female” is the best option for a “failed” male.

    Examples of good practice:

    Doctrine of Informed Consent

    The informed consent doctrine preserves a patient’s right to make medical decisions on his or her own behalf. It protects “‘the right of every individual to the possession and control of his own person, free from all restraint or interference of others, unless by clear and unquestionable authority of law.’” Two key interests are at stake: bodily integrity and self-determination.“The law of informed consent is predicated on notions of patient sovereignty and serves to safeguard the patient’s right of choice.”

    Generally, informed consent includes an obligation to provide relevant information concerning alternatives to the proposed treatment, including “material risks incident to abstention from treatment.”Although some courts continue to follow an older physician-oriented standard and measure the adequacy of disclosure with reference to the custom and standard within the medical community, the decisional trend over the past two decades has been toward a patient-oriented standard, with reference to “what a reasonable person objectively needs to hear from his or her physician to allow the patient to make an informed and intelligent decision regarding proposed medical treatment”.

    While children and incompetents possess bodily integrity and self-determination rights in theory, finding a practical framework that allows others to make decisions and yet assures the correctness of those decisions for that patient presents a legal and ethical challenge. The primary obligation for making medical decisions on behalf of children resides with the child’s parents and the obligation to disclose information about treatment runs to them.

    Therefore, it is proposed:

    1. That there be a general moratorium on such surgery when it is done without the consent of the patient.

    2. That this moratorium not be lifted unless and until the medical profession completes comprehensive look-back studies and finds that the outcomes of past interventions have been positive.

    3. That efforts be made to undo the effects of past deception by physicians.

    [Ref: “Pediatric Ethics and the Surgical Assignment of Sex”]
    Authors: Kenneth Kipnis and Milton Diamond

    Strategic recommendation(s):

    Recommendations to clinicians involved in the treatment of intersex infants:

    1. Perform no major surgery for cosmetic reasons alone; only for conditions related to physical/medical health.
    2. Explain to parents that appearances during childhood, while not typical of other children, may be of less importance than functionality and post pubertal erotic sensitivity of the genitalia. Surgery can potentially impair sexual/erotic function.
    3. Such surgery, which includes all clitoral surgery and any sex reassignment, should typically wait until puberty or after when the patient is able to give truly informed consent. [See: Kipnis, K. and Diamond, M. Pediatric Ethics and the Surgical Assignment of Sex The Journal of Clinical Ethics, 1998. 9 (December (Winter)): (p. 398-410)]

Marginalisation and Impunity: Violence Against Women and Girls in the Chittagong Hill Tracts - Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission

  • Date of paper: Sunday, March 29, 2015

    Bangladesh is a signatory to a number of international conventions intended to secure women’s rights. Drawing from various international human rights instruments, such as the United Nations (UN) Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007; the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, 1979 (CEDAW); the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) and the UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, 1993 (DEVAW) this report examines selected cases of violence against women and girls in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in 2011 and 2012.  This report also discusses relevant legal contexts and, based on four key principles, provides recommendations to the government and civil society to address violence against women and girls in the region.

    The report emphasises that militarisation and transmigration programs illegally settling Bengalis in the CHT that started in full swing from 1976 onwards have created extreme vulnerability and poverty for the Indigenous Peoples, and have deeply affected indigenous women and girls’ safety and security in the CHT.

    Impunity has been the single most important factor contributing to increased incidents of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) in the CHT. The biases of the administrative, political and judicial systems prevent access to equality and justice by Indigenous Peoples and minorities. This report stresses that the relationship of Indigenous Peoples with law enforcement agencies is vitally important in the CHT. Local authorities and police stations have more political influence and fewer financial resources, both factors that can be obstacles in addressing SGBV.

    Strategic recommendation(s):

    Recommendations directed at the Government of Bangladesh:

    1. Appoint an Indigenous and Minority Women and Girls’ Rights Ombudsperson within the National Human Rights Commission to ensure inclusion of gender sensitive concerns of minorities in framing policies and legislation.
    2. Set up a National Commission of Inquiry into the overwhelmingly high number of cases of violence against minority women and girls in Bangladesh.
    3. Set up a committee to monitor VAW in the CHT with a view to reducing incidents and limiting impunity.

Safe Home, Safe Societies: Preventing Violence against Women in the Chittagong Hill Tracts - Meghna Guhathakurta

  • Date of paper: Sunday, March 29, 2015
    Paper / Document:

    The CHT has been a conflict zone for a long time. The non realization of all the provisions of the CHT Accord reached between the Government of Bangladesh and the Parbottyo Chattogram Jana Shanghiti Samiti (PCJSS) has resulted in a failure to bring peace and stability to a region which is still ridden by old problems as much as they are
    acquiring new dimensions.

    The population of the CHT, according to the 2001 census, stands at 1.06 million, which is 0.14 percent of the national population of 129.25 million.1 Over a period of 50 years, the density of population in the area has gone up from 22 per sq. km. in 1951 to 78 in 2001, marking an increase of 354.54 percent. In 1991, the CHT had a population of 0.97
    million, of which the Hill people constituted 0.50 million and the Bengalis 0.47 million (Cited in Mohsin 2003). According to the last census (2001), the total number of indigenous people in the country was 1.41 million, while the population of Bangladesh was 129.25 million. The population of Bangladesh increased to 142.6 million in 2007
    (BBS, 2008). Another estimate says that the population in the CHT increased to 1.333 million in the 2001 census due to an increasing number of people returning from the neighboring states of India and from other regions of the country.2 The ratio of Bangali and indigenous population is approximately 50-50 on average, but in some regions the
    ratio of Bengali settlements to indigenous populations are as high as 70-30.

    The demographic pressure of Bangladesh have led to continuous land encroachment over property that has been both privately owned by indigenous people as well as bestowed through customary rights. The institutions such as the Land Commission set up to resolve the land issue have remained weak, unrepresentative of indigenous voice and debates
    surrounding them unresolved. On the other hand the internal political dissension and the changing dynamics of society and market have brought in added dimensions of exploitation that has left a once remote part of the country unprepared and vulnerable. It is in this context that I shall discuss the problems of Violence against Women in the

    Strategic recommendation(s):

    Domestic violence

    • Although domestic violence cases are under reported now, proper channels need to be developed through which women will feel safe and protected enough to call for help. Counseling service system needs to be stepped up and counseling for both victim and perpetrator is often needed. Since in the CHT there is a rich tradition of informal justice around the Karbari-Headman system, efforts need to be made to make it more gendersensitive and also maybe have a women volunteer force attached to it.

    Child protection strategies

    • Many of the victims of violence are children. In cases of child rape, it is almost always seen that the child had been left alone or unprotected. In the Hills women go out to work as frequently as men sometimes, since fetching water, or bringing in food from their land necessitates traveling distances. Organizations working in this area should take up child protection strategies and make sure they cover remote areas.

    Revisiting and re-building social capital

    Legal empowerment strategies

    • Finally there is a dearth of legal awareness among women in the hills. Although there exists organizations who are involved in this sphere, there should be effort to expand their services as well as seek more innovative ways to make such lessons, meaningful and relevant to their daily lives.

Combatting Sexual Violence in Conflict: Recommendations to States at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict (10-13 June 2014) - Amnesty International

  • Date of paper: Friday, May 30, 2014
    Organization / institution website: Home | Amnesty International

    In this paper, Amnesty International sets out a series of recommendations addressed to States, urging them to take steps to entrench long-lasting commitments to tackling impunity for sexual and gender-based violence in conflict in domestic law and policy, enhance international coordination and technical assistance, and ensure the empowerment and participation of survivors of these serious crimes under international law.

    Strategic recommendation(s):
    1. States must improve documentation, investigation and prosecution of sexual and gender-based violence in conflict, including by a) criminalizing rape and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence as crimes under international law and define them in accordance with the highest international standards; b) remove barriers to investigation and prosecution of sexual and gender-based crimes under international law, including statutes of limitation and discriminatory laws, policies and practices; c) commit to enacting and exercising universal jurisdiction and other forms of extraterritorial jurisdiction over rape and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence that amount to crimes under international law; d) build capacity to map, investigate, prosecute and adjudicate crimes of sexual and gender-based violence in conflict offer technical assistance where required, including support for women human rights defenders; and d) commit to supporting initiatives in intergovernmental bodies to establish commissions of inquiry or referrals to international or hybrid justice mechanisms to investigate, prosecute and adjudicate crimes of sexual and gender-based violence in conflict. 
    2. States must provide greater support, assistance and reparation to survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.  Where necessary, states should create specific national programmes of assistance and reparation to survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in conflict.  States should support international efforts to provide assistance and reparation to survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, including through contributions to the ICC Trust Fund for Victims.
    3. States must ensure full integration of sexual and gender-based violence responses and the promotion of gender equality in all peace and security efforts. States must pursue the full and effective implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions on women, peace and security and develop national action plans in consultation with civil society. States should take measures that explicitly integrate gender-sensitive support for and protection of human rights defenders. Moreover, States must ratify the Arms Trade Treaty and effectively implement provisions on gender-based violence.

Recommendations for Reviewing and Revising National Action Plans on Women, Peace, and Security - Institute for Inclusive Security

  • Date of paper: Monday, September 1, 2014

    Since the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, dozens of countries have created national policies—often known as national action plans or NAPs—to solidify their commitment to women, peace, and security. As these states strive for effective, impactful implementation of these plans, many, including the US, are embarking on a process of evaluating the impact of their national strategies. Drawing from the examples of several countries that have already undertaken these steps, Inclusive Security has compiled best practice recommendations for the review and revision of NAPs.

Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism in Pakistan: Why Policewomen Must Have a Role - Institute for Inclusive Security

  • Date of paper: Monday, March 31, 2014

    Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies struggle to combat militant violence that contributes to political, economic, and social instability. To improve the operational effectiveness of Pakistani forces, the government of Pakistan and international donors must prioritize the recruitment, retention, and professionalization of women in the police. This policy brief summarizes research conducted in Pakistan in October 2013 and February 2014 by Inclusive Security that documents why and how increasing the number and expertise of women in the police force would improve security and counter violent extremism. 

Open Letter Ahead of the High Level Review - NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security

  • Date of paper: Friday, March 27, 2015

    Despite the repeated commitments, the WPS agenda is far from being comprehensively implemented in policy and practice. To achieve effective and sustainable mechanisms of preventing and resolving conflict, UN Member States and agencies must take concrete action in terms of: women’s meaningful participation in all peace and security processes; national and regional implementation of WPS obligations; delivering funding; implementing the prevention pillar; ensuring accountability; and leading by example.

    Women’s participation

    The equal and full participation of women in all efforts to create international peace and security, and the protection and respect for their human rights, are imperative to prevent or resolve conflicts and build lasting peace. The exclusion of women and the lack of gender analysis lead to a failure to adequately address the full drivers of conflict, threatening the sustainability of agreements and forcing women to have to fight even harder for representation and justice.

    We call on Member States and the UN to: establish formal consultative forums with civil society and incentives for parties in all conflicts to include women and gender experts in all negotiation teams; fund the attendance of women civil society at international and regional peace and security meetings including donor conferences; and increase the recruitment, retention, and professionalization of women across all justice and security sectors.

    National and regional implementation

    The WPS agenda requires full integration within the governing structures and programs of all Member States and regional bodies. This necessitates a commitment to the development, implementation, and review of existing national and regional gender strategies including National Action Plans (NAPs) and Regional Action Plans (RAPs). Such strategies should: increase coordination and mobilization of inter-agency decision makers and resources; institutionalize a civil society engagement process; include the development of strong, results-based monitoring and evaluation mechanisms with clear indicators and timeframes; dedicate specific funding for implementation; comply with international human rights and humanitarian law standards; and commit to gender sensitive laws, policies, practices and institutions. Member States are also encouraged to hold WPS parliamentary debates before the 1325 High Level Review that demonstrate cross-party support for the agenda, provide an update on gender strategies and commit to regular engagement with civil society.

    Delivering funding

    Increased political support must be matched with greater and more sustained funding for the WPS agenda. Women must have equal access to direct funding as well to resource allocation in decision-making processes.

    Member States must: pledge multi-year large-scale financial support for WPS including  programs and for civil society organizations at national, provincial and local levels; ensure core funding within the UN for gender and WPS experts in missions and UN Headquarters (UNHQ); and reduce military spending and redirect this expenditure as called for in the Beijing Platform for Action, which links gender equality and the call for the control of excessive arms spending.

    Implementing the prevention pillar

    Conflict prevention lies at the core of the WPS agenda, yet too often is not considered with the same level of urgency as conflict resolution and post-conflict rebuilding. The full implementation of SCR 1325 and subsequent WPS resolutions, the promotion of the Beijing Platform for Action, and adherence to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and other international human rights standards provide the roadmap for the prevention of armed conflict and the integration of gender equality across all peace and security efforts.

    Member States and the UN must: address the root causes of violence; promote gender equality and invest in women’s human rights, economic empowerment, education and civil society; call on States to stop exporting arms where there is a substantial risk they will be used to commit serious violations of human rights; ratify and implement the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and CEDAW without reservations; support women’s leadership as well as women’s voices and perspectives in efforts to combat, reduce and prevent terrorism and violent extremism; and ensure WPS recommendations are integrated into all multilateral review processes including the Peace Operations Review, Review of the Peacebuilding Architecture, World Humanitarian Summit, Third International Conference on Financing for Development, and the post-2015 development agenda, including the sustainable development goals.

    Ensuring accountability

    Accountability must be insisted upon for atrocities and human rights violations-including for sexual and gender-based violence and civilian casualties-committed by all non-state armed groups, security forces including UN mandated troops, and contractors. Sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) must be urgently tackled as the perpetrators often enjoy complete immunity.

    Member States and the UN must: ensure all investigations and prosecutions are survivor centered and conducted in accordance with international standards; mandate pre-deployment training and vetting of all personnel; and recruit and train all Women Protection Advisors (WPA), prioritizing the recruitment of WPAs with previous experience in gender-based violence response.

    Leading by example

    The highest echelons of UN leadership, within the Secretariat, specialized agencies, programs and funds, as well as peacekeeping and political missions, must be directly responsible and accountable to ensure more consistent and systematic attention, action and follow-up on WPS. In order to advance these efforts, Member States and the entire UN system must support a strong UN structure to deliver on WPS over the next decade with gender expertise built into operational and policy-making entities, field missions, inter-agency initiatives and groups, and in technical expert rosters. These actors must also ensure those entrusted with the office of Secretary-General, as well as all members of the Senior Management Group, Special envoys and representatives, and Senior Mediators have a responsibility in their respective fields to advance a gender perspective and women’s participation.

    It is equally important that the Security Council, as the UN body responsible for maintaining international peace and security, leads by example and address its current lack of consistency in implementing the WPS agenda. The Security Council must: ensure WPS is considered as a cross-cutting issue across all of its work by including specific provisions related to women’s rights and women’s participation in all mandates and requesting information and recommendations on issues related to WPS from missions in reports and briefings; calling for gender-sensitive conflict analyses, which identify not only the differentiated impact of conflict on women, girls, men and boys, but also barriers to women’s participation in political, electoral and transitional justice processes, security sectors, and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, to be at the basis of planning and reporting in all missions both internally and externally; and institutionalizing briefings by civil society, the Executive Director of UN Women and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict during meetings on both country-specific and thematic agenda items.

    In October, we expect more than a ceremony. We need real action, political will and follow through.

2015 Civil Society Women, Peace and Security Roadmap - NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security

  • Date of paper: Tuesday, March 24, 2015
    Organization / institution website: NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security

    In October 2015, women activists, advocates and women human rights defenders along with UN Member States and agencies will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) and the establishment of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda.

    Despite the rhetoric and repeated commitments, the WPS agenda is far from being comprehensively implemented in policy and practice by Member States and the UN system. Full implementation of the agenda means implementation across all “pillars:” conflict prevention, participation, protection and relief and recovery. Although there has been some progress in recognizing and addressing the disproportionate impact of conflict on women and girls, this is only one aspect of the WPS agenda. Women’s leadership and their full and equal participation in all efforts to establish international peace and security, and the promotion and respect of their human rights, are imperative to prevent or resolve conflicts and build peace. Whether it be creating initiatives aimed at countering armed violence or the brokering of a peace accord, peace and security processes will not be effective if half the population is left on the sidelines.

    Initiatives related to the 15th anniversary, including the High-Level Review, must be more than ceremonial and about recommitments to the principles and transformative potential, and effective implementation, of the WPS agenda. Implementation and operationalization of WPS commitments must be prioritized, and key challenges that have hindered the full adoption of Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1325 (2000) and subsequent resolutions must be immediately addressed and overcome by UN Member States and entities. Commitments made in the lead up to and at the October anniversary must be followed by long-term implementation strategies. To achieve effective results on WPS, the international community must address and take action on the following critical areas:

    • Women’s Participation
    • National and Regional Implementation
    • Financing
    • Conflict Prevention
    • Accountability
    • UN System Leadership

Women, Peace and Security: New Conceptual Challenges and Opportunities - NOREF - Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre | Nicola Pratt and Sophie Richter-Devroe

  • Date of paper: Friday, March 1, 2013
    Organization / institution website: http://www.peacebuilding.no/

    UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and subsequent resolutions have attempted to redefine the relationships among women, peace and security. For many activists and practitioners, making gender central to peacebuilding and conflict resolution should transform the international peace and security agenda. However, there are indications that women are being integrated into the existing peace and security agenda without any transformation occurring. This policy brief focuses on the conceptual basis of the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda in terms of three links: between gender and conflict, between gender and peacebuilding, and between the WPS agenda and feminist visions of peace. It recommends the following:

    1. Rather than merely adding women into existing structures and processes, the WPS agenda should strive to transform the international peace and security system.
    2. Interventions in conflict/post-conflict situations should not only be informed by a liberal feminist agenda, but also by intersectional and post-colonial feminist analysis.
    3. Peacebuilding interventions should also include those women who do not necessarily support liberal agendas.
    4. Efforts to strengthen women’s participation in conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction should recognize the diversity of non-violent forms of female political agency.
    Examples of good practice:

    1) European and Norther American official discourses the represent women in the Global South as victims in need of 'rescue', risk provoking a local backlash against women’s activism in conflict/post-conflict situations, which become associated with “foreign” interventions and even “foreign” military agendas.
    2) The local coping strategies and forms of resistance to violence of ordinary men and women in conflict zones can offer important insights for conflict transformation and peacebuilding.

    Strategic recommendation(s):
    1. Interventions in conflict/post-conflict situations should not only be informed by a liberal feminist agenda, but also by intersectional and post-colonial feminist analysis.
    2. Peacebuilding interventions should also include those women who do not necessarily support liberal agendas.
    3. Efforts to strengthen women’s participation in conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction should recognize the diversity of non-violent forms of female political agency.

Turning Promises into Progress - Gender Action for Peace and Security UK (GAPS)

  • Date of paper: Sunday, March 1, 2015

    “Peace starts from the closest place to us - our home, then it takes us further - to our community, then our society, country and world. Men are included in peacebuilding at all of these levels, women are not. Peace, conflict and violence has an impact on us all - women and men - but only men are recognised and included. Only men are asked how conflict affects them and how peace can be built. But we women have the experience and education to tell the world that too. It is our right to be included in peacebuilding so that our homes, communities, societies and countries are free from violence.” - Hasina Safi, Director, Afghan Women’s Network

    2015 represents an important moment for gender equality and women’s and girls’ rights. It is twenty years since the landmark Beijing Conference on Women and fifteen years since the ground-breaking United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security was adopted. In light of these key milestones and as the post-2015 development framework is agreed and implemented, three UK Networks – the Gender and Development Network (GADN), Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS), and the Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights Network UK - have come together to assess progress and make recommendations for turning the promises made into progress.

    Over the last two decades there have been many new commitments and increasing political rhetoric on gender equality and the realisation of rights for women and girls, but limited real progress in achieving either. In our report, Turning Promises into Progress, we conclude that this is, in part, because the underlying causes of gender equality have not been addressed and there was insufficient political will to make the changes needed on the ground.

    Part two of the report, including this Women, Peace and Security section which was led by GAPS, looks at progress and challenges across eight areas relevant to gender equality.  While spotlighting specific issues, it is also important to underline the interconnectedness of gender inequality and recognise the underlying causes that impact across issue areas and span political, social, economic, cultural and environmental spheres. The recommendations throughout the report are therefore inter-linked and mutually reinforcing. While the actions are intended to be relevant for all women and girls, specific attention must be given those who are the most marginalised, and who face multiple discrimination on the grounds of race, ethnicity, sexuality, age, disability and marital status. Recommendations made are aimed at the broader international community with relevance primarily to official international institutions and governments but also to civil society organisations (CSOs) and the private sector. This document is an extract from the report – the issue section on ‘Women, Peace and Security’.

    Historically, conflict and peace have been seen as a male-dominated arena with men fighting the battles as well as negotiating and signing the peace deals. Women have typically been viewed as victims in conflict or as having a role to ‘serve’ combatants, such as the estimated 200,000 ‘comfort women’ who were forced into sexual slavery for Japanese soldiers during World War II. The voices and experiences of women and girls in conflict, peace and security have largely been silenced in both historical records and political discourse. Yet women and girls experience conflict, post-conflict contexts and peacebuilding in ways unique to their gender. Women play varied roles including as combatants, survivors, witnesses, peacekeepers, service providers and change makers. The inclusion of women and girls, and recognition of their experiences, is essential to sustainable peace and ending the cycle of violence.

    This report outlines progress made, existing challenges, and key recommendations for how Women, Peace and Security commitments can be implemented in order to Turn Promises into Progress.

    Strategic recommendation(s):
    • Fully implement defence, diplomatic and development commitments in the BPfA and WPS-related UNSCRs with action and funding on the ground.
    • Take targeted, comprehensive action on women’s, and where appropriate adolescent girls’, participation in decision making across political, social, humanitarian and economic spheres from the community through to the international level.
    • Work with, systematically consult, and provide funding to women’s rights organisations to support their role at the forefront of service provision and promotion of WPS.
    • Provide dedicated funding to WPS and track this funding allocation using internationally recognised reporting mechanisms such as the OECD Gender Marker.
    • Address the root causes of and social norms attached to VAWG, women’s and girls’ exclusion from economic, social and political participation and wider gender inequality, both during and after conflict.
    • Reprioritise conflict prevention as part of the ‘prevention’ pillar, including through demilitarisation, disarmament and fostering cultures of peace as set out in the Beijing Platform for Action.

Climate Change and Natural Disasters Affecting Women, Peace and Security - Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development

Reviving Conflict Prevention in 1325 - Saferworld

  • Date of paper: Monday, March 9, 2015
    Organization / institution website: Home - Saferworld

    As an organisation dedicated to preventing violent conflict, Saferworld is committed to challenging gender norms that cause and perpetuate conflict and insecurity. This submission focuses on the need to give greater attention to the conflict prevention elements of the women, peace and security agenda. UNSCR 1325 affirms “the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts”, yet the ‘prevention’ pillar of the women, peace and security agenda is often narrowly interpreted in practice as referring to the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence in conflict, and not to the prevention of conflict itself. This has led to concerns that the transformative potential of the women, peace and security agenda to reduce militarisation and violent conflict has been compromised. This paper argues that gender analysis of conflict must analyse the gender dimensions of conflict drivers as well as the gendered impacts of conflict, and that peacebuilding efforts must address militarised masculinities and femininities that can fuel conflict.

    Examples of good practice:

    Please find a range of examples of good practice and lessons learned in our report, 'Masculinities, conflict and peacebuilding: Perspectives on men through a gender lens', available at http://www.saferworld.org.uk/resources/view-resource/862-masculinities-c....

    Strategic recommendation(s):
    • UN agencies and governments developing implementation plans on women, peace and security should explicitly include measures to prevent violent conflict. These should go beyond early warning systems which seek to mitigate the worst effects of conflict or avert crisis, and include longer-term approaches which address the root causes of conflict.
    • Donors and civil society organisations operating in conflict-affected contexts should ensure more consistent and thorough inclusion of gender analysis in their conflict analysis, including through the provision of guidelines on how to do this. Gender analysis of conflict should analyse gender dimensions of the drivers of conflict as well as different impacts of conflict on women, men, boys and girls.
    • Peacebuilding practitioners should also analyse and respond to militarised masculinities and femininities which fuel militarisation in both ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ contexts, as a key part of gender-sensitive conflict prevention efforts. Donors should fund pilot projects to further develop promising approaches to effectively challenging those gender norms.