The Women, Peace and Security Agenda matters, because it forms the basis for plans and action from local to global arenas. Security Council resolutions are binding under international law. This means the United Nations and its Security Council, Member States, civil society, the private sector, and parties to conflicts are all obligated to take action to uphold commitments on this agenda. Civil society continues to lead implementation and action at all levels.

It is clear from the Security Council’s political recognition of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda that gender is indeed central to international peace and security. However, accountability, implementation and action on the ground remain seriously lacking.

On the plus side, there have been some concrete steps forward:

  • Between January 2015 and July 2017, of the monitored country-specific resolutions with language on women and/or gender, 51.6% (95/186) refer to women, in contrast with only 5% which did so in the period 1998-2000, before SCR 1325 was adopted.
  • As of August 2017, 67 countries have launched their National Action Plans (NAPs), and several Members States are in the process of reviewing and updating their NAPs (i.e.: Canada and Macedonia). Of the NAPs adopted to date, 12 NAPs have sustained and allocated budget.
  • 9 out of 15 Peacekeeping missions in the world in 2016 have Gender Advisors. There are female UN peacekeepers deployed in all 16 missions. Further, 10 peace operations are explicitly mandated to address gender and/or WPS in a cross-cutting manner. In 2014, Major General Kristin Lund became the first female commander of a UN peacekeeping force.
  • The first woman chief mediator was appointed by the UN in 2013: Mary Robinson, UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region of Africa.
  • In 2016, 103 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse were reported in UN field missions. 47% related to incidents that had occured before 2016.
  • In 2015, the United Nations provided gender expertise to eight of nine (89 per cent) relevant mediation processes, an increase from 67 per cent in 2014. 
  • Of 10 peace agreements signed in 2015, 7 (70 per cent) contained gender-specific provisions, compared with 50 per cent in 2014.
  • As of January 2017, only 18.3 per cent of government ministers were women,with the majority overseeing social sectors, such as education and the family.

However, much remains to be done:

  • 5 of the 8 current Women, Peace and Security resolutions focus on the issue of sexual violence rather than addressing the full Women, Peace and Security Agenda.
  • Only 15 out of 62 (24%) United Nations entities reporting data in 2015 had systems to track resources for gender equality and women's empowerment.
  • Annual military expenditures have increased by approximately 60% from 2000 to 2015, inhibiting inclusive peace and violating women's rights and participation.
  • Only a few Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) programmes have developed concrete initiatives to transform violent masculinities.