Written by: Sarah Hammond
When countries experience extensive periods of conflict and violence, the conflict and post-conflict settings are often characterized by instability, inequality, trauma, violence, and c
hanging social values - only to name a few. All these issues, already damaging on their own, also impact gender relations and perpetuate gender-based violence (GBV). With these issues in mind, Sonke Gender Justice, in collaboration with MenEngage, UNFPA, Promundo, and WILPF, released a scorecard assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the National Action Plans (NAPs) for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 of nine African countries, looking at how well these NAPs engage both men and women to better combat GBV and provided recommendations to improve the NAPs, and work towards the elimination of GBV. This builds on WILPF's ongoing work to challenge militarism and promote women's human rights, including PeaceWomen's lecture series on July 13th 2013 by International Director of Promundo Gary Barker addressing the need to transform traditional understandings of masculinity for gender equality, violence prevention, and peace.
Of these nine countries analyzed, seven currently have NAPs for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 (Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Liberia and Sierra Leone), while Kenya and South Sudan's NAPs are still currently in development. Of these seven, three include language about the engagement of men, and promoting women's roles and safety in the peace and security agenda. However, few policies encourage men and boys to speak out against GBV and act as advocates for change - which is an important step towards the elimination of GB.