WILPF missions are to end and prevent war (through disarmament, environment and militarism, crisis response); ensure that women are represented at all levels in the peace-building process (women, peace and security); defend the human rights of women and men (human rights); and promote social, economic and political justice.
WILPF is engaged in the Women, Peace and Security agenda as the organisation believes that the exclusion of women, women’s rights and gender remains a key impediment to the attainment of sustainable peace and human security. Therefore, in 2000 WILPF founded the PeaceWomen programme to work on ensuring that women’s rights and participation are not disregarded in international peace and security efforts. This programme monitors the implementation of UNSCR 1325 at the international, national and local levels and advocates for the full implementation of all Women, Peace and Security-related UN resolutions.
But what exactly is ‘Women, Peace and Security’?
Armed conflicts have a devastating impact, but women and girls tend to suffer disproportionately from its effects as conflicts all have gendered dimensions. Indeed, pre-existing gender inequalities are reinforced during times of trouble and conflicts, hindering women’s rights and access to basic services. Moreover, women are underrepresented and marginalised in peace talks. Not only are they the most important victims, we do not acknowledge their power and their role as potential agents of change in peacemaking and peace building processes.
The resolution 1325 adopted by the UN Security Council in 2000 focuses on these issues of women, peace and security. This resolution made history by ensuring the protection and participation of women and girls in conflict and post-conflict situations and decision-making processes. It emphasised the “vital role of women in conflict resolution and mandated a review of the impact of armed conflict on women and girls, the role of women in peace building and the gender dimension of peace processes and conflict-resolution, as well as the reconstruction and rehabilitation processes”.
In 1979, CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women) was created and affirmed that strengthened peace and security at the international level will contribute to the achievement of full equality between men and women. Later, in the 1993 Declaration on the elimination of violence against women it was recognised that “violence against women is an obstacle to the achievement of equality, development and peace”. The Beijing Platform of Action was launched only two years later and referred to women in armed conflicts as “The equal access and full participation of women in power structures and their full involvement in all efforts for the prevention and resolution of conflicts are essential for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security”.
On October 2000, the UNSC adopted the resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security – the first of its type to ensure protection of women and girls in conflict and post-conflicts situations and their participation in peace and security processes. The resolution recognises that women and girls are impacted by conflict differently, emphasising the crucial role of women in conflict resolution and long-term peace building. The resolution also “mandated a review of the impact of armed conflict on women and girls, the role of women in peace building and the gender dimension of peace processes and conflict-resolution, as well as the reconstruction and rehabilitation processes”.
The adoption of UNSCR 1325 was a real, historic step forward for gender equality and women’s empowerment, as the resolution was the first Security Council Resolution to specifically address women’s roles as agents in peace and security.
It is divided into four main pillars:
Of all women at all levels of peace processes and security policy to be increased.
Of the impact of armed conflict on women, and recognition that women are an integral part of the measures taken to prevent conflict.
Of women and women’s rights during armed conflict and post-conflict.
That women’s and girls’ specific needs and priorities are to be addressed during the post-conflict recovery phase.
To learn more :
See the text of UNSCR 1325 here.
See which countries have adopted a National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325 here.
Read the 10-year Global Study on the implementation of UNSCR 1325, available online here.