Women, Peace, & Security

UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR1325) is a defining feature and the starting point for the Women, Peace and Security Agenda as we know it now. This is an Agenda that many women’s organisations across the globe focus on; the agenda looks at the nexus between women, peace and security and seeks to redefine the latter two in light of women’s lived experience.

What is the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda?

UNSCR1325 is the first recognition by the UN Security Council of the disproportionate and distinctive impact that armed conflict has on women and girls and that women’s security and participation in conflict prevention, resolution and peacebuilding is necessarily linked to the broader security context. It recognises the role of women’s organisations as peacebuilders within their communities and requires that official responses to conflict engage local women’s peace initiatives.

UNSCR1325 on Women, Peace and Security was unanimously adopted by United Nations Security Council on 31 October 2000. UNSCR 1325 mandates that the United Nations its member states take concrete actions to prevent women’s insecurity during and after conflict; and to increase women’s participation at all levels of decision making of conflict prevention, resolution and recovery efforts.

UNSCR1325 contains multiple mutually reinforcing dimensions, often referred to as the three P’s: Prevention, Protection and Participation. Participation is central to the overall aims and objectives of the resolution.

Key Provisions of UNSCR 1325:

  • Increased participation and representation of women at all levels of decision-making
  • Attention to specific protection needs of women and girls in conflict
  • Gender perspective in post-conflict processes
  • Gender perspective in UN programming, reporting and in Security Council missions.
  • Gender perspective & training in UN peace support operations.

UNSCR 1325 is a mandate for the United Nations system and its entities. It is also a mandate for UN member states and parties in addition to their treaty obligations, including the Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW 1979). In response to the mandate of UNSCR1325, the Security Council has adopted further ‘sister’ resolutions, which extend the specific set of recommendations and strengthen institutional monitoring mechanisms.

Other Resolutions that form part of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda:

  • Resolutions 1820 (2008) and 1888 (2009) deal with sexual violence as a tactic during conflict, strengthening the prevention and protection mandate of UNSCR 1325.
  • Resolution 1889 (2009) addresses concerns about the implementation of UNSCR 1325, requiring the development of indicators to monitor this.
  • Resolution 1960 (2010) delivers an accountability mechanism, which carries mandatory reporting requirements and the power for sanctions committees to take actions against those parties suspected of conflict-related sexual violence.

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