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Women, Peace and Security

Afghan Women’s Network discuss how to advance women’s inclusion in the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program. Photo credit: Institute for Inclusive Security

Women and girls’ experience of conflict, post-conflict transitions and peacebuilding is different to that of men. To date, recognition of these experiences has been largely lacking in conflict resolution and peacebuilding processes. Yet placing women and girls at the heart of all efforts related to peacebuilding is vital to ending violence and ensuring sustainable peace.

Recognising this, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) and subsequent Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security have been adopted since 2000. These commitments mandate the international community to ensure women’s participation in all aspects of peacebuilding, protect women’s rights in conflict and address violence.

The road to peace and gender equality is not smooth

Whilst there has been some progress over the past 15 years, much of the promises of these Resolutions are yet to be fulfilled. A study by UN Women in 2011 of 31 major peace processes spanning two decades revealed that only 4% of signatories were women.

A full review of progress to date and the gaps remaining in their implementation is taking place throughout 2015 – this presents a huge opportunity to identify the areas that need priority action in the years to come.

Violence against women and girls

The escalation of violence usually coincides with an increase in violence against women and girls. This violence takes many different forms – including rape, intimate partner violence, and sexual exploitation and trafficking – and continues long after conflict has officially ended.

Participation at all levels

Despite international commitments, numerous obstacles to women’s full and equal participation in peacebuilding still remain. What’s more, formal peace processes often exclude women, despite their important contributions to conflict resolution and peacebuilding within their communities during and after conflict.

Women central to peacebuilding

Womankind prioritises the development and full implementation of the global Women, Peace and Security commitments in our policy work, actively monitoring global efforts. We also contribute to shadow reports on impact and make recommendations for improvement.

As our recent report shows, women’s rights organisations are often at the forefront of providing services to women affected by conflict, and in building peace at national and local levels. Yet their work is often unrecognised, and almost always under-funded. We work tirelessly to highlight this important work and make sure that our partners are central to all efforts to move forward on Women, Peace and Security.

By doing this, we can ensure that women’s rights in fragile and conflict-affected countries are fully protected.


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