Gender, Peace and Security

Women's Advocacy and Conflict Resolution

image of Gender, Peace and Security
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 recognises both war’s adverse effects on women and women’s important contributions to peace and security. Yet despite the resolution being passed unanimously over a decade ago, women are still generally underrepresented in formal peace negotiations and to date only 33 countries worldwide – and only 5 in the Commonwealth – have approved National Action Plans (NAPs) to implement the resolution.

Gender, Peace and Security examines women’s role in both conflict and post-conflict reconciliation. It describes how UNSCR 1325 provides support for women in peace-building processes and provides case studies of how it has been implemented in selected countries, including the benefits of NAPs and women’s involvement in their adoption. Essential reading for Ministers and senior officials looking to develop NAPs, or anyone with an interest in the role of women in international affairs.



Women and National Action Plans (NAPs)

The discussion in Chapter 3 has painted a somewhat gloomy overall picture of the ability of women to translate increased activism during conflict into involvement in formal mechanisms of peace-building as well as political participation more broadly. However, as the Commonwealth Plan of Action for Gender Equality 2005–2015 (PoA) notes, there have been some concrete accomplishments: ‘In response to the target set by the Fifth Meeting of Commonwealth Ministers Responsible for Women’s Affairs (5WAMM), requiring that by 2005 at least 30 per cent of those in political and decision-making positions should be women, 12 Commonwealth countries had achieved women’s representation in parliament of between 20 and 30 per cent by October 2003, with three (Mozambique, New Zealand and South Africa) consistently attaining the 30 per cent target. Since 1999, 24 countries have recorded an increase in female parliamentary representation, and there has been an appreciable rise in the number of female Ministers and Deputy Ministers.’ (Commonwealth Secretariat 2005: 19)1 National action plans (NAPs) can help countries be accountable to the laudable ideals and vision laid out in UNSCR 1325. This chapter provides a review of countries that have implemented NAPs and explores the differences between implementing countries recovering from conflict and countries primarily engaged in peacekeeping activities overseas.


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