Literature research on the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 ‘Women, Peace, and Security’

Literature research on the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 ‘Women, Peace, and Security’

Security Council meeting on October 13th, 2015, the anniversary of UNSCR 1325
Security Council meeting on October 13th, 2015, the anniversary of UNSCR 1325 — Image Credits

Synopsis

Literature research on the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 ‘Women, Peace, and Security’

Council Considers Women's Role in Peace and Security: A wide view of the Security Council at its day-long debate on the role of women in peace and security, held on the eleventh anniversary of landmark resolution 1325 on the issue (28 October 2011 United Nations, New York) - Photo: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

By adopting Resolution 1325, ‘Women, Peace, and Security‘ on 31 October 2000, the United Nations Security Council (UN) defined the legal and political framework for considering and involving women and girls in peace and security measures. Until a few years ago peace processes were still treated as allegedly gender-neutral processes both in theory and in practice, but now the Security Council recognises that “an understanding of the impact of armed conflict on women and girls, effective institutional arrangements to guarantee their protection and full participation in the peace process can significantly contribute to the maintenance and promotion of international peace and security”.  Hence, the Security Council refers to the role of women not only as peacemakers, but also as victims of armed conflicts and combatants in wars, and compels international and regional organisations, national governments and non-governmental agencies to protect women and girls and involve them in peace processes.

Resolution 1325 contains stipulations by the Security Council on the following key points:

  • Involvement of women in peace and security decision-making processes (Articles 1-4 S/RES/1325)
  • Incorporation of a gender perspective into peacekeeping operations and field missions together with gender-sensitive training for mission personnel  (Articles 5-7 S/RES/1325)
  • Incorporation of a gender perspective when negotiating and implementing peace agreements (Article 8 S/RES/1325)
  • Protection of women and their rights during and after armed conflicts (Articles 9-15 S/RES/1325)
  • Incorporation of a gender perspective in United Nations measures, reports and processes (Articles 16-17 S/RES/1325)

Thus, Resolution 1325 was the first UN Security Council Resolution to deal with the gender-specific impact of armed conflict and explicitly the position of women and girls in conflict situations. Even women’s organisations, which, following the adoption of the Beijing Declaration at the UN World Women’s Conference in 1995, campaigned for the active involvement of women in peace processes, had high hopes for Resolution 1325. Without doubt this represents a milestone in the fight for women’s human rights and is an important instrument for advocating and protecting women’s rights in conflict and post-conflict situations. However, although Resolution 1325 is international law, it is not covered by Chapter VII of the UN Charter; consequently, its implementation cannot be enforced or non-compliance penalised. Its successful implementation ultimately depends on the political will of those involved in wars and peace processes. So the question is how the Resolution will be implemented in practice and what progress has been made in terms of the involvement of women and girls and their rights in armed conflicts.

Numerous publications on various aspects and implications for the implementation of Resolution 1325 have been released on an international, regional and national level since Resolution 1325 was adopted in 2000. This synopsis will provide an overview of the current status of the research. The aim of the synopsis is to identify gaps in the research to date and formulate possible questions for future studies. The practical implementation of the Resolution is at the forefront here. The literature research has been carried out in the light of international, regional and national publications, including academic sources as well as publications issued by governmental and civilian protagonists and implementing organisations.

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