Seventeen years ago, the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 1325. It was the first Security Council resolution to address the disproportionate and unique impact of armed conflict on women, and the pivotal role women can play in conflict resolution and peacebuilding. Sophia Close is Conciliation Resources' Senior Adviser on Gender and Peacebuilding:
UNSCR 1325 and subsequent resolutions remain critical to asserting the fundamental roles of women in peace processes. These international human rights frameworks have been valuable tools for women in situations of conflict, such as in Colombia and Nepal, to secure legal and political recognition of their rights. However, high levels of impunity for failure to honour commitments made in the resolutions and lack of sustained funding and practical implementation of policies and legislation create the risk that these legal mechanisms do not lead to practical change, on the scale hoped for. Greater focus on the widespread and contextualised implementation of these important frameworks are necessary to support inclusive peace processes.
UNSCR 1325 calls on member states to ensure women’s equal participation in all efforts to maintain and promote peace and security. Through our work, and that of our partners, we aim to promote a better understanding of the links between gender, violence and peace and support the participation of women, and others who are marginalised, in peacebuilding. Here’s how:
1. Highlighting ways to support women’s meaningful participation in peace
Women’s meaningful participation in the process of building peace can ensure it is effective, inclusive and sustainable. When women are included in peace processes, the chances of a peace agreement lasting at least 15 years increases by 35%. Using examples from around the world, our interactive infographic explains why and how to support women to ensure their voices are heard.
Explore the infographic here.
2. Ensuring indigenous women’s inclusion in the Colombian peace process
Indigenous communities were some of the worst affected by the five decades of armed conflict in Colombia, and women in particular were disproportionately affected. Despite this, they are often excluded from processes to build peace. Conciliation Resources supported Colombian partner organisation CIASE to establish the National Council of Indigenous Women in Colombia (CONAMIC). This is a network of women from ten different indigenous groups, working to promote the rights and active participation of indigenous women in the on-going peace process.
3. Analysing women’s important role in building peace
Excluding women from peacebuilding neglects a rich source of skills, insights and energy. In our Accord publication on women and peacebuilding, the nine case studies illustrate how women have found innovative and creative ways to contribute to peace through both formal and informal processes.
4. Supporting women to return home in the Central African Republic
Tatiana Vivienne is the founder of Femmes Hommes Action Plus (FHAP), an organisation that supports women who escape from the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) to return and reintegrate into their communities. Since 2008, an estimated 7,600 people were abducted by the LRA in South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Read Tatiana’s story here.
5. Sharing practical guidance on gender and conflict
Our gender and conflict analysis toolkit provides practical guidance for peacebuilders on gender and conflict analysis. Integrating gender into conflict analysis can ensure peacebuilding interventions are more inclusive and effective. It does this by enhancing the understanding of underlying gender power relations, and how these influence and are affected by armed conflict and peacebuilding.
Download the toolkit here.
6. Empowering diaspora women to have a voice in peace
Since 2014, we’ve have been working with Colombian women now living in London and Barcelona. As Colombia faces the task of rebuilding its historic memory in order to overcome a violent past and build a peaceful future, Colombians abroad sensed an opportunity to be part of this collective responsibility. The Truth, memory and reconciliation commission of Colombian women in the diaspora (TMRC) brings together women to share their stories and memories, and to claim a voice in Colombia’s peace process.
Read our new report about the work of the TMRC here
and read Sofia’s story here.