United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325
|UN Security Council
|Date||31 October 2000|
|Subject||Women, peace and security|
|15 voted for
None voted against
|Security Council composition|
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSRC 1325) was adopted unanimously on 31 October 2000, after recalling resolutions 1261 (1999), 1265 (1999), 1296 (2000), and 1314 (2000). The resolution on women, peace and security acknowledges the disproportionate and unique impact of armed conflict on women and girls. It calls for the adoption of a gender perspective to consider the special needs of women and girls during conflict, repatriation and resettlement, rehabilitation, reintegration and post-conflict reconstruction.
Resolution 1325 was the first formal and legal document from the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) that required parties in a conflict to prevent violations of women's rights, to support women's participation in peace negotiations and in post-conflict reconstruction, and to protect women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence in armed conflict. It was also the first United Nations resolution to specifically mention women. The resolution has since become an organizing framework for the women, peace and security agenda, which focuses on advancing the components of resolution 1325.
- 1 Resolution
- 2 History
- 3 Implementation
- 4 Impact
- 5 Criticisms
- 6 Related groups
- 7 Related Resolutions
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
The observations highlight how the Council considers the issue of women and armed conflict important to international peace and security. They express the Council's concern about civilians in armed conflict, particularly women and children, who constitute most of the victims of conflict and who are increasingly targeted by armed groups. Attacks against civilians, particularly women and children, negatively impact peace and reconciliation.
More specifically, the observations:
- Reaffirm the important role that women play in conflict prevention, resolution and peace-building.
- Emphasize the importance of women's equal involvement in peace and security and the need for women's increased participation in conflict prevention and peace-building.
- Reaffirm the importance of international humanitarian and human rights law in the protection of women and their rights.
- Recognize the need to adopt a gender perspective in peacekeeping operations and training of peacekeeping personnel on the special needs of women and children in conflict and humanitarian settings.
- Recognizes that the protection of women and girls and their participation in peace processes is important to international peace and security.
The operational items in resolution 1325 broadly call upon member states to address the needs of women and girls in armed conflict and support their participation in peace negotiations. The key components and recommendations of resolution 1325 are:
- Preventing sexual and gender-based violence in armed conflict: resolution 1325 calls upon all parties to conflict to take special measures to protect women and girls from violence in armed conflict, particularly sexual and gender-based violence. It also calls for states to end impunity for crimes against humanity, particularly sexual violence, and prosecute offenders.
- Peace negotiations: The resolutions calls for including a gender perspective in peace negotiations and increasing women's participation in peace negotiation, with particular attention to supporting local women's peace initiatives.
- Protection of women and girls in refugee settings: The resolution calls upon parties to conflict to consider the special needs of women in girls in designing and administering camps.
- Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR): It also calls for considering gender in DDR, particularly the different needs of male and female ex-combatants.
- Women's political participation: The resolution calls upon member states to increase women's participation at all levels of decision-making in national, regional and international institutions.
- Incorporate a gender perspective into peacekeeping operations and consider gender in Security Council missions and consult with international and local women's organizations.
- Provide training for the UN and Member States on the protection, rights and needs of women, gender sensitivity and the importance of involving women in peacekeeping and peace-building measures.
- Gender balancing in the UN: Increase women's representation as Special Representatives and envoys; and in field operations, particularly among military observers, police, human rights, and humanitarian personnel.
- Reporting: The resolution requests that the Secretary-General conduct a study on the impact of armed conflict on women and girls, the role of women in peace-building, the gender dimensions of peace processes and conflict resolution, and on gender mainstreaming in United Nations peacekeeping missions. It also invites the Secretary-General to report the findings of these studies to the Security Council.
The resolution also calls upon all countries to fully respect international law applicable to the rights and protection of women and girls, in particular the obligation under the Geneva Convention of 1949 and Additional Protocol thereto of 1977, the Refugee Convention of 1951 and the Protocol thereto of 1967, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and its Optional Protocol, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, as well Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, to bear in mind the provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
The resolution was passed unanimously in October 2000 after extensive lobbying by the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security (NGO WG) and United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) (now UN Women). Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, then Minister of Women's Affairs in Namibia, initiated the resolution when the country took its turn chairing the Security Council. Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury, representing Bangladesh at the Council, also made significant contributions by using Bangladesh's role as Council President to bring attention to women's contributions to peace and security. Chowdhury has remained a vocal and active advocate for full implementation of UNSCR 1325. The NGO Working Group played a critical role in successfully lobbying the Security Council to hold open sessions on women, peace and security, consulting with Security Council members on the resolution, and providing them with applicable information.
The 1995 Beijing Platform for Action contained an entire chapter focused on women, peace and security. During the 1990s, the NGO community was increasingly concerned about the negative impacts of war on women, particularly widespread sexual violence seen in civil wars in Bosnia, West Africa and Rwanda. Activists were also upset that women faced significant barriers to entering peace talks and the negative impacts that women experienced post-conflict. The Beijing Conference's 5th anniversary (Beijing+5) provided critical momentum for progress on women, peace and security issues at the UN.
The resolution's history and passage is notable for the level of involvement by NGOs and civil society, who helped draft the resolution. The two-day debate on the resolution was also the first time the Council dedicated a discussion to women.
The two main components of UNSCR 1325 are addressing sexual violence in armed conflict and increasing women's participation in peace processes and political institutions. Within the United Nations, UNSCR 1325 has led to an increased attention to gender mainstreaming, or assessing a policy's different impacts for women and men. The main programs implementing UNSCR 1325 are UN Women and Department of Peacekeeping Operations, although many other programs also apply UNSCR 1325 to their work.
Four Pillars of Implementation
In 2009, Resolution 1889 called on the Secretary-General to develop a set of indicators to track the implementation of UNSCR 1325. The indicators are used for UN programming, but have also been adopted by member states and NGOs. The indicators developed are the four pillars of prevention, protection, participation and relief and recovery.
- Prevention focuses on preventing sexual and gender-based violence, as well as gender awareness in conflict prevention and early warning systems. This includes preventing sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeeping forces.
- Protection involves improving women and girls' safety, physical and mental health, economic security and overall well-being. It also focuses on improving the rights of women and girls and their legal protections.
- Participation refers to promoting women's participation in peace processes, increasing the numbers of women at all levels of decision-making institutions and increasing partnerships with local women's organizations. Participation also includes increasing women's participation in the UN in senior positions, as Special Representatives and in peacekeeping missions and operations.
- Relief and recovery efforts should ensure the equal distribution of aid to women and girls and incorporate gender perspectives into relief and recovery efforts.
Specific indicators include tracking numbers related to outcomes, such as the number of women in peace negotiations, the number of military manuals that include measures on women's protection or the number of cases investigated on violence against women.
National Action Plans
Since 2000, 48 countries have adopted National Action Plans (NAP) on Resolution 1325, outlining policies that the country will take to fulfill the resolution's objectives. NAPs address political, social and security policies and often require interagency coordination. Most NAPs come from donor countries and conflict-affected countries. Donor countries use NAPs to prescribe how foreign aid should support the pillars of UNSCR 1325, while developing and conflict-affected countries use NAPs to support women's participation in politics and peace processes, as well as commitments on protection from sexual and gender-based violence. As of 2014, exactly half of the countries with National Action Plans are in Europe and 14 are in Africa. While the number of countries with NAPs increased rapidly leading up to and following the ten-year anniversary of UNSCR 1325, less than one-fourth of the United Nations member states have implemented NAPs. A major gap is in troop contributing countries (TCC) to peacekeeping missions—the top four TCCs do not have national action plans.
Even though many countries have adopted NAPs, few have allocated funding for the NAP's development or implementation. A survey of NAPs revealed that funding most commonly went to addressing sexual and gender-based violence and increasing women's involvement in peace processes, while the most common funding gap was security sector reform and access to justice.
Several regional organizations have adopted Regional Action Plans, including the European Union, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Pacific Islands Forum. The coordinate regional priorities on women, peace and security as well as direct regional organizations' programming and funding on the topic. NATO has used UNSCR 1325 to increase the levels of women in the military and has influenced seven NATO member states to have increasing women's participation in the military as a goal in implementing UNSCR 1325.
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO)
NGOs play an important role in implementing UNSCR 1325. NGOs have lobbied their national governments to develop National Action Plans and many NAPs have a NGO oversight body to hold governments accountable to their commitments. Grassroots NGOs, particularly women's organizations, also use UNSCR 1325 in conflict-affected countries to lobby their governments to comply with UNSCR 1325 on the issues of including women in conflict negotiations or holding peacekeeping missions accountable for sexual abuse and exploitation. Established international NGOs play an important role in disseminating information on UNSCR 1325 to grassroots organizations and training local actors on the resolution and how to use it.
Recognition and Scope
Resolution 1325 is used around the world as a policy tool to implement gender-sensitive conflict-related policies. It is also used as an organizing framework for actors outside of the United Nations, such as states, NGOs and researchers, in a way that no other Security Council resolution has been used. For example, it is the only resolution to have its anniversary celebrated with reports, conferences and special sessions of the Security Council, as well as the only resolution with NGOs dedicated to its implementation. Since 2000, women, peace and security has become an important topic in international politics, undoubtedly fueled by the resolution's passage and subsequent advocacy for its implementation, as well as increased attention to sexual violence in armed conflict. Another major landmark was the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, awarded to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work". As the topic of women and war became more prominent, more policy-making bodies turned to the resolution and supported it.
Within the UN, the resolution precipitated increased attention to the issue of women and conflict. Prior to resolution 1325, the Security Council rarely considered women with the occasional passing reference to women and children as vulnerable groups in conflict in need of protection. In fact, prior to 2000, only 33 out of 225 Security Council resolutions mentioned gender at all. Since its passage, the Security Council has passed six more resolutions related to the topic of women and armed conflict. Furthermore, there has been a significant change in rhetoric, with more and more UN agencies, representatives and member states discussing how gender inequality impacts peace and security.
Assessments of UNSCR 1325 include annual Secretary-General reports in 2013 and 2014 and a DPKO conducted a ten-year review of UNSCR 1325 implementation looking at twelve UN peacekeeping missions and reported outcomes across the components of UNSCR 1325. Findings include:
- Women's political participation has had largely positive outcomes, with host countries seeing higher rates of female voters and politicians, as well as increased legal provisions to support gender equality.
- There continued to be low levels of women in peace negotiations, with women comprising less than 10% of those formally involved across all missions.
- Academic research found that women were significantly more likely to be mentioned in peace processes and agreements after UNSCR 1325.
- The majority of UN-supported peace processes in 2011-2013 held regular consultations with women's organizations and in 2012 and 2013, all UN support teams included women.
- Security sector institutions saw limited gains in female uniformed personnel, despite increases in the number of uniformed women in peacekeeping missions.
- More peacekeeping operations missions have gender advisors—as of 2014, nine of the sixteen missions have gender advisors.
- There are mixed results in gender mainstreaming in DDR—some missions increased the numbers of women demobilized, but these gains were uneven across missions and reintegration remains a challenge.
- Sexual and gender-based violence continues to be widespread with impunity for those who commit it, despite increases in training and legislation.
- Missions made a greater effort to protect women in refugee and internally displaced person settings through increased patrols and escorts, but resources for these protections were limited.
The 2014 Secretary-General's report on UNSCR 1325 implementation found that, while gender seems to be increasingly integrated into United Nations operations, challenges remain in fully implementing UNSCR 1325 at the operational level. Within the UN, women, peace and security is part of the rhetoric on peace and security: UNSC resolutions increasingly mention gender, UN Mission reports frequently mention women, peace and security; and there is increased reporting on these issues in UN bodies. However, there continued to be widespread reports of sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeeping operations, despite increased attention to the issue within the UN.
For the resolution's 15th anniversary in 2015, the UN will conduct a high-level review of implementation of 1325 to assess progress made at the international, regional and national levels. In April 2016, UN Women and the Inclusive Peace and Transition Initiative, led by peace process expert Thania Paffenholz, issued a report initially prepared as an input for the High-Level Review, assessing women's inclusion and influence on peace negotiations.
Feminists criticize UNSCR 1325 for relying on essentialist portrayals of women, render women as perpetual victims and ignore women's agency to bring about both violence and peace violence. For example, reports of violence against civilians tend to emphasize that "women and children" as victims to illustrate the brutal nature of violence. Conversely, this framing also implies that men are not victims, despite male victims of sexual violence or the gender-based violence of killing men because they are men.
Gender essentialism also assumes that women are innately peaceful, usually due to their experience as mothers, which is one of the main reasons that people use to argue for including women in peace processes. Another frequently cited gender essentialist argument is that women are natural coalition builders and are more likely to work with members of other groups. Resolution 1325 incorporates these assumptions and they are frequently cited in the Secretary-General Reports, advocacy movements and National Action Plans. The result is that women often feel the need to conform to certain stereotypes and that women who do not fit these ideals are marginalized in politics and policy.
UNSCR supports gender mainstreaming, or the incorporation of a gender perspective into all policies and programs, in peacekeeping missions and other UN programs related to peace and security. Critics argue that other parts of the resolutions, such as having a Senior Gender Advisor, lead to the segregation of women's rights from all other peace and security issues. Women's issues become sidelined in a "gender ghetto," and remain outside of the mainstream. By limiting women's issues to Gender Advisers or offices, security institutions continue to view gender issues as a niche topic and the institutions remain male-dominated systems. Germany initially did not implement a 1325 National Action Plan for this reason, arguing that it had mainstreamed gender concerns into its government agencies and policies, although it later implemented one in 2012.
Lack of Evidence
Despite the attention to implementing UNSCR 1325 and developing indicators, there is little evidence of impacts in conflict-affected countries. The UN's own evaluations show limited progress only in a few areas, most notably women's political participation. Furthermore, UNSCR 1325 depends on many unproven assumptions, such as the potential for women's participation to have a transformational effect on peace and security. However, recent initiatives have emphasized the need for more data to track results, including the upcoming High-Level Review of UNSCR 1325, which will likely provide more thorough analysis of the resolution's implementation and effects.
The NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security is a coalition of eighteen NGOs, which collectively advocate for the equal and full participation of women in all efforts to create and maintain international peace and security. Formed in 2000 to call for a Security Council resolution on women, peace, and security, original members were:
- Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
- Amnesty International (AI)
- International Alert (IA)
- Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children (WCRWC)
- Hague Appeal for Peace (HAP)
The NGOWG now focuses on implementation of all Security Council resolutions that address women, peace and security. The group is still active, producing a monthly action points on the women, peace and security issues affecting countries on Council's agenda.
PeaceWomen—one of the founding members of the NGO Working Group—is a project sponsored by the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom to promote the implementation of Resolution 1325, through providing a centralized hub of information on information related to women, peace, and security.
Resolution 1325 is related to several other resolutions related to the topic of women, peace and security, passed since 2000. These include:
- Resolution 1820 (2008), condemning sexual violence as a weapon of war and declares rape and other forms of sexual violence as war crimes.
- Resolution 1888 (2009), which mandates the peacekeeping missions prevent and respond to sexual violence and led to the creation of the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict.
- Resolution 1889 (2009) on increasing women's participation in peace processes and requests that the Secretary-General develop indicators to track the implementation of 1325. It also establishes Women Protection Advisors to be deployed with peacekeeping missions.
- Resolution 1960 (2010) focuses on ending impunity for sexual violence in armed conflict by calling on the Secretary-General to "name and shame" armed groups that perpetrate sexual violence and for sanctions to deter conflict-related sexual violence.
- Resolution 2106 (2013) to address impunity on sexual violence in armed conflict and operationalize past resolution. It also recognizes that sexual violence in conflict can also affect men and boys, as well as the community-wide trauma that sexual violence can inflict.
- Resolution 2122 (2013) reaffirms the Council's commitment to combating sexual violence in armed conflict and the full implementation of resolution 1325 and other resolutions on women, peace and security.
- Beijing Platform for Action
- List of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1301 to 1400 (2000–2002)
- Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action
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- Text of Resolution at UNHCR.org
- United States Institute of Peace, "What is U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325 and Why is it so Critical Today?"
- Women and Peace Agreements 1325 Dataset at the Transitional Justice Institute
- Resources on Resolution 1325
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