Gender, Conflict Prevent and Post Conflict Reconstruction
Gender, Conflict Prevent and Post Conflict Reconstruction; EASSI builds capacity of women and stakeholders in peace processes to ensure women’s voices are brought to the decision making table on peace and security issues in line with the Beijing Platform for Action.
The ground-breaking UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which was passed in the year 2000, was the first to link women’s experiences of conflict to the international peace and security agenda, focusing attention on the disproportionate impact on conflict resolution and peace building. The process began in Beijing in 1995 at the Fourth World Conference on Women, with the consideration that the subject of women and armed conflict was an area of particular concern within the framework of the Platform for Action. Since then, different women’s organisations have worked to promote a process that culminated with the approval of Resolution 1325 by the Security Council. The resolution recognized the under-valued and under-utilized contribution women make to conflict prevention, peacekeeping, conflict resolution and securing peace. It also stressed the importance of women’s equal and full participation as active agents in peace and security.
Since the approval of Resolution 1325 by the United Nations Security Council, the issue of women, gender, peace and security has been on the international agenda on a constant basis, although with differing results due to some obstacles and unresolved challenges which include:
- Great reluctance toward considering that the gender dimension is important for the peace and security agenda. Since 2001, countries’ different international agendas have to a great extent focused on the global fight against terrorism, and have integrated very few contributions from women’s movements with respect to security. Sometimes, the gender perspective has even been used to justify certain international actions, thus becoming distant from the true spirit of Resolution 1325. To put it simply, little progress has been made in moving from speech-making to action.
- Women continue to be a minority in decision-making posts. While it is true that gender is something that concerns everyone, it is women who have promoted the gender agenda in different fields and who have pressed to reach the goals achieved. Thus, without women making decisions, discrimination is perpetuated. Furthermore, the field of security is one that is traditionally and historically very much masculinised, making lack of a gender perspective is even greater.
- Together with this absence of women in decision-making, there is a distinct lack of men in the forums and initiatives that have arisen as a result of Resolution 1325. As a result, the implementation of 1325 has been left almost exclusively in the hands of women, a fact that reinforces the vicious circle of the absence of women in decision-making on peace and security and the lack of men in the 1325 forums. There is need to involve more men who are committed to gender equality in promoting Resolution 1325, so as to multiply the efforts.
- Mechanisms for protecting women in situations of armed conflict are still very deficient. The systematic nature of sexual violence as a weapon of war in today’s armed conflicts (even those in which there is a strong international presence), together with the impunity given to many of the crimes committed against women in these conflicts are an example of how Resolution 1325 has achieved very few improvements in the lives of women who have been affected by armed violence.
- And finally, many of the proposals for making progress in the implementation of Resolution 1325 are not institutionalized, and as a result they depend on the personal willingness of certain people and can therefore be postponed or considered as something optional. Frequently no connection (or very little) exists between the political documents that define the lines of action and the actions that are carried out on the ground.
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