Women Making Peace: UN Security Council Resolution 1325, 10 Years On

17 September 2010

IANSA women actively participated in an experts’ meeting and a public forum hosted by the United Nations University (UNU) Institute for Sustainability and Peace to assess progress made towards integrating women’s voices, perspectives and skills in conflict prevention and peacebuilding.

The day of events at UNU headquarters in Tokyo was organized by UNU-ISP, Global Action to Prevent War (GAPW), Soka Gakkai International (SGI) and the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security.

In the experts’ meeting, scholars, activists, policy makers and UN agencies examined the impact of UNSC resolution 1325, the remaining obstacles to women’s participation, and indicators to measure progress. The participants also considered the role of the newly-formed UN Women (the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women), which brings together four previously distinct parts of the UN system focusing exclusively on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

These results were then shared with the public in a forum “Women Making Peace: Where Are We Now? Maximizing the Impact of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, 10 Years On”. A message from Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and the former Executive Director of UNIFEM, reminded participants that UNSC resolution 1325 offers the chance of greater protection for those who are the most vulnerable, the most invisible, and who have the greatest stake in peace.

Dr. Jasmin N. Galace, Associate Director of the Center for Peace Education at Miriam College in the Philippines, shared how the process of researching and producing a National Plan of Action brought together women's groups and government agencies, and created new opportunities for women. Sarah Taylor, Executive Coordinator of the NGO Working Group, emphasized that the particular experiences of women need to be brought into every debate concerning peace and security.

The forum also featured a book launch for “Promoting Women’s Participation in Conflict and Post-Conflict Societies”, published by GAPW and the NGO Working Group.

Several recent UNU-ISP research projects have examined gender issues in conflict and peacebuilding, resulting in books including “Sexed Pistols: The Gendered Impacts of Small Arms and Light Weapons” (Vanessa Farr, Henri Myrttinen and Albrecht Schnabel, eds., UNU Press)

This article also available online at: http://isp.unu.edu/news/2010/womens_empowerment.html