United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security
Research shows that in contemporary conflicts especially after the end of the cold war, women and children increasingly suffer the greatest harm, and that women have different experiences, needs, concerns and ideas to put forward to rebuild their societies and promote democracy, gender equality and human rights. In 2000 the United Nations’ Security Council (UNSC), after pressure exerted by many women’s organizations, recognized the gendered nature of war and peace processes and formalized it in the unanimous adoption of Resolution 1325 on ‘Women, Peace and Security’ (known as UNSCR 1325). Since its adoption we have seen some progress in its implementation in conflict societies like South Africa, Rwanda, Uganda, Columbia, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Resolution 1325 acknowledges the specific effect of armed conflict on women and women’s role in preventing and resolving conflict in the context of the SC's responsibility to maintain international peace and security. UNSCR 1325 consists of 18 short points which cover three main themes:
1. PROTECTION This includes women’s rights, a clear understanding of gender needs in time of war, the protection of women and girls from gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse and an end to impunity for such crimes
2. PARTICIPATION This provides that women’s work on peace must be included in decision-making at all levels in national, regional institutions, including significant posts in the UN itself, in all mechanisms for the prevention and management of conflict and in all negotiations for peace.
3. GENDER MAINSTREAMING This means the inclusion of a gender perspective into the UN peace-keeping operations and in measures of disarmament.
Following UNSC Resolution 1325 further resolutions were adopted by the SC: Resolution 1820 in 2008 which classifies rape and other forms of sexual violence as war crimes and recommends military disciplinary measures and the debunking of myths that fuel sexual violence, SC Resolution 1888 that goes a step further to combat the culture of impunity and recommends that the UN should work with national, legal and judicial officials and personnel to address impunity of gender-based violence, and Resolution 1889 (2009) that proposes the need for indicators to monitor the implementation of Resolution 1325 and the progress achieved. In 2010 Resolution 1960 was adopted calling for complete cessation by all parties to conflict of all acts of sexual violence and provision of assistance to victims of rape and sexual violence. In addition, this resolution calls upon the member states to provide a greater number of female military, and police personnel to the UN peace-keeping operation and provide training on gender-based violence. In 2013, two more sesolutions were adopted: Resolution 2106 outlines further ways in which UN and state mechanisms can prevent or provide redress for sexual violence suffered within conflict while Resolution 2122 outlines structures and processes within the UN to improve monitoring of and encourage further implementation of UNSCR 1325.