The Overall Story of Resolution Watch

The Security Council must incorporate the principles and commitments of the Women, Peace and Security agenda in addressing country-level and other geographic work. This includes resolutions on peacekeeping missions as well as on country situations and thematic topics. 

The Security Council has adopted 10 specific resolutions on the Women, Peace and Security agenda as of October 2019.  Beyond these important resolutions, the Security Council negotiates and adopts resolutions including those that authorize and establish international sanctions, peacekeeping operations and military interventions.

Security Council country-specific resolutions have increasingly referenced and incorporated the Women, Peace and Security agenda over time. From 1998 to 2000 less than 5% of resolutions mentioned women, girls or gender.  However, from 2000 to 2010, over 45% of monitored resolutions referenced women, gender or United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, showing a substantial increase since the landmark resolution was passed in October 2000. The Council has also adopted some new language in recent years which include references to civil society. These advances reflect the work of women’s groups and advocacy networks, and must be more consistently integrated by the Council into its geographic work. 

For the year 2016, the Security Council adopted 60 resolutions, 28 (48% contained references to Women, Peace and Security, a decrease from 76% in 2015. The majority of references pertained to sexual and gender-based violence, followed by references to other human rights violations and women’s participation. Of the WPS resolutions, three – 2106, 2122, and 2242 – specifically seek to accelerate the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda. References to Women Peace and Security have been included in resolutions establishing new missions in Mali (MINUSMA) and Somalia (UNSOM), and in the resolution authorizing the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).  

For the year 2017 (as of 15 November 2017), the 29 out of the 40 resolutions (72%) adopted by the Security Council contained references to the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. Most of the references mentioned women and gender in the context of peace operations, higlighting the urgency to protect women in conflict-affected areas, and enhance their participation in peace processes. In 2017, Security Council Resolutions on the Situation in South Sudan were the only adopted resolutions to systematically include a gendered-lens, by the exeption of one resolution ( S/2017/2353).

For the year 2018 (as of November 29 2018), 32 out of the 49 (65%) resolutions adopted by the Security Council contained references to the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. While this number reflects a seven per cent decrease from the previous year, the number of resolutions with WPS references is still comparably high to the year of 2016, where only 48% of resolutions made references to WPS themes. The bulk of the references made in 2018 were in regards to strengthening women's meaningful participation in electoral processes; providing gender-senstive protection mechanisms for women in conflict areas; and ending sexual and gender-based violence. Notably, Resolution 2399 on the Central African Republic was adopted, which specifically calls for the government to develop a comprehensive strategy on sexual and gender-based violence to reduce overall levels of sexual violence within the context of the arms embargo.

While it is a positive trend that must be acknowledged and encouraged, the numbers alone do not present a full picture of the Council’s work. The Council’s work to internalize the Women, Peace and Security agenda remains inconsistent across both country and thematic area.


Analysis of the Security Council Resolutions 2018
CountryResolutions that mention WPS
Chad and Central African Republic50%
Cote d'IvoireN/A
Democratic Republic of the Congo50%
Sierra LeoneN/A
South Sudan45%
Western Sahara100%