(Some of the organisers of the Multi-Stakeholder Meeting on Women, Peace and Security on 23 October 2018 (Photo: Permanent Mission of Sweden to the UN Twitter)
On Monday 23 October, WILPF contributed to a Multi-Stakeholder Meeting on Women, Peace and Security organised by the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and UN Women. The Forum created space for a “reverse” debate by facilitating substantive dialogue among current and incoming Security Council Member States, key UN agencies, and global women civil society to accelerate implementation of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda with a focus on the WPS participation pillar.
The event with welcoming and introductory remarks from UN Women, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security. UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka discussed why the timing of this conversation is so important, saying, “We are meeting at a time when we are focused on the road to 2020. 2020 is a year of many important landmarks; it is 25 years of Beijing, it is 20 years of (UNSCR) 1325 and it is five years of the SDGs. We need to win at all fronts for progress to be meaningful.”
Reporting back on the 2018 Expert Group meeting on women’s meaningful participation, UN Women Peace and Security Deputy Head Sarah Douglas, asked “Why isn’t women’s participation happening? It is about discrimination and patriarchy. When it comes down to it, it is discrimination, exclusion, and lack of understanding or acknowledgement of the intelligence and knowledge that women bring to the table [that remains a chronic challenge].”
Following the initial remarks, participants broke up into working group break-out sessions to discuss women’s meaningful participation in peace processes and peace agreements; peacekeeping and stabilisation; peacebuilding in post-conflict settings; and, political inclusion and decision-making. Working groups were encouraged to consider how the Security Council can support overcoming obstacles to women’s participation, strengthening gender sensitive and responsive conflict-analysis and implementing women, peace and security commitments.
In reports back from the break-out sessions, participants called for action to enhance incentives and strengthen accountability mechanisms for holistic action; enhance elected member leadership and progressive leadership by the Council as an influencer across the UN system; fund gender analysis; address gender bias in planning; model and exceed gender parity; and work toward a feminist peace agenda by 2020. As part of this, participants called for Council members to systematically include local women in all Council work including geographic and thematic issues; ensure all resolutions, statements, briefings, and reports include specific operational gender content; ensure accountability on WPS commitments in mediation and peace processes; create policies that economically empower women; and invite the UN Secretary-General to use his good offices role to promote women’s leadership in conflict situations. In a nutshell, as one participant stated: “Counter patriarchy!”
To read more about the Multistakeholder Forum on Women, Peace and Security, read UN Women’s coverage of the event here>>