A decade ago, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted UNSCR 1325 on women, peace, and security. This landmark document is a legal and political framework under which national governments, regional organizations, the UN system, as well as non-‐state actors are obliged to address the situation of women in crises and war—to protect them from violence and increase their participation in conflict prevention, resolution, and peacebuilding. It is the first such resolution acknowledging the need for and contributions of half the world's population to international peace and security.
UNSCR 1325 is a product of its time and persistent, organized advocacy by women worldwide. It emerged a decade after the end of the cold war when new kinds of violence and warfare were already evident, including intra-‐state conflicts and the bitter manipulation of ethnicity and religion for power and resources. In particular, it was a reaction to the perpetration of systemic acts of terror against civilian populations by states and armed groups as in Rwanda, Bosnia and the DR Congo, and the international community's inability to prevent such wars. It was also recognition of the profound complexity of peace building in the aftermath of such wars, when social fabric and trust within communities was destroyed.