In 2000 the UN Security Council adopted Resolution(UNSCR) 1325 on “Women, Peace and Security”. It acknowledges the disproportionate effects of war and conflict on women, as well as the influence women can and must have in prevention and resolution of conflict, and in peace and reconstruction processes. Its main goals are to enhance women's role and decision-making capacities with regard to conflict prevention, conflict resolution and peacebuilding; and to significantly improve factors that directly influence women's security. Finland launched its Na-tional Action Plan on the implementation of UNSCR 1325 on 19 September 2008.
The main objective of this research is to contribute to the understanding of, and provide practical recommendations on, how the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland can:
i) Implement Finland's National Action Plan on 1325 through develop-ment cooperation, especially its commitment to facilitate women's participation in decision-making in conflict situations, peace processes and post-conflict activities, as well as to protect women in conflicts; ii) Support conflict prevention and post conflict development by strengthening women's role, and empowering women in countries with fragile situations; and; iii) Monitor and measure the progress of such implementation. In addition, the study explored three specific, innovative themes relevant for the question of Women, Peace and Security: i) Involvement of Men; ii) Internally Displaced Persons; and iii) Environment.
The study was carried out from April to December 2009 and included case stud-ies in Kenya, Nepal and North-Eastern India, all of which represent countries or areas in diverse and complex conflict and post-conflict situations. Kenya and Nepal are long-term development cooperation partners of Finland. North-Eastern India, which has had an on-going, protracted conflict since 1947, was selected on the basis of the relatively numerous women's groups in the area which have had exten-sive, successful experience in promoting gender equitable policies. In addition, one of the team members has studied these particular women's groups for more than a decade, which provided an excellent basis for further study. Overall research was divided into three phases, as shown below. Qualitative and participatory research methodologies were applied in data collection and analysis.