Country / Region profile of: East Timor

Indonesia invaded East Timor (Timor-Leste) in 1975. The widespread rape and sexual assault of women went largely unpunished during the military occupation. Patriarchal attitudes are prevalent today. Since independence, Timor-Leste has made serious efforts to improve gender equality through policy reform, legislation, institutional mechanisms and public awareness campaigns. Equality for women is enshrined in the Constitution, but gender-based violence is widespread. Timor-Leste was a Portuguese colony for centuries and then occupied by Indonesia before it achieved independence in 1999 and, finally self-rule in 2002. Timor-Leste is rated 128 out of 144 countries on the Global Gender Gap Index for 2017. Timor-Leste acceded to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 2003. East Timor has not signed the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).  During the 2017 October Security Council Open Debate, East Timor didn't make any statements affirming support for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and the WPS Agenda holistically. In 2017, $25.4 million was spent by East Timor on its military. A National Action Plan on the Implementation of Resolution 1325 (2000) in East Timor has been released. Women peace activists in Timor-Leste work to ensure the movement of the peace and democratization process forward with a special focus on youth engagement, women empowerment, increasing citizen access to justice, strengthening good governance and civil society, and media programming.

“If young women can see the participation of women in the past, it can motivate them to push for more freedom today.” - Maya Reis


$ 25,400,000
Military expenditure
Timor-Leste spends USD$25,400,000 on the military, including armed forces and peacekeeping forces, defence ministries, paramilitary forces, and military space activities.
Increasing invesment in gender experts
This amount could pay for more than 48,000 civil society gender and program quality managers
NAP 1325
The Timor-Leste National Action Plan was released in 2016.
WPS commitments
Timor-Leste made no specific financial commitments on Women, Peace and Security in 2017.