The Women, Peace and Security Agenda matters, because it forms the basis for plans and action from local to global arenas. Security Council resolutions are binding under international law. This means the United Nations and its Security Council, Member States, civil society, the private sector, and parties to conflicts are all obligated to take action to uphold commitments on this agenda. Civil society continues to lead implementation and action at all levels.
It is clear from the Security Council’s political recognition of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda that gender is indeed central to international peace and security. However, accountability, implementation and action on the ground remain seriously lacking.
On the plus side, there have been some concrete steps forward:
- Between January 2015 and July 2017, of the monitored country-specific resolutions with language on women and/or gender, 51.6% (95/186) refer to women, in contrast with only 5% which did so in the period 1998-2000, before SCR 1325 was adopted.
- As 2017 comes to its end, WILPF analysis shows that 72 UN Member States (38% of all UN Member States) have UNSCR 1325 National Action Plans (NAPs). Eight new NAPs were launched in 2017. Of the 72 NAPs adopted to date, only 17 (23%) include some allocated budget for implementation.
- 7 out of 15 Peacekeeping missions in the world in 2017 have Gender Advisors. UN peacekeeping missions are facing increasing budget cuts affecting all components and staff positions, and gender expertise and analysis in peacekeeping missions appear to be particularly vulnerable. There are female UN peacekeepers deployed in all 16 missions. Currently, women only represent about 3 percent of military personnel and 10 percent of police personnel on U.N. peacekeeping missions. Further, 10 peace operations are explicitly mandated to address gender and/or WPS in a cross-cutting manner. In 2014, Major General Kristin Lund became the first female commander of a UN peacekeeping force.
- The first woman chief mediator was appointed by the UN in 2013: Mary Robinson, UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region of Africa.
- In 2016, 103 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse were reported in UN field missions. 47% related to incidents that had occured before 2016. 31 new allegations arose in 2017.
- In 2015, the United Nations provided gender expertise to eight of nine (89 per cent) relevant mediation processes, an increase from 67 per cent in 2014. In 2016, DPA’s Mediation Roster comprised of 41 per cent women experts and 11 per cent gender experts.
- In 2016, only three of six signed peace agreements (50 per cent) contained gender-specific provisions, as compared to 70 per cent in 2015, and 50 per cent in 2014.
- As of January 2017, only 18.3 per cent of government ministers were women, with the majority overseeing social sectors, such as education and the family. Only 22.8 per cent of all national parliamentarians were women as of June 2016, a slow increase from 11.3 per cent in 1995. As of October 2017, 11 women are serving as Head of State and 12 are serving as Head of Government
Much remains to be done:
- 5 of the 8 current Women, Peace and Security resolutions focus on the issue of sexual violence rather than addressing the full Women, Peace and Security Agenda.
- Only 15 out of 62 (24%) United Nations entities reporting data in 2015 had systems to track resources for gender equality and women's empowerment.
- Annual military expenditures have increased by approximately 60% from 2000 to 2015, inhibiting inclusive peace and violating women's rights and participation. Total world military expenditure rose to $1686 billion in 2016, an increase of 0.4 per cent in real terms from 2015.
- Only a few Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) programmes have developed concrete initiatives to transform violent masculinities.