United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (S/RES/1325), on women, peace, and security, was adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council on 31 October 2000, after recalling resolutions 1261 (1999), 1265 (1999), 1296 (2000), and 1314 (2000). The resolution acknowledged the disproportionate and unique impact of armed conflict on women and girls. It calls for the adoption of a gender perspective to consider the special needs of women and girls during conflict, repatriation and resettlement, rehabilitation, reintegration, and post-conflict reconstruction.
Resolution 1325 was the first formal and legal document from the Security Council that required parties in a conflict to prevent violations of women's rights, to support women's participation in peace negotiations and in post-conflict reconstruction, and to protect women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence in armed conflict. It was also the first United Nations Security Council resolution to specifically mention the unique impact of conflict on women. The resolution has since become an organizing framework for the women, peace, and security agenda, which focuses on advancing the components of Resolution 1325.
|UN Security Council|
|Date||31 October 2000|
|Subject||Women, peace and security|
|15 voted for|
None voted against
|Security Council composition|
The observations highlight how the Council considers the issue of women and armed conflict important to international peace and security. They express the Council's concern about civilians in armed conflict, particularly women and children, who constitute most of the victims of conflict and who are increasingly targeted by armed groups. Attacks against civilians, particularly women and children, negatively impact peace and reconciliation.
More specifically, the observations:
The operational items in Resolution 1325 broadly call upon member states to address the needs of women and girls in armed conflict and support their participation in peace negotiations. The key components and recommendations of the resolution are:
The resolution also calls upon all countries to fully respect international law applicable to the rights and protection of women and girls, in particular the obligation under the Geneva Convention of 1949 and Additional Protocol thereto of 1977, the 1951 Refugee Convention and the Protocol thereto of 1967, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and its Optional Protocol, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child and both its Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict and its Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, and finally to bear in mind the provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
The resolution was passed unanimously in October 2000 after extensive lobbying by the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security (NGO WG) and United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM; now succeeded by UN Women). Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, then Minister of Women's Affairs in Namibia, initiated the resolution when the country took its turn chairing the Security Council. Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury, representing Bangladesh at the Council, also made significant contributions by using Bangladesh's role as Council President to bring attention to women's contributions to peace and security. Chowdhury has remained a vocal and active advocate for full implementation of Resolution 1325. The NGO Working Group played a critical role in successfully lobbying the Council to hold open sessions on women, peace, and security, consulting with Council members on the resolution, and providing them with applicable information.
The 1995 Beijing Platform for Action contained an entire chapter focused on women, peace, and security. During the 1990s, the NGO community was increasingly concerned about the negative impacts of war on women, particularly widespread sexual violence seen in civil wars in Bosnia, West Africa, and Rwanda. Activists were also upset that women faced significant barriers to entering peace talks and the negative impacts that women experienced post-conflict. The Beijing Conference's 5th anniversary (Beijing+5) provided critical momentum for progress on women, peace, and security issues at the UN.
The resolution's history and passage is notable for the level of involvement by NGOs and civil society, who helped draft the resolution. The two-day debate on the resolution was also the first time the Council dedicated a discussion to women.
The two main components of Resolution 1325 are addressing sexual violence in armed conflict and increasing women's participation in peace processes and political institutions. Within the United Nations, the resolution has led to an increased attention to gender mainstreaming, or assessing a policy's different impacts for women and men. The main programs implementing the resolution are UN Women and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, although many other programs also apply it to their work.
In 2009, Resolution 1889 called on the Secretary-General to develop a set of indicators to track the implementation of Resolution 1325. The indicators are used for UN programming, but have also been adopted by member states and NGOs. The indicators developed are the four pillars of prevention, protection, participation, and relief and recovery.
Specific indicators include tracking numbers related to outcomes, such as the number of women in peace negotiations, the number of military manuals that include measures on women's protection, or the number of cases investigated on violence against women.
Two years after Resolution 1325 launched, the Security Council began encouraging the development of National Action Plans (NAPs) as a tool that member states could use to detail steps that they will take to fulfill the resolution's objectives. As of September 2016, 63 countries have adopted such plans. NAPs address political, social, and human security policies and often require interagency coordination. Many donor country NAPs tend to be externally focused, outlining and documenting their commitments to promoting Resolution 1325's principles in focal countries; developing and conflict-affected countries generally use NAPs to support women's internal participation in politics and peace processes, as well as outline internal commitments on protection from sexual and gender-based violence. Currently, Europe (27) and Africa (19) are the regions with the highest number of National Action Plans. While the number of NAP countries rapidly increased in the lead up to both the 10th (in 2010) and 15th (in 2015) anniversaries of Resolution 1325, only 32% of UN member states have implemented NAPs. A major gap is in troop contributing countries (TCC) and police contributing countries (PCC) to peacekeeping missions—the top four countries providing police, military experts, and troops do not yet have national action plans.
In order to hold implementers accountable, Resolution 1325 NAPs ought to contain a monitoring and evaluation framework that outlines specific progress indicators and assigns clear roles and responsibilities for monitoring and reporting activities. Also, few NAPs have actual allocated funding for development or implementation: a 2014 survey of NAPs revealed that funding most commonly went to addressing sexual and gender-based violence and increasing women's involvement in peace processes, while the most common funding gap was security sector reform and access to justice.
Local Action Plans (LAPs) are a way to operationalize the resolution at the local and community levels. Countries such as Serbia, Sierra Leone, and the Philippines have implemented local level mechanisms for implementing the resolution and NAPs. Several regional organizations have adopted Regional Action Plans (RAPs), including the European Union, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), and the Pacific Islands Forum. RAPs coordinate regional priorities on women, peace, and security and help direct and prioritize regional organizations' programming and funding on the topic. NATO has used Resolution 1325 to increase the levels of women in the military and has influenced seven NATO member states to have increasing women's participation in the military as a goal in implementing the resolution.
NGOs play an important role in implementing Resolution 1325. NGOs have lobbied their national governments to develop National Action Plans and many NAPs have a NGO oversight body to hold governments accountable to their commitments. Grassroots NGOs, particularly women's organizations, also use UNSCR 1325 in conflict-affected countries to lobby their governments to comply with the resolution on the issues of including women in conflict negotiations or holding peacekeeping missions accountable for sexual abuse and exploitation. Established international NGOs play an important role in disseminating information on the resolution to grassroots organizations and training local actors on the resolution and how to use it.
Resolution 1325 is used around the world as a policy tool to implement gender-sensitive conflict-related policies. It is also used as an organizing framework for actors outside of the United Nations, such as states, NGOs, and researchers, in a way that no other Security Council resolution has been used. For example, it is the only resolution to have its anniversary celebrated with reports, conferences, and special sessions of the Security Council, as well as the only resolution with NGOs dedicated to its implementation. Since 2000, women, peace, and security has become an important topic in international politics, undoubtedly fueled by the resolution's passage and subsequent advocacy for its implementation, as well as increased attention to sexual violence in armed conflict. Another major landmark was the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, awarded to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee, and Tawakkol Karman "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work". As the topic of women and war became more prominent, more policy-making bodies turned to the resolution and supported it.
Within the UN, the resolution precipitated increased attention to the issue of women and conflict. Prior to Resolution 1325, the Security Council rarely considered women apart from the occasional passing reference to women and children as vulnerable groups in conflict in need of protection. Since its passage, the Security Council has passed six more resolutions related to the topic of women and armed conflict. Furthermore, there has been a significant change in rhetoric, with more and more UN agencies, representatives, and member states discussing how gender inequality impacts peace and security. However, it has been suggested that these changes have been limited, with only 33 out of 225 Security Council resolutions passed in the three years after the passage of Resolution 1325 mentioning the words "gender" or "women".
Assessments of Resolution 1325 include annual Secretary-General reports in 2013 and 2014 and a conducted ten-year review of Resolution 1325 implementation conducted by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations looking at twelve UN peacekeeping missions and reported outcomes across the components of the resolution. Findings include:
The 2014 Secretary-General's report on implementation of Resolution 1325 found that, while gender seems to be increasingly integrated into United Nations operations, challenges remain in fully implementing the resolution at the operational level. Within the UN, women, peace, and security is part of the rhetoric on peace and security: Security Council resolutions increasingly mention gender, UN Mission reports frequently mention women, peace, and security, and there is increased reporting on these issues in UN bodies. However, there continued to be widespread reports of sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeeping operations, despite increased attention to the issue within the UN.
In honor of the resolution's 15th anniversary in 2015, the United Nations held a High-level Review of Resolution 1325 "to assess progress and accelerate action" at the Security Council's Open Debate on Women, Peace, and Security on October 13th, 2015. Following the debate, UN Women published Preventing Conflict, Transforming Justice, Securing the Peace: A Global Study on the Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. The report covers progress and challenges, and makes recommendations for advancing the goals of the resolution across societal sectors.
In April 2016, UN Women and the Inclusive Peace and Transition Initiative, led by peace process expert Thania Paffenholz, issued a report initially prepared as an input for the High-Level Review, assessing women's inclusion and influence on peace negotiations.
Some feminists criticize Resolution 1325 for relying on essentialist portrayals of women, rendering women as perpetual victims, and ignoring women's agency to bring about both violence and peace. For example, reports of violence against civilians tend to emphasize that "women and children" as victims to illustrate the brutal nature of violence. Conversely, this framing also implies that men are not victims, despite male victims of sexual violence or the gender-based violence of killing men because they are men.
Gender essentialism also assumes that women are innately peaceful, usually due to their experience as mothers, which is one of the main reasons that people use to argue for including women in peace processes. Another frequently cited gender essentialist argument is that women are natural coalition builders and are more likely to work with members of other groups. Resolution 1325 incorporates these assumptions and they are frequently cited in the Secretary-General Reports, advocacy movements, and National Action Plans. The result is that women often feel the need to conform to certain stereotypes and that women who do not fit these ideals are marginalized in politics and policy.
A related criticism to that of gender essentialism is that by focusing exclusively on women the role of men is overlooked. According to this line of criticism, the values and attitudes among both men and women are more important than biological sex for violence and peace. Both men and women who hold feminist values, and thus are positive to gender equality, tend to be less warlike and intolerant. Since gender does not equal biological sex it is more relevant to focus on masculinities and femininities. For example, a study of political activists in Thailand found that men who identify with ideals of manhood emphasizing male superiority over women and the need for real men to be fierce and tough are more likely to participate in political violence.
Resolution 1325 supports gender mainstreaming, or the incorporation of a gender perspective into all policies and programs, in peacekeeping missions and other UN programs related to peace and security. Critics argue that other parts of the resolutions, such as having a Senior Gender Advisor, lead to the segregation of women's rights from all other peace and security issues, with women's issues thus becoming sidelined in a "gender ghetto" and remaining outside of the mainstream. By limiting women's issues to Gender Advisers or offices, security institutions continue to view gender issues as a niche topic and the institutions remain male-dominated systems. Germany initially did not implement a 1325 National Action Plan for this reason, arguing that it had mainstreamed gender concerns into its government agencies and policies, although it later implemented one in 2012.
Despite the attention to implementing Resolution 1325 and developing indicators, there is little evidence of impacts in conflict-affected countries. The UN's own evaluations show limited progress only in a few areas, most notably women's political participation. Furthermore, the resolution depends on many unproven assumptions, such as the potential for women's participation to have a transformational effect on peace and security. However, recent initiatives have emphasized the need for more data to track results, including the upcoming High-Level Review of the resolution, which will likely provide more thorough analysis of its implementation and effects.
The NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security is a coalition of eighteen NGOs, which collectively advocate for the equal and full participation of women in all efforts to create and maintain international peace and security. Formed in 2000 to call for a Security Council resolution on women, peace, and security, original members were:
The NGO Working Group now focuses on implementation of all Security Council resolutions that address women, peace, and security. The group is still active, producing a monthly action points on the women, peace, and security issues affecting countries on Council's agenda.
PeaceWomen—one of the founding members of the NGO Working Group—is a project sponsored by the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom to promote the implementation of Resolution 1325, through providing a centralized hub of information on information related to women, peace, and security.
Resolution 1325 is related to several other resolutions related to the topic of women, peace, and security, passed since 2000. These include:
1325 Policy Group is a Swedish non-governmental organization and member of the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP), working for the full implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and the women, peace, and security agenda nationally and internationally. The organization's objective is to strengthen civil society actors and others wanting to contribute to the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and women’s increased participation in all matters to do with peace and security, through capacity building.Aichatou Ousmane Issaka
Major Aichatou Ousmane Issaka, deputy director of social work at the military hospital of Niamey, is one of the first military women in Niger. In 2016 she received the United Nations Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award for her service in Gao, Mali with the United Nations peacekeeping force, MINUSMA, during 2014-2015. She served as a captain in the civilian-military cooperation cell, training fellow officers and reaching out to local women, in accordance with principles of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) to increase participation of women and to integrate gender perspectives in peacekeeping efforts. Issaka also accompanied otherwise all-male patrols, making them more accessible to women and children. She was the first recipient of this award.On March 29, 2017, Issaka received the International Women of Courage Award for her peacekeeping contributions in Niger and in Mali, from First Lady of the United States Melania Trump and Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas A. Shannon.Aisling Swaine
Aisling Swaine (Irish pronounced Ashling) is from Ballitore, County Kildare, Ireland and is an Associate Professor of Practice of International Affairs, focusing on women, security and development at the Elliott School of International Affairs of the George Washington University.Alaa Murabit
Alaa Murabit (born 1989) is a Canadian physician, Meritorious Service Cross recipient, one of 17 Global Sustainable Development Goals Advocates appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and a UN High-Level Commissioner on Health Employment and Economic Growth. The co-founder of The Omnis Institute, an independent non-profit organization committed to challenging critical global issues through the empowerment of emerging local leaders, and executive director of Phase Minus 1, a conflict resolution and 'inclusive security' consulting firm. Alaa previously founded and spearheaded Voice of Libyan Women at the age of 21.Her TED Talk, released in July 2015, "What my religion really says about women" has been viewed over four million times, was selected as the TED Talk of the Day and one of four moving TED Talks you should watch right now by The New York Times. and one of 12 TED Talks That Define the Future of Feminism She is a Forbes 30 Under 30, one of Canada's Top 25 Most Influential Women, and the 2018 Nelson Mandela International Changemaker. Her leadership in global policy and security was recognized by Harvard Law who named her the youngest 2017 Woman Inspiring Change. In 2018 she was recognized as one of 100 Canadian Women of Impact, SheKnows Media BlogHer Voice of the Year, and an Aspen Institute Spotlight Scholar. She has previously been named the Marisa Bellisario International Humanitarian by the Italian Government, the 2014 International TrustWomen Hero by The New York Times, one of 25 women under 25 to watch by Newsweek, a 100 Top Woman by the BBC and the SAFE Global Hero.
Murabit received her Medical Doctorate in from the University of Zawiya in 2013. She went on to receive a Masters in International Strategy and Diplomacy with Distinction from the LSE in 2016 with research focused on inclusive security and securitization processes.Bineta Diop
Bineta Diop is a Senegalese women's rights activist. She is the founder of Femmes Africa Solidarité, a non-profit organization which promotes women's rights in Africa.Carol Cohn
Carol Cohn is the founding director of the Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights and a Lecturer of Women's Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Cohn is recognised for addressing issues of gender in global politics, particularly conflict and security issues. She has published in academic and policy contexts with major research interests lying in the realm of gender and armed conflict, the gendered discourses of US national security elites and gender mainstreaming in international security institutions. In addition to her research, Cohn facilitates training and workshops for United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and has been active in the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security since 2001.Fadumo Dayib
Fadumo Qasim Dayib, nicknamed Deeqo, is a Somali politician and the first woman to run for President of Somalia, standing for the November 2016 election.Gaby Lasky
Gavriela "Gaby" Schutz Lasky (in Hebrew: גבריאלה "גבי" שוץ לסקי; born in 1966) is an Israeli attorney, feminist human rights activist, and political and social activist. She was a member of the Tel Aviv city council between 2013 and 2018, representing Meretz, and was the secretary general of the Israeli peace organization Peace Now. As an human rights attorney, Lasky documents and responds to cases of torture, false imprisonment, and police brutality within Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank.Global Implementation Plan to End Violence against Women and Girls
The Global Implementation Plan to End Violence Against Women and Girls was a recommendation from the multi-agency Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on the prevention of violence against women and girls. The meeting was convened as part of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women's multi-year programme of work for 2010-2014.
The "Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls" formed a priority theme for its fifty-seventh session in 2013 (CSW57).NATO Lisbon Summit Declaration
The NATO Lisbon Summit Declaration was issued on November 20, 2010 by the heads of states and governments, who participated in the 2010 Lisbon summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Touching upon various matters, it was described as geared towards pragmatic co-operation on issues of common concern.The document was one of the three declarations, adopted by the summit, the other ones being the Declaration by NATO and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on an Enduring Partnership and the Declaration by the Heads of State and Government of the Nations contributing to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).Patrick Cammaert
Major General Patrick Cammaert (Dutch: [ˈpɛtrɪk ˈkɑmaːrt], born April 11, 1950, Alkmaar) is a retired Dutch general who served as the United Nations Force Commander for the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. He was previously the Military Advisor to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Prior to that position, he was the Force Commander of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), as the Military Adviser in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, and has spent a career in the Royal Netherlands Marines specializing in peacekeeping operations.
Cammaert is notable for having implemented many of the recommendations of the Brahimi Report.Rainatou Sow
Rainatou Sow is a Guinean woman who founded 'Make Every Woman Count': an organisation operated by a team of young women in Africa, America and Europe who use their passion and experience to promote rights and empowerment of women and girls. She is an campaigner for a peaceful and equitable world, a human rights and social justice advocate, and works to empower women and girls.Thania Paffenholz
Thania Paffenholz, born on 2 February 1965 in Cologne, Germany, is an academic and policy advisor working on peace processes. She is currently Director of the Inclusive Peace and Transition Initiative at the Graduate Institute Geneva. Thania Paffenholz has led comparative research of peace processes for over two decades and has been an advisor in peace processes in Mozambique, Angola, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Mali, Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Yemen, Egypt, El Salvador, Syria and Colombia. She received the Wihuri International Prize in 2015 for her work as a peace researcher.U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security
The U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security was adopted when President Barack Obama signed an executive order (Executive Order 13595) on December 19, 2011, 11 years after the United Nations Security Council adopted United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace, and security. It specifies initiatives and activities that will empower and enlist women and girls in efforts to achieve international peace and security.
It was developed by a broad inter-agency group led by White House National Security Council staff which also included representatives from civil society networks. The U.S. NAP contains five objectives outlining the U.S. government's commitments to promoting women's roles in global peace and security: National Integration and Institutionalization, Participation in Peace Processes and Decision-making, Protection from Violence, Conflict Prevention, and Access to Relief and Recovery. The plan also lists outcomes, actions, and responsible agencies for each objective.To enhance implementation and increase accountability, the plan called for the three main implementing agencies – the Department of State, Department of Defense, and the U.S. Agency for International Development – to submit their own fully funded, time-bound plans for implementation and evaluation. Annual progress reports documenting progress towards achieving the plan's objectives were released in 2013 and 2014.
The U.S. NAP was formally revised in June 2016. The Secretary's Office of Global Women's Issues at the U.S. Department of State leads the oversight and coordination of the NAP and the Department of State’s Implementation Plan.UN Women
The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, also known as UN Women, is a United Nations entity working for the empowerment of women.
UN Women became operational in January 2011. President of Chile Michelle Bachelet was the inaugural Executive Director, and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is the current Executive Director. As with UNIFEM previously, UN Women is a member of the United Nations Development Group.United Nations Security Council Resolution 1820
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1820 was unanimously adopted on 19 June 2008. It condemns the use of sexual violence as a tool of war, and declares that “rape and other forms of sexual violence can constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity or a constitutive act with respect to genocide”. The adoption of the resolution marked the first time that the UN explicitly linked sexual violence as a tactic of war with women, peace, and security issues. Security Council Resolution1820 reinforces United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and highlights that sexual violence in conflict constitutes a war crime and demands parties to armed conflict to immediately take appropriate measures to protect civilians from sexual violence, including training troops and enforcing disciplinary measures. In November 2010, the UN Secretary General presented a report on the implementation of UNSCR 1820.United Nations Security Council Resolution 1888
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1888 was unanimously adopted on 30 September 2009. It was introduced by United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who also presided over the session. The resolution established the United Nations Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict.United States House of Representatives House Resolution 121
United States House of Representatives House Resolution 121 is a resolution about comfort women which Japanese-American Congressman Mike Honda of California's 15th congressional district introduced to the American House of Representatives in 2007. It asks that the Japanese government apologize to former comfort women and include curriculum about them in Japanese schools, citing the 1921 International Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Women and Children that Japan has ratified and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. This resolution was passed on July 30, 2007.Women's rights
Women's rights are the rights and entitlements claimed for women and girls worldwide, and formed the basis for the women's rights movement in the nineteenth century and feminist movement during the 20th century. In some countries, these rights are institutionalized or supported by law, local custom, and behavior, whereas in others they are ignored and suppressed. They differ from broader notions of human rights through claims of an inherent historical and traditional bias against the exercise of rights by women and girls, in favor of men and boys.Issues commonly associated with notions of women's rights include the right: to bodily integrity and autonomy; to be free from sexual violence; to vote; to hold public office; to enter into legal contracts; to have equal rights in family law; to work; to fair wages or equal pay; to have reproductive rights; to own property; to education.
United Nations Security Council resolutions adopted in 2000