International Alert has published a policy paper  on “twenty years of implementing UNSCR 1325 and the women, peace and security agenda: lessons from the field”. It offers donors, national governments and peace practitioners practically orientated insights into some of the challenges to, and opportunities for, ensuring the effective implementation of the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda.

The policy paper is drawn from a stock-taking exercise of International Alert’s 20-year history working with women peacebuilders on the ground, and offers practically orientated insights to donors, national governments and peace practitioners into some of the challenges to, and opportunities for, ensuring the effective implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda (WPS).

It recommends supporting the mainstreaming of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 National Action Plans (NAPs) into national policies and planning frameworks, as well as contributing to their adequate funding to ensure that they are fully implemented.

Encouraging strategic engagement between national governments and local women’s rights organisations and networks that form the linchpin for the advancement of the WPS agenda is also key to promoting political engagement and participation of women.

Moreover, there is a need to re-politicise the WPS agenda, which was primarily conceived as a feminist political project. This means adopting a transformative approach that puts gender equality and equal participation of men and women in leadership positions back at the heart of the agenda. This includes leadership positions in conflict-resolution and political processes at all levels of society.

The paper identifies 5 obstacles that must be addressed to effectively implement the agenda with recommendations on how to do so:

1.       It is essential to address patriarchal gender norms and institutional socio-political constraints that constitute a major obstacle to a full implementation of the WPS agenda

2.       Strategic engagement with men and masculinities is essential to challenge the patriarchal normative framework and transform patriarchal gender norms and institutionalised male privilege

3.       To fully implement the WPS agenda, it is vital to properly resource WPS work and mainstream it into wider national policies and planning frameworks

4.       Supporting women’s rights organisations is essential as they play a critical role in implementing the WPS agenda and UNSCR resolutions on WPS

5.       Adopt an intersectional approach to reflect the complexities of women’s identities

Read the policy paper here.


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