Resolution 1325 in 2020: looking forward, looking back
Women play multiple roles in conflict and post-conflict situations, and these roles extend well beyond those of caregivers and victims. As such, it becomes crucially important to promote women’s agency and build on their potential in peace processes by including them in all levels of participation – including in peacekeeping; negotiations; mediation; socio-economic reconstruction; disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) and security sector reform (SSR) processes.
Such thinking has informed the crafting of various international instruments that seek to give voice to women globally, and one such normative instrument is United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 1325, which was passed on 31 October 2000 by the UN Security Council. Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) recognises the links between women, peace and security by highlighting the agency of women and mandating governments to ensure their inclusion in all processes affecting their peace and security.
This report discusses the High-level Seminar that enabled delegates to deliberate on an Africa-wide strategy on women, peace and security while realising the importance of good practices and lessons learned. Focusing on global examples, but with particular attention to selected cases from Africa, women shared stories on how they successfully challenged structural obstacles and ended up participating in peace processes. Recurrent themes in the seminar included the importance of ownership of UNSCR 1325, the imperative for knowledge development and transfer to the grassroots, the need for rethinking the operationalisation of the resolution, and the notion of solidarity and its implications for the implementation of UNSCR 1325.
One of the outcomes of the High-level Seminar was the crafting of an Africa-wide strategy for women in peace and security, namely the Durban Statement on Women, Peace and Security, which is a lobbying tool that women can use towards strengthening the implementation of UNSCR 1325.