United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) marked a watershed moment in the acknowledgment of the physical security of women in armed conflict, as well as recognizing their agency and leadership in conflict resolution and broader peace-building. Over time, and in subsequent resolutions, this agenda has been broadened to include not just women’s physical security, but other forms of insecurity for women, as well as looking at the role of women in post-conflict contexts.
It has been 16 years since the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security (WPS) was signed. While considerable progress has been noted in terms of policy development, and several regions and countries have adopted action plans to deliver on 1325 objectives, actual implementation has not been as robust as expected. One key reason has been the failure to allocate sufficient resources and funds.
This paper calls on women, peace and security (WPS) activists, in the Horn, to go beyond national action plans (NAPs) by challenging the discourse that women are solely victims of conflict, and emphasise women’s agency in peace and state-building.
This article suggests that an increase in the number of women in UN peacekeeping operations does not equate to a gender-sensitive peace and security operation without a corresponding change of the underlying frame of thinking within the UN, its Member States and actors in conflict zones.