Introduction to Women, Peace and Security

Gender equality is the number one predictor of peace – more so than a state’s wealth, level of democracy, or religious identity. Driven by civil society campaigning for action on gender equality, in 2000 the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1325. In doing so, Member States formally acknowledged that conflicts and crises impact the lives of women and girls differently, significantly and disproportionately, to that of men and boys. 

Resolution 1325 consists of four pillars – participation, protection, prevention, and relief and recovery. It urges Member States to increase the representation of women at all decision-making levels in national, regional and international institutions and mechanisms for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts.

The landmark resolution reaffirms the important roles that women have historically played in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction. 1325 also stresses the importance of women’s equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security. 

Since 2000, nine additional WPS resolutions have been adopted. Despite ten resolutions and more than two decades of work, the fulfilment of women and girls’ human rights, the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence, and the full, equal and meaningful participation of women in peace and security processes has yet to be achieved. 

Australia’s second National Action Plan on WPS

Resolution 1325 is a global commitment to ensuring that women and girls, and their interests and rights, are systematically integrated into peace and security processes. This requires action by all countries. An important means of enacting the Women, Peace and Security commitment is through development and implementation of National Action Plans. 

Developed in consultation with civil society, Australia’s second National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security is a ten-year, whole-of-government framework to advance the human rights of women and girls and their meaningful participation in all of Australia’s work to prevent and resolve conflict, and establish enduring peace.

Australia’s WPS National Action Plan is centered around four outcomes. Outcome 1 is supporting women’s meaningful participation and needs in peace processes. Outcome 2 is a reduction in sexual and gender-based violence.  Under outcome 3, Australia supports resilience, crisis, and security, law and justice efforts to meet the needs and rights of women and girls. And four outcome 4, we are committed to demonstrating leadership and accountability for Women, Peace and Security.

These four outcomes are mutually reinforcing, and support coordinated action across government to ensure that the Women, Peace and Security agenda is an inseparable part of all our efforts to achieve and sustain peace and prosperity.

Genuine and sustained action on the WPS agenda is imperative – to prevent conflict, promote peace, and to address the safety and security of women and girls, in their diversity. Without the implementation of the WPS agenda, threats to peace and security cannot be eliminated and peace and security will not be sustained.

Produced and Directed by 

Hardeep Girn, AUDIENCED

Produced with assistance from

– United National Association of Australia, NSW
– Christine Clarke CSC, Ambassador of Australia for Women and Girls
– Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, The Australian Government
– Australian Defence Force
– United Nations

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