Scope of Our Work: Women, Peace and Security (WPS)

UN Women works to promote the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda. This work is guided by UN Security Council resolutions 1325, 182018881889196021062122, and 2242, in addition to the League of Arab States Executive Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. Other key reference points are the Beijing Platform for Action and the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). UN Women partners with governments, civil society organizations, female leaders and activists, and communities in conflict areas to promote and ensure women’s active role in peacebuilding, as well as the protection of their rights and persons during conflicts.

At the regional level, UN Women seeks to contribute to the creation of an enabling environment for implementation of WPS commitments, including by supporting technical exchanges between Governments, and with the League of Arab States (LAS). This has included supporting LAS to establish the Arab Women’s Crisis Committee, a monitoring mechanism for the implementation of WPS commitments – generously funded by the Governments of Finland, Germany and Japan. In addition, UN Women supports the Arab Women’s Organisation to roll out training and advocacy with national stakeholders across the region on WPS.

In cooperation with civil society partners, UN Women works to build regional capacity on WPS by increasing public awareness and support for this agenda. For example, UN Women’s work with the Cairo International Center for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding, through support provided by the Governments of Finland and Germany, aims at building the capacity of key media outlets in holding governments in the region accountable to their commitments under UNSCR 1325, while ensuring that women’s voices are heard in conflict situations and women’s participation in political processes is highlighted.

UN Women Regional Office for the Arab States supports efforts to build sustainable peace through targeted interventions supporting women’s engagement and influence in peace processes across the region. This is achieved through direct support to women and to key actors – including mediators and their teams - engaged in peace processes in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen. As a result, women in the region will have enhanced opportunities for political participation and influence in high-level peace and transition processes. One key example is the joint programme Enhancing Women’s Leadership for Sustainable Peace in Fragile Contexts in the MENA Region, led by UN Women, in collaboration with the Inclusive Peace and Transition Initiative at the Graduate Institute, the Political Settlements Research Programme at the University of Edinburgh and Justice Rapid Response. By creating the space, opportunities and support for women actors in the region, UN Women works to amplify women’s leadership in the areas of conflict prevention, humanitarian engagement, conflict resolution and long-term peacebuilding in the region.

With funding from the Government of the United Kingdom, UN Women is working to ensure better evidence through quality research on gender equality, masculinities, and violent extremism to generate informed regional and global policy-making on preventing violent extremism. This work currently targets North Africa. It aims to address knowledge gaps in what drives people to join or support violent extremist groups with the objective of supporting women’s rights actors to engage in national, regional and international policy discourse. In collaboration with the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), UN Women is establishing a regional network on gender and preventing violent extremism with experts across North Africa for knowledge exchange and regional learning.

In addition, UN Women ROAS produces research across the areas of WPS, including the status of the implementation of WPS commitments across the Arab region, women’s roles in conflict resolution and the status of women refugees.

At the national level, UN Women supports national bodies, governments and civil society to call for and ensure the implementation of the global commitments on WPS. Specifically, UN Women supports countries, such as Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Tunisia, to develop National Action Plans (NAPs) on UNSCR 1325 and its subsequent resolutions, with measurable indicators, throughout the region in order to strengthen knowledge and quality accountability frameworks, which are locally contextualized, to meet emerging threats and challenges. UN Women also work to build women’s coalitions around peace, including in Iraq, Libya, Palestine and Yemen. UN Women works with justice and security actors to increase women’s engagement in their leadership, rank and file, with the objective of contributing to more effective, accountable and sustainable bodies.