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Gender Equality and Development

Gender Dynamics of Conflict, Peace-building, and Reconstruction  
Gender Dynamics of Conflict, Peace-building, and Reconstruction
We promote the human security and rights of women. Specifically, we aim to ensure that the human rights of women and girls are protected during armed conflicts, and that women and gender issues are integrated into conflict-resolution, peace-building, and reconstruction.
In March 2000, the UN Security Council, in its Proclamation on International Women's Day, recognized that gender equality is an integral component of peace, and in October convened a special session to consider the situation of women in armed conflict.

On 31 October 2000 it passed Security Council Resolution 1325, calling on governments and the Security Council itself to include women in negotiations and settlements with respect to conflict-resolution and peace-building. The resolution reaffirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, and the need to implement fully international humanitarian and human rights law that protect the rights of women and girls during and after conflicts.

Key points of Resolution 1325 are:
  • Increasing the representation of women at all decision-making levels;
  • Integrating a gender perspective into peacekeeping missions;
  • Appointing more women as special representatives and envoys of the Secretary-General;
  • Supporting women's grassroots organizations in their peace initiatives;
  • Involving women as participants in peace negotiations and agreements;
  • Ensuring protection of and respect for human rights of women and girls;
  • Protecting women and girls from gender-based violence;
  • Integrating a gender perspective into disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of former combatants.
And yet, we see the sidelining of both women actors and gender issues in many contemporary conflicts, peace-keeping initiatives, and reconstruction efforts.

In many conflict areas, a culture of "hegemonic masculinity" prevails among the major political actors, be they the occupiers, the resistance, or the state. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, women have experienced human rights violations on a massive scale.

In these and other cases, women are neither adequately represented at decision-making levels nor involved in peace negotiations and agreements; women's grassroots organizations and peace initiatives are marginalized or ignored. Far from implementing a gender perspective into disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of former combatants, women face the threat of gender-based violence. What is more, the interests and needs of women and girls are hardly taken into account in post-conflict reconstruction.

In this regard, our activities include:
  • Networking and collaborative work with women peace activists, peace researchers, and feminist scholars of international relations on contemporary conflicts and their gender dynamics;
  • Research into the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 and obstacles to its realization, in collaboration with other agencies within the UN system;
  • Dissemination of research findings to national and international policy-makers and other relevant actors;
  • Creating women's observatories or research and documentation centers that will establish programmes to promote women's involvement in conflict-resolution, peace processes, and reconstruction efforts, and in post-conflict democratization processes.

Read more about our projects:
Photo: Petra van Vucht Tijssen

    "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person" - Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
12-01-2009 (SHS e-News 34 / January 2009) - Committed to building peace through the implementation of activities that promote, inter alia, human rights and taking into account the results of research in social sciences for the benefit of public policies for economic, social and cultural development, the entire Social and Human Sciences Sector of UNESCO hopes that the values held by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights can be reaffirmed everywhere throughout this new year.  More...


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