Women’s role in peace, recovery should be strengthened: UN


United Nations:  As the world is grappling with rising violent extremism, women’s role in achieving peace and security should be enhanced, the leader of UN Women has said.

“Women need to be full participants at the peace tables, as negotiators and decision-makers in a much more inclusive process,” Xinhua news agency quoted Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, as saying at a press conference on Monday.

“Women have to be able to control where resources are needed, for example to overcome trauma and the scars of war, or directing practical recovery matters like restitution of property and fields,” said Mlambo-Ngcuka, who is also UN Under-Secretary-General.

On Tuesday, the UN Security Council will conduct a high-level review in commemoration of resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, which in 2000 recognised the role of gender equality and women’s leadership in international peace and security.

Prior to adoption of Security Council resolution 1325, 11 percent of peace agreements made a reference to women or gender. Since then, this percentage has increased to 27 percent.

Yet, this shows that almost three-quarters of peace agreements over the past 15 years made no mention of women, according to UN Women statistics.

The historic review is timely, coming at a moment when the world is grappling with rising violent extremism that places the subordination of women at the centre of the ideology and war tactics, according to UN Women.

“UN Women is calling for accelerated action to achieve women’s leadership in peace and security with stronger political direction, greatly enhanced financial support and well-targeted spending. This anniversary must mark that threshold moment where words become action,” Mlambo-Ngcuka said.

“Peace endures when women participate in peace talks, and states are more resilient in the face of conflict and extremism when gender equality is prioritised,” she said.

UN Women is the UN organisation dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. Since its creation in 2010, UN Women leads coordination on women, peace and security in the UN.