The interlinkages between different policy areas such as foreign, security, development, trade, financial and justice policies and how they relate to WPS need to be further understood. This high-level panel will provide a key opportunity to present how different stakeholders will mainstream gender and WPS in promotion of peace, security and sustainable development, leading up to the 20th anniversary of UNSCR 1325, and with a focus on prevention and participation.
The panel will also showcase how women’s organisations are crucial actors for peace and security in their communities and regions, and how the shrinking civic space not least for women’s organisations is a serious threat against peaceful and democratic development, and needs to be addressed as such.
- Women's rights organisations are first-responders when the crisis happens and are still there when the conflict is over. International organisations should listen to them for early-warning signs.
- Where civil society is shrinking, this can prevent women from being political actors in many countries.
- Leaders need to meet visibly with women civil society representatives, when possible with the press in attendance.
- Prevention will be served through removing impunity for crimes of sexual violence through specific prosecution of these cases.
The world has lost sight of some key demands of the women’s movement: the promoting non-violent forms of conflict resolution, reducing military expenditure, controlling arms supplies, and fostering a culture of peace. This requires stronger recognition of the depth of gender norms. If women are involved from the outset in official negotiations, particularly in post-conflict situations, peace agreements are more likely to succeed.
Women are the first affected and first to indicate what is happening. Local women’s organisations should be heeded as they offer important insights. Early warning indicators are crucial to helping prevent conflict. Training missions need to train trainers to recognise signs, down to the level of municipal police forces. In a recently launched joint project with the EU, NATO is working to develop early warning indicators. There is a need for visibility at the top level and a top-down approach with more countries engaged.
It has become harder and hard
The EU is operating a policy of zero tolerance and has Gender Focal Points advising missions to avoid issues of sexual malpractice.