20th Anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution “Women, Peace and Security”

Exactly 20 years ago, on October 31, 2000, UN Security Council Resolution 1325, better known as “Women, Peace and Security”, was adopted. We want to talk about its main provisions and importance for our country.

Although the resolution was adopted 20 years ago, the world community, namely the UN Security Council, is actively improving it. In support of the implementation of this resolution in 2008-2019, 9 more UN Security Council resolutions were adopted under the following numbers: 1820, 1888, 1889, 1960, 2106, 2122, 2242, 2467, 2493.

Ukraine, as a member of the UN, must also implement the provisions of the resolution. In particular, in February 2016, Ukraine adopted a National Action Plan to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325 “Women, Peace and Security” for the period up to 2020. Before the 20th anniversary, Ukraine adopted the second National Plan.

What are the main provisions of the resolution?

  • The special importance of taking into account the needs of women and girls in conflict situations and women’s special vulnerability to the negative consequences of conflicts are noted.
  • The Security Council calls on UN member states to actively involve women in decision-making at all levels through national, regional, and international institutions and mechanisms for conflict prevention, management, and resolution.
  • UN member states call for the inclusion of a gender component in field operations, particularly the greater involvement of women in the military and police forces.

Subsequent UN Security Council resolutions, in support of Resolution 1325, were aimed at combating sexual violence during conflicts, increasing women’s involvement in the conflict and post-conflict situations, and more.

Why is this resolution important?

The resolution became the institutional framework for the integration of women into the security sector. More than 60 countries (including Ukraine) have already adopted national action plans to implement Resolution 1325. NATO and the EU have also adopted action plans. Involving women in decision-making and increasing the representation of women in the military and police significantly increases the effectiveness of combating gender-based violence and improves the consideration of women’s needs in conflict situations.

Ukraine already has the first achievements from the implementation of Resolution 1325. Positions of gender advisers are created in educational institutions of security and defense, a law on equal rights and opportunities for women and men during military service in the Armed Forces is adopted, the list of military specialties that women can occupy is expanded, and more than 27 thousand women serve in the Armed Forces.

However, the Ukrainian implementation of the resolution is also criticized: women mostly hold feminized positions in logistics, logistics, and medical services. Despite the formal expansion of the list of military specialties, there is informal resistance to the increase in women’s number in the security and defense sectors. There are almost no women in the leadership (especially at the rank of “colonel” and above).

Resolution 1325 and other resolutions in support of it (the last of which was adopted in 2019), action plans, demonstrate efforts to integrate women into peacekeeping and security processes, but they are also a signal of the inadequacy of such efforts. The problems addressed by resolution 1325 have not yet been resolved. Therefore, 20 years after adopting the resolution “Women, Peace and Security”, it is necessary to increase efforts to implement it.