Global Network of Women Peacebuilders - GNWP


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The 10th anniversary of Resolution 1325 in October 2010 highlighted the increasing demand for accountability to UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. Many expressed concern about the fact that only 22 Member States out of 192 have adopted national action plans. Women are still underrepresented if not totally absent in most official peace negotiations and sexual violence in conflict continue to increase.

These realities emphasized the need to use other legal mechanisms to strengthen the implementation of SCR 1325, particularly CEDAW. The well-established mechanisms of CEDAW—–the Member States compliance report and the civil society shadow reporting process were cited as powerful instruments to ensure accountability.

Several regional and international meetings including the High Level Seminar “1325 in 2020: Looking Forward…Looking Back,” organized by the African Center for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes, and the “Stockholm International Conference
10 years with 1325 – What now?” called for the use of CEDAW to improve 1325 implementation.

Intersection between SCR 1325 and CEDAW

While CEDAW and UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820 on Women, Peace and Security are important international instruments on their own, there is also an intersection among the three standards that can be used to enhance their implementation and impact.

Resolutions 1325 and 1820 broaden the scope of CEDAW application by clarifying its relevance to all parties in conflict, whereas CEDAW provides concrete strategic guidance for actions to be taken on the broad commitments outlined in the two Resolutions (UNIFEM, 2006. CEDAW and SCR 1325: A Quick Guide).

CEDAW is a global human rights treaty that should be incorporated into national law as the highest standard for women’s rights. It requires UM Member States that have ratified it (185 to date) to set in place mechanisms to fully realize women’s rights.
Resolution 1325 is an international law unanimously adopted by the Security Council that mandates UN Member States to engage women in all aspects of peace building including ensuring women’s participation on all levels of decision–making on peace and security issues.

Resolution 1820 links sexual violence as a tactic of war with the maintenance of international peace and security. It also demands a comprehensive report from the UN Secretary General on implementation and strategies for improving information flow to the Security Council; and adoption of concrete protection and prevention measures to end sexual violence.

Resolutions 1325 and 1820, and CEDAW share the following agenda on women’s human rights and gender equality:

1. Demand women’s participation in decision-making at all levels
2. Rejection of violence against women as it impedes the advancement of women and maintains their subordinate status
3. Equality of women and men under the law; protection of women and girls through the rule of law
4. Demand security forces and systems to protect women and girls from gender-based violence
5. Recognition of the fact that distinct experiences and burdens of women and girls come from systemic discrimination
6. Ensure that women’s experiences, needs and perspectives are incorporated into the political, legal and social decisions that determine the achievement of just and lasting peace

A General Comment from the CEDAW committee could strengthen women’s advocacy for the full implementation of Resolutions 1325 and 1820 at the country and community levels. Conversely, CEDAW’s relevance to conflict-affected areas will be underscored further by the two Resolutions. In other words, all three international instruments will reinforce each other and be much more effective if used together in leveraging women’s human rights.

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