New WPSN-C Report Released

The Women, Peace and Security Network- Canada asked NAP Report Reportmembers and academics to reflect on Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (C-NAP) and the two progress reports that were released earlier this year. Our new publication – Worth the Wait? – is the result.

The Progress Reports can be somewhat long and difficult to work through, so we’re hoping that these analyses contribute to a better understanding of what Canada has achieved and how results relating to women, peace and security could be improved in the future. The contributions in the report also reflect on the C-NAP as a policy, planning and accountability instrument.

There is recognition of the work done by the Government of Canada:

  • It was good to note achievements like Canada’s advocacy contributing to the UN Strategic Framework on WPS and the development and implementation of the UN-executed Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Arrangements as well as other initiatives like supporting five women of the Afghan Women’s Network participating in the Bonn Conference on Afghanistan in December 2011.”

  • It is noted that over the reporting periods the Government of Canada has supported a number of women’s organizations and networks in different countries including Afghanistan, Colombia, Burma, Libya and Jordan, as well as the broader Great Lakes Region. The Government of Canada also states to have actively advocated for all Security Council missions and field visits to meet with women’s organizations on the ground.”

  • The snapshots from peacekeepers in the field are engaging, and the brief descriptions of various programs conducted throughout the world to improve the lot of women are catchy and exciting.”

  • “We would like to applaud the government and Minister Baird for the statements in support of ending violence against women in conflict. We appreciate seeing the listing of departmental initiatives, funded projects and activities, and we note that Canada has funded some important work on women, peace and security around the world, including support for the crucial work of the Women’s League of Burma and a national conference on 1325 in South Sudan.”

However, there are also questions about the level of investments, results achieved and if the C-NAP has lived up to its goal of ‘guiding the way Canada develops policy.’ A question running through the commentaries is whether or not the empowerment of women, in decision-making processes, including for conflict resolution, really is central to Canada’s foreign policy, as is noted in the 2nd Progress Report.

Insights in the report include:

  • The combined aid in support of C-NAP from both of the recently merged departments amounts to less than 5% of total ODA disbursed by Canada in each of the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 fiscal years. This is suggestive of the low priority accorded the WPS issues in Canada’s aid program.”

  • The failure to clearly articulate a gender-based approach to addressing issues around women, peace and security in the C-NAP translates into a failure to take gender equality seriously combined with an inability to address the gender-based root causes of women’s insecurity.”

  • Despite the global call for indicators in National Action Plans, to date the indicators in the C-NAP do not function as an effective accountability mechanism.”

  • Other pieces of information, such as the fact that the Canadian Government has not reported on the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Program since 2011 and only 42% of START deployments of civilians to fragile and conflict-affected situations received training on the different impact of armed conflict on women and girl, clearly indicate that there is significant room for improvement in the Canadian Government’s operations.”

  • While it is important to acknowledge the success of projects and programmes in order to uphold the promise of Canada’s responsibility to UNSCR 1325 and women, peace, and security, the challenges and limitations to “gender mainstreaming” has not been addressed fully.”

Interested in learning more? Have a look at the full report.

Want to join in the discussion? Comment on this post, contact us on Twitter or visit our Facebook page.

(Please note that contributions in the Report are the opinions and analysis of the individual authors. The Report does not necessarily represent the view of the WPSN-C as a whole or each individual member.)


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