Keeping 1325 Alive: What is a Women, Peace and Security National Action Plan?

National_Action_Plans

 

Purpose:

A WPS NAP is a blueprint or tool drafted by a national governmental body to implement the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325). There are 4 themes within UNSCR 1325 that a WPS NAP can aim to include:

  • Equal participation of women in all decision-making levels,
  • Conflict prevention,
  • Protection of the rights of women in conflict areas (with a focus on preventing and protecting against sexual violence in conflict) and,

 

  1. Access to relief and recovery services for this population (PeaceWomen, 2013).

WPS NAPs are one method that can be used by the state to accept the responsibility to uphold the human rights platform for women and girls within the nation, as well as on a global scale to ensure gender mainstreaming and equality, and to promote peace and conflict resolution for all. Countries can implement WPS NAPs with the aim to “improve monitoring and evaluation to enhance accountability, and build coherence and coordination among government agencies”.

Overview of what a WPS NAP should look like:

In broad terms, like any other goal-oriented plan, a WPS NAP should contain SMART characteristics. It should include Specific goals with Measurable indicators or outcomes; these goals must be Attainable, Relevant at the domestic level and Time-bound for effective evaluation. Participation from civil society and grassroots women’s organization is crucial during the development phase and when evaluating the implementation process of the NAP. Civil society groups play a critical role in holding governments accountable to uphold these decisions in practice. However, it is important to note that the ability of a nation to effectively implement their NAP depends on their “capacity to implement, monitor and finance” the entire plan (p. 6).

WPS NAPs in the Real World:   

Since the introduction of the UNSCR 1325 in 2000, a number of countries around the world have launched NAPs to address key WPS issues. As seen in our previous blog post, there have been a total of 6 additional resolutions since UNSCR 1325 that have been introduced; however, implementation into ‘real world’ practice has been significantly variable. According to a study completed in 2014 by The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), there are multiple key components that should be included within the planning and implementation phases that are occasionally ignored by implementing states. Following is a short list of the most significant components that are often ignored, but should be addressed within an NAP:

  • Clear goals with concrete actions
  • Domestic relevance
  • Critical involvement of civil society
  • Effective monitoring and evaluation processes
  • Participation of women in all levels of decision-making
  • Focus on conflict prevention and the role women can play  in this
  • Focus on preventing sexual violence, especially in conflict (OSCE, 2014)

One of the major short-comings of the implementation of NAPs on a global scale as specified by OSCE (2014) is, “a need for a better understanding of what gender mainstreaming means in concrete and practical terms; an understanding that goes beyond a mere balance in the number of women and men” (p. 8). This is an essential piece which tends to be absent from the discussion and should be placed high on the governmental agenda when discussing WPS NAPs.

In summary, to Keep 1325 Alive, it is crucial for nations to develop a WPS NAP, but real effort is needed to ensure proper and effective implementation. Share with us your thoughts on different WPS NAPs around the world, what nations are doing right, and what you think can be improved. We would love to hear from you!

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Countries that have developed WPS NAPs:

(Info taken from PeaceWomen.org)

Africa Asia Europe The Middle East North America South America Australia
Gambia Kyrgyzstan Austria Iraq Canada Chile Australia
Ghana Nepal France USA
Uganda Georgia Iceland
Senegal Philippines Finland
Liberia Afghanistan Spain
Rwanda Republic of Korea Belgium
Guinea Italy
Nigeria Netherlands
Sierra Leone Slovenia
Guinea Bissau Ireland
Democratic Republic of Congo Croatia
Ivory Coast Lithuania
Burundi Denmark
Macedonia
Norway
Sweden
Portugal
Germany
Serbia
Switzerland
Estonia
United Kingdom
Bosnia

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