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Women, peace and security
Photo: © MZV ČR / MFA CZ

Women, peace and security

 

In 2000, the UN Security Council adopted the landmark Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security which became the cornerstone of the Women Peace and Security Agenda (further as “WPS Agenda”). Resolution 1325 (2000) calls on all States to secure the participation and involvement of women in their security policies and in peace-building, including increasing women's participation in peace and security processes, and to incorporate the gender perspective into all post-conflict reconstruction and international development efforts. The resolution further calls on all security actors to protect women and girls from violations of human rights, to give them access to justice and work actively to eliminate all forms of gender discrimination. During the twenty years of its existence, the WPS Agenda has become a universal agenda which is further elaborated in a number of subsequent resolutions.

In terms of security, the correlation between gender inequality in a country and the tendency for emergence of a national conflict is now widely recognized. However, women and girls are not only victims of wars but they are often actively involved as members of national armies, armed groups or terrorist organizations, where they actively fight or support war efforts as auxiliary personnel, and are also involved in civilian peacekeeping operations. Both the OSCE and the UN agree that peace efforts are generally more effective and sustainable if women are actively and meaningfully involved. Nevertheless, women's voices are often not heard once the conflict ends. Between 1992 and 2011, the representation of women in peace negotiation teams was only 9% and women constituted only 4% of peace treaty signatories. Yet, the participation of women in peace processes is essential not only for the sustainability of peace, but also for the more effective implementation of peace agreements.

Empowering women and closing the gender gap is one of the key prerequisites for fulfilling the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (see Goal 1. End poverty, Goal 2. End hunger, Goal 3. Healthy lives and well-being, Goal 5. Gender equality, Goal 8. Decent work and economic growth and Goal 10. Reduce inequality). The UN estimates that the gender gap costs the world economy 15% of GDP but according to a study by the International Monetary Fund, closing the gender gap would increase an average country's GDP worldwide by as much as 35% (80% of this is labour force expansion, 20% productivity losses). Women are also more often dependent on the so-called informal economy, and almost 40% of women worldwide have no social protection. Strengthening (not only) the economic position of women and their resilience is thus undoubtedly a necessary precondition for ensuring prosperity and sustainable development for all.

Ensuring security, prosperity, sustainable development, and human dignity, including the protection of human rights, belongs on a long-term basis among the main objectives of the Czech foreign policy. The fulfilment of all these objectives is essentially linked to the support of gender equality and the implementation of the WPS Agenda.

In 2016, a national contact person (“Focal Point”) for the WPS at the level of the Director of the United Nations Department was appointed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. At the first meeting of the WPS Focal Points Network at the 71st session of the UN General Assembly, the Czech Republic was one of 41 countries to sign a joint communiqué reconfirming their commitment to increase women's participation at decision-making level in conflict prevention at national and international levels.

The Czech Republic has been a party to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women ("CEDAW") since 1993. This fundamental international law document defines discrimination against women and obliges states to take measures to eradicate it. CEDAW commitments are also relevant to the implementation of Resolution 1325, the two documents complement and reinforce each other in a number of areas, such as conflict prevention, gender-based violence, sexual exploitation and human trafficking, participation, access to justice, access to education, health services and employment, displaced persons, refugees and asylum seekers, etc.

In 2013, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women issued General Recommendation No. 30 on women in conflict prevention, conflict and post-conflict situations, (further as "GR30"). GR30 represents a guideline for the CEDAW implementation in conflict prevention, during conflict and in the post-conflict period. This recommendation stipulates in Article 83 that states are obliged to report on the implementation of Resolution 1325 (2000). The recommendation also includes an appeal for the adoption of national action plans for the implementation of Resolution 1325 and for the allocation of the relevant budget for their implementation.

At the end of 2016, the Czech Republic submitted its first Action Plan of the Czech Republic for the implementation of United Nations Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security and related resolutions for 2017-2020. In the years 2017-2019, an annual report was submitted to the Government on the implementation of the Action Plan.

The National Action Plan of the Czech Republic for 2021-2025 was elaborated under the leadership of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with participating relevant ministries (Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Justice and Government Office), non-governmental organizations and the academic sector and it was adopted by the Government of the Czech Republic in November 2020. The core of the National Action Plan of the Czech Republic for 2021-2025 is a set of specific measures classified according to strategic goals. Each measure is assigned an indicator, which can be used to determine whether and to what extent the measure has been fulfilled. An estimated measure implementation period is determined and the specific institution responsible for its implementation is indicated. The measures are thus specific, measurable, relevant to the individual strategic goals and time bound. This methodology aims to simplify and clarify the annual evaluation of the National Action Plan implementation.

Action Plan of the Czech Republic for the implementation of United Nations (DOCX, 28 KB)

NAP21-25_EN_measurer (XLSX, 66 KB)

 

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