All over the world, women are prime targets during conflict. Rape, displacement, torture and kidnap are common experiences of women. Whilst women are highly resourceful and are actively building peace in their communities, this is not recognized in formal peace processes. Despite international promises, women made up only 1 in 40 peace agreement signatories over the past 25 years.
No Women, No Peace is a campaign run by 14 human rights and development organisations in the UK, calling for women’s participation in peacebuilding. The campaign marks the 10-year anniversary, on October 31, of UN Resolution 1325, the pioneering UN Resolution on women and peace and security. The resolution recognises the devastating impact of conflict on women and states that women must be involved in building peace from the earliest stages.
Yet, 10 years after Resolution 1325, the international community is still failing to protect women. Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) continues to be used as a strategic weapon of war. SGBV, which includes rape, forced impregnation, forced abortion, trafficking, sexual slavery, and the spread of sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV/AIDS – is one of the defining characteristics of contemporary armed conflict.
No Women, No Peace campaign recognises that unless women participate in all stages of building peace, the issues faced by women can’t be addressed and peace will fail to meet the needs of 50 per cent of the population.
Wazhma Frogh, an activist with the Afghan Women's Network said: "If a reconciliation and re-integration plan is about bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan, half the population should not be left out. Bringing peace is not just about the end of fighting, but has to be an enabling environment for men, women and children of this country to access education and rebuild their country.”
The UK, as an international key global player and major donor, has a key role to play in supporting women to participate in decisions made about peace and security. No Women, No Peace wants to use this 10th year anniversary of UN Resolution 1325 to create the momentum necessary to move the issue up the public and political agenda and call on the UK Government to honour commitments made to women in conflict.
No Women, No Peace is a campaign by Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS UK), a network of peace, human rights and development organizations, including ActionAid UK; Amnesty International UK; CARE International UK; IANSA Women's Network; International Alert; Widows for Peace through Democracy; WOMANKIND Worldwide; Women for Women International UK.