How does the Western Balkans advance the implementation of UNSCR 1325?

Twenty years ago, on 31 October 2000, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (WPS).

“Women account for the vast majority of those adversely affected by armed conflict” UN Security Resolution 1325

By recognizing that armed conflicts affect women and men differently and by calling for the meaningful participation of women in peace processes, UNSCR 1325 is the first international agreement that reaffirms women’s vital role in the prevention and resolution of conflicts. It also stresses the importance of women’s equal participation and full involvement in maintaining and promoting peace and security.

Five out of ten resolutions on WPS refer to the Security Sector Reform stating that it should help to achieve women’s equal participation, their protection from violence and access to justice.

Achieving these goals, requires changing the institutional culture in security and justice institutions through recruiting more women, strengthening gender equality mechanisms, integrating the gender perspective into human resources policies, improving response mechanisms to gender-based violence, and increasing gender awareness.

How does the Western Balkans advance the implementation of UNSCR 1325?

The Ministries of Defence (MoDs) and Armed Forces (AFs) of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia have been working together since 2012 with the support of UNDP SEESAC to help integrate gender perspective into the military by:

  • establishing strong Gender Equality Mechanisms;
  • reinforcing regional cooperation on gender equality in the military among MoDs and AFs;
  • enhancing the understanding of the position of women in the AFs and the remaining gaps in mainstreaming gender in policies and practices;
  • working to increase recruitment and retention of women and prevent gender-based discrimination;
  • creating opportunities to increase the participation of women in leading positions;
  • coaching leaders and commanders;
  • developing knowledge products and standard operating procedures to integrate gender in training and education;
  • sharing the lessons learnt across the globe.

Watch the below video to learn more about how this is done: