Facts and Figures: Peace and Security

At the peace table

  • Of nine peace agreements in 2011, only those in Somalia and Yemen included particular provisions for women [1].
  • Of the 14 peace negotiations held under UN auspices in 2011, only four women participated on negotiation teams, in Cyprus, Georgia, Guyana and Yemen [2].
  • Out of 585 peace agreements from 1990 to 2010, only [3]:
    • 92 contained at least one reference to women,
    • 17 had explicit references to sexual violence,
    • 16 mentioned protecting women’s human rights or applying humanitarian law to women,
    • 13 highlighted women’s role in implementing the agreement,
    • 9 proposed reserved seats or quotas for women in legislative or executive bodies,
    • 8 stressed promoting women’s organizations and infrastructure to respond to women’s priority needs,
    • 7 referred to specific mechanisms to address crimes against women,
    • 7 called for including women and girl combatants in disarmament, demobilization and reintegration processes,
    • 5 suggested quotas for indigenous women,
    • 5 noted the need for representation of women in the police and women-centred police reform,
    • 4 recommended representation of women in the judiciary, and
    • 4 included sexual violence as a ceasefire violation.

After conflict

  • Female voters are four times as likely as men to be targeted for intimidation in elections in fragile and transitional states [4].
  • There is a significant increase in female-headed households during and after conflict (up to 40 per cent of households), and these are often the most impoverished [5].
  • In Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Timor-Leste, less than 8 per cent of post-conflict spending was specifically budgeted to empower women or promote gender equality [6].
  • In Afghanistan, Iraq, Liberia, Somalia, Sudan and Timor-Leste, only 2.9 per cent of post-conflict needs assessment budgets have been explicitly allocated to women’s needs and gender equality [7].

Security and justice

  • Rape has been a rampant tactic in modern wars. Conservative estimates suggest that 20,000 to 50,000 women were raped during the 1992–1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina [8], while approximately 250,000 to 500,000 women and girls were targeted in the 1994 Rwandan genocide [9].
  • Data from 39 countries show that the presence of women police officers correlates positively with reporting sexual assault [10]. Yet on average, based on 99 countries with available data, women make up only 10 per cent of police forces. Developed countries and sub-Saharan Africa have the largest proportions at 13 and 12 per cent, respectively. The Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia have the lowest, at 2 and 3 per cent, respectively [11].
  • As of September 2012, 3 out of 15 International Court of Justice judges were women [12]. Among sitting International Criminal Court judges, 10 of 18 were women. Out of all 24 judges who have served the latter, 13 have been women [13].
  • Women’s representation on truth commissions varies considerably. In Morocco, 16 commissioners sat on the 2004 Equity and Reconciliation Commission; only 1 was a woman. In contrast, women made up 44 per cent of commissioners on the Liberia Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Kenyan Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission [14].

[1] UN Secretary-General’s report to the Security Council on women, peace and security, S/2012/732.

[2] Ibid.

[3] C. Bell and C. O’Rourke, 2010, “Peace Agreements or Pieces of Paper? The Impact of UNSC Resolution 1325 on Peace Processes and their Agreements,” International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 59, pp. 941–980.

[4] Gabrielle Bardall, 2011, Breaking the Mold: Understanding Gender and Electoral Violence, International Foundation for Electoral Systems.

[5] UN Women, 2012, “Women working for recovery: The Impact of Female Employment on Family and Community Welfare after Conflict,” UN Women Source Book on Women, Peace and Security.

[6] UN Women, 2012, “What Women Want: Planning and Financing for Gender-Responsive Peacebuilding,” UN Women Source Book on Women, Peace and Security.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Based on reports by the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the European Commission. J. Ward on behalf of the Reproductive Health Response in Conflict Consortium, 2002, “Bosnia and Herzegovina”, If Not Now, When?: Addressing Gender-based Violence in Refugee, Internally Displaced, and Post-Conflict Settings, p. 81. Cited in UNIFEM, Facts and Figures on Peace and Security.

[9] United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Rwanda, 1996, Report on the situation of human rights in Rwanda, E/CN.4/1996/68, United Nations, New York.

[10] Ibid.

[11] UN Women, 2011, Progress of the World's Women: In Pursuit of Justice.

[12] International Court of Justice website.

[13] International Criminal Court website.

[14] UN Women, 2012, “A Window of Opportunity: Making Transitional Justice Work for Women,” UN Women Source Book on Women, Peace and Security.