Facts and figures: Peace and security

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Women’s meaningful participation in peace processes

  • Between 1990 and 2017, women constituted only 2 per cent of mediators, 8 per cent of negotiators, and 5 per cent of witnesses and signatories in all major peace process [1].
  • When women are included in peace processes, there is a 20 per cent increase in the probability of an agreement lasting at least two years, and a 35 per cent increase in the probability of an agreement lasting at least 15 years [2].
  • Gender-sensitive language in peace agreements is critical to setting a foundation for gender-inclusion during the peacebuilding phase. Yet, data show a downward trend since 2015; only three out of 11 (27 per cent) peace agreements signed in 2017 containing gender-responsive provisions [3].
  • Insufficient attention has been paid to the implementation of gender provisions in peace agreements. Of peace agreements signed between 2000–2016, only seven per cent refer to specific modalities for implementation of gender provisions [4].
  • A trend analysis on 1,500 peace and political agreements adopted between 2000 and 2016 (140 processes) shows that only 25 agreements discuss the role of women’s engagement in implementation [5].
  • The Global Study on the Implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1325 put forward new evidence and a set of recommendation for action. See Chapter on women’s participation and a better understanding of the political [6].

UN progress on gender parity and mainstreaming in peace and security

  • As of January 2018, gender parity has been achieved in the UN Secretary-General’s Senior Management Group at headquarters and among UN Resident Coordinators [7].
  • For the first time in the history of the UN, a woman head of the Department of Political Affairs was appointed in March 2018 [8].
  • As of September 2018, women comprised 41 per cent of heads and deputy heads of peace operations led by the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Political Affairs—an increase by 13 percentage points since 2017 [9].
  • In 2017, women’s representation among military troops and police officers in UN peace operations remained low at 4 per cent and 10 per cent respectively [10].
  • As of July 2018, 3 of 16 (19 per cent) UN peace operations with police components [11] had women heads, whereas there was only one woman military force commander [12, 13].
  • Regarding representatives of Member States to the UN, in April 2018 women made up only 40 out of 193 (22.5 per cent) permanent representatives at the ambassador level to the UN in New York; out of15 Security Council seats, three (Poland, the UK and the USA) were filled by women Ambassadors [14].
  • In 2017, the UN Department of Political Affairs had a total of 25 gender advisers deployed to 12 field missions or special envoy offices. Of these four (16 per cent) were at the senior level (P5 and above), seven at P4 level (28 per cent), and more than half (56 per cent) were at the P3 level or below [15, 16].
  • For the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, of 15 peacekeeping missions, nine missions have gender units with a total of 4 senior gender advisers and 53 gender advisers and officers in 2017 [17].
  • As at December 2017, there were 12 police gender and sexual and gender-based violence advisers; 18 military gender and protection advisers; Two UN Police Specialized Sexual and Gender-based Violence Teams deployed in Haiti and South Sudan; and 21 Women Protection Advisers deployed in seven mission settings [18].
  • In 2017, UN Women maintained a country presence in a total of 82 countries, including 28 conflict and post-conflict countries. and continued to provide gender expertise and implement a range of peace, security and humanitarian initiatives in 65 countries [19].

Protection, rule of law, and women’s access to justice

  • As part of human rights monitoring and reporting mechanisms to address Member State accountability for violations of women’s human rights, in 2017 the special procedures mechanisms of the Human Rights Council sent a total of 497 communications, of which 36 related to women’s human rights and violations, pertaining to 21 conflict and post-conflict countries [20].
  • In 2018 the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict [21].
  • The 2018 report of the Secretary-General on conflict-related sexual violence identifies 19 countries where verifiable information on incidents exists. Forty-seven parties are listed, the majority are non-State actors. Seven of these have been designated as terrorist groups. Twelve state actors are listed and some of them have assumed commitments to adopt measures to address conflict-related sexual violence. Conflict-related sexual violence incidents are not random or isolated, but integral to the operations, ideology, and economic strategy of a range of state actors and non-state armed groups [22].
  • Women remain unequally represented in transitional justice and rule of law institutions. As of July 2018, women comprised 30 per cent of commissioners on United Nations-supported truth commissions; Colombia, five of 11 (45.5 per cent); the Gambia, four out of 11 (36.4 per cent); Tunisia, four of nine (44.4 per cent); Mali, five of 25 (20 per cent) commissioners were women. Of magistrates in the Special Criminal Court in the Central African Republic, only three of 11 (27.3 per cent) were women [23].
  • In 2018, the government of Kosovo (under UN Security Council resolution 1244), established a commission to provide reparations to survivors of conflict-related sexual violence. Survivors receive a pension of €230 per month in recognition of their harm suffered [24].
  • In 2016, two former military officers in Guatemala were convicted for crimes committed during the country’s armed conflict in the 1980s, including rape and sexual slavery. The Sepur Zarco trial was the first time that a national court prosecuted sexual slavery as an international crime. Now, the victims in that case, a group of impassioned elderly abuelas, are leading the charge to implement the reparations judgment resulting from the case, calling for access to land, health and education for their indigenous community [25].

Women’s access and right to services and resources

  • In 2018, approximately 136 million people need humanitarian assistance and protection, including an estimated 5 million pregnant women, young women and girls and 34 million of reproductive age [26].
  • Conflicts and emergencies limit children’s and youth’s access to education. In 2017, in Mali and Niger, three in 10 children of primary school age were out of school; in Liberia, the out-of-school rate even doubled, six in 10. In many of these settings, the out-of-school rate for girls is higher than for boys. In Côte d’Ivoire, Sri Lanka and Yemen, for example, girls of primary school age are out of school at the rate 1.5 times as that for boys [27].
  • Of the 830 women and adolescent girls who die every day from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth [28], 507 die in countries that are considered fragile because of conflict or disaster [29]—about three fifths of all maternal deaths worldwide.
  • Early, forced and child marriage has escalated in conflict and humanitarian settings. In Yemen, for instance, child marriage rates rose to 66 per cent of girls marrying under the age of 18 in 2017 and, in governorates with high numbers of internally displaced persons, 44 per cent of marriages involve girls under the age of 15 [30].
  • In both conflict and non-conflict affected countries, women’s rights and access to land ownership is extremely low due to customary and statutory law, with women accounting for only 11.5 per cent of landholders in conflict-affected countries and 13.4 per cent in non-conflict affected countries in 2017 [31].
  • On average, the percentage of monetary equivalent benefits received by women and girls through early recovery programmes has dropped to 38 per cent, despite UNDP’s increase in monetary benefits received by women and girls from temporary employment in 13 countries [32].

Governance and women’s political participation

  • The global proportion of parliamentary seats occupied by women stood at 23.8 per cent in June 2018. For conflict and post-conflict countries, available data continue to show lower figures than the global figure, with a stagnating average of around 16 per cent [33].
  • As of June 2018, women in conflict and post-conflict countries with legislated quotas occupied 19.8 per cent of parliament seats, compared with 12.1 per cent in those countries without [34].

Financing the women, peace, and security agenda

  • Overall bilateral aid [35] to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in fragile and conflict-affected situations is on the rise. In 2015–2016, the aid amounted to an average of USD 18.5 billion per year, an increase of 17 per cent from the previous year. However, only 5 per cent was allocated to programmes targeting gender equality and women’s empowerment as the primary objective [36].
  • Of the dedicated bilateral aid on gender equality and women’s empowerment, major donors, including Canada, EU Institutions, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Sweden, contributed over 80 per cent in 2015–2016 [37].
  • In 2015–2016, Sweden and the Netherlands both committed more than 20 per cent of their bilateral aid for programmes targeting gender equality and women’s empowerment as a primary objective [38].
  • Allocating a minimum of 15 per cent of all United Nations-managed funding in support of peacebuilding projects to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment is one of the benchmarks in the UN’ Seven-Point Action Plan on Gender-Responsive Peacebuilding. In 2017, the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund reached 36 per cent by combining improved gender mainstreaming and targeted gender equality programming [39].
  • In 2017, a positive trend was reported by the Global Focal Point for Police, Justice and Corrections with funds allocated to promote gender equality and women’s rights in joint-programming exceeding 15 per cent in the Central African Republic (16 per cent), Mali, Palestine and Haiti (20 per cent) and Somalia (27 per cent) [40].
  • The demands for gender and women, peace and security expertise from UN Women has continued to increase, yet the budgeted amount for implementation of initiatives remained at USD 71 million in 2017 [41].
  • In 2015–2016, bilateral aid from OECD-DAC to women’s institutions and organizations in all developing countries was USD 464 million on average per year [42].
  • The share of the bilateral aid from OECD-DAC channelled through non-governmental women’s organizations dropped from 52.3 per cent in 2011 and stagnated below this level ever since with latest showing at 48.1 per cent in 2016 [43].
  • The Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund has dedicated to supporting women and women’s organizations in peace and security efforts. As of 2018, it funded over 40 civil society organizations in Burundi, Colombia, Jordan, Fiji, Samoa, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu [44].

National and regional strategies for advancing women’s peace and security

  • Member States hold the primary responsibility for advancement of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. As such, the Women, Peace and Security Focal Points Network, which includes over 80 Member States and regional organizations, provides a forum to strengthen approaches and strategies for implementation [45].
  • As of September 2018, 77 countries or territories had national action plans on women, peace and security. Only 18 of all action plans had an allocated budget at adoption, and 51 (66 per cent) have monitoring frameworks with progress indicators [46].
  • In 2018, of the 39 countries and territories reviewed by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, 23 had national human rights institutions accredited with A or B status, and five had an ombudsperson institution. Fourteen of those bodies have specific units, departments or committees dealing with issues relating to women’s rights and gender equality [47].
  • In 2018, 11 regional frameworks on women, peace and security had been adopted, including regional action plans, including South African Development Community (SADC), East African Community (EAC), Economic Community of West African States, European Union, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Pacific Islands Forum, African Union, International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), League of Arab States (LAS), and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development [48].
  • There is an upward trend in the frequency of using the Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) to report on the implementation of the women, peace and security resolutions after the adoption of General Recommendation 30. For example, the number of Concluding Observations in which the CEDAW Committee referred to the WPS Resolutions increased from five in 2014 to 18 in 2017; and the percentage of countries reporting on UNSCR 1325 in their CEDAW reports has increased from 19 per cent in 2010 to 50 per cent in 2018 [49].

Security Council’s work on women, peace, and security

  • There are eight UN Security Council resolutions that form the foundation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. Additionally, and importantly, the Security Council continues to mainstream the Women, Peace and Security Agenda throughout its work and decisions [50].
  • Data show increased number of the Security Council’s decisions that contained provisions on women, peace and security. In 2017, 70.5 per cent of resolutions, 88.8 per cent of presidential statements, and 75.7 per cent of country-specific or regional situations contained provisions on women’s peace and security, and in 2016 the percentages were 49.4 per cent, 57.9 per cent and 51 per cent respectively [51].
  • In 2017, the number of women leaders and civil society representatives who briefed the Security Council increased: seven women from civil society and one woman from a national human rights institution briefed at region or country-specific meetings; and women from civil society briefed during three thematic open debates, compared to only one woman briefing at regional or country-specific meetings in 2016. In July 2018, Sweden, as the President of the Security Council during that month, achieved gender parity among invited briefers for the first-time [52].
  • In 2017, all outcome documents of the five Security Council field missions referred to women, peace and security [53].
  • The Informal Expert Group (IEG) on Women and Peace and Security was created in 2016, after a decade of concerted calls by women led civil society. It affirms the Council’s 2015 commitment in Security Council resolution 2242 (2015) to strengthen more systematically the oversight and coordination of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda [54].

Disarmament and women’s roles

  • In May 2018, the UN’s Secretary General launched new agenda for disarmament, Securing Our Common Future, which also aims to fully align with the core purpose of the Women Peace and Security Agenda, including through promotion of women’s meaningful participation in disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control [55].
  • In 2017, there were an estimated 857 million small arms in civilian possession [56], which are often involved in various forms of violence, including forced displacement and sexual and gender-based violence.
  • During the Third Review Conference on the Programme of Action (PoA) on Small Arms and Light Weapons (June 2018), among 77 national reports submitted, 33 countries reported that gender considerations have been incorporated in policymaking, planning and implementation of the PoA, and 11 countries reported that that they collect gender disaggregated data that enable understanding of the gender dynamics of weapons collection, ownership, and impacts [57].
  • Women remain significantly under-represented across disarmament efforts. In 2017, women represented only one quarter of the participants in multilateral disarmament meetings at the United Nations [58].

Notes

[1] Data come from UN Women and the Council on Foreign Relations (5 January 2018). Women’s Participation in Peace Processes (https://www.cfr.org/interactive/womens-participation-in-peace-processes).

[2] Stone, L. (2015). “Study of 156 Peace Agreements, Controlling for Other Variables, Quantitative Analysis of Women’s Participation.” In Peace Processes in Reimagining Peacemaking: Women’s Roles in Peace Processes, by M. O’Reilly, A. Ó Súilleabháin, and T. Paffenholz, Annex II. New York: International Peace Institute.

[3] UN Security Council (2018). Report of the Secretary-General on women peace and security (S/2018/900), para. 42. Also see UN Peacemaker (http://peacemaker.un.org).

[4] Bell, C. and McNicholl, K. (forthcoming). Implementation of Gender Provisions in Peace Agreements: An Overview of the PA-X Database.

[5] Bell, C. and McNicholl, K. (forthcoming). Implementation of Gender Provisions in Peace Agreements: An Overview of the PA-X Database.

[6] UN Women (2015). Chapter 3: Women’s participation and a better understanding of the political, In Global Study on the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1325 (2000).

[7] UN Security Council (2018). Report of the Secretary-General on women peace and security (S/2018/900), para. 9. Also see United for Gender Parity (https://www.un.org/gender/).

[8] UN Security Council (2018). Report of the Secretary-General on women peace and security (S/2018/900), para. 9.

[9] UN Security Council (2018). Report of the Secretary-General on women peace and security (S/2018/900), para. 9. Data are provided by the UN Department of Field Support.

[10] UN Security Council (2018). Report of the Secretary-General on women peace and security (S/2018/900), para 12. Data are provided by the UN Department of Field Support.

[11] UNAMID, UNISFA, UNFICYP.

[12] UNTSO.

[13] UN Security Council (2018). Report of the Secretary-General on women peace and security (S/2018/900), para. 12.

[14] UN Security Council (2018). Report of the Secretary-General on women peace and security (S/2018/900), para. 13.

[15] UN Security Council (2018). Report of the Secretary-General on women peace and security (S/2018/900), para. 22.

[16] P3, P4, P5 levels are part of the staff categories in the UN system. P3 positions are entry-level professionals, and P4 and P5 are mid-level professionals, as noted in the UN Careers.

[17] UN Security Council (2018). Report of the Secretary-General on women peace and security (S/2018/900), para. 22.

[18] UN Security Council (2018). Report of the Secretary-General on conflict-related sexual violence (S/2018/250), para. 4.

[19] UN Security Council (2018). Report of the Secretary-General on women peace and security (S/2018/900), para. 23. Also see UN Women (http://www.unwomen.org/en/where-we-are).

[20] UN Security Council (2018). Report of the Secretary-General on women peace and security (S/2018/900), para. 85. Data come from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (https://www.ohchr.org), accessed in August 2018.

[21] See the Nobel Peace Prize for 2018 (https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/2018/press-release/).

[22] UN Security Council (2018). Report of the Secretary-General on conflict-related sexual violence (S/2018/250).

[23] UN Security Council (2018). Report of the Secretary-General on women peace and security (S/2018/900), para. 84. Data come from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (https://www.ohchr.org), accessed in August 2018.

[24] See UN Women (2018) (http://eca.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2018/02/first-applications-in-for-compensation-for-conflict-related-sexual-violence-survivors-in-kosovo).

[25] See UN Women (2017) (http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2017/10/feature-guatemala-sepur-zarco-in-pursuit-of-truth-justice-and-now-reparations), (http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2016/3/guatemala-victory-against-sexual-violence-in-armed-conflict), and TRIAL International (2017) (https://trialinternational.org/latest-post/esteelmer-francisco-reyes-giron/).

[26] UNFPA (2018). Humanitarian Action 2018 Overview.

[27] UNESCO Institute for Statistics database (http://data.uis.unesco.org/), accessed in September 2018.

[28] World Health Organization. Key facts (http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/maternal-mortality), accessed in July 2018.

[29] UNFPA (2015). State of World Population 2015: Shelter from the storm, p.2.

[30] UN Security Council (2018). Report of the Secretary-General on women peace and security (S/2018/900), para. 56. Data come from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (https://www.unocha.org/).

[31] Data on women landowners come from Food and Agriculture Organization (http://www.fao.org/statistics), accessed in July 2018; percentages in conflict and non-conflict affected countries were calculated by the UN Women.

[32] UN Security Council (2018). Report of the Secretary-General on women peace and security (S/2018/900), para. 56. Data are provided by the United Nations Development Programme.

[33] UN Security Council (2018). Report of the Secretary-General on women peace and security (S/2018/900), para. 80. Data come from IPU (2018). Women in National Parliaments Situation as at 1 June 2018 http://archive.ipu.org/wmn-e/arc/world010618.htm. The percentage in conflict and post-conflict countries were calculated by the UN Women by using data from the IPU.

[34] UN Security Council (2018). Report of the Secretary-General on women peace and security (S/2018/900), para. 80. Data come from IPU (2018). Women in National Parliaments Situation as at 1 June 2018 http://archive.ipu.org/wmn-e/arc/world010618.htm, accessed in July 2018. The percentage in conflict and post-conflict countries were calculated by the UN Women by using data from the IPU.

[35] “Aid” refers to Sector-Allocable Official Development Assistance committed by OECD-DAC members. The OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) has 30 members as of July 2018.

[36] OECD (http://www.oecd.org/dac/stats/gender-related-aid-data.htm), accessed in July 2018.

[37] OECD DAC Creditor Reporting System database (https://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=crs1), accessed in July 2018.

[38] OECD DAC Creditor Reporting System database (https://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=crs1), accessed in July 2018.

[39] UN Security Council (2018). Report of the Secretary-General on the Peacebuilding Fund.

[40] UN Security Council (2018). Report of the Secretary-General on women peace and security (S/2018/900), para. 90.

[41] UN Security Council (2018). Report of the Secretary-General on women peace and security (S/2018/900), para. 95. Data come from UN Women (http://www.unwomen.org).

[42] OECD DAC Network on Gender Equality (GENDERNET) (2018). Aid to gender equality and women’s empowerment. An Overview.

[43] OECD DAC Creditor Reporting System database (https://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=crs1), accessed on 30 August 2018.

[44] See the Women’s Peace & Humanitarian Fund (http://wphfund.org/).

[45] UN General Assembly Security Council (2018). Letter dated 1 March 2018 from the Permanent Representatives of Germany, Namibia and Spain to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General (https://undocs.org/en/S/2018/178).

[46] UN Security Council (2018). Report of the Secretary-General on women peace and security (S/2018/900), para. 50. The data are compiled by UN Women, September 2018. The 77 countries or territories include: Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chile, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Democratic Republic of Congo, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Iceland, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Lithuania, Mali, Moldova, Montenegro, Mozambique, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Paraguay, Philippines, Portugal, Rwanda, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States, the State of Palestine, and Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244).

[47] Data come from Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/NHRI/Pages/NHRIMain.aspx).

[48] UN Security Council (2018). Report of the Secretary-General on women peace and security (S/2018/900), para. 85. Data are compiled by the UN Women.

[49] Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (2018). Policy brief: Strengthening synergies between CEDAW and Women, Peace and Security Resolutions (http://gnwp.org/wp-content/uploads/PolicyBriefGNWP-2018_13Sept_2018.pdf).

[50] See UN Women (http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/peace-and-security/global-norms-and-standards).

[51] See the Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council (http://www.un.org/en/sc/repertoire/data.shtml).

[52] UN Security Council (2018). Report of the Secretary-General on women peace and security (S/2018/900), para. 100.

[53] UN Security Council (2018). Report of the Secretary-General on women peace and security (S/2018/900), para. 103.

[54] UN Security Council (2016). Letter dated 22 December 2016 from the Permanent Representatives of Spain and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General (https://digitallibrary.un.org/record/854883/files/S_2016_1104-EN.pdf).

[55] UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (2018). Security Our Common Future: An Agenda for Disarmament. New York: UNODA.

[56] Out of some 1,013 million small arms in the world, almost 85 per cent are in civilian hands – the majority unlicensed. Data come from Small Arms Surveys (2018). Estimating Global Civilian held Firearms Numbers, p. 3., and Small Arms surveys (2018). Civilian inventories. (http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/weapons-and-markets/stockpiles/civilian-inventories.html), accessed in August 30, 2018.

[57] Data are provided by UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (https://www.un.org/disarmament/convarms/revcon3/).

[58] Office for Disarmament Affairs (2018). Security Our Common Future: An Agenda for Disarmament. New York: UNODA, p. 67.