In Focus: Women, peace and security 2018

A woman crafts in the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan. Photo: Christopher Herwig
Photo: Christopher Herwig

Top stories |Infographic |Video |News and speeches |Events |Facts and figures |Social media

To create lasting peace, we need women’s voices. From conflict prevention and conflict resolution to reconciliation and economic recovery post-conflict, women’s meaningful participation in peace processes increases the likelihood that an agreement will last longer than 15 years by as much as 35 per cent. But women’s participation in peace processes goes beyond just representation and quotas. Meaningful participation means that women are at the table when negotiations are taking place, women’s interests and lived experiences are fully reflected in peace processes, and that women are equally considered in recovery efforts in the aftermath in conflict.

This year on 25 October, the UN Security Council convenes its annual Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security. This year’s theme “Promoting the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda and Sustaining Peace through Women’s Political and Economic Empowerment” aims to prioritize these issues on the global agenda. UN Women and partners will also organize a host of high-level events on the margins of the Open Debate in New York.

This editorial package brings together voices of women on the ground, groundbreaking cases and expert opinions on the Women, Peace and Security agenda.

Top stories

A woman rolls her bike past a sign reading "Bienvenidos Sepur Zarco". Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

Sepur Zarco case: The Guatemalan women who rose for justice in a war-torn nation
During the 36-year-long Guatemalan civil war, indigenous women were systematically raped and enslaved by the military in a small community near the Sepur Zarco outpost. What happened to them then was not unique, but what happened next, changed history. From 2011 – 2016, 15 women survivors fought for justice at the highest court of Guatemala. The groundbreaking case resulted in the conviction of two former military officers of crimes against humanity and granted 18 reparation measures to the women survivors and their community. The abuelas of Sepur Zarco, as the women are respectfully referred to, are now waiting to experience justice. Justice, for them, includes education for the children of their community, access to land, a health care clinic and such measures that will end the abject poverty their community has endured across generations. Justice must be lived.

Infographic: Women's meaningful participation builds peace

Women's meaningful participation builds peace

Women’s full and equal participation at all levels of society is a fundamental human right. During times of conflict, women’s participation in resolving conflict and negotiating peace is especially important to ensure that women’s rights are protected, experiences are recognized, and that peace lasts. See more ►

Colombia's Cantadoras Network: "When we sing, we feel free."

Colombia’s Cantadoras Network is a group of singers using traditional Afro-Colombian music to preserve their culture and promote peace. Supported by a UN Women programme, the Cantadoras have engaged young people in the port city of Tumaco, where decades of armed conflict have torn apart communities, and peace is still a long journey.

News and speeches

Social media

Raise awareness about women’s role in building sustainable peace and join the conversation about Security Council resolution #UNSCR1325 now! You can check out and promote UN Women’s social media content in English, Spanish, and French here.

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See coverage of the Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security in previous years: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012