It´s only women

Facts and figures to the meagre implementation of UNSCR 1325. By Ute Scheub*

Woman in Darfur. Albert Gonzalez Farran, UN Photo

The UN and its member states had the period of ten years to implement UNSCR 1325. However, the take stock of implementation is so poor.

A limited but reasonably representative sample of 24 major peace processes since 1992 done by UNIFEM reveals that only

  • 2.5 percent of signatories,
  • 3.2 percent of mediators,
  • 5.5 percent of witnesses,
  • and 7.6 percent of negotiators

were women.

The peace negotiations in Indonesia, Nepal, Somalia, the Ivory Coast, the Philippines and the Central African Republic were exclusively meetings of men.

These findings can be cross-checked with a similar study undertaken in 2008, which scanned 33 peace negotiations and found that only 4 percent of participants –11 out of 280 – were women, and that the average participation of women on government negotiating delegations was, at 7 percent, higher than on the delegations of non-state armed groups (This study is from the 2008 Yearbook of Peace Processes by the School of Culture of Peace in Spain).

A University of Ulster study found that only 16 percent of 589 peace agreements concluded between 1990 and 2010 contained references to women. Nine agreements specified quotas for women in legislative or executive bodies; five supported women’s representation in the police or gender-sensitive police reform; four referred to gender equality in the judiciary; and four mentioned women or gender equality in the context of public-sector restructuring.

The UN has never had a female Secretary General in over 60 years of its existence. Until today, not more than about eight special representatives and deputy special representatives have been women. So far, only four peacekeeping missions were led by women.

In 2010, in the UN department of peacekeeping women made up only 2.7% of the UN peacekeeping force, 7 % percent of the UN police force and 30% of the civil personnel. The promise to equip all peacekeeping missions with a gender consultant, has not yet been implemented. In 2008 there were only 12 such full-time jobs in peacekeeping missions.

Until the beginning of October 2010, only 21 out of 193 UN Member States launched National Actions Plans for the implementation of UNSCR 1325.

The former UN special envoy on Aids in Africa, Stephen Lewis, calculated that if the promotion of woman in the UN continues at the present speed, then the goal women making up of 50% of the employees will not be reached in the UN in Geneva until 2072 and in the New Yorker department of peace missions until 2100. He sees a structural failure of the UN on all levels: «The United Nations continuously let down the women of the world both internally and externally.» The discrimination of women continues to go so as before, even with Resolution 1325: «Women were not sitting at any of the peace tables. It is, as if the resolution would not exist at all.» Something similar also threatened the adopted resolution 1820 in June 2008: «If something is brought to paper, then nobody feels obligation anymore to implement it.» One must ask oneself: «Would such a thing happen, if it concerned men? The answer is no. One can only allow such a procedure, because it concerns women. »

* Ute Scheub is a journalist and author in Germany and the coordinator of the 1000 Peacewomen Across the Globe in Western Europe

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