Back To Basics: The Micro-Hack (Part III)

In the third of three new installments in our Back to Basics series, we cover seven simple WPS micro hacks that will change the way you do your work.

Today’s micro hack: Now that we’re near the anniversary of the passing of UN Security Council 1325, ask yourself, how do you think about security?

Why?

In October 2000, the UN Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR 1325). This resolution is a landmark in the history of the UN because it was the first time the Security Council recognized that equality between men and women is intrinsic to sustainable international peace and security. UNSCR 1325 was the first recognition by the highest security decision-making body in the world of the critical importance of women’s full participation in the prevention, mitigation and the resolution of conflict.

Since then, much has been written about the importance of including a gender perspective and women’s voices in decision making in international security and peace. A growing body of evidence has shown that women’s participation in peace negotiations leads to greater success and long-term sustainability of a peace accord. Recent research has found that a peace accord is 35 percent more likely to last at least 15 years if women participate in its creation.

Why is that?

It is because women and women-led organizations tend to bring what are thought of as “non-traditional security issues” to negotiations—issues that have a profound impact on the ordinary people emerging from conflict. These include the control and access to resources such as healthcare, education, and economic livelihoods, and not just military expenditures. Women have also long pointed out that other challenges, such as climate change and the rise of violent extremism, simply cannot be solved through the application of force. These problems require non-military solutions that take human rights into account from step one.

In fact, it is women’s experiences in conflict and fragile environments that point to another definition of security. Security is not necessarily just a tank and a gun. True security includes consideration of transitional justice, the equitable allocation of jobs and resources, and the democratic rebuilding of national institutions, including the security sector. And none of these can be effectively accomplished without the equal voice and choice of women.

With UN Day tomorrow, now is a good day to consider what peace and security means to you. Is security only the provenance of weapons, or does it also encompass the more complex questions of human rights and justice?  What would a more peaceful world look like, and how can we get there?

Today is a great day to remember the women and men who championed the Women, Peace and Security agenda more than a decade ago, and help us recognize that equality between men and women is critical in order to address the many global challenges to peace and security today.