Gender and women's rights in conflict situations and fragile contexts

Girls wearing white head scarves stand in a row; one girl looks back.
In conflict and post-conflict situations, women do not have the same roles and needs as men. Nor do they feel the same vulnerabilities. © Photo UN /Olivier Chassot

The SDC helps to defend the rights of women and girls in conflict situations and introduces measures to prevent gender-based violence. It also promotes women's participation in peace, transformation, and state-building processes.

SDC focus

The SDC works to strengthen the rights of women and girls in fragile contexts and to integrate a gender dimension into its strategies and projects in line with the National Action Plan 1325 (NAP 1325). With this plan, Switzerland meets the obligations of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, adopted in 2000. Resolution 1325 is the first UN Security Council resolution to refer to the impact of armed conflict on women and girls and, at the same time, to underline the fundamental importance of women’s participation in the success of peace processes. 

The SDC has set the following two priority objectives in implementing resolution 1325:

1. To strengthen its commitment in preventing and protecting against gender-based violence with particular importance given to post-conflict contexts, humanitarian crises, and involving men and boys in its work on gender issues.

2. To strengthen women's participation and integrate gender-related aspects in local peace, transformation, and state-building processes.

Context

Women and men have different roles, needs, and vulnerabilities in conflict and post-conflict situations. Women, e.g., are particularly affected by gender-based violence and often rejected by their community after having been violated. Another important subject is the taboo in regard to male victims of sexual violence committed by other men. Thus the SDC seeks to ensure that men are not only seen as perpetrators but also as victims.

Furthermore, SDC aims to integrate women better into processes of national and local governance as well as peacebuilding, as they have an undeniably positive impact. Moreover, SDC want to insure to incorporate men further in its prevention activities promoting gender equality. The aim is to persuade men support this cause as their own, as it is not only in the interest of women but the entire society.