Switzerland advocates for women to play an active role in conflict prevention and peace processes, in reconstruction efforts and in post-conflict reconciliation. At the same time, women should be better protected – especially from sexual violence. Switzerland reaffirms this commitment in its national action plan for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
Women, peace and security
UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and its follow-up resolutions require UN member states to draw up national action plans to implement the resolution. Switzerland's National Action Plan 2018–22, the fourth of its kind, has five thematic priorities:
Effective involvement of women in conflict prevention
Women's participation in and influence on conflict resolution and peace processes
Protection against sexual and gender-based violence in conflict, refugee and migration contexts
Women's participation in peace missions and security policy
Multi- and bilateral commitment to UN Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security
Measures and implementation are reviewed annually and the results are included in the report of the UN Secretary-General.
What the FDFA is doing
The FDFA supports projects and organisations which draw on Resolution 1325 for their work on the ground for peace and security and for international cooperation.
Since 2015, Switzerland has supported the Peace Circles project in Mali run by the organisation 'Women in Law and Development in Africa' (WILDAF). The aim of the project is to encourage and enable women to play an active role in the country's peace and reconciliation process, after many years of armed conflict.
The project started out by setting up 'peace circles', where women from all over the country – irrespective of status, origin, religion or politics – come together to discuss the future of Mali. They also receive training in mediation and reconciliation, for which they earn a recognised certificate.
The women are now also involved in spreading awareness and understanding of the peace agreement among the general public. As part of their work, they go out and visit communities throughout the country and explain the content of the agreement. They discuss it with the communities using a summarised version that has been translated into several of Mali's languages. Here they make direct use of the knowledge acquired in the project to work towards national reconciliation and social cohesion.
UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security
Resolution 1325 makes it binding under international law for women to be involved at all levels in conflict prevention, peace processes, security policy and state reconstruction in an appropriate, equal manner. The UN and its member states are also obliged to give special protection to women during and after conflicts against sexual and gender-based violence, and to take preventive measures.
They must take measures
to increase the participation of women in peacebuilding.
to protect the rights of women and girls in and after conflicts and to prevent gender-specific violence.
to take greater account of the gender perspective in emergency aid, in reconstruction both during and in the aftermath of armed conflicts, in conflict prevention, and in dealing with the past.
At the same time, UN member states are urged to take into account the different living conditions of women and men in war and post-war situations, in civil crisis prevention and in state reconstruction. The UN Security Council recognised for the first time at the end of October 2000 that women experience war and peace differently from men.