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On the 20th Anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325: Where is Women, Peace, and Security?

On the 20th Anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325: Where is Women, Peace, and Security?

Led by the Women and Gender Institute (WAGI) and co-sponsored by the Department of International Studies, Section 1, BAIS-114: Seminar Course on International Peace, Development and Security, and the Center for Legislative Development (CLD), the webinar commemorated the 20th anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) on women, peace, and security (WPS) last September 9, 2020. It touched on developments in WPS resolutions including their gaps and opportunities for the future.

Prof. De Dios, Senior Project Director of WAGI, gave the opening remarks and a brief history on women, peace and security (WPS). She highlighted that the UNSCR 1325 and succeeding resolutions on WPS are products of intense lobbying of women’s rights advocates. Women are at the forefront of liberation movements and peace negotiations, according to Prof. De Dios, and there are many unsung heroines in the building of peace and ending of wars throughout history. Despite the formal recognition of women’s contributions to the peace process and the existence of UNSCR 1325, many states have yet to agree to this resolution. The Philippines, however, leads not only in recognizing women in these spheres but in having women at positions of authority.

The guest speaker, Ms. Indai Sajor, is the Senior Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Gender Humanitarian Advisor (GenCap) for the United Nations and has over 30 years of experience working in countries in situations of war, armed conflicts and natural disasters in Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Her presentation walked through the history and strength of the global women’s movement in pushing for gender policy changes within the United Nations which resulted in the current status of WPS. According to Ms. Sajor, “behind the normative framework is the massive women’s movement globally that fought for it, that died for it and really positioned themselves without let up to ensure that the UN and our government recognized these changes.”

More importantly, she called out the hierarchical racism within international relations in the context of WPS, particularly between the global North and South. To manage this racism, advocates have to work within the framework of localization and its elements. This entails empowering local agencies to look at WPS from an engagement point of view and acknowledging the emancipatory and transformative potential of women when given the opportunity for meaningful engagement.

Similarly, Dr. Socorro Reyes of the Center for Legislative Development criticized the National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security (NAP-WPS) of the Philippines as too protection oriented rather than participation oriented. In her synthesis, she emphasized that existing WPS frameworks were made by women on the ground. It is therefore important for women to claim this ownership and embrace the WPS agenda of the Global South. It is also time to move past the passage of new laws and focus on exacting accountability and improving the implementation of WPS policies. In the words of Dr. Reyes, “The process is as important as the product.”


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