“When the United Nations Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) was passed, it changed history. Never before had world leaders formally recognized the key contributions of women in conflict and post-conflict interventions, including their role in brokering peace, peacekeeping, and peace building”.
On October 31, 2000, United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 was passed unanimously – Women’s inclusion increases chances of peace lasting – Courtesy of UN Women Official Website (Reda, 2018).
The 1325 Resolution about Women, Peace, and Security recognizes that armed conflicts, generally speaking, are affecting women in a different way. When the Resolution 1325 flourished, it was a chance to reaffirm the need for considering gender perspective when talking about conflicts. Furthermore, the resolution urges States and the Secretary-General of the UN to increase the representation of women at all levels of decision-making; not only in the prevention and resolution of conflicts but also commits to incorporate the gender perspective in the operations of peace-keeping.
It is been more than 20 years since the Fourth World Conference on Women took place. At that time the Beijing Declaration and Platform were adopted; moreover, it was the first step to adopt the resolution 1325 of the UN Security Council on Women, Peace, and Security, 18 years from now; also, it was a seed for the London Summit “End Sexual Violence in Conflict”, which took place in 2014 and was encouraging to convert rhetorical commitments into action.
However, despite these initiatives, the analysis of armed conflicts and peace processes continues being dominated by a patriarchal perspective. Thus, the differentiated affectations that women suffer are being invisible. Furthermore, the contributions of peacebuilding movements carried by women are out of sight. The following article will be a brief summary of what is Resolution 1325 and the impact that is producing.
A Brief history
The United Nations Security Council welcomed, in the year 2000, a debate on women, peace, and security. It was the first time in history that the UN, as an institution, was considering to talk about this topic. The dispute was focused on two main aspects: the impacts of gender-specific issues that armed conflict have on women and girls and, in addition to that, the contribution of women to the construction of peace.
Therefore, the agency reflected on how inequalities in gender influence the course of armed conflicts and construction peace. The Security Council debate was accompanied by the adoption of resolution 1325 on women, peace, and security –in the year 2000; this document is considered as a protocol for the agenda that has been developed in recent decades; in other words, the main purpose of the resolution is to guide the normative and political action too; and, ultimately, integrate the gender perspective into building peace at the international level.
It is also noteworthy that Resolution 1325 highlights the gender-specific impacts of conflicts. Moreover, it is considering women’s contributions to peace and countering it. There are four pillars that the Resolution considers:
a) The role of women in conflict prevention.
b) Women’s participation in the construction of peace.
c) The protection of women and girls in conflicts and later phases.
d) The specific needs of women in post-war reconstruction processes.
Finally, is important to consider that since the adoption of resolution 1325, the UN Security Council has approved eight other resolutions: 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), 1960 (2010), 2106 (2013), 2122 (2013), 2242 (2015) and 2467 (2019). These new resolutions extend and complement Resolution 1325, specifying and operationalizing contents and concepts.
Progress since Resolution 1325
It is possible to see that women, peace and security agenda has achieved very important accomplishments. For instance, there was acceptance at the formal level of the centrality of the gender perspective in the field of conflicts and peacebuilding. This allowed making visible the gender impacts that armed conflicts have on women but, besides, to identify other groups that were more vulnerable. Moreover, now is better known how women around the globe contribute to peacebuilding.
By way of example, the women, peace and security agenda has been a tool that has allowed to increase ways of participation of women in peace processes, in contexts such as Georgia, Cyprus, Yemen, Syria, among many others. In addition to that, the agenda has managed to influence other agendas and international political processes, generating tangible commitments, like in the case of the Arms Trade Treaty, which is a pioneer as an agreement that establishes a connection between the international arms trade and gender violence.
Challenges and obstacles
According to a Global Research (Villellas, 2015), even though the agenda was consolidated in the formal sphere, it seems that the implementation progress is still on “initial attempts”. The research mentioned also that there is a lack of political efforts in adopting the resolution. For that reason, academics and activists agree on the fact that urges to have more effective commitments, instead of creating more resolutions.
For instance, Lolwa Reda (Reda, 2018) writes the following in an article entitled “UN Resolution 1325: Significant but lacking”: “It is undeniable that UNSCR 1325 represents a milestone in the fight for women’s fundamental human rights; however, the level of its significance, considering that it lacks enforcement measures, has repeatedly been called into question by academics and practitioners alike”.
Another point to consider is that in the most recent Security Council resolution, 2467 adopted in 2019, some researchers pointed out that there is a noteworthy setback. The previous direct references to sexual and reproductive health have disappeared, which can be seen as another obstacle. Moreover, the political context is taking a conservatism tendency, which is highly risky regarding the human rights of women.
Some words to conclude
The resolution 1325 “calls for an increase in the participation of women in the levels of decision-making in the settlement of conflicts and peace processes” and “calls on all those involved in the negotiation and implementation of peace agreements to adopt a gender perspective”, according to the online training about “Conflict and gender perspective”, conducted by the Institute of Human Rights of Catalonia (Institut de Drets Humans de Catalunya).
The resolution, 20 years after it’s birth, it is still demanding the need for a substantial increase in women’s participation in all the conflict levels. Women are still missing in the peace process and decision spaces. However, it is been a huge steep, at least to make visible the role of women and the need for considering gender perspective in all the spheres. The struggle continues.
This article is written using, mainly, the notes and articles from the online training “Armed conflicts from a gender perspective: differentiated impacts, peacebuilding and access to international mechanisms” imparted by the Institute of Human Rights from Catalonia (2019). Retrieved from
Ana Perinares, Ana (2017). The Significance of United Nations Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. Retrieved from
GHAZZAWI, R., MOHAMMAD A., RAMADAN, O. (2015.). Peacebuilding defines our future now: a study of women’s peace activism in Syria. From Badael editorial.
UN Women (2015). The Story of Resolution 1325 | Women, Peace and Security. Retrieved from