What is U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325 and Why is it so Critical Today?
In 2000, the United Nations Security Council formally acknowledged through the creation of Resolution 1325 the changing nature of warfare, in which civilians are increasingly targeted, and women continue to be excluded from participation in peace processes. UNSCR 1325 addresses not only the inordinate impact of war on women, but also the pivotal role women should and do play in conflict management, conflict resolution, and sustainable peace.
This tutorial provides a broad overview of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, including its significance and its content. The tutorial also draws upon USIP publications, tools, and multimedia to provide concrete examples and incorporates links to outside resources for additional exploration into this topic. | Return to the Gender and Peacebuilding Center
What is U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325?
UNSCR 1325 is a landmark international legal framework that addresses not only the inordinate impact of war on women, but also the pivotal role women should and do play in conflict management, conflict resolution and sustainable peace.
Why did the U.N. Security Council pass Resolution 1325?
The Security Council acknowledged the changing nature of warfare, in which civilians are increasingly targeted, and women continue to be excluded from participation in peace processes.
- Read UNIFEM's report on Women’s Participation in Peace Negotiations
- Read ICAN and MIT's case study assessment on participation and UNSCR 1325
Why do women need to be critical actors in peace building?
The experiences of men and women in war are different. In these differences, women offer a vital perspective in the analysis of conflict as well as providing strategies toward peacebuilding that focus on creating ties across opposing factions and increasing the inclusiveness, transparency, and sustainability of peace processes.
Why involve men in discussions about women in conflict zones?
Men are too often left out of discussions about the targeted victimization of women in conflict. Peacebuilding requires an awareness of how men and women together can better contribute to sustainable peace and security. "The Other Side of Gender," a seminar series hosted by USIP in the spring of 2010, examines the importance of gender analysis in conflict and peacebuilding that is inclusive of both men and women.
- Watch session four from the Women and War Conference on why U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325 matters to men
- Learn about USIP's event on "The Other Side of Gender: Part I"
- Learn about USIP's event on "The Other Side of Gender: Masculinity Issues in Violent Conflict - Part II"
- Learn about USIP's event on "The Other Side of Gender: How Conflict Changes Gender - Part III"
Why is Resolution 1325 important?
Resolution 1325 has changed the way the international community thinks about peace and security. The “Women and War” Conference, held November 3-5, 2010 by USIP and its partners, specifically highlighted the importance of Resolution 1325 through its impact on international law, women’s empowerment, the military, and global security.
- Learn more about the Women and War Conference and the Washington DC tenth anniversary celebration of Resolution 1325
I. International Law
In the area of international law, the Resolution highlights the importance of women at the peace table and to involve them in international decision-making. Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, who was president of the Security Council when Resolution 1325 was passed, notes, “The main question is not to make war safe for women, but to structure peace in a way that there is no recurrence of war and conflict.”
- Watch Amb. Chowdhury speak at the Women and War Conference
- Read Amb. Chowdhury's remarks on the Women and War Conference
II. Women's Empowerment
In the area of women’s empowerment, Melanne Verveer, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State emphasizes, “Too often, women’s roles are marginalized because they are not seen in terms of their leadership. We must see women as leaders, not victims. We must also view their participation not as a favor to women, but as essential to peace and security.”
- Watch Amb. Verveer speak at the Women and War Conference
- Read Amb. Verveer's speech at the Women and War Conference
In the military field, the Hon. L. Tammy Duckworth, Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, comments, “Strength is not just tanks and guns and helicopters. The strength of the military is in its people and in respect and teamwork – pushing for a common goal.”
IV. Global Security
In terms of global security, Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, illustrates that, “well over 200,000 women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, demonstrating tremendous resilience, adaptability, and capacity for innovation. Indeed, they have given us a competitive advantage. Time and time again, [women] show us that courage and leadership recognize no gender.”
- Watch Admiral Mullen speak at the Women and War Conference
- Read Admiral Mullen's remarks at the Women and War Conference
What are the four pillars of Resolution 1325?
Resolution 1325 has four “pillars” that support the goals of the Resolution, which are: Participation, Protection, Prevention, and Relief and Recovery.
I. Why is participation important to Resolution 1325?
Resolution 1325 calls for increased participation of women at all levels of decision-making, including in national, regional, and international institutions; in mechanisms for the prevention, management and resolution of conflict; in peace negotiations; in peace operations, as soldiers, police, and civilians; and as Special Representatives of the U.N. Secretary-General.
- Read the USIP Toolkit for Collaborative Problem Solving
- Read "The Afghan Peace Jirga: Ensuring that Women are at the Peace Table"
- Read "Real Change for Afghan Women's Rights: Opportunities and Challenges in the Upcoming Parliamentary Elections"
- Read Admiral Mullen's blog "Chairman’s Corner: Too Many Doors Still Closed for Women"
II. Why is protection important to Resolution 1325?
Resolution 1325 calls specifically for the protection of women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence, including in emergency and humanitarian situations, such as in refugee camps.
- Read "Rape in War: Motives of Militia in DRC"
- Learn more about U.N. action against sexual violence in conflict
III. Why is prevention important to Resolution 1325?
Resolution 1325 calls for improving intervention strategies in the prevention of violence against women, including by prosecuting those responsible for violations of international law; strengthening women’s rights under national law; and supporting local women’s peace initiatives and conflict resolution processes.
IV. Why is relief and recovery important to Resolution 1325?
Resolution 1325 calls for advancement of relief and recovery measures to address international crises through a gendered lens, including by respecting the civilian and humanitarian nature of refugee camps, and taking into account the particular needs of women and girls in the design of refugee camps and settlements.
- Read USIP's Peace Brief on "Security After the Quake? Addressing Violence and Rape in Haiti"
- Watch "Security After the Quake? Addressing Violence and Rape in Haiti"
How is Resolution 1325 being implemented?
In a statement in 2005, the Security Council called upon U.N. Member States to continue to implement Resolution 1325 through the development of National Action Plans (NAP) or other national level strategies. This NAP process assists countries in identifying priorities and resources, determining their responsibilities, and committing to action.
- Read about USIP's Working Meeting on July 27, 2010 with international and U.S. government agencies, the U.N., U.S. military, and civil society
- Watch the public presentations on national action plans at USIP’s Working Meeting on July 27, 2010
To date, 24 countries have developed and launched National Action Plans:
What is the U.S. doing to implement Resolution 1325?
In October 2010, in a speech commemorating the tenth anniversary of Resolution 1325, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the U.S. will develop a strategy for the promotion of Women, Peace and Security and is in the process of developing a National Action Plan to accelerate the United States efforts.
What are the other resolutions related to security and women?
There are four follow-up Resolutions that provide support for Resolution 1325 and concrete areas for implementation. These three Resolutions are: Resolution 1820 (2008), Resolution 1888 (2009), Resolution 1889 (2009), and Resolution 1960 (2010).
- Read reports and listen to speeches from Margot Wallström, U.N. Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict
What is Resolution 1820?
Passed in 2008, Resolution 1820 recognizes that conflict-related sexual violence is a tactic of warfare, and calls for the training of troops on preventing and responding to sexual violence, deployment of more women to peace operations, and enforcement of zero-tolerance policies for peacekeepers with regards to acts of sexual exploitation or abuse.
- Read reports and listen to speeches from Margot Wallström, U.N. Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict
- Read more about Resolution 1820
What is Resolution 1888?
Passed in 2009, Resolution 1888 strengthens the implementation of Resolution 1820 by calling for leadership to address conflict-related sexual violence, deployment of teams (military and gender experts) to critical conflict areas, and improved monitoring and reporting on conflict trends and perpetrators.
What is Resolution 1889?
Passed in 2009, Resolution 1889 addresses obstacles to women’s participation in peace processes and calls for development of global indicators to track the implementation of Resolution 1325, and improvement of international and national responses to the needs of women in conflict and post-conflict settings.
What is Resolution 1960?
Passed in December 2010, Resolution 1960 calls for an end to sexual violence in armed conflict, particularly against women and girls, and provides measures aimed at ending impunity for perpetrators of sexual violence, including through sanctions and reporting measures.
- Read more about Resolution 1960
- U.N. News Center reports, "Security Council steps up fight against sexual violence in conflict"
How is USIP contributing to women, peace, and security?
In October 2000, the United Nations Security Council passed landmark Resolution 1325 on women, peace, and security, which linked women’s experiences of conflict to the international peace and security agenda, acknowledging their peacemaking roles as well as the disproportionate impact of violent conflict on women. Ten years later the U.S. Institute of Peace and its partners hosted a three-day conference commemorating the landmark resolution. With an eye toward translating the promise of Resolution 1325 into concrete action, the event focused on the varied experiences of women during wartime and how to sustain progress toward greater global peace and security. The event featured an extraordinary coalition of national and international participants, including U.N. and U.S. government officials, the international diplomatic communities, military personnel, academics, civil society leaders, and practitioners in the fields of security, development, and conflict resolution.
- Learn more about the Women and War Conference
- Learn more about the Gender and Peacebuilding Initiative
- Read the Fall 2010 Peace Watch "Gender Matters: Power and Peacebuilding"
- Watch "Peace and Justice Strategies: What is U.N. Resolution 1325?"
- Center of Innovation: Gender and Peacebuilding
- Read a working paper from the Civil Society Advisory Group to the U.N. on women, peace, and security
- Read "What the Women Say: Participation and UNSCR 1325,"
International Civil Society Action Network and Center for International Studies | October 2010