“Women can and must play an active role”
Seventy years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and a century after the introduction of women’s suffrage in Germany, women still do not truly participate as equal partners in society, that is, in politics, peacekeeping and security. That was why the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution in 2000 on women’s role in conflict Resolution.
Women can and must play an active role in conflict prevention, peace talks, reconstruction, reconciliation in societies and particularly in postconflict situations. That is the key message of Security Council Resolution 1325,
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in his speech at the opening of the Women, Peace and Security National Focal Points Network meeting in Berlin on Monday (9 April).
Abuse of women as a means of war
Women are often the victims of sexualised violence as a war tactic in armed conflicts. This topic is also covered by UN Resolution 1325. The Secretary-General of the United Nations regularly publishes reports on sexual violence in conflicts, thus documenting the worst human rights violations. Maas wants to promote the discussions in New York on this issue. “We cannot merely criticise this state of affairs. We need to do something about it and we need to do it visibly and effectively,” he said.
Strong partners for strong rights for women
The German Government attaches great importance to strengthening women’s rights and implementing Resolution 1325. For this reason, Germany took on the chair of the Women, Peace and Security Focal Points Network this year. Among other things, the network aims to help people and organisations share experiences and successful models. Around 80 member states and regional organisations have joined the network so far. One aim of this year’s meeting in Berlin is to highlight how alliances can promote the agenda of Resolution 1325, that is, alliances with regional organisations or strong partners such as the G7, with other networks and initiatives, but also with civil society. This aspect is especially important to Foreign Minister Maas. “Particularly at a time when many countries are curtailing the scope for civil society, we need to listen to and support civil society,” he said.