Third Federal Government Action Plan to implement Resolution 1325
In October 2000, the United Nations Security Council emphasised the importance of women in peace processes by adopting Resolution 1325. Since then, Germany has been working around the world to implement the Women, Peace and Security Agenda adopted at the time: in crisis regions, in multilateral organisations and at regional level.
Today, the Federal Cabinet is adopting the third Federal Government Action Plan to implement the Agenda. The Action Plan identifies six priority areas. The four main areas of the Agenda are to be driven forward: crisis prevention, the participation of women in peace processes, protection against sexual violence as well as support for survivors and strengthening the participation of women in crisis management. Furthermore, the Agenda is to be strengthened to increase awareness, both in the international arena and in Germany. In addition, Germany is also to examine its own structures in order to anchor the Agenda even more firmly in the work of the Federal Government.
Foreign Minister Maas underscored:
Only when women and men participate in peace processes on an equal basis can we ensure that the agreements also benefit women and men equally. That is why one priority of our foreign policy is to involve women more intensively in peace processes and to combat sexual violence in conflicts.
Commitment to peace away from the negotiating table
In many crisis regions, women have long been performing crucial work in peace processes – yet this work often goes unnoticed. Women negotiate with militia groups to free their children. They create safe spaces in crisis regions to protect their communities. They negotiate humanitarian corridors to ensure access to food supplies, often long before aid organisations arrive on the scene.
This is in stark contrast to formal peace negotiations, in which women still do not generally play any official role. Between 1992 and 2019, on average only 13 percent of negotiators were female, although studies show that the involvement of women increases the chances of long-term peace and results in agreements that contain more regulations that benefit women and men equally.
Resolution 1325: the basis for the Women, Peace and Security Agenda:
When the Security Council adopted Resolution 1325 in 2000 focusing on the role of women in peace and security processes, it was celebrated by many as a sensation. For the first time, the Security Council confirmed that the involvement of women in creating and preserving peace is necessary. Conflict prevention, peace processes and post-conflict peacebuilding were thereby acknowledged as women’s and therefore human rights. Moreover, for the first time the Security Council showed that sexual and gender-based violence is not an unavoidable side-effect of war but a crime that must be systematically prevented and punished.
Working multilaterally for women, peace and security
At international level, the Women, Peace and Security Agenda was one of the focuses of Germany’s Security Council membership in 2019 and 2020. During Germany’s Presidency in April 2019, Resolution 2467 was successfully adopted calling for victims of sexual violence to be supported and perpetrators to be called to account.
Networks in Africa and Latin America
Germany is also engaged on behalf of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda outside the UN context. As a co-initiator of the African Women Leaders Network, Germany supports women in transformation processes in African countries, particularly in the spheres of governance, peace and stability. The German-Latin American network Unidas, founded in 2019, also promotes ties and supports feminist projects organised by Latin American organisations.
Activity in crisis regions
In crisis contexts, Germany fosters the political participation of women, for example, through the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund, in which Germany plays an influential role as the second-largest donor. Germany also cooperates with the local civilian population to prevent sexual violence and strengthen survivors. Together with a large number of partners such as the Mukwege Foundation, medica mondiale, the International Organisation for Migration and the All Survivors Project, Germany is, for example, helping provide medical and psychosocial support to survivors of sexual violence.