The UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution on Friday renewing its commitment to promote women’s leadership and participation in all negotiations to resolve conflicts and bring peace to war-torn countries.
The council said it remains deeply concerned about the “exacerbated vulnerability” of women in armed conflict and post-conflict situations, as well as the abuses, threats and human rights violations they suffer.
It said that girls and women who become pregnant as a result of rape should have “access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health services ... without discrimination.”
The resolution stressed the need to increase women’s participation “in all discussions pertinent to the prevention and resolution of armed conflicts, the maintenance of peace and security, and post-conflict peace-building.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the council that the resolution makes the point that “women’s participation in peace efforts is a matter of gender equality and universal human rights.”
The resolution was adopted 13 years after a landmark UN resolution calling for women to be included in decisionmaking positions at every level of peacemaking. It calls for a high-level review of the implementation of that resolution in 2015.
UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka told the council that women must be invited to help mediate and negotiate ceasefires and peace accords to ensure that women’s issues are addressed.
“This resolution puts the onus on all of us — the Security Council, the United Nations, regional organizations and member states — to create the space and provide seats at the table for women,” Mlambo Ngcuka said. “I know for sure that there are women who are adequately trained for these roles.”
She said a report by Ban shows that gains in women’s participation “are neither as consistent nor sustained as they should be.”
This year, three out of 10 peace agreements in UN-supported efforts included provisions for women’s political participation or protection, but seven did not, she said, adding that the number of women at senior levels in UN field missions was also relatively stagnant.