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Project description NAP 1325

Project description

Women, Peace and Security: Civil Society’s Critical Voice  

Project Title: “Civil Society Contribution to the implementation of the Swiss NAP 1325”

Project Duration: 2018-2021

The project «Civil Society Contribution to the implementation of the Swiss NAP 1325» aims at ensuring that the experiences and know-how of the civil society are taken into account in the official implementation of the Swiss NAP 1325. The main objectives are to strengthen a gender-sensitive peace policy in both Swiss domestic and international politics and to raise public awareness around the resolution 1325.

The adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) in 2000 marked the first time women and gender were officially linked to the peace and security agenda. This landmark resolution calls for women’s participation in conflict prevention and peace processes, women’s protection during conflict, including from sexual violence, and the prevention of violence against women through the promotion of women’s rights and gender equality.

In Switzerland, KOFF, the Swiss Platform for Peacebuilding, together with PeaceWomen Across the Globe and the feminist peace organisation cfd, coordinate the civil society follow up of the fourth Swiss National Action Plan (NAP) 1325 on WPS (2018-2022). Involving civil society in the implementation of the NAP has the added value of linking policy and practice, grounding the NAP in Swiss public and political life, as well as a multiplier effect.

Based on recommendations from Swiss civil society on the implementation of the previous Swiss NAPs on WPS, this project has identified two thematic areas for closer critical examination: Women and conflict prevention and  Socio-economic conditions for substantial participation of women in peace processes. The project will focus on documenting and analysing civil society experiences in these areas in order to provide the basis for policy and practice recommendations on women, peace and security, along with a continuous policy dialogue with key actors from government, academia and civil society in Switzerland. A close cooperation with members of the Swiss parliament and media will bring the project findings to the political stage and raise public awareness for supporting gender-sensitive peace policies.

Context

On November 22, 2018 the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) launched Switzerland's fourth National Action Plan to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (NAP 1325) on women, peace and security in Geneva. The NAP 1325 is an important domestic and foreign policy instrument for Switzerland as it lays the foundation for a gender-sensitive peace policy.

During a public consultation held in early 2018, civil society’s critical voices were included in the process of designing the new NAP 1325, and fifteen non-governmental organizations from Swiss civil society have committed themselves to critically looking at its implementation, in order to strengthen the relevance of the NAP 1325 for peace policies and practice on the ground. The result is this four-year project – a joint initiative of PeaceWomen Across the Globe (PWAG), cfd – the feminist peace organization and KOFF, swisspeace, partly supported by the Human Security Division (HSD) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA).

First Project Phase (2018 – 2019): Women and Conflict Prevention

Switzerland’s fourth NAP to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325 calls for women’s inclusion in efforts to prevent violent extremism (PVE) as well as a recognition of the various roles women play in relationship to violent extremism. In cooperation with Swiss civil society, the project investigated the connection of the WPS agenda with the PVE agenda with a critical eye on the attempts to securitize gender equality and women’s empowerment. Through extensive desk-based research, a field study in Kenya, and dialogue with civil society actors in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, Palestine, Philippines, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, we published a report. The report highlights the risks involved in the combination of these two agendas and provides recommendations on how to conduct gender-sensitive violence prevention that neither solidifies already rigid gender roles nor further reduces the agency of women’s civil society organizations.

Second Project Phase (2020-2021): Socio-economic Conditions for Women’s Participation

The fourth Swiss NAP to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325 equally recognizes the need and value of women’s meaningful participation in peace and general political processes for conflict prevention. It also acknowledges that participation requires certain socio-economic conditions in the first place. We take this as an opportunity to discuss the concept of security itself: to move away from a negative definition that equals security to the absence of physical harm and to advocate for a positive vision, where security is not an individual, but a relational one that fundamentally relies on the un(der)paid care-work women provide. In so doing we aim to achieve three things.

  1. To highlight that women are participating and contributing to peace and security in very important ways already today. This provides us with the baseline to advocate for increasing the visibility and official acknowledgment of women’s peace work, chiefly through redistribution via a gender-sensitive budgeting and investment in social infrastructure.
  2. To identify and promote policies and programs that contribute to alleviating women’s burdens, in order to allow them to participate in conflict prevention and peace processes with high visibility and recognition (e.g. official peace negotiations).
  3. To promote discussions about the definitions of security (and peace) and their implications at the domestic level in Switzerland, in order to identify opportunities and entry points for Women, Peace and Security in Switzerland. This seems even more necessary in view of the gendered realities in the current Corona crisis or the unsolved demands from the Women’s strike in 2019, which are related to how we define security (and peace) in Switzerland.

[1] Preventing conflict, transforming justice, securing the peace. A global study on the implementation of UN resolution 1325.