National Action Planning on UNSCR 1325 in the United States

 

Susan Braden

February 24th, 2011

 

 

 

Women can make a difference. Women don’t need to be protected only. They are also actors in the creation of peace and security. There is no best time to discuss the matter than now. We are currently beginning to make some conceptual breakthrough, such as the adoption of the 1325 resolution and the following supporting resolutions.

 

The UN is aiming at a better coordination, which is an important step. A lot of activities and efforts are made to defend this idea and to coordinate actions at the UN or in the civil society.

 

An initiative was launched in North East Congo, supported by UNICEF, that help raped women before going back to their villages. Women are celebrating that. It is an inspiration for all of us. It is implemented in a very difficult environment and therefore is an incredible effort.

 

President Obama and the US government are joining the effort. The issue was integrated in the QDDR (Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review) which establishes how the State Department does business and interact with other civilian agencies.

 

The fact that it is integrated shows the importance of the subject: “To that end, women are at the center of our diplomacy and development efforts?not simply as beneficiaries, but also as agents of peace, reconciliation, development, growth, and stability. To foster and maximize the diplomatic and development outcomes we seek, we will integrate gender issues into policies and practices at State and USAID. We will ensure that gender is effectively addressed throughout all bureaus and missions, include gender in strategic planning and budget allocation, and develop indicators and evaluation systems to measure the impact of our programs and policies on women and girls”.

 

The US government is doing a national action plan to implement UNSCR 1325, which is worth $44 million. What we found is that US government is doing a lot to support women issues and can also do more. Everybody has to work together to realize what is being done, not only the State Department but also the Department of Defense for example. It is a long process to put all together.

 

We learned that there is a gap between what UN secretariat says and what people are actually doing on the ground. To close the gap, we have to convince people that women can make a difference.

 

My effort is to coordinate this point, to find evidences that there are some achievements.

But the role of women has been uncovered, it’s not documented. Evidence is disorganized, decentralized. There is a lot of evidence that women have a role in economic activities but it is really difficult to find evidence of the role of women in war and in peace building processes.

 

We definitely need more champions to defend this issue.

The biggest challenge is to implement the action plan now, not to establish it, and make the different agencies work together.

 

 

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