Women, Peace, and Security Report 2019
August 28, 2019: In the fall of 2018, World Pulse crowdsourced the stories, experiences, and expertise of women across the world to democratize peacebuilding and security efforts. Together with partners Our Secure Future and the Women's Alliance for Security Leadership - ICAN, they collected women’s voices to shed light on what peace and security means to those who are most immediately impacted by it. They also conducted a global survey to hear from women worldwide. Nearly 350 women responded to the survey in addition to 150 World Pulse members who shared personal narratives on WorldPulse.com.
Women surveyed overwhelmingly indicate that they do not feel adequately represented in discussions about security or among security actors. Despite UNSCR 1325 reaffirming the role of women in peace and security and urging increased participation of women at all levels, studies confirm the fact that women remain underrepresented. Significant barriers exist to women’s representation in these discussions and therefore to the achievement of the commitments of UNSCR 1325.*
*Women Peace and Security by the Numbers (2018). Our Secure Future. Retrieved from https://oursecurefuture.org/publications/women-peace-security-by-the-numbers
Concerns about Representation
80% of women in the survey said they do not feel adequately represented among security actors (e.g., military forces, peacekeeping forces, governmental agencies, police forces)
Gender stereotypes and discrimination
Women reported persistent gender stereotypes inhibit women’s involvement in security discussions and the security sector and position security as a ‘man’s issue.’
“There is a perception that security issues are the concerns of men, because traditionally men are believed to be strong and solution providers.” —Survey Respondent, Kenya
“How can women feel secure in a country where laws, customs and traditions have been designed by the men and are being implemented by the men themselves. Who will speak for the women? .... To me, security, when relating it to insecurity of women and girls in Nigeria, isn't given a priority attention.” —World Pulse Member katchuan, Nigeria
Women reported that structural issues constrain women’s participation, including lack of access to education, pay inequalities, family obligations and lack of access to childcare, cultural barriers, and lack of inclusive laws and policies.
Access to power
Women indicated that leaders in governments, the security sector, industries, and communities continue to be disproportionately men, and too few women are involved with decision-making.
Security and Representation: What women recommend:
Advocate for inclusion
- Launch awareness campaigns
- Lobby those in power
- Provide training to both men and women related to women’s rights and security issues to help challenge gender stereotypes
- Encourage productive media representations of women in positions of power
Increase representation in government and security sector
- Recruit, hire, and promote women into leadership positions in the security sector
- Encourage women’s participation in elections
- Elect women into government
Support women’s organizations and networks
- Fund women’s organizations and networks
- Strengthen alliances between women’s organizations
- Promote and mobilize women’s organizations and networks around security issues
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