Australia’s latest NAP was published in 2021 for the 10 year period of 2021-2031.
Objectives/Aims of the 2021-2031NAP:
1. Support women and girls’ meaningful participation and needs in conflict prevention and peace processes. Indicators of this objective include:
∙ Increased proportion of positions in public institutions (national and local legislatures, public service and judiciary) compared to national distributions, and greater proportion of population who believe decision-making is inclusive and responsive;
∙ Increased percentage of conflict prevention efforts that are gender-sensitive;
∙ Increased number and quality of programmes that support women’s meaningful participation in local, sub-national and national decision-making structures;
∙ Increased number and percentage of women mediators, witnesses and signatories in formal peace negotiations;
∙ Increased percentage of peace agreements with substantive gender provisions.
2. Reduce sexual and gender-based violence. Indicators of this include:
∙ Lower proportion of women and girls aged 15 years and older subjected to physical, sexual or psychological violence by a current or former intimate partner in the previous 12 months, disaggregated by form of violence and by age;
∙ Percentage of women aged 15 years and older who report that they ‘feel safe walking alone at night in the city or area where you live’;
∙ Increased participation of youth and adults (sex disaggregated) in formal and non-formal education and training in the previous 12 months;
∙ Increased number of countries that have increased percentage and more inclusive social institutions in relation to gender, and have national laws that criminalise sexual and gender-based violence.
3. Support resilience, crisis response, and security, law and justice sector efforts to meet the needs and rights of all women and girls. Indicators of this include:
∙ Fewer countries that have laws and regulations restricting women’s ability to participate in society and the economy relative to men;
∙ Reduced number of victims of human trafficking per 100,000 population;
∙ Improved maternal mortality ratio;
∙ Increased number of women and men, girls and boys, provided with lifesaving assistance in crisis situations;
∙ More victims of violence report to competent authorities or other officially recognised conflict resolution mechanisms, and higher percentage of women and men, girls and boys affected by violence report they are satisfied with the opportunities they had to influence the response.
4. Demonstrate leadership and accountability for the Women, Peace and Security agenda. Indicators of this include:
∙ Increased number of meetings held by Australian posts with women and women’s rights organisations as mediators and participants to peace processes;
∙ Increased number and percentage of missions and operations with mandates and planning documents that include clear references to Women, Peace and Security issues, and report on this;
∙ Increased number of times Australia leads/sponsors statements on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and women’s participation in UN and multilateral fora;
∙ Increased number and percentage of countries where the Australian aid program is directly supporting a National Action Plan or an equivalent.
The ten-year duration of Australia’s NAP is to be welcomed. Many countries’ NAPS are only for three to five years which limits the time for embedding processes and changing attitudes towards women’s roles and active participation in peacekeeping missions. This NAP is placed within the context of domestic policy, as well as the global environment of WPS, by linking it with other government action plans to reduce violence against women and girls and combat human trafficking. The NAP also highlights opportunities for Australia to lead and influence, and support with aid funding, the involvement of women in peace missions and negotiations at international level.
The NAP includes a framework for Monitoring and Evaluation with indication of which ministry/agency is responsible for collecting data, and sets out a clear intended impact of the NAP: “By 2031, diverse women and girls realise their human rights and achieve meaningful participation in all of Australia’s work to prevent and resolve conflict, and establish enduring peace.” The Plan will be implemented in two phases (2021- 2025 and 2026 – 2031) with evaluation to take place at the end of each phase. The second/final evaluation will be completed by end of 2030 so that findings can contribute to the design of a third NAP.
Implementation of the NAP will be managed across several Ministries and Departments, but no budget is given for either the whole implementation or for each agency.
Civil Society engagement in development of the NAP:
Consultations with civil society were conducted when formulating the NAP, and strengthening partnerships with civil society organisations is highlighted as a key aspect of implementing the NAP. Advice and accountability are foregrounded as priorities for the civil society-government relationship, with the government looking to civil society for policy guidance and as a mechanism for transparency.
UN Peacekeeping Statistics:
In May 2023 Australia was contributing 26 military observers and staff officers, of which 16 were male and 10 female.
Women in Peacekeeping:
In the past women were under-represented in Australian deployments to peacebuilding mission; in Sept 2021 they were reported as contributing 27 military and police peacekeepers of which only 4 were women. However, over the past couple of years the ratio of women to men serving on UN peacekeeping missions has increased to women comprising 38% of the observers and officers in May 2023.
References and sources:
Australian National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security 2012–2018, available at: Second Australian National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security 2021–2031 | Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (dfat.gov.au)
There is also a one page summary of the 2021-2031 NAP at: : Australia’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security 2021-2031 fact sheet (dfat.gov.au)
List of countries by number of UN peacekeepers contributed - Wikipedia (dated 30 Sept 2021)
United Nations Peacekeeping. (May 2023): Troop and police contributors | United Nations Peacekeeping
Breakdown by gender of Australia’s contribution to missions (dated March 2023) is at: operational effect and women peacekeepers (un.org)
Contribution of Uniformed Personnel to UN by Country, Mission and Personnel Type (May 2023): 05-Missions Detailed By Country