Ireland’s first NAP covered 2011-2014; its second was for 2015-2018. Ireland’s third and current NAP covers the period 2019-2024.
Objectives of the 2019-2024 NAP:
- Gender equality and women’s empowerment is prioritised in all of Ireland’s development and humanitarian work, including in conflict affected contexts to deliver A Better World and The Global Island policies.
- A gender analysis is integrated into Ireland’s work in conflict affected contexts and on peace and security issues, including in relation to conflict prevention, peacebuilding and security policy and disarmament.
- The effects and drivers of harmful masculinities and discriminatory gender norms are addressed, including support for the engagement of men and boys as advocates and stakeholders in WPS.
- Women are meaningful participants in the Government of Ireland’s representation in all peace and security fora, including at senior decision-making and leadership levels.
- Women's leadership and meaningful participation in conflict-prevention, resolution, mediation, recovery from conflict, international security, peacebuilding, and the disarmament fora is significantly improved including through empowerment.
- The empowerment and meaningful participation in decision-making of women on the island of Ireland, including those affected by conflict is demonstrably improved.
- Women's and girls’ protection in fragile and conflict-affected contexts and the prevention and combatting of all human rights violations against women, including Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Gender-Based Violence is ensured.
- Institutional mechanisms and services are effectively coordinated and strengthened to ensure the protection, relief, recovery, and rehabilitation of women in Ireland affected by conflict.
- Ireland’s commitments and actions on the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, including lesson sharing, is enhanced and demonstrated by advocacy, communication and engagement at local, national, regional and international levels.
Ireland’s NAP is intersectional and deeply committed to broader international development initiatives such as the Sustainable Development Goals. It recognises the need to mainstream gender into all peacebuilding initiatives, and therefore it directs much of its focus to other efforts such as climate action and poverty eradication. This makes the NAP much broader than other NAPs, but also more comprehensive and representative of a cohesive peacebuilding vision that spans across many different SDGs rather than being siloed as a gender document. It is also progressive in recognizing different vulnerabilities, and the varying needs of vulnerable women across communities.
Showing commitment to intersectionality, it makes a point to engage with women from minority ethnic communities, LGBTI+ communities, and youth. Another important aspect of this plan is that it is rooted in lessons from Ireland’s past, including a realistic analysis of its previous NAPs (with a lessons-learned section that extends the timeframe of the action plan from 3 to 5 years), and a recognition of Ireland’s own past with conflict.
Civil society involvement in development of the NAP:
Ireland’s NAP recognises the critical role that civil society plays in achieving peacebuilding initiatives. It also recognizes that women’s groups, even when not formally included, have been integral in past peace-building processes, for example Mary Robinson and others who were integral in centering women’s rights in Ireland’s own post-conflict process and in its efforts to promote peace abroad. Civil society was widely engaged in the drafting and consultation of this NAP, and the Irish government continues to support civil society abroad to strengthen gender mainstreaming in other peace processes.
UN Peacekeeping Statistics:
Ireland has contributed to UN peacekeeping since 1958, and currently ranks within the top 40 countries for total number of contributors to peacekeeping missions according to the list ‘Troop and police contributors’ compiled by the UN.
As of September 2023 Ireland was contributing 20 female uniformed personnel out of a total of 496 across various missions. The highest number of female personnel were troops deployed for UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon).
Women in peacekeeping:
Ireland’s numerical contribution to peacekeeping missions outweighs its size as a small nation, and it is the only nation to have had a continuous presence in UN and UN-mandated peace support operations since 1958. The breadth of Ireland's NAP is particularly of note, as it is comprehensive in its understanding of the intersection between gender equality and other inequalities. Ireland’s awareness of its own history of conflict is especially relevant as it notes the role women have played in striving for peace in Ireland, as well as the impact of long-standing conflict on young people, cultural attitudes, and underlying discriminatory norms.
References and sources
Ireland National Action Plan https://www.wpsnaps.org/app/uploads/2019/09/Ireland-NAP-3-2019-2024.pdf
Contribution of Uniformed Personnel to UN by Country, Mission, and Personnel Type. (Sept 2023) available at: 05-Missions Detailed By Country
United Nations Peacekeeping (2023) Troop and police contributors | United Nations Peacekeeping
Peacekeeping (2021) Department of Foreign Affairs https://www.dfa.ie/our-role-policies/international-priorities/peace-and-security/peacekeeping/