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Women in Peace and Security through United Nations Security Resolution 1325: Literature Review, Content Analysis of National Action Plans, and Implementation

Authored By: Barbara Miller, Milad Pournik, and Aisling Swaine

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Executive Summary

The complex challenges and opportunities of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, as enunciated in United National Security Council Resolution 1325 of 2000, and several subsequent resolutions, lend themselves to both a “cup half full” and a “cup half empty” interpretation. The very phrase, the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda (WPS, for short), is itself a sign of progress among professionals working on global gender policy and programs around the world, as it is increasingly accepted as an important mandate across a wide variety of institutions, both public and private. On the downside, the WPS agenda is clearly not a household term (widely known outside activist and policy circles), nor is its foundational policy, United Nations Security Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325). This Working Paper looks at the Women, Peace and Security agenda as laid out in UNSCR 1325 and in six following Security Council Resolutions - UNSCR 1820, 1888, 1889, 1960, 2106 and 2122 (see Boxes 1 and 2) - to assess progress in the past decade and a half since the adoption of UNSCR 1325 in 2000. We conducted an extensive desk study of the existing literature on UNSCR 1325, performed a detailed content analysis of 40 of the 42 existing 1325 NAPs, and offer an update on implementation of Women, Peace, and Security goals more broadly. The Working Paper addresses three main questions: What does the social science and related literature say about UNSCR 1325 since its adoption in 2000? What does content analysis of National Action Plans (NAPs) in support of UNSCR 1325 reveal about the effectiveness of such plans? What are examples of implementation of 1325 principles with and beyond 1325 NAPs?