It has been more than 20 years since the UN Security Council launched Agenda for Women, Peace and Security (Resolution 1325). This initiative is designed to seek to create women’s voice and leadership basic a comprehensive understanding of global security. Its aim is to provide countries with a more sophisticated understanding of conflict, peace-building and humanitarian responses, as well as understanding the prevalence of gender-based violence in regions. conflict, but also to understand the central role of women in disrupting the cycle of conflict.
The approach has recognized that the safety and advancement of women – and to facilitate structures that value and promote their well-being – promote economic development and positive community outcomes. . In recognition of this, Australia recently launched National Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security (NAP), a set of strategic guidelines to promote Canberra’s approach to conflict-affected areas over the next decade.
Women and girls are often subject to the effects of conflict on men. This may include experiencing sexual and gender-based attacks (rape as a weapon of war), as well as unequal access to food, health care, education, justice, economic opportunity and citizenship. Understanding these dynamics in conflict zones, and not just focusing on the usual tools of violence, is essential to not only providing a safe and healthy life for each individual woman but also to be able to build a lasting peace for the whole community.
A central component of this is women’s ability to participate fully and meaningfully in conflict prevention and peace-building processes. The NAP recognizes the value of female leaders, noting that “[w]women are fully involved in decision-making, societies are more likely to prevent and resolve conflicts and to establish lasting peace outcomes. ”
However, while Women’s advancement into leadership roles can often produce positive results for the community, which can also generate backlash from men who feel disenfranchised by women. The National Plan of Action (NAP) acknowledges that “[w]Politically active women – especially women’s human rights defenders – are often explicitly targeted by violence to prevent their participation in decision-making processes. “
This is one of the most pressing problems facing society, both in conflict and peace areas: male resentmentand the instability it creates. The NAP is not doing enough to outline an approach that may help alleviate this problem. The document acknowledges the damage created by “harmful gender norms” and proposes a clear goal to “replace” them, but it delegates responsibility for this to women’s rights organizations operating in the conflict areas.
What is lacking in conflict areas is the leadership required from male local government figures to embody and envision a moderate masculinity. These leaders need a responsibility not only to avoid violence as a political tool but also as a personal tool, to understand how to build a habit of community cooperation at an individual level, and This can then expand to the political level.
This can be extremely difficult in conflict zones, where male resentment can attach itself to deep historical cultural hatreds. Difficulty is compounded when we are still bound by the assumption that violence is an irreversible part of masculine nature and identity. It causes us to excuse male violence, or indeed to honor it, as many aspects of war.
NAP emphasized that Canberra provided support Asia Foundation Join religious leaders in Afghanistan to better understand women’s rights and the social benefits of these rights. However, Canberra is further developing its own programs against negative gender norms and destructive behaviors should be considered an essential part of the Women, Peace agenda. and Security, and a more prominent branch of Australia’s overall foreign policy and humanitarian assistance.
Its external approach though is not specifically labeled thoughfeminist foreign policy“Like other countries, Australia has come to content many aspects of these foreign policy motivational ideas, and the NAP is an important testament to this.” However, a greater focus on gender should not become a criterion that Australia uses for humanitarian aid to developing countries and failure live at home.
An extremely important aspect of the NAP is that it rightly recognizes that the credibility of Australia’s approach to the Women, Peace and Security agenda is based on domestic commitments to with the ideals of promoting the initiative. Improving outcomes for women and children in Australia remains an urgent concern. Domestic violence is a major problem in the world security issueand it should not be removed from the Women, Peace and Security agenda as Australia is not seen as a “conflict zone”. It is a conflict area for too much women and children.