This policy paper offers donors, national governments and peace practitioners practically orientated insights into some of the challenges to, and opportunities for, ensuring the effective implementation of the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda.
Drawing on a stock-taking exercise of International Alert’s 20-year history working with women peacebuilders on the ground, it highlights the importance of engaging with men and masculinities to address conservative patriarchal gender norms and institutional socio-political constraints, which constitute one of the major obstacles to a full implementation of the WPS agenda.
It recommends supporting the mainstreaming of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 13251 National Action Plans (NAPs) into national policies and planning frameworks, as well as contributing to their adequate funding to ensure that they are fully implemented.
Encouraging strategic engagement between national governments and local women’s rights organisations and networks that form the linchpin for the advancement of the WPS agenda is also key to promoting political engagement and participation of women.
Moreover, there is a need to re-politicise the WPS agenda, which was primarily conceived as a feminist political project. This means adopting a transformative approach that puts gender equality and equal participation of men and women in leadership positions back at the heart of the agenda. This includes leadership positions in conflict-resolution and political processes at all levels of society.