Modern conflicts have developed a disturbing trend. Women suffer the most, including as targets of systematic sexual violence. Yet they hardly have any say when peace is negotiated. Less than 10 percent of peace negotiators are women. An ongoing petition drive on UNIFEM’s Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women platform, Make Women Count for Peace, goes to the heart of the issue.
Ten years ago, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1325 to ensure women’s equal participation in peacebuilding, but its implementation has been too slow. There are basic, practical steps that all governments can take to make a real difference in women’s lives, such as by recruiting more women in police forces and peacekeeping operations, ensuring more women participate in peace negotiations, prosecuting perpetrators of sexual violence, and excluding perpetrators from armies and police forces after conflict.
We can all do something to hold governments accountable to promises made to women. One quick action: Sign the 1325 Petition. It tells governments to take three steps to implement Resolution 1325. Together, your signatures will make a powerful statement to the UN Security Council when it meets in October to debate the resolution’s future.