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Women, Peace and Security

The UN Security Council adopted resolution 1325 on women, peace and security in 2000 and set a goal for the international community to incorporate gender perspectives into conflict resolution. The decision was made based on an alarming situation where the number of civilian casualties significantly increased due to the changed nature of the conflicts. The situation is especially difficult for women as conflicts increase the gender inequality and limit women’s access to healthcare, education, economic and political activity.

The Security Council set a task for itself, for the entire UN system, for other international organisations, for member states as well as for all parties to armed conflicts to change the situation. The resolution comprises of four pillars of implementation:

  • prevention of gender-based violence and raising awareness in conflict prevention;
  • protection of women and girls, including advancement of health and well-being;
  • participation of women in peace processes and decision making both at local and UN level;
  • taking into account the special needs of women and girls and gender perspective when giving aid. The objective is to incorporate gender perspective into relief and recovery efforts, increase the role of women in conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction, and protect women in armed conflicts against gender-based violence, including sexual violence. 

Since 2000 the Security Council has adopted seven follow-up resolutions to reinforce the role of women in ensuring peace and security.

  • Resolution 1820 (2008) condemns sexual violence as a weapon of war and declares rape and other forms of sexual violence as war crimes.
  • Resolution 1888 (2009) mandates peacekeeping missions to prevent and respond to sexual violence in armed conflict, and establishes the position of the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict.
  • Resolution 1889 (2009) on increasing women's participation in peace processes.
  • Resolution 1960 (2010) focuses on ending impunity for sexual violence in armed conflict.
  • Resolution 2106 (2013) recognises that sexual violence in conflict can also affect men and boys as well as the whole community.
  • Resolution 2122 (2013) reaffirms the Security Council's commitment to the implementation of resolution 1325.
  • Resolution 2242 (2015) focuses on the changed security situation and refers to a number of recommendations made on the basis of the global study; the Security Council promises to integrate resolution 1325 more into its daily work.

Estonia supports the implementation of resolution 1325 and is a co-sponsor of its follow-up resolutions 1820, 1888 and 2242.

In 2010, Estonia adopted the first action plan to implement resolution 1325 in Estonia in 2010-2014 (PDF), with an intention of designating and systemizing Estonia’s activities regarding the gender aspect on international missions and within development assistance as well as increasing the society’s knowledge about the issue.

Estonia’s second action plan for 2015-2019 (PDF) focuses on the improvement of women’s situation in conflict and post-conflict regions as well as raising the awareness and enhancing cooperation and communication. Within their respective competence, the action plan will be implemented by the Ministry of Education and Research, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Defence League, and the Naiskodukaitse (Women`s Voluntary Defence Organization) that engage in close co-operation with civil society organisations, institutions of higher education, and research institutions.

In addition to the UN and Member States, multiple international and regional organisations, including the European Union (EU), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) are also actively engaged in the issues of women, peace and security.

In order to find out how resolution 1325 is applied in different parts of the world and highlight good practice examples, implementation gaps and challenges, as well as emerging trends and priorities for action, the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) conducted the Global Study in 2015. Estonia, as an active supporter of UN Women as well as resolution 1325, supported the study financially and substantively. The results of the Global Study are available here.

Last updated: 11 January 2019

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