Women, peace and security. 20 years later
Three big words mark the name of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, adopted
20 years ago. This landmark resolution is an enormous achievement for everyone working in the
field of gender equality as in 2000, it reaffirmed the important role of women in the prevention and
resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and
in post-conflict reconstruction and stressed the importance of their equal participation and full
involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security. This document
was the first international agreement, that recognized the different needs of men and women in
times of armed conflict and calls for equal representation of women at all decision-making levels.
Each day media is filled with terrifying news of conflicts, ones that are far away and very close to
us. Images of suffering women and children that are at the epicentre of those conflicts shock us. But
yet we fail to notice threats that are very close to us – like domestic violence. Out of ten selected
causes and risk factors for disability and death among women between the ages of 15 and 44, rape
and domestic violence rated higher than cancer, motor vehicle accidents, war and malaria (World
Bank, 1994). Number of femicide in Lithuania increased by 61, 5% in 2019 (2018 – 13 women
killed by their intimate partner, compared to 21 women in 2019). It is impossible to talk about
global peace and security when we are not able to ensure security of women at their own home and
everyday life. When gender stereotypes prevailed in society prevent us from seeing gender
inequality as the main reason for violence against women and girls.
As former President of Chile Michelle Bachelet claimed: “We simply can no longer afford to deny
the full potential of one half of the population. The world needs to tap into the talent and wisdom of
women. Weather the issue is food security, economic recovery, health, or peace and security, the
participation of women is needed now more than ever.”
When half of the population is not feeling safe at their own home, peace and national security are at
risk. We have to admit that we are not only living in the midst of COVID – 19, but also in
pandemic of violence against women. Our inability to act cost lives of women and girls. Therefore,
after 20 years, it is time to realize the importance of Women, peace and security agenda with its
National Action Plan (2020 – 2024) and include women in the peacekeeping and conflict resolution
not only at the international level, but also within the state.
Are you suffering from domestic violence? Contact Specialized Assistance Centers in Lithuania
More information on Women, peace and security agenda: project “Decoding UN Resolution
1325: Promoting Safety at Home Though Greater Leadership”. Project is funded by the U.S.
Embassy in Lithuania via Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund 2020