The Australian Government recognises that women and girls have vastly different experiences to men and boys when it comes to peace and security. Women and girls often face devastating human rights violations, including high levels of sexual and gender-based violence, in conflict affected settings. Women are also significantly underrepresented and often overlooked in formal peace processes. This is in spite of the fact that women can be powerful agents in preventing conflict and building peace.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325), alongside other resolutions under the United Nations Women, Peace and Security agenda, addresses the impact of conflict on women and girls, and highlights the critical role women can play in preventing, managing and resolving conflict.
Governments have a responsibility to make sure women and girls’ human rights are protected, and that women are empowered to participate in formal peace and security processes.
The Australian Government takes this responsibility very seriously. The Australian National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security 2012–2018 demonstrates Australia’s ongoing support for the United Nations Women, Peace and Security agenda.
The National Action Plan sets out what Australia will do, at home and overseas, to integrate a gender perspective into its peace and security efforts, protect women and girls’ human rights, and promote their participation in conflict prevention, management and resolution. It also commits the Government to report every two years to the Australian Federal Parliament on the progress of this work.
This National Action Plan is a practical step forward in establishing a framework for a coordinated, whole of government approach to implementing UNSCR 1325 and related resolutions. I look forward to working with my Ministerial colleagues and the non-government sector to drive better outcomes for women and girls affected by conflict.