Women, peace and security

Armed conflict affects women, men, girls, and boys in different ways. 

Women and girls around the world face discrimination based on their gender. They are especially vulnerable in situations where they are displaced and/or become refugees. They are most vulnerable to conflict-related sexual violence.

At the same time, women and girls play a key role in preserving their communities. Their economic and social responsibilities may increase in times of war. They often act as agents of peace, leading movements that eventually bring the warring parties to the negotiation table. It is often women who can broaden the agenda, address root causes of a conflict and increase community buy-in.

Yet, women are frequently excluded from conflict resolution processes.

Our commitment to the global women, peace and security agenda

Canada recognizes that sustainable peace is only possible when women are fully involved in the resolution of conflict, as well as in other peace and security efforts. Women’s participation in conflict prevention, resolution and post-conflict state building presents opportunities to create gender transformative solutions. Their involvement can lead to more inclusive, gender equal and peaceful societies. 

The women, peace and security agenda is at the heart of Canada’s Feminist Foreign Policy, which includes Feminist International Assistance Policy and Defence Policy.

What is the women, peace and security agenda?

Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security was the first resolution to recognize the unique and disproportionate effects of armed conflict on women and girls. It urges Member States, the UN, and other actors to address these circumstances.

Today, the women, peace and security agenda is comprehensive. It is comprised of eight resolutions, and it calls on the international community to, among other things:

To date, 67 countries have established National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security to advance this agenda. Canada launched its first National Action Plan in 2010 for the period 2011-2016. We have tabled five annual progress reports in Parliament. The plan emphasized:

On November 1, 2017, the Government of Canada launched Canada’s second National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security for the period 2017-2022.

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