This report is based on a discussion held in conjunction with GAPS and the High Commission for Canada on involving men in the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325. It focuses on how and why SCR 1325 is relevant to men, as well as broader efforts to build sustainable peace. It explores strategies to increase their engagement with work around SCR 1325 at the UK and international levels.
Margaret Owen, founder member of GAPS and Director of Widows for Peace through Democracy chaired the panel, which featured three speakers: Matthew Neuhaus, Senior Political Advisor at the Commonwealth Secretariat; Dan Smith, Secretary General of International Alert; and Jeremy Stickings, Senior Social Advisor at UK Department for International Development. Lily Thapa, Director of Women for Human Rights (WHR), Nepal, was screened in a pre-recorded presentation.
Men in National Action Plans: In collaboration with civil societies, governments should consider incorporating proactive roles for men in the implementation and development of their national action plans, as mandated by the Security Council. This will raise awareness and promote essential partnerships to fully and effectively implement resolution 1325.
Monitoring SCR 1325 Implementation: An exhaustive and comprehensive list of indicators must be prepared in order to monitor and measure the progress of SCR 1325 implementation. The extent of the involvement of men should be one such indicator.
Masculinities: The image of men as peace makers, caring fathers, and supportive spouses and community members must be supported. The promotion of less aggressive, alternative models to the prevalent forms of militarised masculinity would contribute to increased social welfare, more economic prosperity, and less violence. A shift in focus is needed away from masculinities that produce gender based violence (GBV) towards understanding alternative masculinities.
Accountability: There must be more accountability with regards to policies and strategies for SCR 1325. More organisations should create ‘Gender Champions’, ideally men in leadership positions. Gender mainstreaming should rest with the head of the organisation, who is supported by a Gender Equality Champion in each organisational division, who is in turn supported by a Gender Task Force. Ultimately, senior management needs to be held responsible, and staff must be sensitised, with the help of Gender Task Forces.
Learning from experience: Successful programmes piloted in other countries that look to involving men in gender equality must be rolled out and developed for other conflict contexts. Brazil’s Programme H is an excellent example that provides valuable lessons.
Increase Awareness Raising/Advocacy: Given the slow progress on the implementation of resolution 1325, civil society organisations in partnership with other stakeholders need to intensify advocacy efforts and consider creative ways of raising awareness to convert the “unconverted”. For instance, organise events to inform the public on SCR 1325 and its provisions, and the roles that different actors have to contribute to its implementation. A practical example is the “ID card” holder produced by the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security in New York.
Increase Resources: Closely linked to awareness-raising is the issue of resources, both financial and human, which are essential for effective implementation of SCR 1325. Many CSOs experience financial difficulties, and gender departments within governments and international organisations are under-funded and lacking in authority. Creativity and proactivity remain essential to continued financing.