Launched in October 2000, the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, addresses women, peace and security issues in four pillars namely prevention, participation, protection, relief and recovery in a conflict setting (Tru & Lee-Koo, Toward Inclusive Peace: Mapping Gender Sensitive Agreements 2000-2016, 2018). Seventy-five states, among others Indonesia and the Philippines, used to experience protracted armed conflicts, had adopted the UNSCR 1325 into national action plans (NAP) (Peacewoman, 2018). However, although the resolution is aimed to empower women, there are differences in how the four pillars applied in national policies in both states. This paper will discuss factors that caused these gaps in the application of the NAP’s and will explain how it affects the female participation in each country.
To date, there are two main views in seeing the significance of the UNSCR 1325. Scholars identified the UNSCR 1325 as a progressive discourse marker, which connects Gender and Feminism in International Relations, and Security Studies. They see the resolution as a cross-disciplinary achievement and as a strategy to improve women’s political participation. Meanwhile, some of the policymakers see the resolution as non-binding. Thus it does not need to be followed because it is not urgent. However, with the growing crises in the form of global challenges like those of violent extremism and mass displacement which have brought harmful effects for women in the post-conflict situation (Tru, 2016), more states adopted the resolution into national action plans.
Albeit of those impacts, not all countries are aware of gender equality. This situation influences the first factor of the gap namely the way government adopt pillars of the resolution either partly or wholly. Examples are found in Indonesia’s and the Philippines's experiences when advocating the UNSCR 1325. Led by Indonesia’s Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection, a small team that formulated the national action plan gave more attention to the protection and prevention pillars (Santoso, 2015; (Women, n.d.). Meanwhile, the Philippines prepared the NAP under the coordination of the Office of The Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and together with various non-government actors underlined the participation aspect strongly (OPAPP, 2014).
Another factor of the gap is the level of democratic maturity in states specifically on how states internalised gender as the paradigm. The Philippines, under OPAPP’s coordination, had direct access to the presidential office and was supported strongly by women activists who both applied gender awareness principles since the starting phase in policy formulation. While Indonesia’s team, a mix between various governments officers and activists, had frequently heated debates with women activists which added to the already contentious side of the female’s roles in the political process. The evidence is found upon careful reading of the documents of Indonesia’s and the Philippine’s NAP of the UNSCR 1325 (Santoso, Gayatri, Latifa, & Soesilowati, 2015). Indonesia’s NAP documents put women’s roles in such a way to express the “balance” between the domestic and public spheres but instead did not communicate their capacity as negotiators in peace processes. Meanwhile, an advocate of the Philippines peace process mentioned that the nation “producing peace agreements with provisions on women’s rights prior to the UNSCR 1325 and after” (Tru, George, Davies, Lee-Koo, & Hewitt, 2018). These are shown in the Philippine’s newest NAP 1325 document; prioritisation is given to conflict prevention, viewing women peace and security issues from a human rights perspective, and participation (Peacewomen, 2017).
To conclude, the adoption of UNSCR 1325 depends on the level of democratic maturity in countries. These, in turn, affect the way actors formulate provisions which highlight the female participation aspect in the texts of the NAP’s documents. (Irine Hiraswari Gayatri)
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Tru, J., George, N., Davies, S. E., Lee-Koo, K., & Hewitt, S. (2018). Mapping Women’s Participation in Peace Processes. Melbourne: Monash Gender, Peace and Security.
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