UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka speaks at opening session of the Generation Equality Forum, held in Paris, France on 30 June 2021. Photo: UN Women/Fabrice Gentile
More than 100 governments, United Nations entities, regional and civil society organizations, academic institutions and private sector groups today announced their signatory status to the Compact on Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action, during a launch event at the Generational Equality Forum in Paris.
As part of a five-year push for gender equality, the Compact intends to reshape peace and security and humanitarian action processes to systematically include women and girls in the decisions that impact their lives.
More than 25 years since the landmark Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing and more than 20 years after the adoption on UN Security Council resolution 1325, public rhetoric on women’s rights has not been matched by concrete action and investment. Currently, not a single country can claim to have achieved gender equality.
This fact is starkly evident in the peace, security and humanitarian sectors where women are woefully underrepresented.
“Since 1992, about 70 per cent of all peace processes did not include women signatories or mediators. This isn’t just shameful, it’s ignorant. It makes our world more dangerous,” said Samantha Power, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, underscoring the White House’s commitment to the Compact.
Additionally, half a billion women in 31 countries and territories live in protracted crisis and are at increased risk of human rights violations. Research shows that humanitarian programmes targeted at women and girls are chronically underfunded.
“As we continue to grapple with a global pandemic, we are seeing women-led civil society organizations, and programmes that support women peacebuilders, at risk of disappearing at the very moment they are needed most…We call on all countries to become signatories to this Compact and to demonstrate their commitment to bridging the gap between aspiration and action,” said Simon Coveney, Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs.
“My government stands in solidarity with the numerous global gender champions in this call to action to do more for our women and girls globally, said Julius Maada Bio, president of Sierra Leone. “Transformative actions across [the Compact’s] thematic areas can only be achieved with sustained political will and commitment.”
By joining the Compact, signatories pledge to take concrete action on existing commitments for women and girls in five key areas: increased financing for Women, Peace and Security and gender equality in humanitarian programming; meaningful participation in peace processes; economic security and access to resources; leadership and agency; protection of women’s rights in conflict and crisis.
The Compact will support these actions through an improved monitoring and accountability process.
The Compact is open to governments, regional and civil society organizations, UN entities, academic institutions and the private sector.
Current signatories to the Compact include: Austria, Canada, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Japan, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Namibia, Norway, Netherlands, Peru, Spain, Sierra Leone, State of Palestine, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, United States, African Union Commission Office of the Special Envoy on Women Peace and Security, ASEAN, ECCAS, OHCHR, Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, OECD, OSCE, United Nations Department of Peace Operations, UNDP, UNHCR, United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, United Nations Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund, UN Women, as well as more than 65 civil society organizations.