International framework

UN Security Council Resolution 1325 states that “an understanding of the impact of armed conflict on women and girls, effective institutional arrangements to guarantee their protection and full participation in the peace process can significantly contribute to the maintenance and promotion of international peace and security.“ 1

The international community has set itself the goal of promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels by 2030 (SDG 16). All forms of violence and related death rates are to be significantly reduced everywhere and responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making is to be established at all levels.2

Half of the world’s poor live in fragile or conflict-affected states.3 This affects women and men in different ways:

Men comprise the majority of combatants and suffer to a greater degree from direct violence, injuries and killings from combat.4

Women suffer disproportionately from conflict through systematic rape and sexual violence, greater levels of displacement and presence in refugee camps and social and economic vulnerability.5

Prevention and Protection

Due to loss of access to sources of livelihoods and basic services, (sexual) violence, displacement etc.7, female life expectancy in fragile and conflict affected situations is reduced by 11.2 years. Life expectancy of men is reduced by 10,4 years.8

Life expectancy of women and men in conflict affected areas and globally (in years)

Fragile and conflict affected situations
Global

UN Resolution 1325 stresses that women need to be included in politics and development processes for sustainable conflict prevention, resolution and peacebuilding. It highlights the need to protect the civilian population, in particular women and girls, from sexual and gender-based violence in conflict and post-conflict settings.

The UN suspects 45 conflict parties in 8 countries of committing or being responsible for patterns of rape and other forms of sexual violence in situations of armed conflict in the period from January to December 2014.6

Participation

Out of 31 major peace processes conducted between 1992 and 2011:

4% of peace signatories were women.
2,4% of chief mediators were women.
3,7% of observers to peace negotiations were women.
9% of mediation team members were women.9

UN Resolution 1325 calls for women’s increased participation in all aspects of crisis prevention, conflict resolution and peace-building.

Reintegration and Reconstruction

UN Resolution 1325 calls for acknowledging women’s specific needs in reintegration and reconstruction measures.

In countries affected by conflict …

… girls enrolment in primary schools is lower. Half of all out-of-primary-school children live in conflict affected areas. Only 73,4% of girls in these areas are in school whereas 80,5% of boys attend school.10

Primary school enrollment worldwide and in conflict affected areas (in %)

Conflicted Areas
Worldwide

maternal mortality rate is 60% higher than in global comparison (conflict affected countries: 531 deaths per 100.000 births; worldwide: 210 deaths per 100.000).11 The 10 worst performing countries on maternal mortality are either conflict or post-conflict countries.12

… only 9% of landowners are women (worldwide: 19%)13

  1. UN Security Council Resolution S/RES/1325 (2000): http://www.refworld.org/docid/3b00f4672e.html.
  2. UN (2015): Transformation unserer Welt: die Agenda 2030 für nachhaltige Entwicklung. http://www.un.org/depts/german/gv-70/a70-l1.pdf; p. 15
  3. World Bank (2016): „Conflict and Fragility“. https://ida.worldbank.org/theme/conflict-and-fragility
  4. GSDRC Applied Knowledge Services: “Gender in fragile and conflict-affected environments”. http://www.gsdrc.org/go/topic-guides/gender/gender-in-fragile-and-conflict-affected-environments.
  5. GSDRC Applied Knowledge Services: “Gender in fragile and conflict-affected environments”. http://www.gsdrc.org/go/topic-guides/gender/gender-in-fragile-and-conflict-affected-environments.
  6. UN Security Council S/2015/203 (2015): “Conflict-related sexual violence - Report of the Secretary General”. http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/s_2015_203.pdf Articles 1 & 3 & p. 32f.
  7. GSDRC Applied Knowledge Services: “Gender in fragile and conflict-affected environments”. http://www.gsdrc.org/go/topic-guides/gender/gender-in-fragile-and-conflict-affected-environments and Plümper, T./Neumayer, E. (2005): “The Unequal Burden of War: The Effect of Armed Conflict on the Gender Gap in Life Expectancy”. http://www.gsdrc.org/go/display&type=Document&id=1692.
  8. World Bank Group (2015): “Gender Statistics. Indicators: Life expectancy at birth, female (years), Life expectancy at birth, male (years), Life expectancy at birth, total (years)”. http://databank.worldbank.org/data/views/variableselection/selectvariables.aspx?source=gender-statistics accessed 14.04.2015.
  9. UN Women (2012): “Women's Participation in Peace Negotiations. Connections between Presence and Influence”. http://old.kvinnatillkvinna.se/sites/default/files/UNIFEM_handout_Women_in_peace_processes_Brief_April_20_2009.pdf ; p. 2
  10. UN Security Council S/2014/693 (2014): “Report of the Secretary General on women and peace and security”. http://www.unwomen.org/~/media/headquarters/attachments/sections/news/in%20focus/open%20debate%20on%20wps%202013/sg%20report%20on%20wps%202014.pdf Box 19.
  11. UN Women: “Women and armed conflict”. http://www.unwomen.org/en/digital-library/multimedia/2015/10/infographic-women-armed-conflict
  12. UN Women (2014): “Facts and Figures: Peace and Security”. http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/peace-and-security/facts-and-figures.
  13. UN Security Council S/2014/693 (2014): “Report of the Secretary General on women and peace and security”. http://www.unwomen.org/~/media/headquarters/attachments/sections/news/in focus/open debate on wps 2013/sg report on wps 2014.pdf para. 50.