Men and Masculinities in the Women, Peace and Security Agenda

Dear MenEngage members and partners,

October marks the 15th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 which highlights the impact of violent conflict on women and girls; and recognizes that peace is only sustainable if women are fully part of peace negotiations. We wanted to share with you valuable information to inform you and share resources to support you in your own contexts.

In a recent article in The Guardian, activists argue: “We need a radical shift in mindsets and policies, and the adoption of a feminist approach to domestic and foreign policy. This means more than just pay lip service to the importance of women’s participation. We need to live in a world where peace processes that exclude women are not supported or tolerated in any form.”

Peace Forum

Today is the kick-off of the 3-day Peace Forum in New York City, where civil society comes together to commemorate achievements and to strategize on strengthening and mobilizing women and men for effective implementation of the WPS agenda. It is organized by the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP), our new board member WILPF, and other partners.

The Peace Forum’s opening panel “Men on the Stand” will bring together men and women in positions of leadership at the UN, missions, and civil society to explore how to build non-traditional alliances and engage men and boys to address patriarchal institutions. One of the speakers will be Dean Peacock from Sonke Gender Justice.

On Friday, October 30 from 10:00-11:30 AM, MenEngage and partners organize a panel entitled “Transforming Violent Masculinities to Move the WPS Agenda Forward”, moderated by WILPF and with representatives from the Women’s Peacemakers Program (WPP), ABAAD, Promundo and Sonke. The panelists will address key questions, including: What is your theory of change behind transforming masculinities and/or working with men and boys to enhance the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda? What to you does a (pro)feminist approach to the WPS agenda look like, from a men and masculinities perspective? What are some of the dilemmas you encounter and how do you deal with them? How we can accelerate action for change through making transformation of violent masculinities a more integral part of the (Women,) Peace & Security agenda?

Recommendations

The MenEngage Alliance signed on to the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security “Open Letter to Permanent Representatives to the UN: Recommendations on the Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security and the High Level Review of SCR 1325 (2000)”. It urges member states to, amongst others prioritize women’s meaningful participation, and to emphasize conflict prevention by employing holistic approaches that aim to address the root causes and drivers of conflict and cycles of violence including violent extremism, and not just their impacts on women, men, girls and boys.

Furthermore, an important evaluation report was issued this month: Preventing Conflict, Transforming Justice, Securing the Peace, an exhaustive global study on the implementation of UNSCR 1325 by several UN agencies. It offers candid assessments about where implementation has fallen short and recommendations about where future efforts should focus. A new way of looking at conflict prevention is critical, the study argues – specifically, “an attitudinal shift is needed away from a primary focus on military responses, towards investment in peaceful conflict prevention strategies” – and within that, attention to the “root causes and structural drivers of conflict, such as exclusion, discrimination, attacks on dignity and structural inequality.”

Find here a summary of recommendations about integrating a masculinities perspective into the WPS agenda from recent and valuable documents: MenEngage summary of recommendations Men Masculinities and WPS 1325, including: