The Peacebuilding Commission's Gender Strategy

The Peacebuilding Commission's Gender Strategy 



The Peacebuilding Commission's Gender Strategy defines a series of priority areas of strategic action for PBC's gender-responsive engagement at the country, regional and global levels, as well as key messages that the PBC should systematically promote. The objective of the PBC Gender Strategy is to strengthen the Commission's engagement on gender-related aspects of peacebuilding by ensuring an inclusive approach that takes into account women's perspectives, including their specific needs and promotes gender equality in order to make peacebuilding more effective.


Read the Full Strategy





In September 2016, the Peacebuilding Commission adopted a gender strategy to ensure a more structural and systematic integration of gender perspectives across its work, including in its country and region-specific engagements, thematic discussions, and dialogues with other intergovernmental organizations.
In 2020 a review of the Peacebuilding Commission’s Gender Strategy was undertaken to assess the degree to which it has been implemented since its adoption in September 2016. The review report, prepared by DPPA/ PBSO and UN Women with support from an independent expert consultant, recommended the Commission improve its gender analysis; enhance its consultations with diverse women peacebuilders; increase its advocacy on gender-responsive peacebuilding across the UN system, with Regional Organizations and with International Financial Institutions; and conduct regular monitoring and review of its gender strategy.
In October 2020, the PBC members agreed to develop a Gender Strategy Action Plan on the implementation of the Gender Strategy. The PBC’s Gender Strategy Action Plan was adopted in February 2021 and includes four action areas and nice specific indicators. This is the first written update since the action plan was adopted and considers the implementation of the PBC’s Gender Strategy Action Plan from October 2020 to October 2021.
The Gender Strategy Action Plan also assists in maintaining continuity in how the Commission considers and promotes gender-responsive peacebuilding efforts from one year to the next and in monitoring progress and ongoing implementation gaps.

Ms. Julieth Viviana Garcia Carreño, a representative of a Young Women's Movement in Colombia, Yo Puedo, encouraged support from across the UN system and the Peacebuilding Commission to help ensure that young women in Colombia are empowered to contribute to peacebuilding initiatives, including through support to territorial entities, youth leaders, and youth organizations. 



Why a Gender Strategy?




the importance of women’s leadership and participation in conflict prevention, resolution and peacebuilding, and recognizes the continuing need to increase the representation of women at all decision-making levels in national, regional and international institutions and mechanisms for the prevention and resolution of conflict, and the consideration of gender-related issues in all discussions pertinent to sustaining peace."


In line with its mandate to integrate a gender perspective in all of its work and consult with women's organizations (as per the Peacebuilding Commission's founding resolutions A/RES/60/180 and S/RES/1672 (2005)), and to ensure a more structural integration of gender perspectives in all its work, the UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) decided in the forward agenda set out in its Report on the eighth session, that is would develop a strategy to systematically mainstream a gender perspective in all its work, including its country-specific engagement with the consent of the host country.




Objectives of the Strategy: 




General Objectives



  • Ensure the consideration of a focus on gender dimensions of peacebuilding in all PBC meetings 


  • Promote the question of women’s equal participation and gender equality in discussions with high-level national stakeholders and all other partners 


  • Identify and update overall priorities for women’s equal participation and gender equality as necessary, advisably at least on an annual basis (based on needs, gaps, and opportunities) 


  • Ensure inclusion of gender analysis and gender-specific priority areas in all substantive PBC documents and their updates 


  • Consult with all key regional national and local stakeholders, including national governments, civil society organizations, and women's and men’s groups to facilitate their participation in priority setting and solicit their feedback on peacebuilding priorities and plans 


  • Avail of the expertise and experience of national gender institutions and UN Country Team on a regular basis, especially those engaged in gender-responsive peacebuilding 


  • Promote coherence within the UN system by holding regular consultations with relevant UN entities and following up on the PBC advice. 


  • Involve relevant regional and UN actors, recognized think tanks, research institutes, and practitioners in PBC meetings to share experiences on gender equality. 


  • Include as necessary considerations about the gender dimension of impacts of events on the ground in PBC statements. 


  • Advocate where relevant for gender experts to be available as well as for the development of gender-responsive peacebuilding programs. 


  • Convene biannual expert-level meeting, facilitated by a Gender Focal Point. 



Annual Objectives: 



  • Hold annual substantive PBC meeting on a set sub-theme on gender-responsive peacebuilding agreed by its members 


  • Include a section on the implementation of the PBC Gender Strategy in the PBC Annual Report, which takes stock and assesses the PBC’s performance in regard to gender-responsive peacebuilding 



PBC Field Mission Objectives:



  • Include a component on gender-responsive peacebuilding in mission ToRs 


  • Identify relevant actors, including from the government, for engagement in a case-specific manner and update prior to visit 


  • Consultations with national gender institutions and civil society including women’s and men’s groups should be reported back to the PBC and as necessary serve to adapt strategic engagement and priority areas 


  • PBC activities taken to follow up the issues that came up during the visits need to be communicated back to all the country-level partners, primarily the governmental ones. 



Sustaining Peace and Gender:




Similar to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that advocates for an inclusive process and equal participation of all, and states that it “realizes (that) gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will make a crucial contribution to progress across all the Sustainable Development Goals and targets and states that “the systematic mainstreaming of a gender perspective in the implementation of the Agenda is crucial.”



The ResolutionsA/RES/70/262 & S/RES/2282 on the Review of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture:  


  • Reaffirm the important role of women in peacebuilding, noting the substantial link between women’s full and meaningful involvement in efforts to prevent, resolve and rebuild from conflict and those efforts’ effectiveness and long-term sustainability.


  • Underscore the importance of women’s leadership and participation in conflict prevention, resolution, and peacebuilding, and recognize the continuing need to increase the representation of women at all decision-making levels in national, regional, and international institutions and mechanisms for the prevention and resolution of conflict, and the consideration of gender-related issues in all discussions pertinent to sustaining peace. 


  • recognize the importance of strategic and operational partnerships between national governments, the United Nations, and other key stakeholders, including women’s groups.


  • Stress the importance of enhancing the mobilization of resources for initiatives that address the particular needs of women in peacebuilding contexts, advance gender equality, and empower women.


  • Reaffirm the call to integrate a gender perspective into all of its work.


  • Encourage the PBC to serve as a platform to convene all relevant actors, including women’s groups, to provide recommendations and information to improve their coordination. 


  • Encourage to consider options for regular exchanges and joint initiatives with key stakeholders to promote sustainable peace. 



Ms. Diallo Tata Toure, Director of ODI-Sahel (Organisation pour le développement intégré au Sahel) emphasized the importance of supporting the efforts of women’s peace outreach activities in the Mopti region, which have recently been further complicated due to challenges related to climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. She also stressed that women’s inclusion, leadership, and safety should be a key aspect of any emergency response in the Sahel region.



Gender-Responsive Peacebuilding


Gender-responsive peacebuilding pays attention to the specific ways conflicts affect people differently depending on their sex, age, ethnicity, etc., and addresses gender-specific implications and concerns, as well as particular recovery and protection needs if any. It aims among other things at enhancing women’s participation and leadership in all peacebuilding activities, “noting the substantial link between women’s full and meaningful involvement in efforts to prevent, resolve and rebuild from conflict and those efforts’ effectiveness and long-term sustainability.” 



Gender Mainstreaming 


The process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies, or programs, in all areas and at all levels. It is a strategy for making women’s as well as men’s concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of policies and programs in all political, economic, and societal spheres so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated. The ultimate goal of gender mainstreaming is to achieve gender equality. 



Guiding Principles


In order to ensure the successful implementation of the PBC’s Gender Strategy and its credibility, and to contribute to the overarching goal of promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, the PBC’s work on gender-responsive peacebuilding is to be guided by the following principles: 



  • Diversity 


Women are not a homogenous group but represent a wide range of roles, such as actors, victims, and also perpetrators. This diversity needs to be taken into account when conducting gender-responsive programs. 


  • National ownership, inclusivity, and participation 


National ownership and leadership are crucial, as it is the primary responsibility of national Governments and authorities (to) identify, drive, and direct priorities, strategies, and activities for sustaining peace (…) and in this regard (…) inclusivity is key to advancing national peacebuilding processes and objectives in order to ensure that the needs of all segments of society are taken into account.


  • Coherence 


In order to promote coherence and prevent fragmentation, while avoiding duplication of efforts, the PBC Gender Strategy takes into account and draws from existing decisions of the Member-States, such as S/RES/1325 and subsequent resolutions, as well as A/RES/70/262 and S/RES/2282, S/RES/2250, the Report of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (A/70/19) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 



Dr. Meghna Guhathakurta from the Research Initiatives, Bangladesh (RIB) stressed the need for all Asia-Pacific States to develop and implement their own National Action Plan for the implementation of United Nations Security Council resolution 1325 with a view to enabling peace and stability across the region.



Strategic actions for integrating a gender perspective into the work of the PBC: 



Thematic and Strategic Areas:


  • Action 1: Strengthen the substantive, cross-cutting integration of gender perspectives in all PBC country-specific thematic and strategic engagement. 


  • Action 2: Identify thematic priority areas of gender-responsive peacebuilding for the region and country-specific engagement with all relevant actors. 


  • Action 3: Engage men, including youth in gender-responsive peacebuilding. 


Follow-up, Implementation, and Results: 


  • Action 4: The whole PBC should play an active role in the implementation. 


  • Action 5: Include gender-responsive peacebuilding in the Terms of Reference (ToRs) of all PBC field missions, in coordination with the host government and reporting back findings to the PBC members. 


  • Action 6: Strengthen the systematic coordination and sharing of information and approaches on gender-responsive peacebuilding 


Resources and Technical Expertise:


  • Action 7: Advocate actively for dedicated technical expertise on gender-responsive peacebuilding as well as dedicated funding within the UN, and national and international partners. 



Ms. Tabu Njie Sarr President of Gender Platform - The Gambia and Women’s Rights Manager at ActionAid The Gambia. During a PBC meeting on The Gambia on 27 October, she stressed the importance of ensuring that gender dimensions, especially women’s issues, are mainstreamed in all mechanisms of the transitional justice process, the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC), Constitutional Review Commission (CRC), and Security Sector Reform (SSR), as well as institutional and legislative reforms.



Implementation Progress



Women peacebuilders invited to brief the PBC:


  • A record number of women peacebuilders have been invited to provide the Commission with their own contextual analysis and recommendations. In the last year, half of the PBC’s meetings included briefings from women peacebuilders either representing civil society organizations or who were local business leaders.


Improved quality and specificity of gender references:


  • The overall substantive quality of gender references in PBC outcome documents has also improved, as has how the PBC reflects the messages conveyed to it by women peacebuilders invited to brief the Commission.


Improved engagements with other UN entities, Regional Organizations, and International Financial Institutions


  • About 90 percent of documents relating to the PBC’s engagement with other relevant UN bodies, Regional Organizations, and International Financial Institutions, promote the importance of women’s participation in peacebuilding efforts.