Power to Women in Peace Processes

Women's Organisations Cooperating in Realising Resolution 1325

Annie Matundu Mbambi, president for Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) in DR Congo, converses with Lina Andersson, project manager at Operation 1325.
FOTO: Julle Bergenholtz

More action is necessary to implement resolution 1325

The implementation of resolution 1325 is done globally, and every day more people pick up the knowledge about the content of the resolution and what rights the resolution guarantees. But the realisation of resolution 1325 is not as easy as it sounds, and in conflict and post conflict countries, reality is still far from being shaped by the resolution's recommendations. Annie Matundu Mbambi, president for the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo sees this fact as problematic, and criticises for example Sweden and Canada for lack of concrete action within the 1325 field.

A seminar that raised issues

The 24th of May, Operation 1325 held a seminar together with the Swedish NGO Kvinna till Kvinna, the consulting company InDevelop and the Canadian embassy on the subject "Implementing UNSCR 1325: Challenges and Outlook". Representatives from five countries participated and shared their view on possible working methods that can be used to realise resolution 1325.

One of the panelists was Annie Matundu Mbambi from DR Congo. She called for a greater engagement and more action from countries in peace with regards to 1325. Answering the question about what Sweden and Canada can do to support the work to implement resolution 1325 in conflict countries, she expressed that: "Canada claims to work with National Action Plans on 1325 and peacekeeping. But the DRC needs to see more action. Women in the field can't see the impact of the work".

Countries in conflict need to adopt National Action Plans

Mbambi is also critical towards the current situation regarding the adoption of National Action Plans on resolution 1325. "There is something wrong here. Almost only peace countries have National Action Plans. Other countries must have this too". She argues that countries that have already passed National Action Plans play a key role in influencing countries in conflict to adopt their own plans. "If Canada or Sweden can lead in this cause, it would be for the better".

Women are needed at the negotiating table

One member of the audience was Désirée Pethrus, member of the Swedish parliament from the Christian Democrats. She wondered how Swedish politicians can work to make efforts related to resolution 1325 more context conformed, and how it is possible to the results of this. Annie Matundu Mbambi answered the question like this: "The second article of resolution 1325 says that we should bring women to the negotiation table. But the language is too weak. I have never read "you must" in the resolution". Mbambi thereby argues that politicians must make sure that the changes they work for are visible and loud, and that they directly affect the situation for women's participation in peace processes. Pethrus agreed, and finished with exclaiming that: "we as politicians must take women to the negotiating tables and we must make efforts to get sharper texts and resolutions. We must be stronger".

Julle Bergenholtz