The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) launches the Guidance Note ‘Towards a Feminist Security Council’. The goal is to accelerate the Security Council’s implementation of peace and security that works for and includes women.

Eighteen years ago, with the adoption of resolution 1325, the UN Security Council for the first time recognised the relevance of women and gender issues to peace and security.

On 20 November 2018, WILPF launched a comprehensive Guidance Note for Security Council Members which provides a path to accelerating implementation of Women, Peace and Security commitments.

“Feminist Peace is a call to the Security Council to recognise the alternatives to world violence and war by listening to women’s voices, creating opportunities for dialogue, capacity building and creative conflict resolution and reconciliation without the use of force,” stated Joy Onyesoh, President of WILPF during the launch.

The Guidance Note builds on the UN Charter and addresses the longstanding gender bias in the Security Council and in its work. It builds on emerging good practices and provides concrete recommendations on how to implement the Security Council’s mandate, consistent with the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.

“If the Security Council is to be relevant and do its job, it needs to flip business as usual on its head,” stated Abigail Ruane, Director of WILPF’s WPS Programme and co-author of the Guidance Note. “Instead of top-down, militarised, exclusive, and gender-blind, it needs to be bottom up, nonviolent, inclusive, gender-aware, and with effective working methods. This Guidance Note outlines what needs to be done.”

During the launch, WILPF recognised Bangladesh for leading the creation of the first resolution of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, and States such as Spain, Sweden, Peru, and Bolivia for their work with women-led civil society on a range of good practices. This includes ensuring more regular engagement with civil society through geographic briefers to the Security Council, supporting analysis of the root causes of violence, and strengthening national implementation mechanisms.

Using this Guidance Note, Security Council Members can build on existing working methods to address key gaps in implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. In doing so, they can support a shift from crisis response towards upstream conflict prevention and sustaining peace based on women’s participation, protection and rights.


Download the PDF Version of The Guidance Note: Towards a Feminist Security Council