From the Sidelines to the Frontlines: Advancing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda During the Pandemic and Beyond
As the far-reaching health, political, economic and social effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to unravel, women are among those most adversely affected, bearing a disproportionate burden of this multidimensional crisis. The pandemic has magnified pre-existing socio-economic inequalities and grievances including those of women in armed conflict situations, exposing important implementation gaps in the pillars of the landmark United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. As such, despite the reallocation of resources and changing priorities, national and continental instruments such as National Action Plans and FemWise-Africa continue to be critical in unlocking the transformational potential of the Women, Peace and Security agenda. Furthermore, the pandemic reaffirms the imperative of integrating women’s needs and experiences in designing effective responses to crises in both peaceful and conflict-affected settings. It also brings new opportunities for strengthening the positive contribution of women at the frontline of conflict prevention and peacebuilding efforts, including through harnessing innovation and technology. Hence, this session will examine pathways for placing women at the core of funding priorities and national planning to advance inclusive recovery and peace efforts. It will also discuss means of leveraging the contributions of women as a powerful force for rebuilding better and achieving sustainable peace and development.