Women and girls continue to be particularly affected by the impact of current crises and conflicts. At the same time, they are not represented in many decision-making bodies or are only included on an ad hoc or rather symbolic basis.

In 2000, the ground-breaking UN Security Council Resolution 1325 for the first time called for the substantial participation of women in all decision-making processes in conflict resolution and peace processes and thus continues to represent a milestone.

Progress has been made in its implementation but, in the words of the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, "bold and urgent action is needed" to fully realise the commitments of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda - especially in light of the changing nature of conflicts, global crises such as COVID-19 and climate change.

The strategic goals of the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action on Women and Armed Conflict are also important and unfulfilled today: Military spending must be reduced and human rights and non-violent conflict resolution strategies must be promoted. In addition, measures are needed that explicitly address women and their contribution to building a culture of peace, e.g. participation in conflict resolution at senior level, the protection of women in conflict situations and the provision of assistance and training opportunities for refugee women and (internally) displaced women in need of protection under international law. The global study in 2015 - on the 15th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security - clearly shows that the participation of women is demonstrably and centrally important for the effectiveness, success and sustainability of peace processes. Their participation is also crucial for reconstruction.

The Austrian Development Agency actively contributes to the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda in our partner countries by promoting specific interventions as well as policy dialogue with partner institutions at government level and with the involvement of civil society.

The promotion and involvement of local women's (rights) organisations in this context is of central importance.