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The Security Council, with its adoption of resolution 1325 and the six subsequent resolutions on women, peace and security, has made clear that women’s human rights and gender equality are central to the maintenance of international peace and security.

Key messages

  • Women’s human rights and gender equality are central to the maintenance of international peace and security. All intergovernmental bodies and human rights mechanisms must act in synergy to protect and promote women’s and girls’ rights at all times, including in conflict and post-conflict situations.
  • Human Rights mechanisms have long addressed elements of the Women, Peace and Security agenda. Likewise, human rights and gender equality are central to the WPS agenda. WPS is not only relevant for the Security Council, but is the responsibility of a full range of actors, particularly Member States.
  • The effective use of human rights mechanisms and increased information-sharing with the Security Council can build the capacity of the international community and civil society to hold Member States accountable for implementation of their global commitments on women, peace and security.
  • In addition to international human rights mechanisms, regional and sub-regional human rights mechanisms as well as human rights mechanisms and institutions at the national level are also crucial to advancing implementation of the WPS agenda. These mechanisms at different levels can work independently and in synergy to hold States accountable to commitments for gender equality in conflict-affected contexts, ensure full respect for human rights at the national level and support cooperation between Governments and the United Nations in the protection and promotion of human rights.

Key Mechanisms

Regional and Sub-Regional Mechanisms

National Human Rights Institutions

Key recommendations

  • Utilize human rights mechanisms, including treaty bodies, Universal Periodic Review, and regional and national bodies, to advance accountability for Member State commitments to the women, peace and security agenda.
  • Build the capacity of human rights mechanisms (international, regional and national) to monitor gender-specific human rights violations in conflict and post-conflict settings, and conduct a gender-conflict analysis in reporting on conflict-affected States.
  • Strengthen the flow of information on violations of women’s rights in conflict settings, from human rights mechanisms to the Security Council and other international and regional bodies concerned with the maintenance of international peace and security.


  • Ratify, remove reservations to, and fully implement CEDAW, and report on the implementation of obligations relating to women, peace and security in regular reporting to the CEDAW Committee and other treaty bodies.
  • Report on the implementation of obligations relating to women, peace and security in the UPR; participate in the review of other States undergoing review by asking about their implementation of these obligations; and establish national mechanisms of reporting and follow-up of recommendations emanating from the UPR and other human rights mechanisms.
  • Encourage civil society to submit independent parallel reports, and provide financial support to enable their participation in the UPR process and other human rights treaty body reviews.
  • Provide multilateral and bilateral assistance, and ensure the political support and independence of regional and national human rights mechanisms to address violations of women’s rights in conflictaffected contexts, and fully implement the judgments and recommendations of these institutions.
  • Submit parallel reports to treaty bodies and the UPR highlighting State obligations relating to women, peace and security
  • Ensure gender-responsive budgeting and financial tracking of investments on gender equality in missions by requesting peacekeeping budget experts and planning officers, along with genderresponsive budget experts, to review mission budgets and make a recommendation on methodology and capacity needed.
  • Work with women and girls affected by conflict who wish to submit complaints of individual rights violations to treaty bodies and regional, subregional and national human rights mechanisms.
  • Question countries under review on the implementation of their obligations under the Convention relating to women, peace and security.
  • Consider expanding the extraordinary reporting function, and holding special sessions to specifically examine conflict countries and their implementation of General Recommendation 30.
  • Encourage and support civil society to submit country-specific information for State party reporting, including State obligations relating to women, peace and security.
  • Include conflict and gender analysis in their work in conflict-affected countries, including in the mandates of commissions of inquiry and factfinding missions.