On 26 June 2012 the OSCE Gender Section organized a discussion in Vienna on ways to incorporate gender perspectives into security discussions and increase the role of women in maintaining peace and security, as set out in the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325.
The meeting took place in the margins of the OSCE Annual Security Review Conference (ASRC) which brings together military and security experts from all 56 OSCE participating States.
Miroslava Beham, OSCE Senior Adviser on Gender Issues, said: “Conflicts affect men and women in different ways. This fact needs to be understood and reflected in all aspects of security and peace building. Inclusive security is the only means to sustainable peace.”
“One of the ways to achieve this is through implementation of UNSCR 1325 yet less than half of OSCE participating States have developed a national action plan for its implementation. There is a clear need for the OSCE to revive its work on UNSCR 1325."
Susan Jackson, head of the Arms Production Project at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), who was a keynote speaker at the event, emphasized that gender practitioners need to counter the idea that national security is equated with force, which leads to a militarized idea of security.
“Gender practitioners need to have a seat at the table in discussions on security policy. We have a value system which favours the role of men and excludes women’s input,” said Jackson.
The meeting participants also discussed the aspects of gender that should be considered when shaping security policy, the practical steps of including women in the different stages of the conflict cycle, and how gender perspectives can improve conflict analysis.