The literature on gender equality, development and security suggests that sustainable peace and successful long-term development are linked to gender equality policies. UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (SCR 1325), approved in 2000, reaffirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace-building, and in postconflict reconstruction.
It calls for equal participation of women in decision-making related to peace processes, protection of women from violence, in particular sexual violence in armed conflict situations, and gender mainstreaming in conflict management and peace building efforts. SCR 1325 was ‘the Security Council’s first resolution that recognised the specific risks to and experiences of women in armed conflict and women’s central role in maintaining international peace and security’.
Despite growing international recognition of SCR 1325 as a global norm, on the ground implementation has been slow and arduous. Issues include lack of funding for grassroots women’s organisations, and challenges evaluating implementation such as lack of timely and disaggregated data. Moreover, ‘gender rights tend to be moved down the list of priorities in precarious transitions from war to peace – by international as well as national stakeholders’. This has certainly been the case in Libya.