Turkish Ministry of National Defence press briefing in Ankara

Twenty Years of UNSCR 1325 "Women, Peace and Security": Perspectives from Turkey

Resolution 1325, which was adopted in the UN Security Council in October 2000 along with the subsequent nine Resolutions adopted since then, have established the global Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. With the WPS Resolutions, the international community recognised that violent conflicts and emergencies are not gender-neutral. Rather, women and girls are disproportionally affected and shoulder the heaviest burdens due to pre-existing and newly emerging inequalities and discrimination during conflicts and humanitarian emergencies. These landmark Resolutions also acknowledge that women are not just victims but also indispensable actors who have crucial roles and contributions in peacebuilding processes. As of 2021, 89 countries have developed National Action Plans (NAPs) to operationalise and implement UNSCR 1325.

In 2020, on the 20th anniversary of UNSCR 1325, a group of women from the Women in Foreign Policy Initiative (WFP14) embarked on a project that is motivated by a will to broaden the perspective of Turkish foreign policy, by linking it with the global WPS agenda. Four thematic reports written in the frame of this project are part of the joint endeavour with the Centre for Applied Turkey Studies (CATS). The reports reveal where women are to be integrated in (1) the diplomatic corps, (2) the army and international peacekeeping operations, (3) refugee and asylum policies and (4) international humanitarian aid. In so doing, the WFP Initiative aims to invigorate the discussion on developing a National Action Plan to implement Resolution 1325 in Turkey.

The reports include specific, applicable recommendations to integrate more women and gender-sensitive policies into these prioritised areas of Turkish foreign policy. Turkey’s promotion of a WPS agenda would have a positive effect on its international standing if it were to align its policies with international organisations such as the UN, NATO, the OSCE and the EU institutions that all have specific policies on gender mainstreaming and UNSCR 1325.