Impact of the UN Resolution 1325 on Increasing Yemeni Women’s Participation on the Local Level
Monia Thabet

In this article, we will explore the extent to which United Nations resolutions has impacted the role of women in the Yemeni society. Therefore, it is necessary to first present the United Nations’ role and the resolutions it issued on women and whether these resolutions have meaningfully improved women’s status.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000):
The resolution 1325, adopted by the Security Council in 2000, stresses the importance of the equal and full participation of women as an active element in preventing the outbreak of conflicts and to find solutions for them. It also highlights the importance of women’s participation in peace negotiations, peace-building and peacekeeping. The resolution stresses the need for the full implementation of the international humanitarian law and international human rights law which are protecting women and girls rights during and after conflicts. It calls upon member states to ensure the equal and full participation of women in all efforts aimed at maintaining peace and security and strengthening these efforts. It also urges all actors to increase the participation of women and to include the gender perspective in all areas of peacebuilding.

This resolution constitutes the basis of what is called the 'Women Peace and Security Agenda'. The agenda has been completed by other resolutions.
Resolutions on women, peace and security address a wide range of principles and instructions related to improving the status of women during and after conflicts. They encourage the participation of women in decision-making, including peace negotiations and ceasefire processes, and all public decision-making processes related to establishing peace. The resolutions stress on the need to develop an appropriate legislative and institutional structure and to prosecute violators of women's rights, and to develop effective protection mechanisms.

Selection of complementary Resolutions for Resolution 1325 and their significance:
A number of resolutions have been adopted by the United Nations Security Council in order to address the use of sexual violence against women as weapon of war to achieve military and political goals. That is why the role of the complementary resolutions of the resolution 1325 urges for an urgent security and political response to sexual violence, and to include this issue in the agenda of peace talks by peace negotiators and mediators.

Security Council Resolution 1820 for the year (2008):
It is the first Security Council resolution that recognizes conflict-related sexual violence as a weapon of war. It considers its prevention as an essential component of the global peace and security operation, which requires a response in peacekeeping, implementation of justice, and conduct of peace negotiations. It indicates that sexual violence in situations of conflict constitutes a war crime, and demands that parties of armed conflict immediately take appropriate measures to protect civilians from sexual violence, including training of forces, and the imposition of appropriate military sanctions. Since there is no specific strategy in Resolution 1325 to provide the Security Council with information, resolution 1820 established a periodic reporting mechanism by the Secretary General to be submitted to the Security Council.

Security Council Resolution 1888 of the year (2009):
An important aspect of this resolution is that it emphasizes the importance of ending impunity as a key factor in order to end conflict and avoid a return to it. Resolution 1888 is a follow-up to Resolution 1820, as it strengthens the tools for implementing Resolution 1820 by appointing representatives and building judicial response expertise and reporting mechanisms. It mandates peacekeeping missions to protect women and children from sexual violence during armed conflict, and requests the Secretary General to appoint a special representative on sexual violence in armed conflict.

Security Council Resolution 1889 of the year (2009)
In order to accelerate the progress in implementing Resolution 1325, the Security Council,through this resolution, requests the Secretary General to provide a set of indicators to be used at the international level to follow up on the implementation of Resolution 1325, which will serve as a basis for reporting for relevant United Nations entities, international and regional organizations and member states. The resolution specifically addresses the exclusion of women from early recovery and peacebuilding work and  adresses the lack of appropriate planning and financing to address their needs. It calls for developing a strategy to enhance the preparation of women in decision-making and in conflict resolution.
Security Council Resolution 2106 for the year (2013)
Resolution 2106 affirms the importance of gender equality and of the political, social and economic empowerment of women in efforts to prevent sexual violence in armed conflict and post-conflict situations. This resolution was adopted as a complement for Resolution 1960.
How can Yemeni women benefit from Resolution 1325?
There is no doubt that this resolution has an active role in changing the political orientation by drawing up plans and strategies for the state about the importance of including women among the priorities in all fields. This is how the resolution contributes to change the status of women, byallowing them to participate effectively in building a new state, by entering into negotiations to lay the foundations of peace, and by contributing to the development of political, social and cultural visions.

Changes have happened since the resolution was adopted in 2000. Yemeni women used to be represented in traditional role,  while now, their role can not be hidden, especially alongside men. Women have also been represented in local and international forums. Women launched peace initiatives and opened the door to negotiations in the most difficult discussions, such as opening crossings between governorates to deliver food supplies, entering into negotiation talks about detainees and prisoners of war, and resolving unresolved issues between a number of tribes. For example, Laila al-Thawr, through a dialogue with the parties to the conflict, formed a committee to assist and contribute to the process of exchanging prisoners and the forcibly disappeared persons on both sides of the conflict. As a result, a group of people were released. It had the greatest impact on making women’s voices heard by the parties to the conflict. By dealing with sensitive issues, women proved their ability to delve into  daily life issues, and to think of ways that contribute to building society and maintaining the cohesion  of society.
Since its adoption, the resolution has contributed to and strengthened the position of women in the Yemeni society.

The number of women enrolled in the security forces, including in the Immigration and Passports Department, the Prisons Authority, and the Ministry of the Interior, has increased.

The resolution also contributed to increase women’s participation in the national dialogue and local negotiations at each level in some governorates. Therefore, increasing the number of women participating in this in field has reduced the gap between women and men, and thus has served the interests of women.

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