You are here:
Women and conflicts
The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) supports projects and partners which, in seeking to resolve the conflict on the ground, consider the differing needs of the parties and utilize the different roles of both sexes. Women in particular have an extremely effective role to play when they are organized as part of civil society. Too often women are seen solely as the victims of violent conflict.
Both in multilateral engagement (e.g. as part of the United Nations (UN) or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, OSCE) and in bilateral relations the rights of women are a matter of special concern. The aim is more effective protection against discrimination, exploitation and gender specific violence. The FDFA is also committed to combating human trafficking and protection of its victims, namely women and children.
At the instigation of Federal Councillor Micheline Calmy-Rey, in March 2004 the informal network of female foreign ministers passed a declaration on violence against women. At its spring meeting in 2005 the foreign ministers discussed trafficking of women. Another meeting took place in 2005 during the UN General Assembly in New York on the subject of "UN Reforms and Gender". In July 2006, under the aegis of the network of female foreign ministers, Micheline Calmy-Rey launched a declaration on "Women's Rights and the Reform of the United Nations". Nineteen female ministers from the four regions of the world supported the declaration with their names.
Swiss policy on "Gender and Peacebuilding" is based on UN Security Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. This resolution has three main thrusts:
- Increasing participation of women in decision-making processes related to peace-building
- The prevention of gender-specific violence and protection of the needs and rights of girls and women during and after violent conflicts
- Integration of a gender-sensitive perspective in all peace-building projects and programmes.
Since 8 March 2007 Switzerland has had a national action plan for the implementation of the goals of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. Since its accession to the UN Switzerland has belonged to the informal network called the Group of Friends of Resolution 1325, which is committed to implementing the Resolution. The Human Security Network, of which Switzerland is an active member, is also committed to the gender and peace-building initiative.
The Expert Pool for Civilian Peace Building
The training of experts for civilian peace- building is based on a training programme which is consistently gender-sensitive. One aim of the programme is to increase the proportion of female experts in the Pool and the number of them employed on assignments.
The 4/2004 edition of the FDFA magazine "Switzerland global" discussed various aspects of gender work in peace-building, giving specific examples.