Peace and Security

Conflicts have devastating consequences, including the widening gaps of between women and men. Women often have fewer resources to protect themselves and, with children, frequently make up the majority of displaced and refugee populations – war tactics such as sexual violence specifically target them. Though women have led peace movements and driven community recovery after conflict, they are almost completely missing from peace negotiations.

UN Women works to enhance women’s engagement for sustainable peace and achieve transformative change through an integrated approach that simultaneously addresses conflict prevention, resolution and recovery, while strengthening national accountability and ensuring women’s protection from all forms of human rights violations, including sexual and gender-based violence.

Recent Successes

Iraq: UN Women has convened 230 women’s organizations and networks from across different religious and ethnic backgrounds to work together and develop an advocacy platform on national reconciliation, and countering radicalization and violent extremism. 


South Sudan: UN Women has partnered with the Council of Churches to train 200 female religious leaders in 10 states on transformational leadership. After recognizing that all members of the faith-based group participating in the South Sudan peace talks were men, they began a successful campaign that resulted in women being half the members. 

Mali: Protracted peace talks were finalized in a peace accord in Mali in 2015, but Malian women leaders knew that some divisions still ran deep in their communities. In sessions organized by UN Women to analyze the accord for its responsiveness to gender, thousands of women took the streets in a march for peace and a unified country. Women collectively advocated for a law passed by the end of the year and stipulating that no less than 30 percent of elected and nominated public positions can go to one sex.

To learn more about what UN Women is doing to help women participate in peace and security negotiations, see the 2016 annual report.