The Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action (WPS-HA) Compact, a transformative initiative to see results on decades of commitments, was launched on July 2, 2021 at the Generation Equality Forum in Paris. The Compact – the product of a consensus-driven process including Member States, Regional Organizations, UN Entities, Civil Society, the Private Sector, and Academia – is an inter-generational, inclusive movement for action on women, peace and security and gender equality in humanitarian action.
For years, UN Women has highlighted the persistent under-investment in gender-inclusive peace in conflict and post-conflict settings and the significant gaps in financing that make the implementation of Women, Peace and Security (WPS) commitments much more difficult. However, there is a dearth of data on the size of this gap, and how exactly the pledges and promises from donor conferences, peace agreements or post-conflict planning frameworks dissipate when it comes to allocating and spending resources on these issues.
In August 2020, the Women, Peace and Security Network-Canada (WPSN-C) hosted three virtual consultations with women peacebuilders to develop recommendations for the WPS Focal Points Network. Held in Arabic, French, Spanish and English, the consultations brought together 50 feminist voices from around the world, including women’s rights organizations and organizations working on WPS issues in fragile and conflict affected countries, representatives from youth networks and academia, as well as Indigenous voices.
As the international community celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda, New Directions reflects on its past (and future) and the assumptions inherent within the global normative framework. We argue that the WPS agenda is illustrative of a practice of global politics that can be rooted in exploitative patterns of interaction between the Global North and so-called Global South.