Women’s needs not being met in post-conflict recovery and reconstruction

Oct 25, 2010

New report examines conflicts in four countries and shows financing for gender equality fell far short of addressing critical gender gaps

Women at a camp for displaced persons in Zam Zam, North Darfur, Sudan. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.

New York -- Commemorating 10 years since the United Nations adopted its first resolution on women, peace and security, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released a report Monday showing how women's needs are not being met in post-conflict recovery and reconstruction.

According to the report entitled "The Price of Peace: Financing for Gender Equality in Post-conflict Recovery and Reconstruction," despite the disproportionate impact on women in conflict, women were rarely included in decision-making and planning processes and the voices of ordinary women were absent.

“The question of who participates in and has influence over setting priorities, making decisions and allocating resources that flow into post-conflict countries is critical for gender equality and peace and security more broadly,” said  UNDP Administrator Helen Clark, who moderated a panel discussion where the report was launched. The discussion marked the 10th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. “Women play a big role resettling families, reconstructing communities, and building livelihoods. It is therefore important to ensure that funding flows to them too.”

The Report analyses four case studies – in Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Southern Sudan and Timor Leste – and examines whether and how resources were allocated and used in post-conflict reconstruction initiatives to promote gender equality and address women’s needs.

The Report found that financing for gender equality fell far short of addressing critical gaps in sectors such as health, the police and judiciary, education, local governments and security.

Several panelists – from each of the countries included in the report – discussed how difficult it was to get women’s issues onto the agenda in post-conflict peace talks. Betty Achan Ogwaro, a Parliamentarian in the government of Southern Sudan, recalled how during peace talks for Sudan women had to resort to such tactics as camping out at the site of negotiations and cornering delegates in hallways to get attention for women’s issues. She joined the other panelists in pointing out the critical importance of having women in decision-making positions and getting donors to allocate resources for women’s priorities including supporting women’s political participation.

For Remarks by Helen Clark
UNDP Administrator at UNDP SCR 1325 Side Event:
“The Price of Peace: Financing for Gender Equality in Post-Conflict Recovery and Reconstruction.”

Contact Information Kim Henderson
UNDP Gender Team
+ 212-906-6564

UNDP Around the world