Since 2000 and the adoption of Security Council resolution 1325, remarkable normative progress has been made at the global, regional and national levels to further advance and operationalize the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda. Today there is increasing recognition that placing women’s agency at the center of the transition from crisis to sustainable development offers enormous potential for transformative change.
The Secretary-General’s 2015 Report to the Security Council on Women and Peace and Security confirms that the capacity of countries to prevent violence, negotiate peace, boost economic recovery and protect populations hinges on women’s participation. When women are included in peace processes there is a 35 percent increase in the probability of an agreement lasting at least 15 years. Women can play a critical role in conflict prevention by creating early warning networks (including for violent extremism and radicalization), and bridging divides across communities.
To address the financing gaps and create greater synergies between different sources of finance to meet the needs of women across the humanitarian-development divide, a Women, Peace and Security Financing Discussion Group (FDG) was established in June 2014.
Composed of representatives from donors, conflict-affected Member States, United Nations entities and civil society, it recognized the urgent need to prioritize action and established the Women’s Peace & Humanitarian Fund (WPHF) – a global pooled funding mechanism which aims to re-energize action and stimulate a significant shift in the financing of the women’s participation, leadership and empowerment in humanitarian response, and peace and security settings.
The WPHF is a flexible and rapid financing mechanism. It supports quality interventions designed to enhance capacities to prevent conflict, respond to crises and emergencies, and seize key peacebuilding opportunities.
The WPHF has the following three primary functions:
- Breaking silos between humanitarian, peace, security and development finance by investing in enhancing women’s engagement, leadership and empowerment across all phases of the crisis, peace and security, and development contiguum.
- Addressing structural funding gaps for women’s participation in key phases of the crisis, peace and security, and development contiguum by improving the timeliness, predictability and flexibility of international assistance.
- Improving policy coherence and coordination by complementing existing financing instruments and promoting synergies across all actors: multi-lateral and bilateral entities, national governments’ women’s machineries; and local civil society organizations.