Protecting the rights of women through community-focused approaches to strengthening gender in African peace support operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central African Republic

"Gender is increasingly becoming an integral consideration in peace processes, as called for in the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, adopted in 2000 as the first ever formal women, peace and security resolution passed by the United Nations (UN). Other UN documents that recognise the importance of gender mainstreaming in peace support operations include the report of the UN High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations, and the 2015 review of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture. Both processes reflect the UN’s focus on encouraging substantive inclusivity on the basis of gender. Women’s inclusion in peacekeeping at community level has evolved, as their increased engagement is now known to be key to the successful implementation of mission mandates, as women in conflict and post-conflict nations have as great an understanding of the peace and security challenges that form part of their lived realities as their male counterparts. This Policy & Practice Brief (PPB) advances recommendations to the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and other UN agencies working in peacekeeping environments. These recommendations aim to share ideas on how best to address implementation challenges around UNSCR 1325 at community level, and in ultimately responding to the needs of vulnerable groups, particularly women and girls, in the context of peacekeeping operations by involving them in responding to highlighted challenges."