The UK government launches the new National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security to reduce the impact of conflict, and other global threats, on women.
- Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and Minister of State for the Armed Forces James Heappey launch the UK’s new National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security
- five-year plan aims to reduce the impact on women of conflict, as well as other global threats like climate change and cyber crime
- the plan focuses on 12 countries where the threats are most acute, including Ukraine, Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Yemen
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and Minister of State for the Armed Forces James Heappey are today (Thursday 23 February) launching the UK’s new 5-year strategy for protecting women and girls in conflict. Conflict continues to have a disproportionate impact on women and girls. Higher rates of sexual violence occur during conflict and more than half of preventable maternal deaths take place in settings of conflict and displacement.
The fifth National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security sets out the UK government’s work to reduce the global impact of conflicts on women and girls, by ensuring our policy, diplomatic efforts and international development work directly addresses their needs. It focusses on 12 countries where the threats to women and girls are currently most acute, including Ukraine and Afghanistan.
- promotes the meaningful inclusion of women and girls in resolving conflicts. Full and equal participation in decision-making is vital to ensure lasting peace, and makes agreements 35% more likely to still be in place 15 years later
- continues to prioritise tackling the scourge of sexual violence in conflict, building on the international conference the UK hosted last year to strengthen the global response. Evidence has shown that an estimated 20 to 30% of women and girls in conflict-affected settings experience sexual violence
- outlines the UK’s work with women’s rights organisations, women peacebuilders and human rights defenders
James Cleverly, the Foreign Secretary, said:
The scale of suffering by women and girls in conflict is unacceptable, from the abhorrent sexual violence that wrecks communities to the years of education lost.
We must do more, as a united global community, to reduce the impact of conflict on women and to ensure they are central to any negotiations around resolving conflicts. The UK is putting women and girls at the heart of our work on peace and security.
For the first time, this National Action Plan tackles the impact on women of global threats like climate change and cyber crime. An estimated 80% of people displaced by climate change are women, according to United Nations Environment.
The plan outlines work to strengthen the UK’s own domestic systems, policies, military co-operation and diplomacy, including increasing women’s meaningful participation and leadership in UK defence, foreign and security policy.
The UK will also drive reform in the humanitarian sector to better protect against gender-based violence, and support efforts to train thousands of peacekeeping personnel overseas.
Minister for the Armed Forces, James Heappey, said:
The UK is proud to champion the Women, Peace and Security agenda and this National Action Plan takes an important step forward. It responds to the new global context, strengthens our ability to deliver on WPS and demonstrates that UK Defence are committed to playing a leading role.