Published in The Ploughshares Monitor Volume 35 Issue 2 Summer 2014
In 2010, in response to UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women and Armed Conflict and related UNSC resolutions, Canada created a national plan for implementing Canada’s commitment to enhance the capacity of women to participate in peace processes. UNSC Resolution 1325 established an international normative framework, on which Canada and other member states could construct their own unique national responses.
The Canadian National Action Plan (C-NAP) on Women, Peace and Security, announced in October 2010, provides a long list of measurable indicators to track implementation and firmly embed the role of women in the hard security agenda. The C-NAP sets standards by which we can measure Canada’s implementation over time.
In recent years Canada has chosen to lead internationally on maternal and child health. While helpful, this emphasis does not respond to the reality of so many who suffer from violence and war. While women and children suffer greatly from the effects of war, they are not yet sufficiently engaged in resolving violent conflict.
Canada has confirmed to the international community that its commitment to women, peace, and security is “neither optional nor incremental.” However, to date, Canada has not reported on its work to meet the C-NAP commitments, leaving open the question of its real commitment.
Canada can and should be a leader in supporting programs that protect women from violence in armed conflict zones and should insist on women’s participation in peacebuilding from the grassroots through to international efforts to end conflicts and prevent their restarting.