Including women in peace processes works.

As an Ambassador to the UN, Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh has an intimate understanding of why women’s involvement in peace and security matters.

“Not only is it the right thing to do as a moral imperative,” she says, “but it is the smart thing to do.”

“Women bring integrated perspectives into the negotiation. It’s not simply about power sharing. It’s about education, communities, access to water, access to justice.”

And the data proves it. According to the Global Study on the Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000), women’s participation increases the probability of a peace agreement lasting at least two years by 20%, and 15 years by 35%.

Furthermore, its analysis of 40 peace processes since the Cold War showed the stronger the influence women exerted on the process, the more likely opposing parties were to reach an agreement.

We laud the efforts of UN Women to empower women, and for being a driving force for good deeds in our world, in addition to its valuable contributions to women’s empowerment and social development. In the UAE, we reiterate our commitment to supporting its programs and initiatives aimed at building a better future for women in the UAE and the entire world. H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation

On the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Conference on Women and 20th anniversary of Security Council Resolution 1325, which advocates for the inclusion of women in peace and security efforts, the impact of women’s greater representation in the all aspects of the peacebuilding continuum is clear. But the international community still has a long way to go to embrace women’s full participation at all stages of peace processes, from peacebuilding to mediation to peacekeeping.

Since the founding of the nation in 1971, the UAE has advocated for the full, meaningful, and equal participation of women across all sectors. His Highness Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE’s founding father, championed women’s empowerment. He had famously said, “What women have achieved in the United Arab Emirates in a very short time makes me happy and confident that what we planted yesterday is bearing fruit today. We thank God to see that the role of women in society is becoming prominent, for they are contributing to the welfare of our present and future generations.”

Today, the UAE is playing a unique role in realizing the aspirations of Security Council Resolution 1325 and the UN’s aspiration to build a pipeline of female peacekeepers by establishing a WPS training program. In partnership with UN Women, the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Women Peace and Security Initiative at the Khawla bint Al Azwar Military School trains and equips the women cadets with the necessary skills to enable them to contribute to the maintenance of peace and security in their community and in global peacekeeping operations.

Since 2019, the program has helped equip over 300 women from across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, reflecting the need for greater diversity and inclusion in global peacekeeping efforts. Through this, the UAE anticipates contributing to closing some of the gaps related to gender-responsive security sector reform.

H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation said that her initiative, implemented by the UAE Ministry of Defense and the General Women’s Union in partnership with the UN Women, after its significant success over the past two years, asserts the UAE’s pivotal role in supporting women in the country and the rest of the world.

I had the pleasure to meet the first cohort of trainees from the UAE’s Women, Peace and Security Training Program back in 2019. As we mark the twentieth anniversary of UN Security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security this month it is clear that we are still not where we need to be to achieve inclusive and sustainable peace. It is only through innovative initiatives and partnerships such as this that we will achieve the goal of women’s meaningful and full participation in all aspects of peace and security. Thank you to Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak for her visionary leadership on this program and to the partnership of UN Women. Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the UN.

Ahead of the 20th anniversary of the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1325, the UAE and the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security collaborated on an initiative to strengthen the role of women in post-conflict reconstruction, with a focus on UN levers to mainstream gender in the global response to ending and recovering from conflict. The initiative featured a four-part panel series, a research report and “UN Plan of Action.”

Over the long-term, greater representation of women in the peacekeeping ranks will improve the efficacy of UN peace operations.

The women, peace, and security agenda requires a robust push to make the necessary radical shift into women’s equal and meaningful participation in peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding. A key aspect to make women’s inclusion a reality in a sector dominated by men, is training our next generation of women leaders in the military and peacekeeping sector. UN Women is pleased to count on the United Arab Emirates’ support, as we pursue our vision of an equal, peaceful and just world. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director

At home, the UAE itself sees women’s empowerment “as part of its foreign policy posture as well as its national security strategy,” explains Ambassador Nusseibeh.

 “Women’s empowerment, women’s protection, women’s full participation in UAE society is a fundamental cornerstone for why we are successful as a country.”

In the UAE, women occupy the highest ranks of power. Two thirds of public sector jobs and half the seats in parliament are held by women. Almost a third of Cabinet-level ministers in the UAE are women.

Globally, much work remains to advance the inclusion of women in decision-making roles, and new challenges loom. Gender equality provisions in peace agreements have increased from only 14% in 1995 too 22% in 2019. 2 billion of the global population lives in conflict-affected countries, but within them, women make up only 18% of COVID-19 taskforces. 

Advancing inclusion and fronting women in peace and security processes are key tenets of the UAE’s campaign for a seat on the Security Council in 2022-2023. When elected, the UAE will work to promote the meaningful participation of women in all international peace and security efforts, including peacekeeping, peacebuilding and conflict prevention.

Learn more about the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Women Peace and Security Initiative’s graduates in this Vogue article, “Meet the Arab Cadets Whose Lives Have Been Transformed by UAE’s Military and Peacekeeping Training for Women Program” etc. here and explore the stories of women involved in creating peace around the world here.