Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF)
Since the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 in the year 2000, remarkable normative progress has been made at the global, regional and national levels to further advance the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. There is increasing recognition of the need to place women agencies at the center of the transition from crisis to sustainable development in order to offer enormous potential for leveraging transformative change.
Women’s meaningful participation in peace processes increases the likelihood of sustaining peace agreements. Women can play a crucial role in conflict prevention (including the prevention of violent extremism and radicalization) and bridging divisions across communities. Research shows that women can greatly facilitate mediation efforts and peace negotiations by opening new avenues for dialogue between different factions. Furthermore, women’s active participation in economic re-vitalization makes peacebuilding and recovery efforts more sustainable.
Despite the evidence base, women’s contributions continue to be undervalued, under-utilized and under-resourced. In 2012-2013 only 2 per cent of aid to the peace and security sector targeted gender equality as a principal objective. Similarly, in 2014, only 20 per cent of humanitarian projects were coded as making a significant contribution to gender equality, while 65 per cent of funding reported through UN OCHA’s Financial Tracking Service (FTS) simply did not use the gender marker introduced in previous years.
Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF) was launched in February 2016 in New York to address the financing gaps, create greater synergies between different sources of finance, and break the silos between humanitarian, peace and security, and development assistance.
WPHF is the only global financing mechanism dedicated exclusively to supporting women’s participation in peacebuilding and humanitarian action. WPHF is a flexible and rapid financing tool supporting quality interventions to enhance the capacity of local women to prevent conflict, respond to crises and emergencies, and seize key peacebuilding opportunities. It is an innovative partnership between Member States, the UN, and civil society, with all stakeholders represented on its global Funding Board.
Bringing about gender-equal societies
The primary goal for WPHF is to bring about peaceful and gender-equal societies around the globe. Hence, WPHF works towards achieving the following objectives:
- Support women’s participation in decision-making processes and responses related to conflict prevention.
- Increase women’s engagement and leadership in humanitarian action.
- Enhance women’s representation and leadership in formal and informal peace negotiations.
- Protect women and girls’ human rights.
- Promote women’s involvement in economic recovery of their communities.
UN Women in Iraq supports WPHF in carrying out its project in Iraq working in collaboration with 30 partner organizations operating all over the country. The aim of the project is to empower women and girls to play remarkable roles in peacebuilding and prevent conflict among their communities via implementing UNSCR 1325 and strengthening women’s participation in humanitarian/crisis response planning, frameworks and programming.