Bangladesh Commits to Ensure Women's Meaningful Participation in Peace & Security Efforts


[Press release]

Dhaka, Bangladesh — Pursuing joint efforts to enhance gender equality to build inclusive and sustainable peace, the Government of Bangladesh and UN Women held a National Symposium on 29-30 January 2018, to further the development of a National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security (WPS). The NAP will be a blueprint for the country's efforts to ensure women's meaningful participation in the prevention of conflict and violent extremism, and the protection and advancement of women's rights to promote resilience during crises.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women is giving her speech in Women peace and Security Symposium closing ceremony at The Westin hotel in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 30 January 2018  Photo: UN Women/Saikat Mojumder
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women is giving her speech in Women peace and Security Symposium closing ceremony at The Westin hotel in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 30 January 2018. Photo: UN Women/Saikat Mojumder

"Women must be at the centre of Bangladesh's work to prevent conflict, build peace, and respond to emergencies," said Bangladesh's Minister of Foreign Affairs Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali. "Our National Action Plan will demonstrate our continued leadership and commitment put this principle into action," he told delegates at the closing of the Symposium. The NAP, which will include time-bound goals for the advancement of women's participation and rights, with indicators to measure success, is being developed by a working group of eight Government ministries and divisions led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Globally, 73 countries have adopted national action plans on women, peace and security.

"Today, Bangladesh is taking an important step, by identifying national priorities to ensure that the objectives of Security Council resolution 1325 and subsequent Women, Peace and Security resolutions are translated into results," said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka applauded the Government's inclusive approach to developing the NAP in partnership with civil society, and recommended that this collaboration continue in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation stages. "For Bangladesh's NAP to be effective, civil society actors must continue to play an integral role going forward, sharing their invaluable expertise and vision for a more peaceful and equal society."

The National Action Plan reinforces Bangladesh's continued efforts in establishing peace and security within and beyond its border by ensuring women's greater role in peacekeeping, peacebuilding, disaster management, prevention of violence against women and preventing violent extremism among others. The National Action Plan will focus on the ways of enhancing women's participation and meaningful contribution in these significant areas.

As part of the process, UN Women, supported activist women's organization Bangladesh Nari Progati Sangha, to hold community consultations throughout the country in order to hear the women, peace and security priorities of communities for the NAP. The consultations were attended by local community members, including teachers, academics, students, NGO workers, journalists, local government officials and others. At the National Symposium, attendees focused discussions on: prevention of conflict by addressing root causes, including gender inequality and violence against women; women's role and agenda in disaster, humanitarian, and emergency responses; and women's role and agenda in preventing conflict and violent extremism.

"Bangladesh's National Action Plan will be stronger because of its inclusive design process, incorporating the outcomes of community consultations into commitments to change," said Meghna Guhathakurta, a member of the National Human Rights Commission of Bangladesh and lead consultant supporting the Government working group to develop the NAP.

The Symposium was attended by representatives of Government and civil society.

Globally, UN Women supports countries developing and implementing NAPs, and serves as the Secretariat for the WPS National Focal Points Network, working with Member States as well as other UN agencies, regional organizations and civil society partners to strengthen advocacy, develop synergies, and support monitoring efforts towards advancing the women, peace and security agenda.

Media Inquiries:

Syeda Samara Mortada (English and Bangla)
Communications Officer, UN Women
M: 0161 182 8015 | Email: [ Click to reveal ]

Tahleel Dilawar Moon (English and Bangla)
Senior Assistant Secretary (UN) 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
T: 47110653 | Email : [ Click to reveal ]

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United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) works to eliminate discrimination against women and girls, to empower women, and to achieve equality between women and men.