KWN Consults on EU Women, Peace, Security Indicators

 On 21 Jan., a representative of the Kosova Women’s Network (KWN) Nicole Farnsworth, participated in an Expert Policy Workshop on “Refreshing Indicators for the EU’s Women, Peace and Security Policy” in Brussels. The workshop provided a space for prominent experts on United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 to review the European Union’s (EU) 17 indicators for monitoring and evaluating implementation of its Women, Peace and Security policy.
    While some people may consider indicators bureaucratic and/or potentially useless, indicators are crucial for holding the EU accountable to its commitments under the Comprehensive Approach to the EU Implementation of UNSCR 1325 and 1820 on women, peace and security (2008). Indicators can facilitate the measuring of progress, identification of shortcomings and lessons learned.
     Thus, a corresponding document exists to the Comprehensive Approach specifying indicators for EU implementation of UNSCRs on Women, Peace and Security(2010), focusing on Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions and operations. It is in accordance with UNSCR 1889, which calls on UN bodies and Member States to collect data, analyse and assess the specific needs of women in post-conflict situations. EU bodies (including European External Action Service headquarters, CSDP missions, EU delegations and EU special representatives, like those in Kosovo), as well as Member States should report on the EU’s 17 indicators every two years.
     KWN’s representative took part in one of four working groups, which focused on women’s participation in conflict and post-conflict situations. She emphasized the importance of establishing indicators at the outcome and impact levels, particularly qualitative indicators. For example, the number of women who participate in negotiations with EU-support can show that women were present. However, this indicator (#8) does not provide evidence whether women’s input was taken into consideration and/or addressed during negotiations. She provided the example that in Kosovo women have consistently raised issues of justice for gender-based violence perpetrated against women during the war, reparations and missing persons. However, none of these have been adequately addressed in the prior negotiations or current EU-brokered dialogue with Serbia. She proposed adding indicators that would demonstrate outcomes of women’s involvement in negotiations qualitatively and quantitatively, such as: “the number and types of issues raised by women that were taken up and addressed in mediation, dialogue and negotiations.” Here examples would be important for showing how issues raised by women in civil society (not only diplomats) are considered and acted upon.
     A similar recommendation was made regarding outcomes of consultations with EU officials, CSDP missions, delegations, headquarters and Member States’ ambassadors. While the current indicator 10 measures the number of meetings between EU officials and Member States’ embassies and women, it does not call for reporting on the outcomes of meetings: how do EU officials act on and/or address issues raised by women? A proposed reformulation was: “number and type of specific actions taken by the EU in follow-up to address issues raised by women in civil society.”
     Some officials expressed concern that this could be difficult to monitor and collect data about, particularly considering the number of meetings that their embassy representatives have with women. They also noted that some women may raise issues that are irrelevant and perhaps should not be addressed.
     While several recommendations were put forth during the day, a few other key recommendations included:   

  • The EU does not have targets and therefore it is difficult to measure progress. Clear, time specific goals and outcomes, including targets, should be elaborated.
  • The indicators now are very convoluted with several measures put together; these need to be separated out into sub-indicators for clear, accurate measurement.
  • Indicators relating to Relief, Recovery, and Rehabilitation, including from sexual and gender-based violence are largely overlooked by current indicators and should be added. These could be drawn from UN indicators.
  • The EU should not only measure the amount of funding it distributes (indicator 5), but the results of that funding (outcomes and impact).
  • Add to indicator 11, so it includes: Proportion of women in all EU top positions, including the European External Action Service (EEAS) headquarters and delegations, CSDPs, EU Special Representatives, headquarters (senior and middle management), police, diplomatic corps, military (including civilian experts), seconded experts, relevant decision-making bodies (e.g., committees) and Member State ambassadors.
  • Indicator 13 should be clarified. All planning documents must refer to gender. However, these documents are not necessarily understood or followed. Review documents should be compared with planning documents to ensure gender issues were adequately addressed in implementation. Gender advisors should be part of review teams.
  • Regarding indicator 14, gender advisors are not enough. Heads of missions and other decision-makers should have responsibilities relating to furthering gender equality within their terms of reference.
  • The EU should adopt an additional indicator: “to what extent was there a gender perspective incorporated in the early warning, conflict analysis, peace process design and peace process outcome document?” This could be important for ensuring women’s specific needs are considered and reflected from the beginning of peace processes and not added later. If women’s perspectives are considered from the very beginning it can significantly change the entire design of the peace process.
  • The EU and Member States need to set aside adequate resources and time for collecting, analysing, and reporting on indicators.
All recommendations will be considered further and a final proposal for revising the existing indicators will be put forth to the EU’s Political and Security Committee later this year. 
     This review was organized by the EU and the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO) via a Civil Society Dialogue Network meeting, which involved approximately 40 experts from the EU, EU Member States, international organizations and civil society, including KWN. It was organized in the context of the upcoming 15th Anniversary of UNSCR 1325.      
 At present, 17 of the 28 EU Member States have their own national action plans (NAPs) and strategies for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and related resolutions, on which many also report within their countries.
Overall, the EU provides an estimated €200 million per year to the women, peace and security agenda.
     For more information, see EPLO’s report Lessons Learnt in Monitoring the Implementation of EU Women, Peace and Security Policy.Additional reports about EU implementation of these policies have been published by the Folke Bernadotte Academy.