“Do our voices matter?”

An analysis of women civil society representatives’ meaningful participation at the UN Security Council

Publication date: 17 décembre 2020
Authors: Caitilin McMillan, Anna Tonelli, Kristina Mader

Peace is made at home, in the streets, in our communities – and on the world stage. In all these spaces, women in all their diversity work to forge the conditions that make peace possible. Perhaps nowhere is this clearer than in conflict-affected countries, where diverse women’s organizations draw attention to human rights violations happening in wars, and offer alternative paths to peace.

While women in civil society often lead the way in preventing and bringing an end to violence, they are not included meaningfully in peace and security decision-making, even at the UN Security Council (UNSC) – the guardian of the Women, Peace and Security agenda. 

This report, jointly published by Oxfam and the NGOWG, explores the practice of inviting women civil society representatives to brief the UNSC. It intends to push beyond the idea of participation as a checkbox exercise and analyzes the extent to which women’s voices form part of UNSC deliberations, and which conditions mean their participation has the most impact.