Norway to intensify national and international efforts relating to women, peace and security

Norway’s new national action plan sets out how we will intensify efforts at national and international level to include women in peace and security work.

'This action plan shows that we are taking the women, peace and security agenda seriously. It is only possible to achieve peace if both women and men are involved. Including women in peace processes is an important priority of Norway’s foreign policy, and is essential for sustainable peace', said Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.

The action plan is intended to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and other resolutions on women, peace and security, and also the broader women, peace and security agenda. Norway was one of the first countries to develop a national action plan on women, peace and security, in 2006. Norway is also supporting a number of partner countries and conflict-affected countries in developing their own action plans.

Thematic priorities and a larger number of priority countries

'There is broad support for the action plan from the whole Norwegian Government. The plan highlights the importance of women’s participation and the integration of a gender perspective in all work on peace and security, both nationally and internationally', said Huitfeldt.

The new action plan has three thematic priorities:

  1. Peace processes and implementation of peace agreements
  2. Security policy and operations
  3. Humanitarian efforts, protection of civilians and protection of human rights.

The women, peace and security agenda will be given special priority when Norway is working in priority countries (the list has been expanded in the new action plan) and within organisations including the UN, NATO and the OSCE.

-Norway will continue its international efforts to promote gender equality. This action plan takes into account both gender diversity and the varying challenges women may face in conflict situations. This is particularly important in these troubled times, when we can see growing pushback against the rights of women and minorities, said Minister of Culture and Equality Lubna Jaffery.

Fuller implementation at national level

The plan also emphasises the need to integrate the women, peace and security agenda into national defence and security work. This has been highlighted by the war in Ukraine.

'The Government’s ambition is to strengthen work on women, peace and security systematically by identifying specific measures that can be introduced by the Armed Forces. The aim is to ensure that Norwegian troops have sufficient insight into the differing security needs of women, men and minorities in conflict-affected areas, and that they understand how these influence the way we should carry out our missions both at home and abroad', said Minister of Defence Bjørn Arlid Gram.

The Ministry of Climate and Environment has for the first time contributed to the national action plan.

'Women's participation is important to be able to deal with local conflicts that are affected by climate change. It is also important for climate adaptation and management of nature, water- and food production. In the face of increasingly demanding surroundings, it is important that affected populations meet this with cooperation rather than conflict, which is also an important theme in all peacebuilding. Women often face a different reality than men. It is therefore important that we have a clear gender perspective in our work for peace, the environment and a more climate-resilient society', said Minister of Climate and Environment Espen Barth Eide.

The action plan was prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, the Ministry of Culture and Equality, the Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion and the Ministry of Climate and Environment. In addition, Norwegian and international civil society organisations and Norwegian research institutes and other experts have provided input.