GENDER EQUALITY, WOMEN'S RIGHTS AND NATIONAL ACTION PLANS ON UNSCR 1325
Women's Rights and Gender Equality
Despite numerous treaties and great progress, women around the world still face discrimination, violence, unequal opportunities for education and participation in social and economic life. Women account to one half of the world's population; their views and proposals should not be disregarded. Their participation on an equal footing in all spheres of life is an advantage which improves the life of every individual across different areas.
For a number of years, Slovenia has been intensively incorporating gender equality into its foreign policy activities, many of which are carried out at the multilateral level. Inclusion and participation in numerous international events and in working groups of various international institutions have enhanced Slovenia's visibility as an active promoter of issues relating to women's empowerment and gender equality. In this regard, Slovenia is actively engaged in promoting women's empowerment and gender equality in the context of conflict prevention and resolution, post-conflict reconstruction as well as the protection of women and girls in vulnerable societies.
Slovenia advocated the incorporation of the gender equality principle into the UN’s architecture, including the setting up of a new UN mechanism for gender equality. In 2007, Slovenia co-sponsored the UN Human Rights Council's (HRC) annual debate gender mainstreaming into the HRC's work; the debate is traditionally held during the HRC's session in September. Slovenia contributed significantly to establishing the HR C Working Group on Discrimination against Women in Law and in Practice (2010), and organised the international conference on gender equality (2010), which was intended to contribute to the HRC's debates on a new mechanism for the promotion of gender equality in national laws and for its implementation. Slovenia was also actively striving to establish a UN entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women). Its establishment was an important achievement in institutionally regulating this area. UN Women became the central UN body, both in providing assistance to countries in implementing standards and in providing support to intergovernmental bodies such as the UN Commission on the Status of Women, in formulating policies, global standards and norms and concern for the coherent functioning of the UN system as regards gender equality.
Throughout the entire period, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has striven to take into account the aspect of gender and the importance of women's participation in other events that it organised. An entire panel of the international seminar on mediation in the Mediterranean was devoted to the empowerment of women in mediation (March 2014).
Slovenia also supported the campaign "HeforShe". On the occasion of Human Rights Day in December 2014, the campaign was also supported by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and his associates, in January 2015 by the President of the National Assembly and ambassadors at the Consultations of Slovenian Diplomacy, and on 8 March 2015 by the Prime Minister and other ministers.
Slovenia's visibility regarding gender equality and women's empowerment was also enhanced by the inclusion of a Slovenian expert on the UN Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in the 2007–2014 period.
Regarding international dialogue on gender equality and women's empowerment, Slovenia will continue its efforts to include gender-mainstreaming in the work of international organisations and in various international documents.
The year 2015 also marks the twentieth anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action, two of the basic international documents on women's empowerment and gender equality. A number of activities at the international level are planned, including a review of the implementation of commitments set out in both documents. Slovenia is actively participating in these activities.
Slovenia's action plan for the implementation of UN SC Resolutions 1325 and 1820
In 2000, the UN Security Council passed a landmark resolution (S/RES/1325) on women, peace and security. The resolution reaffirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction, and stresses the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts to maintain and promote peace and security.
Resolution 1325 urges all actors to increase the participation of women and to incorporate gender perspectives in all United Nations peace and security efforts. It also calls on all parties to conflicts to take special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse, in situations of armed conflict. To date, Resolution 1325 has been followed by six resolutions on women, peace and security, with some of them focusing on the prevention and elimination of sexual violence in conflicts.
On 18 November 2010, the 10th anniversary of the UN SC resolution on women, peace and security, the Slovenian Government adopted the National Action Plan for the Implementation of UN SC Resolutions 1325 and 1820 on women, peace and security for the 2010–2015 period (1325 Action Plan).
The Action Plan was drafted at the proposal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in close cooperation with other ministries, particularly the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, and the (already closed) Office for Equal Opportunities. When drafting the National Action Plan, the Government also consulted with representatives of civil society.
The National Action Plan thoroughly defines measures to strengthen the role of women in the prevention and resolution of armed conflicts, as well as in building and preserving peace. It also defines measures to prevent sexual violence against women and girls and for their protection both during and after an armed conflict. The Action Plan is aimed at linking the current activities in Slovenia and the international community carried out within the scope of the wider issue of women, peace and security, which have been reshaped into specific and realistic political commitments with measureable goals.
The Action Plan classifies the above measures into three main goals, defining the political, operative and human resources commitments of the Slovenian Government for their implementation. It also lists international and national commitments, the competences of particular ministries and ways of evaluating the achievement of goals. The Action Plan also contains a table illustrating its implementation, including an overview of Slovenia's activities in this field so far.
In certain cases, the Government and the relevant ministries engage, in an appropriate manner, international and Slovenian experts and qualified NGOs in the implementation of the Action Plan. They also cooperate with the expert public and civil society in the field.
The effective implementation and evaluation of success of the Action Plan has been entrusted to the Inter-ministerial Commission on Human Rights. The Plan is revised every two years and, if required, relevant supplements and additional activities are proposed to the Government. In the final year of the Action Plan, a revision will be carried out and a new Action Plan drafted.
By adopting the Action Plan, Slovenia has fulfilled the commitment under UN Security Council resolutions 1325 and 1820, marking at the same time the 10th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325.
The 15th anniversary of resolution 1325 is being marked with a number of activities this year; a high-level review and a global study of its implementation is being prepared by the UN.