Young women in peace and security

Since 2000, the international community has been strengthening its commitment to achieve sustainable, comprehensive, and inclusive peace through women’s inclusion and participation. The women, peace, and security (WPS) agenda set forth in UN Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) and seven subsequent resolutions, is evidence of the commitment to achieve sustainable, peaceful societies for all by the inclusion and participation of women in all aspects of conflict and post-conflict peace processes. That commitment has expanded to include young people.

In 2015, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 2250 on youth, peace and security (YPS), which recognizes the contributions of young people to peacebuilding efforts and broadens the call for the inclusion of youth in planning, programme design, policy development, and decision-making processes for conflict prevention, resolution, and recovery.

Yet, often initiatives targeting youth tend to favour young men, while young women remain largely seen as passive victims and are left out. This approach is short-sighted and ignores the diverse and complex roles and experiences of young women in conflict-affected contexts. Similarly, young women tend to be excluded from initiatives aimed at engaging women’s leadership and participation in conflict prevention and resolution, as they may be considered too young.

This double discrimination results in young women’s exclusion from participation, protection, and access to funding and programmes because of their age and sex. Stereotypes around gender and age should not hinder young women’s participation as partners in the development of policies, norms and standards related to peace and security.

Our solutions

UN Women recognizes young women’s agency and works to enhance their inclusion, participation, and protection in research, advocacy, policy, and programming. UN Women invites young women to participate in high-level meetings and panels to influence decision-making.

UN Women contributed to the Progress Study on YPS with a background paper on young women in peace and security.

Learn more about UN Women’s work engaging and supporting young women building and sustaining peace in Haiti, Kyrgyzstan, and the Philippines. Hear from young peacebuilders who are making change in their communities: