Peace and security
Conflict and boundary disputes exist in many parts of Europe and Central Asia. The Ukraine conflict has forcefully brought attention to the tensions and boundary disputes that prevail in the region, with hundreds of thousands of people having fled the conflict for other parts of the country or neighbouring countries. Further East, the on-going situation in Afghanistan has a spill-over effect in neighbouring Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. A border dispute between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan continues, creating tension and causing sporadic violence. Additionally, relations between Georgia and Russia remain frozen since the 2008 South Ossetia and Abkhazia war. Most recently, natural disaster has hit the Western Balkans with large-scale flooding that again, displaced large portions of the populations, caused material damage and triggered large-scale humanitarian response.
These conflicts and crises have devastating consequences and often exacerbate gender inequality between women and men. Aside from being targeted through war tactics, such as sexual violence, women and children frequently make up the majority of displaced and refugee populations. As widely recognized by the international community, women’s participation is vital to sustainable peace, yet they are often excluded from negotiation, reconciliation and reconstruction processes.
UN Women’s programmes are guided by a series of commitments to women’s rights. These include resolution 1325 and six supporting UN Security Council resolutions – 1820, 1888, 1889, 1960, 2106 and 2122. Other key reference documents are the Beijing Platform for Action and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). UN Women in Europe and Central Asia supports projects that increase women’s participation and influence in decision-making to prevent and resolve conflicts, as well as engender humanitarian response. We promote gender perspectives in policy development and work to strengthen the protection of women affected by crisis and/or conflict. We amplify calls for accountability and advance the status of women in post-conflict/crisis settings. UN Women’s larger regional level work aims to ensure proper monitoring and oversight, build regional networking and knowledge sharing, and document best country-level practices.
Across Europe and Central Asia, we:
- foster women’s peace coalitions and prepare them to engage in peace processes;
- reach out to peacekeepers to detect and stop conflict-related sexual violence;
- back justice and security institutions that protect women and girls from violence and discrimination;
- support public services fully responsive to women’s needs that provide women with greater access to economic opportunities and engage them in all forms of national and local public decision-making.
Download a thematic brief on UN Women's work on women, peace, security and humanitarian action in the region.