Established under the patronage of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Women, Peace, and Security Initiative – formerly the Women, Peace and Security Training Programme – is a capacity-building programme run by the UAE Ministry of Defense and General Women’s Union with the robust support of UN Women and aims to build women’s capabilities and increase their participation in military and peacekeeping operations.
The programme was launched with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between UN Women, the UAE Ministry of Defence and the General Women’s Union in September 2018. The signatories at the ceremony held at the UAE Mission to the United Nations in New York were Major General Abdualla Al Hashmi, Assistant Under-Secretary for Support Services at the Ministry of Defence; HE Noura Al Suwaidi, Director General of the General Women’s Union, and; Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UN Women. The ceremony was attended by H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, signalling the UAE’s commitment to furthering the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.
The programme has trained 357 women cadets across 2019 and 2020 from several Arab, African, and Asian countries and is hailed as a unique and successful programme by all stakeholders.
In recognition of the success of the programme, it was renamed the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Women, Peace, and Security Initiative in September 2020, on the sidelines of the 20th anniversary celebrations of the Women, Peace and Security agenda, recognizing twenty years since the first UN Security Council resolution 1325 was unanimously adopted by the Security Council in 2000.
In line with UN Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security and subsequent resolutions, increase women’s representation in the military and peacekeeping and strengthen the operational effectiveness of peacekeeping.
Provide training and capacity building to women in the security sector, to inspire trainees to join their national security forces and create a pipeline of women peacekeepers.
Create peer-to-peer networks among female military officers to provide support during future deployments.
The Security Council adopted resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) on Women, Peace and Security on 31 October 2000. The landmark resolution urged the Security Council, Secretary General, Member States and other stakeholders to bolster women’s participation in peace processes, incorporate gender-equal policies in training and peace negotiations, and it stresses the importance of women’s inclusion in the reporting systems and programme implementation mechanisms.
The unanimous adoption of UNSCR 1325 was a significant development for women globally, as it was the first resolution that establishes the connection and impact of armed conflict on women and recognizes not only the disproportionate burden that women bear during conflict, but also the critical importance of women’s participation and leadership in the prevention and resolution of conflicts.