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Who is GAPS?

GAPS works for a vision of a peaceful, equal world where all women and girls are free from violence. As a policy and advocacy network on the Women, Peace and Security agenda, we achieve this vision by promoting, supporting and monitoring the meaningful inclusion of gender in all aspects of the UK government’s policy and practice on peace and security.

How GAPS works

The GAPS network comprises UK-based member organisations working across peacebuilding, human rights, development and humanitarian assistance. We partner with women’s rights organisations and networks from fragile and conflict-affected contexts. Through our combined and collaborative research and advocacy, we ensure that the UK government upholds and strengthens its commitments made to women and girls’ rights in fragility and conflict worldwide. These commitments are found in the Women, Peace and Security agenda – an agenda founded by women affected by conflict and formally articulated in United Nations Security Council resolution 1325, adopted in 2000. GAPS also works with Parliamentarians, government officials and government ministers, including training on Women, Peace and Security.

What GAPS has done/achieved

GAPS produces reports and papers that provide analysis of and recommendations for Women, Peace and Security policies and respond to priorities and challenges for the delivery of women and girls’ rights in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. Some examples of our current and ongoing thematic focuses include: strengthening international responses to conflict-related displacement and women and girls’ rights; addressing the gendered root causes and drivers of conflict and violence; challenging the preventing and countering violent extremism agenda from a Women, Peace and Security perspective; and Parliamentary advocacy calling for humanitarian, development and peacebuilding interventions to address the rights and specific needs of adolescent girls in crisis and conflict.

Every year, GAPS develops a Shadow Report to the UK government’s Annual Report on Women, Peace and Security. The Shadow Report is co-authored by GAPS member organisations and the secretariat, and is presented by the GAPS Director in Parliament alongside ministers who present for their government department. The Shadow Report demonstrates not only the network’s expertise on the Women, Peace and Security agenda but ensures that civil society plays a leading role in transparency and accountability processes.

In 2017, GAPS member organisations collaborated on a written submission to inform the development of the current 2018-2022 UK National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (NAP), launched in January 2018. We highlighted the inclusion of adolescent girls and young women as a thematic gap in the UK government’s policies and activities on Women, Peace and Security, particularly considering the 2015 adoption of UN Security Council resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security. GAPS called on the UK government to engage adolescent girls and young women purposefully in conflict prevention and peacebuilding interventions and in decision-making processes, and to build their leadership skills. In our six-month response to the 2018-2022 NAP, we noted that consultation with women’s rights organisations in fragile and conflict-affected states should extend to adolescent girls and young women based on principles of meaningful participation and inclusion.

Consultations

Ahead of the 20th anniversary of the Women, Peace and Security agenda in 2020, GAPS is coordinating consultations with some of our member organisations, local partners and women’s rights organisations in eight countries: Afghanistan; DRC; Iraq; Libya; Nigeria; Somalia; South Sudan; and the UK. These consultations will identify priorities for international commitments made to women and girls’ rights in fragile and conflict-affected contexts, including the full implementation of existing commitments. These consultations build on similar processes that we have carried out to feed into the development of UK government NAPs as well as a recent tool – Beyond Consultations – that we launched at the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women held in 2019 at the United Nations in New York. We look forward to bringing our experience, learning and perspectives on meaningful engagement with adolescent girls and women in fragile and conflict-affected states to the GAGE Consortium and hope to support GAGE’s international advocacy on global commitments to women and girls’ rights in fragility and conflict.

How GAGE will strengthen GAPS

Similarly, as part of the GAGE Consortium, we are excited to work closely with and learn from organisations that have expertise and evidence bases on the importance of the social inclusion of adolescent girls, particularly in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. The Women, Peace and Security agenda has not always recognised and mobilised resources to meet the needs of adolescent girls affected by crisis and conflict. In joining the GAGE Consortium, we look forward to strengthening our age-sensitive approach in our advocacy on and policy recommendations for the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda.

More about GAPS

Follow this link to learn more about GAPS’s policy papers and reports on Women, Peace and Security.