Observe and Act

The role of armed and political movements in the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325

The Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) holding their flag. The Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) holding their flag. Photo © Karen National Union

Through dialogue engagement in Myanmar and participatory action research in Yemen, the project supports women’s protection and participation in areas under the control of armed movements.

Timeframe: 2022 - 2024

We aim to support the full implementation of the Women Peace and Security (WPS) agenda by generating knowledge on the policies and practices of armed and political movements in strengthening participation and protection of women and girls, as well as on the factors that can influence these processes. We will share new insights with policymakers around the world, with a special focus on those in Myanmar and Yemen, and with armed and political movements (APMs) as well as women’s organisations operating in areas under their control. Thereby, we continue what was started as a pilot project in 2022 and implement parts of the recommendations from our first study.

Project activities:

  • We organise dialogues with women and men who are part of or connected to two ethnic resistance organisations (EROs) in Myanmar to implement recommendations from the previous project cycle on policies and practices related to WPS and to reflect on the implementation process on a local and an international level.
  • We conduct participatory action research with APMs in Yemen to generate unique insights on the factors incentivising armed and political movements to promote the protection and participation rights of women and girls.
  • We produce written and audio-visual materials to present findings and recommendations to be shared with WPS practitioners, governments, APMs, and other policy actors working on the implementation of UNSCR 1325;
  • We organise a workshop for WPS policy practitioners to discuss findings and to identify how to promote the protection and participation rights of women and girls in areas governed by armed and political movements more effectively on a global scale.


Between 60 and 80 million people are estimated to live in areas controlled by non-state armed actors, 50% of whom are women and girls. Two decades after United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on WPS was adopted, and to improve its full implementation, it is vital to look beyond national governments and increase our understanding how armed and political movements can promote and abide by international human rights, and more particularly the protection and participation pillars of UNSCR 1325.

The cooperation of the Berghof Foundation and Fight for Humanity started with a joint webinar in November 2020, that brought together women leaders from territories governed by armed and political movements in Colombia, Myanmar, Syria, and Yemen. The pilot phase of this research project was conducted in Myanmar and contributed to filling a knowledge gap in the WPS agenda by shedding light on the role of armed and political movements as ‘duty bearers’ and implementers of UNSCR 1325 during conflict and peace processes. It generated new insights for the WPS community by conducting participatory action research with two ethnic resistance organisations in Myanmar and we produced and disseminated a research report and a policy brief in English and Burmese as well as a short video documentary that you can find below.

In this new phase of the project we intend to conduct more in-depth participatory analysis and policy consultations to assess and promote efforts by armed movements to enhance the rights of women and girls. This includes to expand our research to Yemen and to organise an international workshop to share our research findings with policy makers from around the world.

Partners and funding

The project is conducted in collaboration with our partners at Fight for Humanity in Geneva, Switzerland. Fight for Humanity is an independent non-governmental organisation that seeks to reinforce respect for the rights of people exposed to human rights abuses in neglected areas. The organisation works to fill a gap in the prevention of human rights abuses in situations of violence and conflict.

Our project team is further composed of local researchers and insider experts from movements in Myanmar and Yemen.

The German Federal Foreign Office provides funding for the project implementation.


In this short video, female members from ethnic armed organisations talk about the efforts, successes and challenges in the protection and participation of women and girls:


This video includes perspectives from women under the control of political movements in Yemen, who provide recommendations on how to involve women and girls in peace and security matters:


Publications from this project:

  • Workshop brief: Global WPS policy workshop, 13- 14 September 2023, Berlin, Germany



Project lead

Tilman Papesch
Project Manager
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Team members

Véronique Dudouet


Media contact

Florian Lüdtke
Media and Communications Manager
+49 (0) 177 7052758
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