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 participatory action research in Myanmar, the project generates knowledge on how armed and political actors advance women’s protection and participation in territories under their control.

Timeframe: 2022 - 2022

This pilot research project aims to fill a knowledge gap in the Women Peace and Security (WPS) agenda, by shedding light on the role of armed and political movements as ‘duty bearers’ and implementers of United Nations Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1325 during conflict and peace processes. It generates new insights for the WPS community by exploring avenues to support and strengthen internal efforts to promote the rights of women and girls by armed and political movements. It does so by:

  • Conducting participatory action research with two Ethnic Armed Organisations in Myanmar to generate unique insights on the factors incentivising armed and political movements to promote the protection and participation rights of women and girls;
  • Producing written and visual/video materials to present findings and recommendations for WPS practitioners, governments and other policy actors working on the implementation of SCR 1325;
  • Convening dissemination events to promote and discuss the identified avenues for a more effective promotion of protection and participation rights of women and girls in areas governed by armed and political actors.


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

As a follow up to a webinar jointly organized by Berghof Foundation and Fight for Humanity in November 2020, that brought together women leaders from territories governed by armed and political movements in Syria, Yemen, Colombia and Myanmar, our intent is to conduct in-depth participatory analysis and policy consultations to assess and promote efforts to enhance the rights of women and girls by these actors. Myanmar is a particularly suited context to conduct such activities, given the large parts of territories controlled and governed by various ethnic armed organisations. Moreover, many women’s rights organisations are linked to these movements, which represent suitable entry-points for the proposed analysis and advocacy work.

Partners and funding

The project is conducted in collaboration with our partners at Fight for Humanity in Geneva, Switzerland. It 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.

Further, we are engaging very closely with local researchers and insider experts from the movements under study.

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.




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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