Timor–Leste adopted its first National Action Plan (NAP) in 2016 for the period 2016-2020. The NAP was developed by the Ministry of the Interior, with support from UN Women, and through a participatory multi-stakeholder process that was initiated by the Secretary of State for Security in 2013. The NAP’s objectives are developed to align with the primary pillars of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda, focusing on participation, prevention, protection, and peacebuilding. The NAP is developed based on the lessons and experiences of women and men as a result of Timor-Leste’s occupation, and reaffirms that although the war is over, women continue to struggle to achieve justice and equal rights today. As such, the NAP includes concrete actions to review and improve laws, policies and programs for enhancing women’s active and meaningful participation in all aspects of peace and state-building. Furthermore, the NAP contributes to implementing key recommendations of the Commission of Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR) report, which documented the systematic abuses and sexual and gender-based violence committed by members of the Indonesian armed forces. While the NAP has a detailed implementation matrix, it does not include an allocated budget.
Timor-Leste reported on the implementation of its NAP, as well as WPS commitments, in its national reporting for Beijing+25 and in preparation for CSW64 (2020). Specifically, the report indicates that the NAP “is a transformative gender policy focused on how to develop more equal relationships between females and males in areas including the separation of power, resource control, decision-making, social and political statutes, and access to justice and security. This policy provided strategies and concrete actions to enhance East Timorese women’s participation in peace building, state building, conflict resolution and the development process” (pp. 14-15).
Timor-Leste declared independence from Portugal in 1975, when it was then occupied by Indonesia. The country continued to experience two decades of armed conflict and political tension until a referendum resulted in favor of Timor-Leste’s independence in 1999. Due to the volatile political situation and ongoing tension in the country, the United Nations Transitional Administration (UNTAET) served as a temporary governance structure in Timor-Leste until the country became a sovereign state in 2002. Currently, women’s organizations in the country play a key role in addressing systemic inequalities and driving social change.