Germany adopted its third National Action Plan (NAP) for the period 2021-2024. This NAP builds on the work of the previous two plans, implemented for the periods 2017-2020 and 2013-2016. It was developed by the Interministerial Working Group for Women, Peace and Security. Its six priority areas are crisis prevention; participation; protection and support; humanitarian assistance, crisis management, and reconstruction; strengthening the Women, Peace and Security Agenda; and increasing institutional integration and capacities. Compared to the previous two NAPs, it contains an expanded monitoring and evaluation framework (page 42 onwards) which provides details on the implementation of activities. Although some indicators in the NAP indicate the allocation of financial resources, other budgetary details are not provided in the NAP.
The previous NAP was adopted in 2017 for the period 2017-2020. The second NAP identified five focal points towards the implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda, including gender-sensitive conflict prevention; women’s increased participation in conflict prevention and peacebuilding; increased attention to the needs of women and girls in humanitarian action; protection from sexual and gender-based violence; and promoting the WPS agenda at the national, regional, and international level. While each focal point had corresponding goals, the NAP did not identify specific indicators, a monitoring and evaluation framework, or an allocated budget. The first German NAP, implemented for 2013-2016, compiled its objectives under six thematic goals: prevention; preparation of operations, basic, advanced, and continued training; participation; protection; reintegration and reconstruction; and criminal prosecution. The NAP interpreted the implementation of the WPS agenda mostly internationally.
In the first NAP, disarmament was approached through the framework of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration efforts (DDR). However, the second NAP expanded this focus by identifying incorporating a gender perspective into arms control projects as one of its objectives. The third NAP addresses disarmament within the context of conflict/crisis prevention and protection.
Germany 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).
Germany does not have a recent history of internal armed conflict, but contributes to overseas military operations and peacekeeping missions. In 2019, Germany was among the top 10 military spenders as well as being among top 5 arms exporters in the world.
Germany is also a contributor to humanitarian aid, including being a contributing donor to the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund, a global partnership that works to empower women in conflict zones and humanitarian crises. Germany is also a partner of the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies, a multi-stakeholder initiative that aims to mitigate and provide accountability for gender-based violence in humanitarian emergencies.
At the multilateral level, Germany was most recently a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the period 2019-2020.
National Action Plan (2021-2024)
Global Gender Gap Index 2020
10 out of 153
Arms Trade Treaty Ratified
Military expenditure (2019)
$49 billion USD
Explore Germany's National Action Plan
The German Government’s Third Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security is a document issued by the Interministerial Working Group for Women, Peace and Security (IMAG). The six ministries in this working group are the Federal Foreign Office (FFO); the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women, and Youth (BMFSFJ); the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building, and Community (BMI); the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV); the Federal Ministry of Defence (BMVg); and the Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development (BMZ). The NAP identifies that it builds on implementation report conclusions from previous NAPs as well as consultations with civil society both in Germany and abroad (including in conflict and post-conflict areas) and thematic experts (pg.11).
According to the NAP (pg. 41), the “entire German Government is tasked with preparing and implementing the Action Plan”. At the half-way stage of the NAP (approximately the end of 2022/early 2023), there will be an interactive exchange with civil society.
The ministries responsible for monitoring and evaluation of the NAP are the Federal Foreign Office (FFO/AA); the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women, and Youth (BMFSFJ); the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building, and Community (BMI); the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV); the Federal Ministry of Defence (BMVg); and the Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development (BMZ). There is a detailed monitoring and evaluation plan in the NAP (pg. 42 onwards).
WILPF Germany continues to be actively engaged in advocacy for implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda in Germany. As part of Network 1325, WILPF Germany contributed to a policy briefing to inform the process of the NAP development. This policy briefing was cited on page 11 of the NAP, and focused on the implementation of the agenda. This policy briefing contained numerous recommendations for the NAP in its third iteration, including:
- Employing gender-sensitive conflict analysis;
- Ensuring that at least 85% of German development aid from 2021 onwards directly or indirectly contributes to gender equality;
- Fully realizing reproductive rights within Germany, including by eliminating Sections 218 and 219 of the German criminal code;
- Substantively including women and girls who are refugees in the formulation of policy;
- Working towards a complete cessation of arms exports.
The timeframe for this NAP is 2021-2024.
The six priority areas of the NAP are:
- Crisis prevention
- Protection and support
- Humanitarian assistance, crisis management, and reconstruction
- Strengthening the Women, Peace and Security Agenda
- Increasing institutional integration and capacities
These priority areas aim to cover all areas of the WPS agenda as well as strengthening the agenda and capacities for implementation. Additionally, the NAP aligns itself with foreign and some domestic policy in Germany.
Furthermore, the NAP adopts several principles that inform the implementation of the activities:
- Exploring the causes of gender inequality (pg. 15)
- WPS as a horizontal policy in work for the German peace and security strategy, development cooperation, and humanitarian assistance (pg. 16)
The National Action Plan defines six target outcomes and six priority areas (pg. 15). It is also aligned with other policy frameworks, including guidelines on conflict prevention and resolution, rule of law, security sector reform, gender equality, sustainable development, human rights, and transitional justice.
Under each priority area, there are several targets that have been identified. For example, under the priority area of “strengthening the Women, Peace and Security agenda” (pg. 37), there are the following targets:
- Germany plays a part in ensuring the Women, Peace and Security agenda is enshrined in the work of relevant international and regional organisations and networks, and as part of presidencies and memberships, including in the Generation Equality Process.
- Germany has firmly opposed any lapses in equal rights for women and LGBTI people and is prominent in advocating sexual and reproductive health and rights on a bilateral and international level.
- The goals of Resolution 1325 are being strengthened on the bilateral and regional level, including via Germany’s missions in partner countries; fragile states, states undergoing conflict and post-conflict states are developing and implementing national action plans. Awareness of the work by the German Government on the issue of women, peace and security and of the topics and targets of the agenda is growing in Germany. Synergies to implement the sustainability targets are being actively harnessed.
One or more indicators have been assigned to each target of the NAP. Some are qualitative and others are quantitative, and certain indicators have been derived from previous indicators in order to support consistent WPS implementation.
Two examples of indicators are: “Number and description of programmes, projects and initiatives which explore WPS-related ramifications of climate change, and of desertification, droughts and other results of climate change” and “Number of women human rights defenders and women peacebuilders who have been supported by the Elisabeth Selbert Initiative”.
The NAP features a detailed Monitoring and Evaluation Plan (pg. 42 onwards). Data will be collected on an ongoing basis, with responsibility in each ministry. There will also be an interactive exchange with civil society halfway through the NAP implementation to assess progress.
There are three implementation periods that have been identified: short-term measures by the end of 2021; medium-term measures to be implemented by the end of 2022, and long-term measures for prioritising WPS work
A specific budget is not detailed in the NAP, although the NAP includes indicators related to financing specific projects and initiatives.
Under the NAP objective of crisis prevention, there is a target related to gender and disarmament. This target is: “Gender-based analyses are taken into account in controls of small arms and light firearms, in disarmament, and in arms controls and export controls. Participation by women in decision-making processes is also strengthened at all levels.”
The following measures related to disarmament are outlined under this target:
- Reducing the illegal distribution and trade in small arms and light firearms on the basis of gender-based analyses and data collection.
- Increasing participation by women in national, regional and international processes for disarmament, arms control and arms export control; developing capacity through training and continuing professional development projects, in addition to establishing networks, in particular by promoting the global Gender Equality Network for Small Arms Control (GENSAC).
- Including the goals of the Women, Peace and Security agenda as a permanent part of the concluding documents for arms controls and arms export controls in international forums; collecting gender-based data on the use of certain weapons in specific countries and regions.
- As part of the risk analysis of potential human rights violations for arms export controls, an assessment is also made of the risk as to whether grievous acts of sexual and gender-based violence or serious violence against women and girls could be perpetrated using the requested military equipment (Arms Trade Treaty, Article 7(4)).
Additionally, under the goal of protection, the NAP draws the link between sexual and gender-based violence and arms: “Sexual and gender-based violence is also associated with a growing social propensity to violence, militarisation, the proliferation of small arms and light firearms, fight and displacement, the collapse of the rule of law and the proximity of armed people to the civilian population. In the context of armed conflict, acts of sexual and gender-based violence are committed before, during and after the conflict.”
There is one indicator on conflict prevention and disarmament: “Number and proportion of measures for conflict prevention, including control of small arms and light firearms and disarmament, and mediation (support), peacebuilding, peace negotiations, stabilisation, reconstruction and humanitarian assistance, which used gender-sensitive conflict analysis or requirements analysis, or other gender-responsive instruments for analysis”.
Actors: NAP Development
The 2017-2020 NAP was drafted jointly by the Ministries of the Inter-Ministerial Working Group 1325 – namely, the Federal Foreign Office (AA), the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ), the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI), the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV), the Federal Ministry of Defence (BMVg), and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Actors: NAP Implementation
The Federal Government established a consultative group comprised of civil society representatives and of the Ministries that are part of the Inter-Ministerial Working Group as a strategic element in strengthening the qualitative involvement of civil society. The consultative group will meet twice per year for an exchange about the implementation of the 2017-2020 NAP and to discuss strategic and thematic issues. The German missions abroad are tasked to promote and strengthen cooperation with suitable civil society organisations and relevant target groups in the context of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. The inter-ministerial working group will invite representatives of civil society organizations to an annual meeting. In this meeting, participants will share information regarding the status of the Action Plan's implementation and discuss proposals for its further development.
The Federal Government established a consultative group comprised of civil society representatives and of the Ministries that are a part of the Inter-Ministerial Working Group as a strategic element in strengthening the qualitative involvement of civil society. The consultative group will meet twice per year for an exchange about the implementation of the 2017-2020 NAP and to discuss strategic and thematic issues.
WILPF's Contributions to Germany's NAP
WILPF’s section in Germany was involved in the NAP process. Since 2002, the organisation has pushed for the first NAP and continues to accompany the process. A broader alliance called Bündnis1325, which WILPF is a part of, prepared the ground for the 1st NAP and accompanied the NAP implementation through the process. Within the framework of the 2nd NAP, WILPF Germany, as well as other civil society organisations, participate in regular consultative processes with the Inter-Ministerial Working Group on the NAP implementation.
The NAP does not include a monitoring mechanism and concrete indicators to assess the implementation of the resolution on the ground.
The implementation period for this NAP is 2017- 2020.
The primary objectives of Germany's NAP include:
- Systematically integrate a gender perspective into the prevention of conflicts, crises and violence;
- Expand the participation and strengthen the women’s leadership roles in all phases and at all conflict prevention and resolution levels, stabilisation, peacebuilding and reconstruction as well as post-conflict rehabilitation and peacebuilding;
- Analyse and take into account the concerns and interests of women and girls in development, peace, security policy and humanitarian measures;
- Improve protection from sexual and gender-specific violence at the national and international level and work against the impunity of perpetrators;
- Strengthen the Women, Peace and Security Agenda and promote it at the national, regional and international level
Each area of work has different actions assigned. For example, Strategic Objective 1 (Systematically integrating a gender perspective into the prevention of conflicts, crises and violence) includes the following actions:
- Take gender-specific questions into account in the analysis, planning and design of crisis and violence prevention projects and support civil society projects for a comprehensive, gender-specific and cross-generational understanding of peace;
- Support projects and programmes to prevent violence against women and girls in contexts of acute conflict and displacement as well as in post-conflict situations, with a special focus on women’s and women’s organisations’ opportunities to play a formative role;
- Work towards dismantling discriminatory and violence-related stereotypes about gender roles, especially among men and boys, which militate against gender equality;
- Champion the protection of space for civil society and human rights defenders worldwide, especially women’s rights advocates; and
- Continue to advocate the implementation of the normative framework for the human rights of women and girls, especially the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and for gender equality
Indicators, Monitoring, and Evaluation
The NAP does not include a monitoring mechanism and concrete indicators to assess the implementation of the resolution on the ground.
The NAP lacks specific budget allocation that would ensure sufficient resources. It states that the Federal Government provides the necessary financial resources for the implementation of the NAP.
The NAP identifies arms as a risk to women’s security. It encourages the intensified participation of women in disarmament and arms control issues in selected regions of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The NAP calls for integrating a gender perspective in planning and carrying out disarmament and arms control projects. It also calls for the continuation of measures to prevent the proliferation and combat the illegal trade of small arms, taking a gender perspective into account. Gender-specific issues are integrated, especially regarding women in small arms control.