Switzerland adopted its most recent National Action Plan (NAP) in 2018 for the period 2018-2022. The NAP was developed by the Interdepartmental Working Group (IDWG 1325) in consultation with Swiss representations abroad, Swiss civil society, and partner organisations. Furthermore, the NAP incorporated the recommendations of the civil society report “1325 Reloaded” during the revision process. The NAP identifies five overarching goals: effective involvement of women in conflict prevention; women’s participation in and influence on conflict resolution and peace processes; protection against sexual and gender-based violence in conflict, refugee and migration contexts; women’s participation in peace missions and security policy; and multi- and bilateral commitment by Switzerland to women, peace and security. Furthermore, the fourth NAP includes a focus for greater participation by women in the prevention of violent extremism, since the passing of UNSCR 2242 (2015) as well as the incorporation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 on gender equality. The NAP includes an additional focus on engaging men in women, peace and security work as well as calling for greater consideration of gender aspects in arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation. Each objective has corresponding actions and indicators as well as being accompanied by a monitoring and evaluation framework. The NAP does not have an allocated budget, but holds each organizational unit responsible for allocating a budget to their respective activities.
Switzerland’s fourth NAP is preceded by three other NAPs, adopted in 2007, 2010, and 2013 and implemented for the period 2007-2009; 2010-2012; and 2013-2016, respectively. Switzerland’s engagement with the WPS agenda has become significantly more substantive with the adoption of its subsequent NAPs. Of particular notice is that each NAP begins with a section that provides an overview of the findings and recommendations from the implementation phases of prior NAPs. The second and third NAPs also have examples of NAP implementation, including a section on the Swiss government’s small arms strategy in the latter. Switzerland’s fourth NAP is unique in that it is the first time that civil society was included in the implementation of a NAP. The most recent NAP also has a slight expansion of its focus by not just approaching WPS implementation internationally, but also prioritizing the domestic country context with the goal to focus on the needs of women refugees in Switzerland.
Switzerland 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 country provided an overview of the novelties in their fourth NAP, while also elaborating on Switzerland’s engagement with activities and initiatives pertaining to women in conflict.
Switzerland does not have a recent history of armed conflict, but plays an important role in international humanitarian and development operations.
Switzerland has a long-standing policy of military neutrality and has a national Peace Policy, which focuses on the implementation of the country’s long-standing commitment to the promotion of peace worldwide. Nevertheless, in 2019, Switzerland was among the top 40 countries with the highest military expenditure as well as being among the top 15 arms exporters in the world. Furthermore, Switzerland has mandatory military service for all able-bodied male citizens of the country as well as having the highest rate of firearm ownership in Europe and the third highest in the world.
Switzerland is a contributor to humanitarian aid, including being 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. In 2019, Switzerland was UN Women’s second-largest contributor of regular resources with USD 16.03 million and the seventh-largest contributor of total resources with USD 19.36 million.
At the multilateral level, Switzerland is a candidate for a non-permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council for the period 2023-2024.
Global Gender Gap Index 2020
18 out of 153
Arms Trade Treaty Ratified
Military expenditure (2019)
$5 billion USD
Explore the National Action Plan of Switzerland
Civil society formed part of the development of the NAP through consultations.
WILPF Switzerland was not involved in the development of the NAP.
The NAP was developed by members of the IDWG 1325 such as the Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS), the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA) and the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP) as well as Civil Society (CS).
Civil society is involved in the implementation of NAP 1325 through a specific project which aims among other things to raise awareness among policymakers and the public.
The Interdepartmental Working Group 1325 (IDWG 1325), headed by the FDFA’s Human Security Division, is responsible for implementing the measures during the 2018–22 period.
NAP Monitoring and Evaluation
Civil society is mentioned to be part of the evaluation process through a participatory process.
The IDWG meets at least twice a year to review implementation, exchange knowledge and if necessary adapt the NAP.
The fourth NAP is to be implemented in a period of five years 2018-2022.
UPDATE-2018: The main goals of the 2018-2022 NAP are:
- Effective involvement of women in conflict prevention
- Women’s participation in and influence on conflict resolution and peace processes
- Protection against sexual and gender-based violence in conflict, refugee and migration contexts
- Women’s participation in peace missions and security policy
- Multi- and bilateral commitment by Switzerland to women, peace and security
UPDATE-2016: The third revised NAP supersedes the country's previous commitments in this area. The second revised NAP contained three goals while this third revised NAP contains five. They include:
1) Greater participation of women in peacebuilding
2) Protection of the rights of women and girls during and after violent conflicts, and prevention of gender-based violence
3) Greater inclusion of a gender perspective during and after armed conflicts in emergency aid, reconstruction and in dealing with the past
4) Greater inclusion of a gender perspective in conflict prevention
5) Mainstreaming “Women, Peace and Security” in the federal administration
Each goal is broken down by subordinate goals:
- Multilateral policy
- Switzerland’s personnel policy
- Bilateral activities and peace policy programmes as well as programmes for fragile states
Switzerland's second revised NAP has three main goals:
1) Greater participation of women in peacebuilding.
2) Prevention of gender-based violence and protection of the needs of and rights of women and girls.
3) A gender sensitive approach to all peacebuilding projects and programs.
UPDATE-2018: Switzerland’s 2018-2022 NAP has various activities assigned to achieve its objectives. For example, for the first objective “effective involvement of women in conflict prevention ” includes subordinate goal 1.2:
The political and economic situation allows women to participate in political and peace processes.
UPDATE-2016: The third revised NAP supersedes the country's previous commitments in this area. This NAP contains five objectives and each has many actions. For example, Goal 5, "Mainstreaming “Women, Peace and Security” in the federal administration" includes subordinate goal 2.2:
- The administration‘s gender networks contain, wherever possible, an equal number of men and women.
Switzerland's second NAP contains an action matrix / lograme with specific activities under the primary goals, lead agents and indicators. The below example is taken from Goal 2, "Prevention of gender-based violence and protection of the needs and rights of women and girls."
UPDATE-2018: Switzerland’s 2018-2022 NAP has various activities assigned to achieve its objectives. For example, for the first objective “Effective involvement of women in conflict prevention ” includes subordinate goal 1.2, "the political and economic situation allows women to participate in political and peace processes" and its indicators are:
- Recommendations on context-specific socioeconomic empowerment of women as a prerequisite for their participation in political processes.
UPDATE-2016: The third revised NAP supersedes the country's previous commitments in this area. The NAP contains many indicators for each goal and subordinate goals. For example, Goal 5, "Mainstreaming “Women, Peace and Security” in the federal administration" includes subordinate goal 3.3 "Strengthening of cooperation with strategic partners in the area of gender mainstreaming" and the indicators include:
- Programmes of strategic partners include the gender perspective.
- Contracts with strategic partners contain gender-specific targets.
The indicators in Switzerland's second revised NAP correlate with specific activities in the action matrix / log-frame. Most of the indicators are measurable but do not specify a timeframe.
Under the joint leadership of the United Nations and International Organisations Division (UNIOD) and the Human Security Division (HSD), a brief annual report is drawn up setting out the most important successes and difficulties in implementing the NAP. This annual report provides input for the UN Secretary-General’s report and, where relevant, for the country report to the CEDAW. An external evaluation of the NAP is carried out as part of a peer-review process.
The Working Group on 1325 meets annually to ensure the constant follow-up of implementation measures. These meetings are attended by at least one representative of each government department in charge of implementation. The Coordination Committee for Peace Policy is informed at its own follow-up meeting about the results of the annual meeting and the current status of the implementation efforts.
At the Gender and Peacebuilding Roundtables organized by the Centre for Peacebuilding representatives of non-governmental organizations involved in peacebuilding efforts will be informed about the annual meeting and the current status of implementation work.
UPDATE-2018: Each organisational unit is responsible for implementing the activities assigned to it, allocating a budget for the activities and submitting year-end reports, however, there is no specific budget outlined in the NAP
UPDATE-2018: The fourth revised NAP supersedes the country's previous commitments in this area. The fourth NAP makes reference to the gendered impact of the proliferation of small arms on women. Goal 4, on “women’s participation in peace missions and security policy ”, subordinate action 4 pushes for “increased proportion of women and greater consideration of gender aspects in arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation” and its indicators are:
- References to gender aspects in arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation training.
- Information on women’s presence in the disarmament sector.
UPDATE-2016: The third revised NAP supersedes the country's previous commitments in this area. The third NAP makes reference to Switzerland's engagement in the Mine Action Service and acknowledges the gendered impact of the proliferation of small arms on women. Goal 4, subordinate action 1.2 pushes for "Integration of gender aspects into small arms control and international arms control" with indicators including:
- Statements and sponsored instruments for tighter controls on small arms
- Commitment to the implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty
There is no language on disarmament in Switzerland's second revised NAP.