Global Compact Network UK, November 2021

This guide builds on existing frameworks such as the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, the Sustainable Development Goals, the Women’s Empowerment Principles, and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. It explains the role companies can play in contributing to the achievement of the key pillars of the WPS agenda, particularly in relation to women’s economic empowerment in fragile and conflict-affected areas.

The adoption of progressive multistakeholder frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change creates opportunities to reshape the role of business in many important global agendas. The Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda is one of them. The original WPS framework focussed on the impact of armed conflict on women and girls and their representation in the prevention, management, and resolution of conflict. However, this agenda has evolved over time and its language has become increasingly concrete, demanding that all actors in society consider links between the WPS agenda and their work. As such, the WPS agenda may now have the scope to connect business interests and meaningful partnerships with government and civil society to find pragmatic solutions for complex gender, peace, and security-related issues. There is a consensus ensuing that the need to find solutions to WPS challenges is as important for companies as it is for governments and people. It is also becoming more apparent that the private sector can enhance human development and strengthen good governance.