Gender, Peace and Security

Women's Advocacy and Conflict Resolution

image of Gender, Peace and Security
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 recognises both war’s adverse effects on women and women’s important contributions to peace and security. Yet despite the resolution being passed unanimously over a decade ago, women are still generally underrepresented in formal peace negotiations and to date only 33 countries worldwide – and only 5 in the Commonwealth – have approved National Action Plans (NAPs) to implement the resolution.

Gender, Peace and Security examines women’s role in both conflict and post-conflict reconciliation. It describes how UNSCR 1325 provides support for women in peace-building processes and provides case studies of how it has been implemented in selected countries, including the benefits of NAPs and women’s involvement in their adoption. Essential reading for Ministers and senior officials looking to develop NAPs, or anyone with an interest in the role of women in international affairs.



Women, Conflict and UNSCR 1325

While much of the literature on women in conflict situations traditionally focused on them in a narrow capacity as victims, recent research has uncovered the multidimensional impact of conflict on women. Although women are severely affected by war – vulnerable to sexual and gender-based violence including rape, forced conscription, sexual slavery, abduction and forced impregnation among other atrocities – they are not simply victims but can play more proactive roles as well (Moser and Clark 2001). On the one hand, women are sometimes advocates of violence, inciting men to fight as well as themselves playing principal roles in fighting (McKay 2005; Cohen 2009). On the other hand, they often also play instrumental roles in advocating for peace and maintaining community stability (Bennett et al. 1995; Sørensen 1998; NUPI and Fafo 2001; Anderlini 2007). Many women take on the role of household head and primary income earner for their families in the absence of their men folk and become responsible for ensuring the economic and social welfare of their families. In addition, women have become an effective part of peace-building initiatives, engaging in post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation and being actively involved in peace processes in countries including Pakistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Uganda.


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