"Women, Peace and Security" Policy's Skewed Focus on Sexual Violence: The Failure of a "Successful" Feminist Intervention?

Sam Cook

April 24, 2014

Campus Center Room 3545, UMass Boston

In recent years a plethora of UN Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security have been adopted, most of which focus on sexual violence in conflict. A view has emerged that this focus has undermined - and even been antithetical to - the intent of feminists who initially lobbied for Security Council resolution 1325.  Are there ways of thinking about how such "failures" or crises of feminist policy interventions emerge that go beyond claims of cooptation or "lack of political will"?  Is there something that can be learned from looking at the micro-practices of policymaking?

 

Sam Cook is a lawyer from South Africa whose academic and activist work has long focused on policy responses to sexual and gender-based violence. She spent five years working on United Nations policy on women, peace and security as Director of the PeaceWomen Project of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. She then worked on LGBT rights research and policy at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. She is now a PhD candidate at the University of California Santa Cruz; her dissertation explores how the practices of Security Council policymaking shape feminist policy interventions.

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