Leveraging Change: Women’s Organizations and the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 in the Balkans

Citation:

Irvine, Jill A. 2013. ‘Leveraging Change: Women’s Organizations and the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 in the Balkans’. International Feminist Journal of Politics 15 (1): 20–38.  

Author: Jill A. Irvine

Abstract:

This article examines how regional and local women’s organizations in Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo have used UNSCR 1325 as a tool for organizing and advocacy in three broad areas: women’s inclusion in decision-making processes; regional and human security; and transitional justice. In response to perceived unwillingness by international as well as national actors to implement UNSCR 1325, women’s organizations developed strategies to use this international norm to achieve their goals. They have done this, I argue, through a double ‘boomerang effect’. In their seminal 1998 work, Activists Beyond Borders, Keck and Sikkink demonstrated how NGOs operate to produce a boomerang effect; they appeal to transnational actors to assert international pressure against national governments in order to enforce compliance with human rights norms. In attempting to implement UNSCR 1325, women’s organizations have also often added a reverse dimension, mobilizing local support through grassroots campaigns and regional networks in order to force the United Nations and other international actors to comply with their own resolution concerning women, peace and security. In doing so, they have achieved some success in promoting inclusion. They have been less successful in using UNSCR 1325 as a tool for addressing structural sources of inequality including militarism and neo-liberal models of economic development.

Keywords: UNSCR 1325, women's organizations, political inclusion, human security, transitional justice

Topics: Gender, Women, Governance, International Law, International Human Rights, International Organizations, Justice, Transitional Justice, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, NGOs, Political Participation, Rights, Human Rights, Security, Human Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia

Year: 2013

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