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International Organizations

Women participants in Conflict

The Gender Turn in Diplomacy: A New Research Agenda

Citation:

Aggestam, Karin, and Ann Towns. 2019. “The Gender Turn in Diplomacy: A New Research Agenda.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 21 (1): 9–28. 

Authors: Karin Aggestam, Ann Towns

Abstract:

This article argues that the (re-)constitution of diplomacy is intimately linked to gender and the practices of exclusion and inclusion of women and men over time. While the big debates in both academia and among practitioners concern the change and continuity of diplomacy in the last hundred years, gender has received scant, if any, attention. The overarching aim of this article is therefore to advance a new research agenda, which can spur future gender studies and contribute to rethinking diplomacy. It presents an original narrative about three distinct bodies of diplomatic scholarly work that focus on (1) diplomatic history; (2) descriptive representation; and (3) gendered institutions. We conclude that first there is a need to move out of Europe and North America to provide greater focus on Africa, Asia and Latin America. Second, there is a need to move beyond the descriptive single case studies towards more systematic comparisons, which can trace change in institutional gender dynamics over time. Ethnographic work can provide novel insights to gendered micro-processes and the daily mundane institutional practices. Third, as part of the gender turn in the field of diplomacy international feminist theory can generate significant theoretical contributions to the transformation of diplomacy.

Keywords: diplomacy, gender, negotiation, practice, women, peace and security

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, peace and security, International Organizations, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS

Year: 2019

Swedish Feminist Foreign Policy in the Making: Ethics, Politics, and Gender

Citation:

Aggestam, Karin, and Annika Bergman-Rosamond. 2016. “Swedish Feminist Foreign Policy in the Making: Ethics, Politics, and Gender.” Ethics & International Affairs 30 (3): 323–34. 

Authors: Karin Aggestam, Annika Bergman-Rosamond

Annotation:

Summary: 
"In this essay, we argue that the launching of a “feminist” foreign policy is distinct for two reasons. First, by adopting the “f-word” it elevates politics from a broadly consensual orientation of gender mainstreaming toward more controversial politics, and specifically toward those that explicitly seek to renegotiate and challenge power hierarchies and gendered institutions that hitherto defined global institutions and foreign and security policies. As Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström has noted, “It’s time to become a little braver in foreign policy. I think feminism is a good term. It is about standing against the systematic and global subordination of women.” Second, it contains a normative reorientation of foreign policy that is guided by an ethically informed framework based on broad cosmopolitan norms of global justice and peace. The content of Sweden’s feminist foreign policy is still in the making, and is currently focused on incremental change in two areas: (1) international agenda-setting through a gender-sensitive lens that allows for the reframing and mobilization of international policy action; and (2) normative entrepreneurship, which is guided by an ethically informed framework of cosmopolitanism and human rights that seeks to shape global developments in a gender-sensitive direction" (Aggestam and Bergman-Rosamond 2016, 323). 
 

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, International Organizations, Justice, Rights, Human Rights

Year: 2016

Gendered Environmental Security in IDP and Refugee Camps

Citation:

Rosenow-Williams, Kerstin, and Katharina Behmer. 2015. “Gendered Environmental Security in IDP and Refugee Camps.” Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice 27: 188–95.

Authors: Kerstin Rosenow-Williams, Katharina Behmer

Annotation:

Summary:
"The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and its Executive Committee have long stressed that situations of flight and displacement affect men and women differently and that effective programming must recognize these differences. In the mid-1980s UNHCR, and various other humanitarian actors, began incorporating a gender perspective into their humanitarian activities. Since then a large variety of handbooks, guidelines, and toolkits have been developed. The 2008 UNHCR Handbook for the Protection of Women and Girls, for example, notes that gender mainstreaming has been adopted as a United Nations (UN)–wide policy, recognizing that centralizing the differing needs of women and men into the design of programs, policies, and operations is necessary to fundamentally improve the position of gender equality.
 
"To monitor and advance this policy approach, this essay advocates the use of a gendered human security perspective as an analytical tool to disentangle the gendered dimensions of security for individuals and groups during displacement. It places a special focus on the interrelation between gender categories, their social construction, and the intersectionality of individual characteristics. An intersectional focus on gender-specific dimensions of displacement means taking into account other factors that can cause vulnerability and insecurities (such as age, sexuality, race, religion, class, and ethnicity), thus, also acknowledging the different security situations of individuals within the same gender group. Fusing the concepts of gender mainstreaming and human security proves to be a useful approach to conceptualize and address the multilayered and interrelated security needs of men, women, boys, and girls while providing evidence of the importance of making both sexes the key referents for human security" (Rosenow-Williams and Behmer 2015, 188). 

Topics: Age, Clan, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Refugees, Ethnicity, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, International Organizations, Race, Religion, Security, Human Security, Sexuality

Year: 2015

A Seat at the Table Is Not Enough: Understanding Women’s Substantive Representation in Peace Processes

Citation:

Ellerby, Kara. 2016. “A Seat at the Table Is Not Enough: Understanding Women’s Substantive Representation in Peace Processes.” Peacebuilding 4 (2): 136–50.

Author: Kara Ellerby

Abstract:

While the international community stresses the importance of including women at the peace table so peace processes will better represent their needs and interests, it is unclear what specifically this inclusion entails. Do women need to be negotiators, mediators? Do peace agreements adequately represent women’s interests when women are included? This article engages UNSC Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security as a framework through which to assess peace processes and agreements. A woman-focused examination of all civil war peace processes reveals that less than 10% meet women’s inclusion as envisioned in UNSCR 1325. This article focuses on the three conditions accounting for women’s substantive representation in peacebuilding. What emerges are three joint necessities: an explicit women’s agenda; access to the peace process; and advocacy within the process. The final sections problematise how even in all of these positive cases women had to fight to participate.

Keywords: women, gender, representation, UNSCR 1325, peacebuilding, stakeholders

Topics: Gender, Women, peace and security, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325

Year: 2016

The Grip of Sexual Violence: Reading UN Security Council Resolutions on Human Security

Citation:

Engle, Karen. 2014. “The Grip of Sexual Violence: Reading UN Security Council Resolutions on Human Security.” In Rethinking Peacekeeping, Gender Equality and Collective Security, edited by Gina Heathcote and Dianne Otto, 23–47. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Author: Karen Engle

Abstract:

The issue I would like to pose in this chapter is about the grip of sexual violence on human security discourse. I do not want to address the violence itself, but to consider why many feminist — and even non-feminist — discussions about human rights and security have become inextricably connected to concerns about sexual violence, primarily but not exclusively against women. I consider here the United Nations (UN) Security Council resolutions on what is termed ‘human security’, and debates and media around them. I do so because I believe they are representative of an escalating emphasis on the horrors of sexual violence more generally within international human rights and humanitarian law, discourse and advocacy.

Topics: International Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law IHL, International Organizations, Security, Human Security, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against women

Year: 2014

Securing the 'Gender Legitimacy' of the UN Security Council: Prising Gender from Its Historical Moorings

Citation:

Otto, Dianne. 2004. “Securing the 'Gender Legitimacy' of the UN Security Council: Prising Gender from Its Historical Moorings.” Legal Studies Research Paper 92, Faculty of Law, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne.

Author: Dianne Otto

Abstract:

Recent feminist efforts to engage with the UN Security Council might well be dismissed as a futile attempt to employ the master's tools to dismantle the master's house. That these efforts have born fruit, was evidenced by the Council's unanimous adoption of Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security in October 2000. Since its adoption, the Resolution has been the focus of continuing engagement between women's peace advocates and the Council. 
 
The Resolution can be understood as one of a range of measures adopted by the Council in an effort to tackle its legitimacy deficit; specifically, its gender legitimacy. While the Resolution's promotion of the increased involvement of women in decision-making opens the possibility of clawing back some of the ground lost to military ways of thinking, and legitimating emancipatory understandings of peace based on gender equality and social justice, it also runs the risk of lending a renewed legitimacy to the old ways of getting things done, just as women's participation in the colonial civilizing mission helped to make imperialism possible.  
 
The examples of Afghanistan and East Timor, reveal that there has been slow but measured progress towards increasing the participation of women in formal decision-making processes, and that the progress that has been made has depended in large part on the extensive mobilization of local and trans-national women's peace networks. At the same time, most Afghan and East Timorese women were unaffected by the increased formal participation of women, as they faced heightened levels of gendered violence and economic insecurity. This experience confirms the need use the Resolution to move beyond issues of participation, important as they are, to changing the militarized and imperial gender stereotypes that have played such a central role in maintaining militarism and the secondary status of women. Only then will the Council's deficit in gender legitimacy be reversed in an emancipatory way. (Abstract from Social Sciences Research Network) 

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, peace and security, International Organizations, Militarism, Political Participation, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Asia, South Asia, Oceania Countries: Afghanistan, Timor-Leste

Year: 2004

Gender and the Role of Women in Colombia’s Peace Process

Citation:

Bouvier, Virginia M. 2016. Gender and the Role of Women in Colombia’s Peace Process. New York: UN Women.

Author: Virginia M. Bouvier

Abstract:

The promises and visions articulated in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and subsequent UN resolutions and position papers that recognize the connection between gender equity and women’s participation in all aspects of peace processes and peacebuilding on the one hand, and international peace and security on the other, have not been fulfilled. Nonetheless, these resolutions have opened the way for advocacy that has had some successes in specific contexts. Colombia offers one such case.
 
Through desk research, literature review, and personal interviews, this paper provides an overview of the Colombian internal armed conflict and the peace process currently underway to transform it. It begins with an historical overview of the conflict, and then explores some of its gender dimensions. It analyzes the differential impact of the internal armed conflict on the lives of women and men, LBGTI persons, and boys, girls and adolescents, as well as the intersectionality between multiple components of identity, including gender, class, age, ethnicity, and region. The paper then turns to the peace process. It explores the roles of women in preparing the ground for a political solution to Colombia’s internal armed conflict. It considers women’s official, semi-official, and unofficial roles at, around, and outside the peace talks that were launched in late 2012 between the Colombian government and the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC-EP). This paper underscores the essentially gendered nature of both war and peace. It assesses shifting gender roles and ideologies, and the ways that they intersect with a peace process and transitions in a post-Accord period, particularly in relation to issues of transitional justice. Finally, my paper explores how greater consideration of gendered dynamics, as well as increased participation of women in the peace process and all commissions and bodies created to implement peace accords, will better equip Colombia to address the challenges ahead and will help ensure a more sustainable peace. 

Topics: Age, Armed Conflict, Class, Ethnicity, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, peace and security, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2016

Gender, Human Security and the United Nations: Security Language as a Political Framework for Women

Citation:

Hudson, Natalie Florea. 2009. Gender, Human Security and the United Nations: Security Language as a Political Framework for Women. New York: Routledge.

Author: Natalia Florea Hudson

Annotation:

Summary: 
This book examines the relationship between women, gender and the international security agenda, exploring the meaning of security in terms of discourse and practice, as well as the larger goals and strategies of the global women's movement.
 
Today, many complex global problems are being located within the security logic. From the environment to HIV/AIDS, state and non-state actors have made a practice out of securitizing issues that are not conventionally seen as such. As most prominently demonstrated by the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2001), activists for women's rights have increasingly framed women's rights and gender inequality as security issues in an attempt to gain access to the international security agenda, particularly in the context of the United Nations. This book explores the nature and implications of the use of security language as a political framework for women, tracing and analyzing the organizational dynamics of women's activism in the United Nations system and how women have come to embrace and been impacted by the security framework, globally and locally. The book argues that, from a feminist and human security perspective, efforts to engender the security discourse have had both a broadening and limiting effect, highlighting reasons to be sceptical of securitization as an inherently beneficial strategy.
 
Four cases studies are used to develop the core themes: (1) the campaign to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325; (2) the strategies utilized by those advocating women's issues in the security arena compared to those advocating for children; (3) the organizational development of the UN Development Fund for Women and how it has come to securitize women; and (4) the activity of the UN Peacebuilding Commission and its challenges in gendering its security approach.
 
The work will be of interest to students of critical security, gender studies, international organizations and international relations in general. (Summary from Routledge)

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, peace and security, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Rights, Women's Rights, Security, Human Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325

Year: 2009

Women, Peace and Security: A Critical Analysis of the Security Council’s Vision

Citation:

Otto, Dianne. 2018. “Women, Peace and Security: A Critical Analysis of the Security Council’s Vision.” In Oxford Handbook of Gender and Conflict, edited by Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, Naomi Cahn, Dina Francesca Hayes, and Nahla Valji. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Author: Dianne Otto

Abstract:

This chapter historicizes the United Nations Security Council’s Women, Peace, and Security Agenda. It opens by describing the vision of peace emerging out of the Hague Congress of Women, wherein a pacifist agenda perceived resorting to arms to resolve inter-state disputes as unacceptable. It analyzes this vision in the context of the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda, and argues that the Security Council fails in protecting women from conflict-related harm. It demonstrates how feminist conceptions of positive peace have become captive to the militarized security frame of the Security Council. The chapter concludes with suggestions for how peace needs to be reconceptualized to strengthen the feminist opposition to war and to fight protective stereotypes of women.

Keywords: pacifism, Women Peace and Security agenda, Hague Congress of Women, United Nations, security council, positive peace

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, peace and security, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS

Year: 2018

A Wealth of Expertise and Lived Experience

Citation:

Krause, Jana, and Cynthia Enloe. 2015. “A Wealth of Expertise and Lived Experience.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 17 (2): 328–38.

Authors: Jana Krause, Cynthia Enloe

Annotation:

Summary:
"The day before the United Nations (UN)-sponsored “Geneva II” peace talks on Syria that commenced in January 2014, women peace activists from around the globe met with Syrian women civil society activists in Geneva to discuss women’s roles in peacemaking. This gathering was entitled the “Women Lead to Peace Summit.” Transnational feminist groups – the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), Code Pink, Madre, Kvinna till Kvinna and the Nobel Women’s Initiative – designed this alternative summit to put pressure on all parties involved in the “Geneva II” talks to include women civil society representatives in the formal peace negotiations.Women activists, including Nobel Peace Laureates Shirin Ebadi (Iran) and Mairead Maguire (Northern Ireland), shared their lived experience of peace activism: brokering ceasefires, coordinating humanitarian support, shaping peace negotiations and leading reconciliation efforts. Based on our participation at this one-day event, we provide an account of women peace activists’ discussions in Geneva and the lessons they have learnt from each other. This piece also reflects upon feminist understandings of women’s experiences in war, and implications for their participation in peace processes. We quote by name individuals who spoke in public forums but leave those with whom we had private conversations unnamed" (Krause and Enloe 2015, 328). 

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, peace and security, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Political Economies, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, UNSCR 2122

Year: 2015

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