Past Events & News

Information on events that occurred within the past year is available under Events & News: Recent Events.

Past Events & News

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 1779 Massachusetts Avenue Northwest Root Room Washington, DC 20036
Wednesday, April 3, 2019
A conference featuring women leaders with practical steps for smart, effective national security strategy
Carol Cohn, University of Massachusetts Boston
Marissa Conway, Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy
Maggie Feldman-Piltch, NatSecGirlSquad
Ambassador Laura Holgate, Nuclear Threat Initiative
Heather Hurlburt, New America
Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security and Conflict Transformation
Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, Women in International Security
Cecili Thompson Williams, Beyond the Bomb
Read the newly released report, "A New Vision: Gender. Justice. National Security.," including Dr. Carol Cohn's article "Gender and National Security," here:
Read Dr. Carol Cohn's article, "Gender and National Security," here

Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Panel: Knowledge Production on and about Gender in Peacebuilding and Transitional Justice
Dr. Cohn and co-author Dr. Claire Duncanson (University of Edinburgh) are presenting: "Building Gender‐Equitable Peace After War: Knowledge Production Across Siloes."

Vartan Hall, The Armenian Convention Center, 630 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Read the event summary here: Linking Feminist Peace, Sustainable Development, and Postwar Infrastructure Reconstruction.

Linking Feminist Peace, Sustainable Development, and Postwar Infrastructure Reconstruction is a parallel event cosponsored by the Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights (CGSHR) and Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) at the sixty-third session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63) which will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 11 to 22 March 2019.

CSW63 Themes:

  • Priority theme: Social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls;
  • Review theme: Women’s empowerment and the link to sustainable development (agreed conclusions of the sixtieth session).


Infrastructure reconstruction in post-war and post-disaster contexts has the potential to support the transformation of gendered inequalities and the empowerment of marginalized groups, and to lay a physical foundation for peace and development that are truly sustainable. Unfortunately, however, that is not how it usually works. Instead, infrastructure reconstruction too often exacerbates a country’s pre-existing gendered inequalities and facilitates an extractive form of development which is unsustainable for both people and the planet.
This interactive panel discussion will bring together women civil society leaders and scholars to show why WPS advocates, if they are to achieve their goals, must focus on and incorporate feminist analysis of physical infrastructure, examining a myriad of questions such as:
  • What are the political and economic processes that determine how, and what kinds of, infrastructure will be built, by whom?
  • Where does the decision making take place, and what are the values and assumptions shaping those decisions?
  • Who benefits from the projects and who is harmed by them? What effects do they have on the pre-existing inequalities that undergird the outbreak of violent conflict?
  • What are their environmental impacts, and are they built in ways that are environmentally and socially sustainable?
  • Who has access to, responsibility for and control over infrastructure projects once they are constructed?
And the panel will show how policymaking on issues such as roads, public transportation, water and energy infrastructure and urban planning can work to empower women, enhance gender equality and foster sustainable peace and development.

Our emphasis will be on decentralized and environmentally appropriate infrastructure solutions that are informed by women’s knowledge and needs; solutions that can foster sustainable livelihoods and can be locally maintained and controlled.  At the same time, we will focus on how to create the enabling international policy environment to support those solutions, by bringing civil society perspectives to bear on developing a framework of engagement with the international financial institutions, international development organizations and governmental and intergovernmental institutions that shape postwar and post-disaster infrastructure development. The workshop also aims to support and further develop the network of activists who see sustainable, gender-equitable infrastructure reconstruction as essential to their work integrating peacebuilding, gender equality and sustainable development.
The panel will feature:
  • Carol Cohn, Director, Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights
  • Joy Onyesoh, President, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
  • Madeleine Rees, Secretary-General, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
  • Nina Potarska, Ukraine Programme Coordinator, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
This workshop is part of the Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights’ Feminist Roadmap for Sustainable Peace (FRSP) project. An international collaborative knowledge-building project, the FRSP focuses on the transnational economic actors and dynamics which overwhelmingly shape the contours of postwar societies. Using feminist political economic analysis, we examine the impacts of those transnational forces on the pre-existing marginalizations, inequalities and exclusions that underlie armed conflict, and we design feminist policy alternatives to transform, rather than deepen, those inequalities, with the goal of building gender-equitable, sustainable peace.  Topics addressed in the FRSP include, inter alia: the economic recovery policy prescriptions of international financial institutions; extractives; land rights, large scale land acquisition and land grabbing; infrastructure reconstruction; environmental disasters and climate disruption. WILPF applies political economy analysis to reframe the dynamics of post-conflict power structures, focusing on transformative justice and the realization of ESCRs. It examines the role of IFIs and development policies from a gender perspective, focusing on the need for local participation and design.
Please RSVP to

Palais des Nations - Room VIII, Geneva, Switzerland
Friday, November 9, 2018
The event is part of Geneva Peace Week and organized in partnership with the UN Environment Programme, UN Women, UNDP and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
Women on the Frontlines: Promoting Inclusive Approaches to the Climate Change and Security Nexus
Climate change is a defining threat to peace in the 21st century, as recently highlighted by the UN Security Council, the European Union and the African Union. Effective responses to conflict prevention and peacebuilding in countries and regions affected by climate change will require strengthening social inclusion and leveraging the agency of women – especially local women – who are on the frontlines of climate change. Addressing such multidimensional security challenges requires new partnerships that bridge traditional divides. This event will help better understand gender-climate-security risks and explore gender-responsive approaches to preventing and resolving conflict, with an emphasis on intersectional vulnerabilities and opportunities.
  • Carol Cohn, Director: Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights
  • Muna Luqman: Food4Humanity Foundation, Yemeni Peace and Security Activist
  • Florian Krampe, Researcher: Stockholm International Peace Institute
  • Mandana Hendessi, Senior Technical Advisor: Women, Peace and Security at ActionAid UK.
Session Facilitator:
  • Silja Halle, Coordinator: Joint Programme on Women, Natural Resources and Peace
For more information, please contact: 
Silja Halle, Joint Programme Manager, Women, Natural Resources, Peace (UN Environment)

UN Women, CR 19th floor, 220 East 42nd Street, New York
Friday, October 26, 2018
The NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, of which the Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights is a member organization, facilitated a civil society forum, "The Road Towards 20 Years of Women, Peace and Security – Strategies for Action," for global feminist peace leaders during the October 2018 Women, Peace and Security (WPS) week in preparation for 2020, the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. 
Consortium Director Carol Cohn facilitated a small-group discussion on post-war reconstruction processes that undermine peace and stability, how they intersect with the WPS agenda and why this intersection is critical to consider and explore further as we prepare for activism and mobilization around the 2020 anniversary. 

University of Groningen, the Netherlands
Thursday, June 7, 2018
On June 9th, Consortium Director Carol Cohn presented a working paper co-authored by Claire Duncanson (Edinburgh University), “What Kind of Growth? Economies that Work for Women in Post-War Settings,” during the “Economic Growth in Postwar Contexts: Feminist Interventions” workshop at “The Return of Politics to International Relations,” the 5th EISA European Workshops in International Studies.
This paper is based off the report from the 3rd Feminist Roadmap for Sustainable Peace feeder workshop. Learn more about the Feminist Roadmap for Sustainable Peace, which aims to build sustainable peace and security by addressing the inequalities, marginalizations and exclusions that underlie armed conflicts here

The European Development Days (EDD 2018) took place at Tour & Taxis on 5-6 June 2018 in Brussels, Belgium.
Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Listen here to Consortium Director Carol Cohn, Mara Marinaki (EEAS Principal Advisor on Gender and on the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security), Sari Kouvo (Associate Professor of International Law at University of Gothenburg and Co-Director of Afghanistan Analysts Network), Clare Hutchinson (NATO Secretary Generals Special Representative for Women Peace and Security) and Kirsi Henriksson (Director of Crisis Management Centre Finland) discussing the EU’s Common Security and Defense Policy from a gender perspective and recommending what can be done to further the EU’s goals in security and development, highlighting the importance of human security in addition to state security, in the panel “Security for Development; Development for Security” at the European Development Days 2018.
Panel: Security for Development; Development for Security
Shaping the EU's new civilian security instruments to promote resilient and gender equal societies
The EU is rapidly moving ahead with the development of its autonomous security capabilities, combining both military and civilian instruments to better respond to crises around the world and build resilience in partner countries. In 2018, the EU and its Member States will take concrete steps to update and expand the Union's civilian capability in line with the EU Global Strategy, with Council Conclusions in the Spring and national implementation plans expected before the end of the year. As this process unfolds, this session will look at CSDP from a gender perspective and seek to highlight recommendations to inform the implementation of the EU's integrated approach, looking at how CSDP missions and operations can better promote security and development, including the human rights and empowerment of women and girls.
Key points:
  • Women should be seen as key agents for security. 
  • To ensure women's security, conflict resolution needs to focus on human rather than state security.
  • Integrating the gender perspective in security policy and implementation in a holistic way is vital. 
  • Simple representation of women is insufficient, since not all women can be expected to be women’s rights activists. 
The experience in Afghanistan has taught military officials and policymakers that conflict resolution cannot be achieved by purely military means and that the international community needs to take hearts and minds into account when devising its strategy. Politicians and policymakers need to reach out to women. Women need to be heard not only on issues that are traditionally associated with them, such as education, but on security as well. Conflict resolution cannot succeed if 50 % of the population is ignored. NATO eventually recognised the need to include civil society and women into conflict resolution. In Afghanistan, military planners began to reach out to civil society to understand people's security needs better in order to achieve sustainable peace. But security means different things for men and women. Military checkpoints, guns on the street represent deterrent force and power for men and make them feel secure. On the other hand, these very same things mean insecurity to women.
Infrastructure suited for gender needs is often a key tool for protecting women’s rights and security. Safe transportation enables women to travel independently, while adequate road access to markets could empower women to be economically self-sufficient. One idea to make Afghan women’s voices heard by western politicians and policymakers would be for them to accompany their colleagues throughout a visit, rather than just being given a courtesy meeting at the end of lunch.

The Stockholm Forum on Gender Equality, Stockholm, Sweden
Monday, April 16, 2018
Panel: A Feminist Approach to Justice, Human Rights and Participation in Peace and Security 
Gender equality and women’s rights are prerequisites for sustainable peace. How can we better understand the gendered root causes such as discrimination, economic and social injustice, patriarchy and violent masculinities as drivers of conflict and violence to strengthen prevention? How do structural barriers lead to women’s exclusion from peace processes and post-conflict reconstruction? How can the women peace and security agenda and lessons from women’s experience of conflict resolution and peacebuilding be used more effectively? This conversation will cover three interlinked components of the women peace and security agenda: prevention, participation and gender justice.
Organizer: Sida
Moderator: Yifat Susskind, Executive Director, MADRE
Madeleine Rees, Secretary General, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
Yanar Mohammed, Executive Director, Organisation for Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI)
Carol Cohn, Director, Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights
Mariam Jalabi, Syrian Women’s Political Movement
Barbro Svedberg, Policy Advisor, Women Peace and Security, Sida

Panel: Whose Security? Gender and Global, Regional, National and Individual Security 
The linkage between peace, security and gender equality was established within the wider global community when the UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) was adopted in 2000.
The different stakeholders working for global, regional, national and individual security had not previously focussed on gender equality and the integration of gender perspectives.  Today, several security and defence organisations globally, regionally and nationally have taken steps to implement the WPS agenda and to achieve gender equality through both gender mainstreaming and gender balance. However, with two years left until the 20th anniversary of UNSCR 1325, progress is insufficient and far too slow.
While some good practices have been established, there are remaining challenges to meet and gaps to fill. Furthermore, the nexus between security and development, and the nexus between civilian and military need to be bridged.
This interactive panel will bring together policymakers, scholars and security sector practitioners for an open and forward-looking discussion about the next steps they need to take in order to achieve peace, security, justice, gender equality and sustainable development.
Organizer: EEAS – European External Action Service
Moderator: Charlotte Isaksson, Gender Advisor – ‎European External Action Service (EEAS)
Reflections: HE Margot Wallström
Rose Gottemoeller, Deputy Secretary-General, NATO
Karl Engelbrektson, General, Chief of Army Staff, Swedish Armed Forces
Kateryna Levchenko, Governmental Commissioner for Gender Policy (Cabinet of Ministers), Ukraine
Ann-Kristin Kvilekval, Senior Police Adviser, UNFICYP
Eva Zillén, Senior Advisor, Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation
Carol Cohn, Professor, University of Massachusetts Boston, Director of Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights

Imperial A, Hilton San Francisco Union Square
Friday, April 6, 2018
The Sapphire Series consists of roundtables and talks designed to highlight key issues in the field of international relations. The Series brings together featured speakers, practitioners, and roundtables to discuss current world events, trends in academic research, and new challenges in teaching and learning. The Series are an excellent opportunity for Annual Convention participants to interact with several leading experts through questions and comments on various topics. The Sapphire sessions are video recorded and made available to ISA members on the Professional Resource Center.
Panel Abstract:
The panel explores diverse ways of exploring the role of power and rules in the International System. Our panel of distinguished scholars represents a wide range of theoretical and conceptual perspectives sometimes conflictual but often complimentary. The panel will discuss what constitutes power in international relations, how implicit and explicit areas of normative and institutional processes impact international interactions; what is the relationship between power, legitimacy and authority in the lights of recent political events; whose interests are not represented and how and under what conditions can rules change.
Panel Participants:
Emanuel Adler (University of Toronto)
Carol E. Cohn (Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights)
Judith Kelley (Duke University)
Douglas Lemke (Pennsylvania State University)
Moderator: Ismene Gizelis (University of Essex)

The International Feminist Journal of Politics 7th Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA
Tuesday, April 3, 2018

On April 3rd, Consortium Director Carol Cohn presented "Gender, Public Finance and Peacebuilding" at the workshop on "(Re-)Appropriation of Women’s Economic Empowerment: Collective Action & Contentious Politics" at the 7th Annual International Feminist Journal of Politics Conference, "Feminism + Knowledge + Politics," held at the University of San Francisco. The workshop was chaired by Jillian Foster from Yale University and also included presentations from Monash Centre for Women, Peace and Security; University of Western Australia; University of California Riverside; and Universidade Federale de Santa Catarina.


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