Past Events & News

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

Past Events & News

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.

Friday, December 15, 2017

The economic challenges of post-war contexts are particularly acute and intensely gendered.  Unfortunately, mainstream economic development prescriptions often only lead to the deepening of gendered inequalities.  What's the alternative?  This workshop's unique gathering of feminist security scholars and feminist political economists explored ways in which feminist alternatives to neoclassical economic models offer the potential for generating equitable and sustainable solutions in post-war economies.  Read the press release and full report here.

The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Medford
Friday, November 17, 2017 to Saturday, November 18, 2017

On Friday, November 17, Consortium Director Carol Cohn spoke on the panel "Gender and Nuclear Security" at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy's Third Annual on Gender and International Affairs, "Money, Power and Influence: The Gendered Dimensions of Geopolitics." Dr. Cohn's comments included highlighting that the symbolic gendering of nuclear weapons strategy preempts asking certain questions and pointing out that the language on nuclear weapons and nuclear war is abstracted and masculinized in that it normalizes talking about millions of casualities and immense human suffering without batting an eye.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Building 24, Room 121
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
This talk starts with a question: How is it that a form of weapon often described as militarily “unusable” can translate into political power? It explores the nature of deterrence theory, the symbolic value of nuclear weapons, and ways that weapons whose effects are literally beyond our capacity to apprehend come to be governed by practices that are prosaic and mundane. In the process, it addresses President Trump’s approach to thinking about nuclear weapons and explores whether it is as much a deviation from the norm as it appears.
Carol Cohn's research has addressed a wide range of security issues, including the discourses used to think about nuclear weapons. Her publications on this topic include: "Slick'ems, Glick'ems, Christmas Trees, and Cookie Cutters: Nuclear Language and How We Learned to Pat the Bomb," “Sex and Death in the Rational World of Defense Intellectuals," and "Wars, Wimps, and Women: Talking Gender and Thinking War.”

Monday, July 17, 2017 to Tuesday, July 18, 2017
This two-day, invitation-only workshop, organized in collaboration with Claire Duncanson and with support from the Official Development Assistance research allocation by Scottish Funding Council to the University of Edinburgh, will be a starting point for discussion and collaboration amongst a range of feminist researchers whose paths otherwise rarely cross: it will bring feminist political economists who focus on alternatives to neoclassical economic models of growth into dialog with feminist researchers who focus on the challenges of building gender-equitable, sustainable peace.
Read more about the workshop and participants, here.

Building: Géopolis Floor: 2 Room: 2121
Friday, June 9, 2017
5th European Conference on Politics and Gender
The University of Lausanne hosted the 2017 European Conference on Politics and Gender from 8-10th June 2017.​
Panel: Gender, Peacebuilding and Post Conflict Economic Development
This panel develops recent feminist scholarship which argues that attempts to progress women’s security in post-conflict contexts require more attention to the economic pillar of peacebuilding. Peace operations, peace agreements, constitutional reforms, and the new institutions which are constructed in transitions to peace, as well as conflict itself, all offer ‘windows of opportunity’ for the transformation of gender regimes. Much scholarly attention has been paid to the gains in women’s political representation, legislative advances on, for example, tackling gender based violence, and cultural attitudes towards women. Less attention has been paid to change, if any, in the economic frameworks and governance structures which might similarly signal and/or facilitate progress for women and gender equality. This panel aims to contribute to addressing that gap.
Paper: Gender, Public Finance and Peacebuilding
Presenter: Carol Cohn, University of Massachusetts
Abstract: In the aftermath of a peace settlement, the management of public finance constitutes a critical (if often overlooked) factor in advancing more equitable, just and sustainable peace. The manner in which states raise revenue and manage expenditures determines what is prioritized and funded in peacebuilding. Given this, there is now a small but growing literature on the centrality of public finance to a durable post-conflict reconstruction of the economy, polity and society (Boyce 1996, 2002, 2007 and Addison 2003, 2005, 2015). However, the literature is largely silent on a critical issue - the ways in which public finance management post-conflict shape and are shaped by structural gender inequality. As a result, public finance policies during peacebuilding are implemented in ways that ignore issues of exclusion, equity and sustainability. The purpose of my paper would be to bring feminist gender analysis into the discussion of post-conflict recovery, public finance and peacebuilding, and to demonstrate the ways in which a gendered analysis of public finance can open up fruitful ways of thinking about peacebuilding that will strengthen the broader women, peace and security agenda.

Auditorium Jacques-Freymond Rue de Lausanne, 132 Geneva
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Panel: Research Frontiers in Gender and Sustainable Peace
How does peace become sustainable and what role do gender relations play in the creation of sustainable peace? The question pre-occupies both academics and policy-makers. Scholarly research has postulated that there is a correlation between gender equality and the likelihood that countries solve conflicts violently. Conversely, in the policy world, there is an ongoing push for convergence between post-war humanitarian and development approaches with an eye towards fostering the structural changes necessary to make peace sustainable.
The proposed study day will provide an opportunity for interested stakeholders in the international Geneva policy network to engage with recent scholarship in the field of gender and peacebuilding. It seeks to accomplish two purposes, i.e.
  • To introduce recent findings from feminist research on gender and peacebuilding, and provide an opportunity to discuss such research from a policy perspective;
  • To develop the policy implications of this research and the outlines of feminist roadmap towards sustainable peace.
Keynote Address
Carol Cohn (University of Massachusetts, Boston; Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights)
Beyond the “Women, Peace and Security” Agenda: Why We Need a Feminist Roadmap for Sustainable Peace​


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