Localizing Gender Equality after Conflict


Lynch, Moira. 2019. "Localizing Gender Equality after Conflict." Peace Review 31 (1): 83-90.

Author: Moira Lynch


Debates have grown in recent years concerning the realistic utility and application of international human rights law to a local context. Since 2000, the United Nations Security Council has issued eight Women, Peace, and Security resolutions geared toward promoting gender equality measures in conflict prevention during conflict and post-conflict settings. The first of these resolutions, United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, has been adopted by a number of UN Member States through National Action Plans (NAPs), which provide a framework and roadmap for integrating gender equality measures at the domestic level. Although NAPs were once considered promising, they have largely been unsuccessful.
By examining the implementation challenges facing other gender equality measures and localization programs that seek more effective implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security Resolutions, the following argues that a bottom-up approach rather than a top-down approach must be considered more seriously by international actors supporting implementation and integration of international human rights law, not only for the obvious reason that it emboldens local agency in the adoption process, but also because it is likely to produce outcomes that are meaningful and sustainable for the communities most affected by these provisions.
As such, continued emphasis on change that emanates from the top down in a given country often ignores the reality that gender equality measures in international human rights law are often perceived by governments and civil society actors as a serious disruption to domestic gender norms. Sole reliance on state institutions to deliver these commitments is flawed because it fails to recognize the necessary dialog and contestation among various stakeholders concerning the role of external norms in a local context.

Topics: Conflict Prevention, Conflict, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Law, International Human Rights, Post-Conflict, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325

Year: 2019

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