Making War Safe for Women? National Action Plans and the Militarisation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda


Shepherd, Laura. 2016. “Making War Safe for Women? National Action Plans and the Militarisation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.” International Political Science Review, 1–12. doi:10.1177/0192512116629820.


Author: Laura J Shepherd


Cora Weiss, co-drafter of what became UN Security Council Resolution 1325, noted in 2011 that the purpose of eliminating conflict-related sexualised violence must not be to ‘make war safe for women.’ UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and subsequent resolutions should not legitimise or normalise war, but rather the agenda should support the demilitarisation of society and facilitate the development of antimilitarist politics of peace. This article explores the translation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 into National Action Plans in a number of countries actively involved in contemporary conflict to investigate how these National Action Plans produce particular gendered logics of peace and security. This article finds, first, that ‘outward-facing’ National Action Plans, such as those produced by the USA, the UK and Australia, tend to focus on making ‘war safe for women’ rather than demilitarisation strategies; and, second, that this limited interpretation of Women Peace and Security principles is reinforced by the representation of war and insecurity ‘overseas’ rather than within the national context.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Governance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Sexual Violence, SV against Women, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Violence

Year: 2016

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