No Angry Women at the United Nations: Political Dreams and the Cultural Politics of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325


Gibbings, Sheri Lynn. 2011. "No Angry Women at the United Nations: Political Dreams and the Cultural Politics of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325." International Feminist Journal of Politics 13 (4): 522–38. 

Author: Sheri Lynn Gibbings


From the start, United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 1325 was celebrated as an achievement for Member States and activists around the world with the promise that gender would be considered in all peace and security-related decisions and planning. This paper describes how two Iraqi women who spoke at an informal meeting at the UN generated embarrassment for some UN-based gender advocates when their performance did not follow the norms expected by the attending NGOs, Member States and UN officials. The reaction to their performance can be explained by two main factors. First, the cultural norms of the UN require issues to be framed in a positive manner. Second, Resolution 1325 is supplemented by discourses that place value on the knowledge produced by women and situate women as peacemakers. When the two Iraqi women denounced the US- and UK-led invasion of Iraq and used terms like ‘imperialism’, they spoke outside of UN-based norms. The subsequent reaction illustrated how agency among gender advocates at the UN is socially and historically contingent.

Keywords: Gender, non-governmental organizations, United Nations, UNSCR 1325, speech acts, women, peace and security, discourse and agency

Topics: Gender, Men, Gendered Discourses, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325

Year: 2011

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