Overcoming the Gender Gap: The Possibilities of Alignment between the Responsibility to Protect and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda


Hewitt, Sarah. 2016. “Overcoming the Gender Gap: The Possibilities of Alignment between the Responsibility to Protect and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.” Global Responsibility to Protect 8 (1): 3–28. doi:10.1163/1875984X-00801002.

Author: Sarah Hewitt


This article examines the relationship between the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda and the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). R2P remains ‘gender-blind’, inadequately addressing gender issues encompassed within the WPS agenda. Currently, women are limited by gendered structural inequalities and marginalisation in conflict, where the WPS agenda has failed to be incorporated in R2P and broader conflict mechanisms. I argue that the WPS agenda and R2P are mutually beneficial and complementary in their protection mandates to enable lasting peace. I identify three common intersecting commitments of these two normative frameworks to provide a more holistic, gender-sensitive approach to conflict. These are prevention and early warning systems, protection and gender-sensitive peacekeeping, and women’s participation in peace processes. I conclude that identifying common areas of engagement could potentially effect positive changes for women and men on the ground in conflict prevention and protection, and post-conflict reconstruction.

Keywords: responsibility to protect, UNSC Res. 1325, gender-sensitive indicators, women's participation, peace processes, Women Peace and Security agenda

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Gender Analysis, International Law, International Human Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Countries: Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Solomon Islands

Year: 2016

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