The Security Council’s Alliance of Gender Legitimacy: The Symbolic Capital of Resolution 1325


Otto, Dianne. 2010. “The Security Council’s Alliance of Gender Legitimacy: The Symbolic Capital of Resolution 1325.” In Fault Lines of International Legitimacy, edited by Hilary Charlesworth and Jean-Marc Coicaud, 239–76. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Author: Dianne Otto


Recent feminist efforts to engage with the United Nations (UN) Security Council could be dismissed as a futile attempt to employ the “master's tools” to dismantle the “master's house.” There is a long history of lip service by international institutions to the antimilitaristic ways of thinking that have been at the heart of women's peace movements for centuries. However unlikely it was, these efforts have borne fruit as evidenced by the Statement of the Council's President, Bangladeshi Ambassador Chowdury, on International Women's Day in 2000, linking gender equality “inextricably” with peace, the core project of the UN. The Statement was followed several months later, on October 31, by the Council's unanimous adoption of Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security. The resolution calls for inter alia the increased participation of women in decision making related to the prevention, management, and resolution of armed conflict. Although it is nonbinding, the resolution has been enormously productive. Not only has it provided the basis for strengthening institutional commitment to gender mainstreaming and continuing annual dialogue between women's peace advocates and the Security Council in New York, it has also supplied leverage for many grassroots women's groups to claim a role in peace negotiations and postconflict decision making.

Topics: Gender, International Organizations, Political Participation, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325

Year: 2010

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