Women, Peace, and Security in Contemporary Pakistan: Meeting the Challenge of Security Council Resolution 1325?


Mullally, Siobhán. 2011. “Women, Peace and Security in Contemporary Pakistan: Meeting the Challenge of Security Council Resolution 1325?” Irish Studies in International Affairs 22: 53–66.


Author: Siobhán Mullally


The adoption in 2000 of Security Council Resolution 1325 has rightly been described as a watershed moment. Not only does this resolution recognize women as potentially vulnerable in times of conflict, it specifically, and importantly, recognizes women as political actors, as agents in peace processes and as key stakeholders in peace-building. More than a decade after its adoption, however, questions remain as to whether 'gender security' is an elusive goal in conflict and post-conflict situations. There is little to suggest that Resolution 1325 has heralded the kind of transformative change that was hoped for by many, and the challenges of effective implementation continue to arise. There is also the question of compromise in the negotiation of peace agreements and in post-conflict reconstruction. Nationalist sentiment, frequently reinforced by religious and cultural claims, all too often turns on questions relating to sexuality, gendered identities, roles and status. In times of crisis, in fragile states, women and girls become the repository of tradition, and gender identities become the markers of national and group identities, often presumed central to a process of nation-building. In the context of ongoing conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the challenges in ensuring that peace processes meet the requirements of Security Council Resolution 1325 are particularly acute. Over the last year, the possibility of 'talking to the Taliban' has repeatedly been raised. For women and girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the stakes are particularly high in any such negotiations. This article explores the position of women in Pakistan and the role that militant religious forces have played in limiting the potential of democratic transitions since the foundation of the state.

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan

Year: 2011

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