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UNSCR 1325

United Nations Resolution 1325 was landmark agreement that puts women at the forefront of internaitonal development considerations.

Light, Heat and Shadows: Women’s Reflections on Peacebuilding in Post-Conflict Bougainville

Citation:

George, Nicole. 2016. “Light, Heat and Shadows: Women’s Reflections on Peacebuilding in Post-Conflict Bougainville.” Peacebuilding 4 (2): 166–79.

Author: Nicole George

Abstract:

In this paper, I examine women’s reflections on their experiences as peacebuilders during Bougainville’s long years of conflict and the later period of conflict transition. I discuss the varying ways in which women, in this predominantly matrilineal society, recounted their contributions to conflict resolution as part of broader efforts to build peace. My interlocutors told stories of the distinctiveness of women’s peace leadership, interwoven with references to global policy frameworks such as United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. This appears, at first glance, to evidence a positive story of global and local influences coming together to produce positive peacebuilding outcomes charged by ‘light and heat’, as theorised by Annika Björkdahl and Kristine Höglund. I show this story to also be one of shadows, however, arguing that deeper scrutiny of these perspectives on women’s peace leadership suggest they also mask difficult and more complex local realities.

Keywords: gender, peacebuilding, hybridity, friction, Bougainville, UNSCR 1325

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Women, Post-Conflict, Peacebuilding, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Oceania Countries: Papua New Guinea

Year: 2016

A Seat at the Table Is Not Enough: Understanding Women’s Substantive Representation in Peace Processes

Citation:

Ellerby, Kara. 2016. “A Seat at the Table Is Not Enough: Understanding Women’s Substantive Representation in Peace Processes.” Peacebuilding 4 (2): 136–50.

Author: Kara Ellerby

Abstract:

While the international community stresses the importance of including women at the peace table so peace processes will better represent their needs and interests, it is unclear what specifically this inclusion entails. Do women need to be negotiators, mediators? Do peace agreements adequately represent women’s interests when women are included? This article engages UNSC Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security as a framework through which to assess peace processes and agreements. A woman-focused examination of all civil war peace processes reveals that less than 10% meet women’s inclusion as envisioned in UNSCR 1325. This article focuses on the three conditions accounting for women’s substantive representation in peacebuilding. What emerges are three joint necessities: an explicit women’s agenda; access to the peace process; and advocacy within the process. The final sections problematise how even in all of these positive cases women had to fight to participate.

Keywords: women, gender, representation, stakeholders, UNSCR 1325

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Gender, Women, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325

Year: 2016

Equal Opportunity Peacekeeping: Women, Peace, and Security in Post-Conflict States

Citation:

Karim, Sabrina, and Kyle Beardsley. 2017. Equal Opportunity Peacekeeping: Women, Peace, and Security in Post-Conflict States. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Authors: Sabrina Karim, Kyle Beardsley

Abstract:

Recent developments such as Sweden's Feminist Foreign Policy, the "Hillary Doctrine," and the integration of women into combat roles in the U.S. have propelled gender equality to the forefront of international politics. The UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, however, has been integrating gender equality into peacekeeping missions for nearly two decades as part of the women, peace and security agenda that has been most clearly articulated in UNSC Resolution 1325. To what extent have peacekeeping operations achieved gender equality in peacekeeping operations and been vehicles for promoting gender equality in post-conflict states? While there have been major improvements related to women's participation and protection, there is still much left to be desired. Sabrina Karim and Kyle Beardsley argue that gender power imbalances between the sexes and among genders place restrictions on the participation of women in peacekeeping missions. Specifically, discrimination, a relegation of women to safe spaces, and sexual exploitation, abuse, harassment, and violence (SEAHV) continue to threaten progress on gender equality. Using unique cross-national data on sex-disaggregated participation of peacekeepers and on the allegations of SEAHV, as well as original data from the UN Mission in Liberia, the authors examine the origins and consequences of these challenges. Karim and Beardsley also identify and examine how increasing the representation of women in peacekeeping forces, and even more importantly through enhancing a more holistic value for "equal opportunity," can enable peacekeeping operations to overcome the challenges posed by power imbalances and be more of an example of and vehicle for gender equality globally.

Keywords: peacekeeping, India-United States relations, UN Security Council Resolution 1325, gender equality, gender, women, women peace and security, Liberia, sexual violence, security sector

Annotation:

Table of Contents:

1. Introduction: Are Blue Helmets Just for Boys?

2. The Evolution of Gender Reforms in UN Peacekeeping Missions

3. Gender Power Imbalances in Peacekeeping Missions

4. Discrimination and Protection Revisited: Female Participation in Peacekeeping Operations

5. The Spoils of Peace: SEAHV in Peacekeeping Operation

6. Pespectives on Discrimination, Protection, and SEAHV in the UN Mission in Liberia

7. On the Ground: Local Legacies of Gender Reforms in the UN Mission in Liberia
Sabrina Karim, Kyle Beardsley, Robert Blair, and Michael Gilligan

8. A Call for Equal Opportunity Peacekeeping

Topics: Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality, Post-Conflict, Peacekeeping, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia

Year: 2017

The Oxford Handbook of Women, Peace and Security

Citation:

Davies, Sara E., and Jacqui True, eds. 2019. The Oxford Handbook of Women, Peace and Security. New York: Oxford University Press.

Authors: Sara E. Davies, Jacqui True

Abstract:

The Oxford Handbook on Women, Peace, and Security examines the significant and evolving international Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda, which scholars and practitioners have together contributed to advancing over almost two decades. Fifteen years since the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000), the WPS agenda has never been more salient on the agenda of states and international organizations. The Global Study of 1325 (“Preventing Conflict, Securing Peace”) commissioned by the UN Secretary-General and released in September 2015, however, found that there is a major implementation gap with respect to UNSCR 1325 that accounts for the gaping absence of women’s participation in peace and transitional decision-making processes. With independent, critical, and timely analysis by scholars, advocates, and policymakers across global regions, the Oxford Handbook synthesizes new and enduring knowledge, collectively taking stock of what has been achieved and what remains incomplete and unfinished about the WPS agenda. The handbook charts the collective way forward to increase the impact of WPS research, theory, and practice.

Keywords: WPS agenda, women peace and security, UNSCR 1325, gender and security, UN Security Council, women's rights, conflict and post-conflict

Annotation:

Table of Contents:
Part I. Concepts of WPS
 
1. WPS: A Transformative Agenda?
Sara E. Davies and Jacqui True
 
2. Peace and Security from a Feminist Perspective
J. Ann Tickner
 
3. Adoption of 1325 Resolution
Christine Chinkin
 
4. Civil Society's Leadership in Adopting 1325 Resolution
Sanam Naraghi Anderlini
 
5. Scholarly Debates and Contested Meanings of WPS
Fionnuala D. Ní Aoláin and Nahla Valji
 
6. Advocacy and the WPS Agenda
Sarah Taylor
 
7. WPS as a Political Movement
Swanee Hunt and Alive Wairimu Nderitu
 
8. Location Masculinities in WP
Henri Myrttinen
 
9. WPS and Adopted Security Council Resolutions
Laura J Shepherd
 
10. WPS and Gender Mainstreaming
Karin Landgren
 
11. The Production of the 2015 Global Study
Louise Olsson and Theodora-Ismene Gizelis
 
Part II. Pillars of WPS
 
12. WPS and Conflict Prevention
Bela Kapur and Madeleine Rees
 
13. What Works in Participation
Thania Paffenholz
 
14. What Works (and Fails) in Protection
Hannah Donges and Janosch Kullenberg
 
15. What Works in Relief and Recovery
Jacqui True and Sarah Hewitt
 
16. Where the WPS Pillars Intersect
Marie O'Reilly
 
17. WPS and Female Peacekeepers
Natasja Rupesinghe, Eli Stamnes, and John Karlsrud
 
18. WPS and SEA in Peacekeeping Operations
Jamine-Kim Westendorf
 
19. WPS and Peacekeeping Economics
Kathleen M. Jennings
 
20. WPS in Military Training and Socialization
Helena Carreiras and Teresa Fragoso
 
21. WPS and Policing: New Terrain
Bethan Greener
 
22. WPS, States, and the National Action Plans
Mirsad Miki Jacevic
 
Part III. Institutionalizing WPS
 
23. WPS inside the United Nations
Megan Dersnah
 
24. WPS and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sexual Violence in Conflict
Eleanor O'Gorman
 
25. WPS and the Human Rights Council
Rashida Manjoo
 
26. WPS and International Financial Institutions
Jacqui True and Barbro Svedberg
 
27. WPS and the International Criminal Court
Jonneke Koomen
 
28. WPS and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Stéfanie von Hlatky
 
29. WPS and the African Union
Toni Haastrup
 
30. WPS and the Association of South East Asian Nations
Ma. Lourdes Veneracion-Rallonza
 
31. WPS and the Pacific Islands Forum
Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls and Sian Rolls
 
32. WPS and the Organization of American States
Mary K. Meyer McAleese
 
33. WPS and Civil Society
Annika Bjorkdahl and Johanna Mannergren Selimovic
 
34. WPS and Transnational Feminist Networks
Joy Onyesoh
 
Part IV. Implementing WPS
 
35. Delivering WPS Protection in All Female Peacekeeping Force: The Case of Liberia
Sabrina Karim
 
36. Securing Participation and Protection in Peace Agreements: The Case of Colombia
Isabela Marín Carvajal and Eduardo Álvarez-Vanegas
 
37. WPS and Women's Roles in Conflict-Prevention: The Case of Bougainville
Nicole George
 
38. Women in Rebellion: The Case of Sierra Leone
Zoe Marks
 
39. Protecting Displaced Women and Girls: The Case of Syria
Elizabeth Ferris
 
40. Donor States Delivering on WPS: The Case of Norway
Inger Skjelsbæk and Torunn L. Tryggestad
 
41. WPS as Diplomatic Vocation: The Case of China
Liu Tiewa
 
42. Women Controlling Arms, Building Peace: The Case of the Philippines
Jasmin Nario-Galace
 
43. Testing the WPS Agenda: The Case of Afghanistan
Claire Duncanson and Vanessa Farr
 
44. Mainstreaming WPS in the Armed Forced: The Case of Australia
Jennifer Wittwer
 
Part V. Cross-Cutting Agenda? Connections and Mainstreaming
 
45. WPS and Responsibility to Protect
Alex J. Bellamy and Sara E. Davies
 
46. WPS and Protection of Civilians
Lisa Hultman and Angela Muvumba Sellstrom
 
47. WPS, Children, and Armed Conflict
Katrine Lee-Koo
 
48. WPS, Gender, and Disabilities
Deborah Stienstra
 
49. WPS and Humanitarian Action
Sarah Martin and Devanna de la Puente
 
50. WPS, Migration, and Displacements
Lucy Hall
 
51. WPS and LGBTI Rights
Lisa Davis and Jessica Stern
 
52. WPS and CEDAW, Optional Protocol, and General Recommendations
Catherine O'Rourke with Aisling Swaine
 
53. Women's Roles in CVE
Sri Waiyanti Eddyono with Sara E. Davies
 
54. WPS and Arms Trade Treaty
Ray Acheson and Maria Butler
 
55. WPS and Sustainable Development Goals
Radhika Balakrishnan and Krishanti Dharmaraj
 
56. WPS and the Convention against Torture
Andrea Huber and Therese Rytter
 
57. WPS and Climate Change
Annica Kronsell
 
Part VI. Ongoing and Future Challenges
 
58. Global Study: Looking Forward
Radhika Coomaraswamy and Emily Kenney
 
59. Measuring WPS: A New Global Index
Jeni Klugman
 
60. Pursuing Gender Security
Aisling Swaine
 
61. The Challenge of Foreign Policy in the WPS Agenda
Valerie M. Hudson and Lauren A. Eason
 
62. Networked Advocacy
Yifat Susskind and Diana Duarte
 
63. Women's Peacemaking in South Asia
Meenakshi Gopinath and Rita Manchanda
 
64. WPS, Peace Negotiations, and Peace Agreements
Karin Aggestam
 
65. The WPS Agenda: A Postcolonial Critique
Swati Parashar
 
66. The WPS Agenda and Strategy for the Twenty-First Century
Chantal de Jonge Oudraat
 
67. The Challenges of Monitoring and Analyzing WPS for Scholars
Natalie Florea Hudson

 

Topics: Civil Society, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Conflict, Conflict Prevention, Displacement & Migration, Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, International Law, International Organizations, LGBTQ, Peacekeeping, Peace and Security, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Weapons /Arms Regions: Africa, MENA, West Africa, Americas, South America, Asia, East Asia, Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe, Oceania Countries: Afghanistan, Australia, China, Colombia, Liberia, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Syria

Year: 2019

UNSC Resolution 1325 National Action Plans in Liberia and Sierra Leone: An Analysis of Gendered Power Relations in Hybrid Peacebuilding

Citation:

Ryan, Caitlin, and Helen Basini. 2017. "UNSC Resolution 1325 National Action Plans in Liberia and Sierra Leone: An Analysis of Gendered Power Relations in Hybrid Peacebuilding."Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 11 (2): 186-206. 

Authors: Caitlin Ryan, Helen Basini

Abstract:

This paper considers how the use of ‘hybridity’ in the peacebuilding literature overlooks the gendered dimensions of hybrid interactions. It does so by examining the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1325 national action plans (NAPs) for Liberia and Sierra Leone. By asking the gendered questions of ‘who participates?’ and ‘how do they participate?’ it draws from Mac Ginty’s conception of hybridity and traces the compliance and incentivizing power in hybridized peace, as well as the ability of local actors to resist and provide alternatives. However, Mac Ginty’s model is found to be inadequate because of its inattention to the gendered nature of power. It is found that with a gendered approach to hybridity, it is easier to trace the processes of hybridization of NAPs in post-conflict states where their implementation is limited. In asking the questions of ‘who’ and ‘how’, three conclusions about the gendered nature of hybrid peacebuilding are drawn: international intervention relies upon the ‘feminization’ of local actors; issues framed within the realm of the ‘masculine’ are more likely to get attention; and the Resolution 1325 agenda in post-conflict states can be subverted by framing it as a ‘soft’ issue.

Keywords: UNSC Res. 1325, hybrid peace, Liberia, Sierra Leone, National Action Plans

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia, Sierra Leone

Year: 2017

Principled Pragmatism and the ‘Inclusion Project’: Implementing a Gender Perspective in Peace Agreements

Citation:

Bell, Christine, and Kevin McNicholl. 2019. "Principled Pragmatism and the ‘Inclusion Project’: Implementing a Gender Perspective in Peace Agreements." feminists@law 9 (1). 

 

Authors: Christine Bell, Kevin McNicholl

Abstract:

UN Security Council Resolution 1325 of 2000 provided that peace agreements should adopt a ‘gender perspective’. This commitment has been reiterated in women, peace and security resolutions since that time. This article uses a mixed qualitative and quantitative analysis to consider when and how peace agreements have adopted a gender perspective, using a new PA-X peace agreement database to analyse over 1500 peace and transition agreements from between 1990 and 2016.  It goes further to consider how inclusion of women is related to the other forms of political and group inclusion contemplated to form part of the new political settlement. The article begins by examining what might be meant by a ‘gender perspective in peace agreements’.  It maps out when and how peace agreements provide for women, girls and gender, but also for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans communities, and for ‘men and boys’ and ‘family’ at different stages of a peace process.  The article provides new data on the implementation of agreement commitments and specifically those issues singled out for attention by UNSC 1325. Finally, we consider the inclusion project on offer to women and its relationship to the conceptualisation of the conflict and its solution, by considering the relationship between gender, power-sharing and transitional justice. In summary, analysis of the dataset provides three main findings.  First provision for women is still largely limited to once-off provisions, or issues relating to the victimhood of women, with holistic attempts to adopt a ‘gender perspective’ relatively rare.  Second, the inclusion of women in peace agreement texts tends to be located in the more comprehensive stages of the agreement, with little consideration given to women and gender at either pre-negotiation stages of a peace process, or implementation stages. Third, surprisingly perhaps, political power-sharing is shown to be strongly correlated with several measures of gender inclusion rather than marking an exclusive focus on the inclusion of the groups at the heart of the conflict.  In conclusion we argue that peace agreements indicate the presence of ‘principled pragmatism’ whereby elite commitments to political equality are used by a range of groups to push for a more pluralist conception of the peace settlement as also concerned with the political equality of groups beyond the conflict actors.

Keywords: women and conflict, gender perspective, peace processes, power-sharing, transitional justice, constitutions

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Justice, Transitional Justice, LGBTQ, Peace Processes, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325

Year: 2019

Gender, Conflict and Security: Perspectives from South Asia

Citation:

Singh, Shweta. 2017. "Gender, Conflict and Security: Perspectives from South Asia." Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs 4 (2): 149-57.

Author: Shweta Singh

Abstract:

This article provides an overview to this special issue of JASIA, entitled ‘Gender, Conflict and Security: Perspectives from South Asia’. Gender intersects with conflict and security and yet remains at the margins of academic theorizing, policy priority and practitioner perspectives in South Asia. This special issue puts forth fresh insights into how and why the lived experiences of women in South Asia (particularly from areas of protracted conflict such as Nepal, India and Sri Lanka) are different? And how and why these impinge on the global discourse on security? It argues that this analysis is pertinent not just from the standpoint of academic theorizing on security but also from the perspective of international security policy like the United Nations led Women, Peace and Security Agenda. This is the 17th year of the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, and only Nepal and Afghanistan in South Asia have a National Action Plan. This special issue also critically examines the key gaps in the international policy on Women, Peace and Security Agenda and how it ‘speaks’ or ‘not speaks’ to the contextual reality of South Asia.

Keywords: gender, conflict, security, South Asia, women peace and security, UNSCR 1325

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Women, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Peace and Security, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka

Year: 2017

Re-thinking the ‘Normative’ in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325: Perspectives from Sri Lanka

Citation:

Singh, Shweta. 2017. "Re-thinking the ‘Normative’ in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325: Perspectives from Sri Lanka." Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs 4 (2): 219-38.

Author: Shweta Singh

Abstract:

This article asserts the need to re-think the ‘normative’ in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) from the standpoint of the ‘local’, in this case Sri Lanka. It argues that UNSCR 1325 needs to be situated within the larger discourse on international norms, and challenges to the implementation of UNSCR 1325 in varied ‘local’ contexts can be evaluated through the theoretical frameworks provided by existing literature on norms diffusion. I put forward three main arguments: First, the need to go beyond the neat classification of contexts as ‘conflict’ and ‘post-conflict’; second, the need to problematize gender as homogenous and women as coherent stable category of analysis; and third, to look beyond women as victims or agents. I argue that women in post-war Sri Lanka can more aptly be classified as controlled actors as women’s agency is structurally and culturally controlled, which inhibits their capacity to act or perform. In conclusion, I posit that Sri Lanka not only presents a strong case for the localization of the ‘normative’ in UNSCR 1325 but also provides justification for a three-level bottom-up analysis (local, regional and international) to comprehensively understand why UNSCR 1325 fails or succeeds to influence state behaviour.

Keywords: United Nations Security Council 1325, gender norms, norm diffusion, post-war Sri Lanka, controlled actors

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, International Organizations, Peace and Security, Post-Conflict, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Sri Lanka

Year: 2017

Making Women Count - Not Just Counting Women: Assessing Women's Inclusion and Influence on Peace Negotiations

Citation:

Paffenholz, Thania, Nick Ross, Steven Dixon, Anna-Lena Schluchter, and Jacqui True. 2016. Making Women Count - Not Just Counting Women: Assessing Women's Inclusion and Influence on Peace Negotiations. Geneva: Inclusive Peace and Transition Initiative and UN Women. 

Authors: Thania Paffenholz, Nick Ross, Steven Dixon, Anna-Lena Schluchter, Jacqui True

Annotation:

Summary:
Fifteen years after the adoption of the landmark UN Security Council Resolution 1325, women remain significantly underrepresented in peace and transitional processes. A central challenge is the lack of evidence-based knowledge on the precise role and impact of women’s inclusion on peace processes. When women have been included in the past, it was mainly due to normative pressure applied by women’s groups and their international supporters. The results of the “Broadening Participation in Political Negotiations and Implementation” project—an ongoing multi-year research project started in 2011 at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland, under the leadership of Dr. Thania Paffenholz— address these empirical knowledge gaps. Comprised of 40 in-depth qualitative case studies, this project examines the role and impact of all actors and groups— in addition to the main conflict parties—included in peace and political transition processes throughout all phases, including post-agreement implementation. The objective of this report is to present an analysis of women’s inclusion distilled from the larger “Broadening Participation” research project to date, in order to provide UN Women (and other organizations studying women’s inclusion) with direct comparative evidence on women’s influence in previous cases of peace processes since the 1990s. For the purpose of the research, ‘women’ were defined as organized groups (such as women’s delegations and women’s civil society organizations, networks, or coalitions) participating alongside other actors, such as civil society, political parties, or previously-sidelined armed groups.

Topics: Gender, Women, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325

Year: 2016

Women and Natural Resources Unlocking the Peacebuilding Potential

Citation:

United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office, and United Nations Development Programme. 2013. Women and Natural Resources Unlocking the Peacebuilding Potential. United Nations .

Authors: Adrienne Stork, Cassidy Travis, Silja Halle

Annotation:

Summary:

“Women’s diverse experiences in times of conflict have powerful implications for peacebuilding. Their capacity to recover from conflict and contribute to peace is influenced by their role in the conflict, whether directly engaged in armed groups, displaced, or forced to take on additional responsibilities to sustain their livelihoods and care for dependents. In spite of efforts by the international community to recognize and better address these multiple roles through agreements such as United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, the dominant perception of women as passive victims in conflict settings continues to constrain their ability to formally engage in political, economic and social recovery, and thereby contribute to better peacebuilding.

One of the unexplored entry points for strengthening women’s contributions to peacebuilding relates to the ways in which they use, manage, make decisions on and benefit from natural resources. Coupled with shifting gender norms in conflict-affected settings, women’s roles in natural resource management provide significant opportunities to enhance their participation in decisionmaking at all levels, and to enable them to engage more productively in economic revitalization activities.

As the primary providers of water, food and energy at the household and community levels, women in rural settings are often highly dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods, and are therefore particularly susceptible to changes in the availability and quality of these resources during and after conflict. In particular, lack of access to land – which underpins rights to all other natural resources and is a key asset for securing productive inputs – can force them into increasingly vulnerable situations and expose them to higher levels of physical and livelihood risk, with trickle-down impacts on community welfare. The structural discrimination that women face regarding resource rights and access also limits their political participation and economic productivity.

At the same time, conflict often leads both women and men to adopt coping strategies that challenge traditional gender norms. To meet the needs of their households and compensate for loss of revenue usually provided by male family members, women may assume new natural resource management roles, either by taking up alternative income-generating activities or by moving into traditionally male sectors. In the aftermath of conflict, capitalizing on these shifting roles can contribute to breaking down barriers to women’s empowerment and enhancing women’s productivity in sectors that are often critical to economic revitalization.

Failure to recognize the challenges and opportunities awarded to women in conflict-affected settings by their various roles in natural resource management also risks perpetuating inequalities and deepening grievances linked to natural resource rights, access and control, which have proven to be powerful catalysts for violence. Addressing issues of inequality related to resource access and ownership, participation in decision-making and benefitsharing early on in the peacebuilding process is therefore a critical condition for lasting peace and development.

To strengthen peacebuilding outcomes by enhancing women’s engagement and empowerment in conflictaffected contexts through sustainable natural resource management, this report recommends that national
governments and the international community take the following action:

  1. Promote women’s participation in formal and informal decision-making structures and governance processes related to natural resource management in peacebuilding: Working with natural resource management authorities can help increase women’s participation in decision-making at the sub-national and national levels. However, targeted support is needed for overcoming the structural, social and cultural barriers to women’s formal and informal political participation in conflict-affected settings. This can be achieved by including women and gender specialists early on in peace negotiations in a variety of positions – as negotiators, as expert advisors and as civil society observers – and in mediation support teams, as well as supporting their capacity to engage effectively in these processes. It also requires ensuring that women are represented in relevant decision-making bodies, including through the use of quotas and soliciting inputs from a broad range of women’s groups and networks when elaborating natural resource management policies. In addition gender experts should be part of teams charged with developing policies and other governance tools around natural resource management in peacebuilding contexts, including in supply-chain certification mechanisms, benefit-sharing schemes, and transparency initiatives. Finally, it is essential to provide training and capacity-building and to support the advocacy efforts of women’s organizations and networks.
  2. Adopt proactive measures to protect women from resource-related physical violence and other security risks early in the peacebuilding period: Women in conflict-affected settings routinely experience physical insecurity, including sexual violence, when carrying out daily tasks linked to the collection and use of natural resources. Moreover, while the impacts of environmental contamination and pollution adversely affect all, women are particularly vulnerable, due to heightened exposure in their gendered roles and responsibilities. Protecting women from these risks is not only important to their health, but also key to ensuring that they are able to safely carry out economic and social activities linked to natural resource management. Among other measures, addressing these risks can involve: conducting assessments to identify specific resource and environment-related security and health threats for women in conflict-affected contexts; ensuring that women have safe access to key resources, such as fuel wood and water, in internally displaced persons and refugee camps; supporting the dissemination of innovative technologies, such as improved cook stoves, that protect women from adverse health impacts in carrying out their roles; increasing women’s participation in security sector institutions and conflict resolution  processes; and supporting awareness-raising and training on women’s rights among the staff of government institutions and the national security sector, as well as at the community level, in order to increase gender-sensitive operational effectiveness and security service delivery by the army and police.
  3. Remove barriers and create enabling conditions to build women’s capacity for productive and sustainable use of natural resources: Access to credit, technical support and benefits from natural resource exploitation is essential to improving women’s economic productivity, which in turn is key to their empowerment. Likewise, legal support for the enforcement of land rights and other resource rights underpins women’s ability to productively use natural resources for their recovery. Achieving this can include: identifying women’s specific roles in key natural resource sectors and how those roles may have been affected during conflict, establishing regular consultative mechanisms with a variety of women’s groups and networks on the development of basic service infrastructure in their communities, prioritizing land negotiation and reform processes that improve women’s rights to land. In addition, providing legal aid, conflict management, negotiation and mediation services to women can enable them to enforce their resource-related rights and access dispute resolution mechanisms. Prioritizing access to finance, inputs and skills training for women and men equally, upholding human rights and minimum labor standards for women’s involvement in the extractive sectors and ensuring private companies operating in the extractive sectors engage both men and women during environmental and social impact assessments, as well as throughout the project cycle can further improve women’s productive and sustainable use of natural resources. Finally, women’s representation on commissions established for wealth-sharing and national and sub-national level and the provision of gender expertise for such bodies, should be prioritized and efforts made to ensure that women are included in community based natural resource management initiatives in conflict-affected settings.
  4. Within the United Nations, increase inter-agency cooperation to pursue women’s empowerment and sustainable natural resource management together in support of more effective peacebuilding: Existing inter-agency mechanisms at the global and country levels should be tasked to address the risks and opportunities presented to women by natural resource management in peacebuilding contexts more systematically in their work, including by: conducting pilot programmes to learn lessons on how to integrate the linkages between women, natural resources and peacebuilding in joint assessments and country programming; ensuring that 15 percent of all funding towards UN-supported natural resource management programmes in peacebuilding is allocated to women’s empowerment and gender equality; requiring the collection of sex and agedisaggregated data on peacebuilding and recovery programmes that address and/or have an impact on natural resource management; developing specific targets related to the participation of women and gender experts in natural resource management in post-conflict countries, in line with the priorities and goals set in the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States and the goals for the post-2015 development agenda; supporting further research on the nexus of women, natural resources and peacebuilding, particularly in areas where significant knowledge gaps remain; and integrating gender equality and women’s empowerment issues in meetings of actors working on addressing the linkages between natural resources, conflict and peacebuilding.” (Stork, Travis, and Halle 2013, 7-8)

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, International Organizations, Livelihoods, Peacebuilding, Peace and Security, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Land Rights, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Violence

Year: 2013

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