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Women's Rights

Feminist Foreign Policy: A Framework

Citation:

Thompson, Lyric. 2020. Feminist Foreign Policy: A Framework. Washington, DC: International Center for Research on Women.

Author: Lyric Thompson

Annotation:

Summary:
"Today’s most pressing issues, and the solutions that are envisioned, are not radically different from those addressed at Beijing. The context, however, has changed. Despite measurable progress in some areas, such as girls’ education, maternal health and, increasingly, the repeal of discriminatory laws, there are new and dynamic challenges that threaten to reverse progress and rollback rights. And no country has achieved gender equality. The world faces an urgent climate crisis; persistent social, economic and political inequalities and consequential trust deficits with respect to globalization and the international institutions seen to support it; reversals of legislative protections of sexual and reproductive rights; attacks on women and LGBTQ+ human rights defenders; anemic progress on political inclusion of marginalized groups; and protracted political crises resulting in the largest forced displacement since WWII, among others. If we want to meet our human rights obligations, we cannot leave anyone behind, much less women and girls, in all their diversity.

At this moment of increased nationalism, populism and misogyny, it is time to call out backlash and call in new allies and champions for gender equality and women’s human rights, using all the tools at our disposal. As champions for gender justice from around the world prepare to honor the legacy of Beijing and launch the next generation of commitments to advance gender equality, feminist foreign policy is one tool that shows promise for taking a much-needed, intersectional and often multilateral approach to women’s rights, simultaneously addressing urgent issues such as climate change, peace and security, inclusive growth, global health and poverty alleviation. We are convinced that every country can embrace a feminist foreign policy, no matter if it is a low, middle or high-income one. At home and abroad, adopting a feminist approach could help to improve social development and reach social welfare and gender equality. Such an approach promotes inclusion, equality, peace and security, both at the international and national level.

But what is it, precisely? This framework attempts to distill a definition and a few core components of feminist foreign policy, drawing from the few examples that exist today2, as well as the insights of feminist thinkers, advocates and experts inside and outside of government. This growing collective will be formalized in the course of the Beijing+25 Generation Equality process, in hopes of informing the fledgling field of feminist foreign policy and expanding the number of countries bold enough to embrace it" (Thomspon 2020, 1).

Topics: Feminist Foreign Policy, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Intersectionality, Peace and Security, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2020

Documenting the Impact of Conflict on Women Living in Internally Displaced Persons Camps in Sri Lanka: Some Ethical Considerations

Citation:

Swiss, Shana, Peggy J. Jennings, K. G. K. Weerarathne, and Lori Heise. 2019. “Documenting the Impact of Conflict on Women Living in Internally Displaced Persons Camps in Sri Lanka: Some Ethical Considerations.” Health and Human Rights Journal 21 (1): 93-101.

Authors: Shana Swiss, Peggy J. Jennings, K. G. K. Weerarathne, Lori Heise

Abstract:

Women’s Rights International works with rural women and girls who are living in countries at war or with ongoing political violence. In 2005, The Asia Foundation invited Women’s Rights International to Sri Lanka to evaluate the feasibility of a random-sample survey of women to document the impact of the decades-long conflict. The significant imbalance in the risks-to-benefits ratio compelled us to recommend that random-sample surveys that included questions about sexual violence be avoided at that time, especially in the displaced persons areas. Instead, we recommended that three strategies be given priority in situations in which the risks for women are too great to justify a random-sample survey. First, maximize the use of existing information. Second, collect survey data only in partnership with a strong community organization that will use the data for direct tangible benefits. Third, share knowledge that will help build the capacity of local organizations to design surveys that address their priorities, and collect and use their own data following ethical guidelines that maximize the protection of individuals and the wider community. We implemented these recommendations in a partnership with a local organization with a strong history of advocating for women’s rights.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Refugee/IDP Camps, Conflict, Gender, Women, Girls, International Organizations, Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Sri Lanka

Year: 2019

Las Mujeres Rurales y su Derecho a la Tierra: Retos de la Política Pública en Colombia

Citation:

Gómez Mendoza, María Juliana, and Luisa Paola Sanabria Torres. 2020. "Las Mujeres Rurales y su Derecho a la Tierra: Retos de la Política Pública en Colombia. Trabajo Social 22 (1): 85-104.

 

Authors: María Juliana Gómez Mendoza, Luisa Paola Sanabria Torres

Abstract:

SPANISH ABSTRACT:
El presente artículo es resultado de una experiencia en la formulación y ejecución de la política pública de restitución de tierras y del acompañamiento al programa de ordenamiento social de la propiedad rural de la Agencia Nacional de Tierras. La incorporación del enfoque de género en estas políticas involucra tres elementos centrales: el reconocimiento de las mujeres como propietarias de los predios, el aumento de su participación en espacios de decisión y la promoción del recono- cimiento de los derechos de las mujeres entre los funcionarios públicos.
ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
The article is the result of an experience in the formulation and execution of the land restitution public policy and the accompaniment provided to the program for the social organization of rural property, carried out by the National Land Agency. The incorporation of gender mainstreaming into these policies involves three main elements: recognition of women as owners of the properties; increased participation of women in decision-making spaces; and promotion among civil servants of the recognition of women’s rights.

 

Keywords: derecho a la tierra, discriminación, enfoque de género, política pública, tierra, discrimination, gender mainstreaming, land, public policy, right to land, women

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Land Tenure, Governance, Political Participation, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2020

Explaining Divergent Outcomes of the Arab Spring: The Significance of Gender and Women's Mobilizations

Citation:

Moghadam, Valentine M. 2018. "Explaining Divergent Outcomes of the Arab Spring: The Significance of Gender and Women's Mobilizations." Politics, Groups, and Identities 6 (4): 666-81.

Author: Valentine Moghadam

Abstract:

The Arab Spring has been extensively analyzed but the presence or absence of violent protests and the divergent outcomes of the uprising that encompassed the Arab region have not been explained in terms of the salience of gender and women’s mobilizations. I argue that women’s legal status, social positions, and collective action prior to the Arab Spring helped shape the nature of the 2011 mass protests as well as the political and social outcomes of individual countries. I compare and contrast two sets of cases: Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia, which saw non-violent protests and relatively less repression on the part of the state; and Bahrain, Libya, Syria, and Yemen, where states responded to the protests, whether violent or non-violent, with force and repression, and where women and their rights have been among the principal victims. I also show why women fared worse in Egypt than in Morocco and Tunisia.

Keywords: Arab Spring, women's rights, women's mobilizations, outcomes, violence, democratization

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Conflict, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Nonviolence, Rights, Women's Rights, Violence Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Asia, Middle East Countries: Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen

Year: 2018

Smoke and Mirrors: State-Sponsored Feminism in Post-Uprising Egypt

Citation:

Allam, Nermin. 2019. "Smoke and Mirrors: State-Sponsored Feminism in Post-uprising Egypt." Social Research 86 (1): 365-86.

Author: Nermin Allam

Annotation:

Summary:
"In 2012, I carried out my first round of interviews with women in Egypt. I was then studying their experiences in the 2011 uprising that led to the ousting of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. The aura that surrounded the interviews at that time was marked by cautious optimism, hope, and a belief in a better future. This aura, however, was short-lived, and soon came to an end with the resurgence of gender inequality and the failure of democratic transition in Egypt. Themes of despair and disappointment became fundamental features of my interviews in 2014, and more intensely in 2017, as female participants reflected on their experiences and their expectations for change following the uprising. Participants described the sense of feeling "worthless [belā qīmah]," "exhausted [ta'banah]," and "depleted [mu'damah]." However, whenever I asked if that was the end of change and reform, they hastily responded: "Not yet." 
 
Activists often asserted that the experience of collective action had changed them and that "things" cannot return to the "old days." However, as other participants asserted during my interviews and as is still the case at the time of this writing, "things" seem by far worse in comparison to the "old days," which leaves unanswered the question of what has really changed. The answer is that the agenda of women's rights did shift in the evolving political landscape that followed the 2011 Egyptian uprising, specifically with the revival of state feminism under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. 
 
Al-Sisi's regime has sought to contain women's groups through policies of state-sponsored feminism, meaning the different ways in which the regime moves to offer limited advancements in women's rights during periods of economic development (Hatem 1992). In exchange for these limited rights, the regime sanctions independent feminist initiatives while it actually restricts their autonomy (Hatem 1992). Except for the brief period immediately following the uprising, state-sponsored feminism throughout Egypt's modern history has marked and governed gender politics, ostensibly laying essential foundations for improving the lives of women. However, in the absence of a strong independent feminist movement, this foundation was vulnerable to regressive backlash as soon as the political structure changed (Kato 2017). 
 
Unlike the "first lady syndrome" (Elsadda 2011) associated with former Egyptian regimes, characterized by the first lady and her clique intervening on behalf of women's groups and championing women's rights, the president himself, in what I call "al-Sisi Syndrome," has personally taken on that responsibility. His policies have yielded significant developments and advancements but also challenges for women's rights in Egypt, including the populist discourses embraced by the regime to control the agenda of women's rights and to discredit independent feminists. 
 
The backlash against women's rights in Egypt following the 2011 uprising underscores the ways in which state-sponsored feminism as a political opportunity is a "fickle friend" (Tarrow 1998, 89). It constantly shifts and changes and can eventually turn against members that contributed to opening this space and benefited from it. I prefer the term "flickering" to "fickle" because it encompasses the possibility that even if state-sponsored feminism does not outright turn on its members, it nevertheless engenders mixed outcomes anddisappointments. It creates a unique set of opportunities and challenges for the women's movement in Egypt. These opportunities and obstacles condition the development of the movement, the resonance of women's rights discourse, and the access of different women's groups to decision-making and political participation. 
 
The policies of state-sponsored feminism under al-Sisi bear great resemblance to the gender policies of Mubarak's regime yet also entail new articulations. It is fruitful, therefore, to compare the historical and current contours of the policy and examine how the interests, identities, and strategies of different actors changed following the uprising. Doing so reveals the limitations of state-sponsored feminism in renegotiating the relationship between state institutions and civil society organizations. Such analysis also highlights the potential of state feminism to challenge gendered social norms and perceptions among the different segments in the society." (Allam 2019, 365-67)

Topics: Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Nationalism, Post-Conflict, Political Participation, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Middle East Countries: Egypt

Year: 2019

A Political Culture of Feminist Resistance: Exploring Women's Agency and Gender Dynamics in Yemen's Uprising (2011-15)

Citation:

Strzelecka, Ewa K. 2018. "A Political Culture of Feminist Resistance: Exploring Women’s Agency and Gender Dynamics in Yemen’s Uprising (2011-15)." In Yemen and the Search for Stability: Power, Politics and Society after the Arab Spring, edited by Marie-Christine Heinze, 47-70. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. 

Author: Ewa K. Strzelecka

Annotation:

Summary:
"...The purpose of this chapter is to address the gender dynamics of power in Yemen's revolutionary struggle for change. The discussion is carried out from the perspective of a new feminist scholarship, which shifts the focus of attention 'from a theoretical figure of patriarchy and exclusion to an analysis of the dynamic processes of women's participation in civil society and in public political life' (Siim 2000:2). This process must be contextualized. Therefore, my argument starts from a critical analysis of mechanisms of oppression and repression against women in Yemen and later explores the ways in which Yemeni activists respond and resist that oppression, producing what I call a 'political culture of feminist resistance.' It is my premise that resistance not only implies 'acting in opposition' but also reflects the 'potential for subversion and contestation in the interstices of establishes of established orders' (Kandiyoti 1998: 141). Feminist resistance, in particular, aims at subverting the dominant patriarchal structures of power. It implies collective and individual actions that promote social change in advancement of equality and justice for women. Although consolidation of feminist gains and the successful implementation of women's rights and freedoms in the aftermath of the Yemeni uprising have yet to be determined, my intention is to highlight the role of women's rights activists as agents of change, capable of influencing socio-political transformation and challenging gender power relations.

My study focuses on specific groups of revolutionary female activists who are highly motivated and actively dedicated to improving women's rights and gender justice, within a broader goal of seeking social change towards a new culture of democracy and human rights in Yemen. Most of them are urban and well-educated, middle or upper class women, who became women's rights activists as a result of the strength of their feminist consciousness. In their journey of personal and collective empowerment, they rebelled against patriarchal culture and enhanced their own strategies and actions for change, which went beyond the reductive oppositions of religious/secular, Islamist/liberal, traditional/modern, but were still struggling to deal effectively with different forms of violence that contributes substantially to the oppression of women in Yemen... (Strzelecka 2018, 48)." 

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Livelihoods, Rights, Women's Rights, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Yemen

Year: 2018

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

Global Violence and Security from a Gendered Perspective

Citation:

True, Jacqui, and Maria Tanyag. 2017. "Global Violence and Security from a Gendered Perspective." In Global Insecurity, edited by Anthony Burke and Rita Parker, 43-63. London: Palgrave Macmillan. 

Authors: Jacqui True, Maria Tanyag

Abstract:

This chapter reconceptualises global violence and security through a feminist political economy framework. Violence and insecurity is intimately related to unequal political and economic power. However, the ‘continuum of violence’ is obscured by masculinist norms of security within gendered structures of political economy especially the division of public/private spheres, of production/reproduction activities, and of war/peace. These divisions are reproduced despite processes of globalisation that increasingly materially displace them. Feminist political economy analysis allows us not only to see the range of forms of violence and insecurity in war and conflict contexts but moreover, to understand how they are structurally connected to violence and insecurity within apparently peaceful societies and households. Applying this framework the chapter challenges the ‘silo-ing’ of the political-military and socioeconomic stabilisation pillars of international security. It reveals the disproportionately negative impact that this dichotomous approach to security has on individuals and communities, particularly on women’s rights to protection and participation in peace and security. Economic and political marginalisation exacerbates experiences of physical and structural violence both in and outside of conflict and hinders the achievement of sustainable peace. Fundamental change in global security governance must involve transforming the underlying structures of political, social, and economic inequality rather than prescribing more ‘good governance’, and ‘gender mainstreaming’ grafted onto security and humanitarian interventions.

Keywords: sexual violence, gender inequality, armed conflict, international peace, structural violence

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Masculinism, Peace and Security, Rights, Women's Rights, Security, Violence

Year: 2017

The UN Security Council and the Political Economy of the WPS Resolutions

Citation:

Basu, Soumita. 2017. "The UN Security Council and the Political Economy of the WPS Resolutions." Politics & Gender 13 (4): 721-7.

Author: Soumita Basu

Annotation:

Summary:
"This contribution to the forum links these themes, which dominate discussions of the political economy of the WPS resolutions — funding, economic rights of women, and neoliberal peacebuilding — to a fourth dimension that has remained largely unexplored in feminist international relations scholarship so far: the materiality of the Security Council. Particularly in light of the attention paid to UNSCR 1325 in a number of contributions to the previous Politics & Gender forum on feminist security studies (FSS) and feminist political economy (FPE), this contribution presents the council as an arena in which the meeting of the two strands of feminist international relations can yield valuable insights about the trajectory of the WPS resolutions. It considers not just the politics of financing the provisions of the WPS resolutions but also the broad frames of understanding — of market, state, and society — within which the resolutions are conceived at the council" (Basu 2017, 722).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Peace and Security, Peace Processes, Political Economies, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS

Year: 2017

Take Back the Future: Global Feminisms and the Coming Crisis of the Beijing Settlement

Citation:

Ergas, Yasmine. 2019. "Take Back the Future: Global Feminisms and the Coming Crisis of the Beijing Settlement." Journal of International Affairs 72 (2): 19-36

Author: Yasmine Ergas

Annotation:

Summary:
"In April 2019, the United States threatened to use its veto in the UN Security Council (UNSC). That was not an unusual move: the Permanent Five members of the UNSC often exercise their right to block a United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR). But what was striking in this case was the content of the resolution against which the US felt both compelled and legitimated to invoke what is, in effect, the Council’s “nuclear option.” Did the draft Resolution introduced by Germany—a US ally—threaten U.S. national security? Did it undermine a friendly nation? In fact, Germany proposed to do neither. Rather, it sought to establish a working group within the UNSC on sexual violence in conflict, and generally strengthen the Council’s monitoring of related processes. Why, then, did the US object? As importantly, why did feminist groups also voice concern about the German initiative? While further research is needed to answer these questions, this essay views the U.S. position on Germany’s draft resolution as an expression of the stance taken by the U.S. administration and other states toward what one could term the “Beijing Settlement,” the general, albeit always contested, consensus rhetorically encapsulated in the slogan that “women’s rights are human rights, and human rights are women’s rights,” which emerged from the fourth world conference on women in 1995. The U.S. administration’s stance is reflective of a broad backlash against gender-related rights, including both women’s rights generally and all persons’ rights related to sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and sexual characteristics" (Ergas 2019, 19).

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, International Organizations, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, Sexuality, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Americas, North America, Europe, Central Europe Countries: Germany, United States of America

Year: 2019

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