Gender and the Un’s Women, Peace and Security Agenda

Authored by: Nicole George , Katrina Lee-Koo , Laura J. Shepherd

The Routledge Handbook of Gender and Security

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138696211
eBook ISBN: 9781315525099
Adobe ISBN:


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The Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda at the United Nations is the architecture through which the gendered impacts of war, violence, and security practices are governed. Inaugurated in 2000 with the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, the WPS agenda comprises eight resolutions (at the time of writing), addressing various dimensions of the prevention of violence, the participation of women in peace and security governance, and the protection of women’s rights and their bodies. In this chapter, we treat the WPS agenda as an institution, in the broadest sense of it being a set of rules or practices that structure and inform interaction in the realm of peace and security. The WPS agenda as an institution is also articulated within and in relation to other institutions at the international, regional, national, and local levels. We use this structure to organize our overview of gender and the UN’s WPS agenda. First, we explore the international dimension, outlining the gendered and institutional politics of the WPS agenda at the United Nations itself. Second, we trace the support of and resistance to the WPS agenda as an institution at the regional level, with a specific focus on the Asia Pacific region. In the final substantive section we use the case study of Australian engagement with the WPS agenda to illuminate some of the institutional complexities at the national level.

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