Handbook on Gender in World Politics
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Handbook on Gender in World Politics

Edited by Jill Steans and Daniela Tepe

The Handbook on Gender in World Politics is an up-to-date, comprehensive, multi-disciplinary compendium of scholarship in gender studies. The text provides an indispensable reference guide for scholars and students interrogating gender issues in international and global contexts. Substantive areas covered include: statecraft, citizenship and the politics of belonging, international law and human rights, media and communications technologies, political economy, development, global governance and transnational visions of politics and solidarities.
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Chapter 32: The Women, Peace and Security resolutions: UNSCR 1325 to 2122

Laura McLeod


On 31 October 2000, the Security Council – one of the most conservative institutions within the United Nations (UN) – devoted an entire session to a discussion of women and gender in post-conflict contexts (Cohn et al., 2004: 130). During this session, a landmark Security Council resolution was passed: UNSCR 1325. Although just four pages long, the document is far more than just another resolution. UNSCR 1325 urges for the mainstreaming of gender in the armed conflict and security side of the UN by developing an agenda for women’s concerns in post-conflict contexts. While UNSCR 1325 was not the first articulation of gender mainstreaming within the UN system, it was the clearest statement of the standard expected for integrating a gender perspective into peace operations (Väyrynen, 2004: 126). The resolution notes the need: to increase female participation in all post-conflict and peacekeeping processes; to address post-war violence against women; and to develop a gender perspective in all post-conflict policy programmes and initiatives. Crucially, UNSCR 1325 is frequently taken to be a document where ‘gender’ and ‘security’ intersect (Shepherd, 2008: 6), embodying radical possibilities for a reconsideration of how the UN practises security. But the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) revolution did not end there. Between October 2000 and October 2013, seven related WPS resolutions were passed, as detailed in Table 32.1. The later resolutions focus on specific aspects of the WPS agenda, arising from the view that UNSCR 1325 was difficult to implement and a narrower scope was needed to stimulate work in the WPS arena (Skjelsbæk, 2012: 160).

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