Research for stronger health systems during and after crisis

Challenges and progress in implementing the women, peace and security agenda: two case studies

Valerie Percival, Emmicki Roos and Sally Theobald

Section III of Chapter 8 ‘Women, Peace and Security’ in the 2016 SIPRI Yearbook.

This section describes two case studies that highlight the challenges and progress in implementing the women, peace and security agenda: women’s participation in security sector reform and the work to prevent gender based violence in conflict and post-conflict reconstruction of health systems.

Details of this chapter from the SIPRI Yearbook for 2016 can be accessed here. Note: Unfortunately this is not currently open access, but the Yearbook is available for purchase and accessible online to subscribers. The complete section contents will be available for the authors to share on their own sites from August 2017, and a link will be posted from this site.

Chapter 8 ‘Women, Peace and Security’ – Contents and summary.

Overview, Theresa Höghammar, Emma Bjertén-Günther and Rachel Irwin

  1. The development of the women, peace and security agenda, Theresa Höghammar, Lovisa Strand, Emmicki Roos and Rachel Irwin
  2. The 15th anniversary of Resolution 1325: global perspectives, Emma Bjertén-Günther, Emmicki Roos and Rachel Irwin

III. Challenges and progress in implementing the women, peace and security agenda: to case studies, Valerie Percival, Emmicki Roos and Sally Theobald

The women, peace and security (WPS) agenda consists of eight United Nations Security Council resolutions that inject a gender perspective into various peace and security forums. This perspective calls for women’s participation in preventing armed conflict and in peacebuilding, as well as for the protection of women and girls in conflict. The foundational resolution of the WPS agenda, UN Security Council Resolution 1325, was adopted unanimously in October 2000. It was the first Security Council resolution to specifically address the impact of armed conflict on women, and women’s contribution to conflict resolution and sustainable peace. This formal agenda has given rise to a transnational epistemic community of governments, private sector actors, researchers and, most notably, civil society. Many in this community have their origins in the women’s peace movement.

While the WPS agenda has been lauded for promoting a better understanding of the relevance of a gender perspective within the overall international peace and security discourse, there has also been some criticism regarding the lack of political will and funding for its implementation. In addition, insufficient implementation strategies and tools for evaluation and monitoring remain issues of concern. UN Security Council Resolution 2242 is the most recent addition to the WPS toolbox and reflects some of the new challenges in global peace and security, including climate change, the increasing number of refugees and internally displaced persons, and violent extremism.