Women, Peace, Security post-2015: new opportunities for gender justice?

Stream: Panel 41 - Gender Politics: Gender Based Violence 3: International Perspectives
Date: Tuesday, 27 September 2016
Time: 2.00 pm – 3.30 pm


Over the past decade and a half, the United Nations (UN) has sought to include a gender perspective in its peace and security operations and 2015 saw some important milestones in this field. Among these was a high-level review of the Women, Peace and Security architecture in the UN system, which found significant gaps in the implementation of WPS. Consequently, there have been renewed pledges of better incorporation of both ‘gender’ and ‘women’ into peace and security mechanisms. In early 2016 the adoption of a UN Security Council Resolution, aimed at preventing rape and sexual exploitation committed by peacekeepers, signalled another development for WPS policy. In light of these development, this paper examines WPS in this post-2015 environment. Key aspects in this regard will be: whether the results of both the high-level review and the new resolution will be implemented in practice; whether they can lead to improved outcomes on the ground; and whether this can lead to new opportunities for gender justice, which calls for inter alia a more equitable redistribution of material and social benefits. Following the theme of justice, the paper assesses the extent to which WPS post-2015 can be representative of ‘gender justice.’


Sarah Smith (Presenter), Swinburne Institute of Social Research
Dr Sarah Smith recently completed her PhD on the gender component of UN peacebuilding, examined via the case of Timor-Leste. Her research interests relate broadly to feminist and gender IR, and to security studies. She lectures in IR, security and conflict resolution.