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Revisiting ‘Womenandchildren’ in Peace and Security: What About the Girls Caught in Between?

  • Lesley PruittEmail author
Chapter
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Abstract

International Relations (IR) tends to ignore children in general and girls in particular. Where they have been included it has most often been under the conflation of ‘womenandchildren’ used to represent an agentless, victimized shorthand for non-combatants. Feminist IR scholars and critical peace and security scholars have engaged with children as they have sought to break up ‘women and children’ into separate, distinct entities. For feminists, these claims typically rely on the premise that women should be seen as equal to men, not relegated to the private world of children. However, gendered hierarchical notions may permeate feminist theories of peace and security when they rely on adult-centric models of agency and fail to acknowledge the presence and actions of girls. Theoretical advancements through intersectional feminism are needed to better understand and account for girls in relation to peace and security. Pursuing this approach makes it possible to acknowledge that the needs and experiences of women and children can both differ and overlap, rather than (re)creating age- and gender-based hierarchies that rely on false oversimplifications, which hamper peacebuilding and further insecurity for people of diverse ages and genders. To demonstrate this, the chapter engages with UN Security Council Resolutions, related debates, and empirical examples from Colombia.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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