Mainstreaming Gender in UN Security Policy: A Path to Political Transformation?

  • Carol Cohn


In October of 2000, the UN Security Council (SC) unanimously adopted Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security (WPS).2 Resolution 1325 is often called a landmark resolution because it represents the first time the SC directly addressed the subject of women and armed conflict, beyond a few passing references to women as victims, or women as a “vulnerable group.” It not only recognizes that women have been active in peace-building and conflict prevention but it also recognizes women’s right to participate — as decision-makers at all levels — in conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and peace-building processes. Further, it calls for all participants in peace negotiations “to adopt a gender perspect-ive,” and “expresses its willingness to incorporate a gender perspective into peacekeeping operations.” Gender perspectives, in this context, are taken to include attention to the special needs of women and girls during disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement, rehabilitation, reintegration, and post-conflict reconstruction, as well as measures supporting local women’s peace initiatives. Resolution 1325 recognizes that women are disproportionately victimized in wars and calls upon all parties to armed conflict to take special measures to respect women’s rights, to protect women from gender-based violence, and to end impunity for crimes of violence against women and girls. It calls for gender training for peacekeepers and others involved in peace operations. And it calls for better representation of women throughout the UN system itself.


Security Council Security Policy Global Governance Gender Perspective International Peace 
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© Carol Cohn 2008

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  • Carol Cohn

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