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Dare More Ethics in International Politics! The Global "Women, Peace and Security" Agenda

By Manuela Scheuermann

After Germany introduced resolution 2467 in 2019, UN Secretary-General Guterres referred to the link between a society’s propensity for violence against women and the propensity for conflict in that country. Curbing sexual and gender-based violence is a recurring theme in international peacekeeping, and this has been accompanied by increasing efforts on the part of several states to implement feminist policies seeking to strengthen links between local and global stakeholders. Problems such as violence against women in war zones and crisis areas as well as the desire to empower women more in peace operations have led the UN to increasingly engage with this issue.

In 2000, the UN Security Council adopted a milestone on the road to a more gender-equitable world of peace and security: resolution 1325 on women in armed conflict. This is regarded as the starting point for the global Women, Peace and Security agenda, and as a successful outcome of civil society and feminist commitment. The underlying idea is that increasing gender equality allows conflicts of all kinds to be resolved more sustainably and therefore more peacefully. Furthermore, the frequent view of women as victims in need of protection must be widened to include the role of women as shaping actors. The United Nations also addressed this issue in several subsequent resolutions on women’s rights, under the pillars of participation, protection and gender mainstreaming. The article outlines the genesis of the global agenda, comments critically on the state of implementation, and reflects on current and future challenges of the intersectional project.

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