The Foundation of the UN’s Women, Peace and Security Agenda: Slogans or Evidence-Based Decision Making?

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Location: C103, Hesburgh Center for International Studies

In 2020, the first thematic UN Security Council Resolution on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) will celebrate its 20th anniversary. Over the last two decades, this theme has grown into an encompassing agenda, and in April 2019, the UN is expected to adopt its ninth WPS resolution. However, while the policy agenda grows, efforts for implementation have been limited. Arguments used to motivate action have included “women and children are the most vulnerable during war,” “more women, more peace,” “gender provisions result in a more durable peace,” and ‘rape is a weapon of war’. 

While policymakers and researchers agree that these phrases seek to address serious problems, research is growing increasingly hesitant on the accuracy of these arguments. It has also highlighted that misconceptions and oversimplifications can negatively affect the ability to come to terms with women’s insecurity and lack of participation. However, knowledge is growing quickly and there is increased policy demand for evidence-based research. Reflecting on existing policy claims in light of current research, this talk suggests ways in which closer cooperation between policy and research can help us identify constructive paths forward after 2020.

Originally published at kroc.nd.edu.