As late as in the mid-1990s it was unthinkable for the UN Security Council to address issues of women’s rights and gender equality in relation to matters of international peace and security. Today the normative framework of ‘Women, Peace and Security’ (WPS) has emerged as a legitimate international security concern, and has become an integral part of the discourse on international peace and security.
WPS was first formally coined as a concept when the 15 members of the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR 1325) in October 2000. Through the adoption of UNSCR 1325, the Security Council acknowledged the multiple roles women play in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, as well as in peacebuilding efforts. The resolution contains 18 provisions, which can roughly be separated into three main categories:
1. Representation/participation: The resolution urges member states to increase the representation and active participation of women at all decisionmaking levels in national, regional and international institutions and mechanisms for conflict prevention, conflict management, conflict resolution and peacebuilding (including the appointment of more women as special envoys, Special Representatives of the UN Secretary-General, etc.).
2. Gender Perspective: A gender perspective should be adopted in the planning and implementation of peace operations and in peace negotiations, which should include gender-sensitive training of personnel, an expanded role for women as peacekeepers, and increased attention to local women’s peace initiatives, needs and interests in mission areas.
3. Protection: The resolution emphasizes the need for increased attention to the protection and respect of women’s human rights, including protection against gender-based violence in situations of armed conflict and initiatives to bring an end to impunity for such crimes.
UNSCR 1325, and its six subsequent resolutions, now make up what the UN refers to as the normative framework of ‘Women, Peace and Security’.
The emergence of the normative framework of WPS within the realms of UN peace and security politics has happened without being fully acknowledged in mainstream international relations (IR) literature. This dissertation addresses how this notable normative turn has come about. How was WPS set on the agenda of the UN? Who are the actors involved in this process and what does the interrelationship between them look like? And to what extent has the normative framework of WPS become an institutionalized norm with influence on UN peace and security policies?
The thesis argues that the emergence and influence of the normative framework of WPS is an outcome of a successful collaboration between three groups of actors: a group of dedicated member states; individuals/entities within the UN system; and last but not least a transnational advocacy network of women’s organisations. The thesis also addresses the key role small states like Norway have played in advancing the WPS agenda.
After years in a process of slow emergence, the thesis shows how the WPS norm reached a tipping point around the 10th anniversary of UNSCR 1325 in 2010. The thesis concludes that the WPS norm currently is in a process of rapid diffusion, influencing policies both within the UN, in regional organizations and at the national level in UN member states.
List of Dissertation Articles
(the articles are removed due to publisher restrictions)
Article I: Tryggestad, Torunn L. (2009) ‘Trick or Treat? The UN and Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security’, Global Governance, Vol. 15, No. 4, pp. 539-557 http://journals.rienner.com/doi/abs/10.5555/ggov.2009.15.4.539
Article II: Tryggestad, Torunn L. (2010) ‘The UN Peacebuilding Commission and Gender: A Case of Norm Reinforcement’, International Peacekeeping, Vol. 17, No. 2, pp. 159-171 DOI: 10.1080/13533311003625050
Article III: Tryggestad, Torunn L. (2014) ‘State Feminism Going Global: Norway on the UN Peacebuilding Commission’, Cooperation and Conflict, May 6 (‘online first’), pp. 1-19 DOI: 10.1177/0010836714530576