The mobilization of women for peace has a long and committed history – but this story is most often told using the example of the founding of the International Women’s League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) during a meeting in The Hague in 1915 Such representations are the far-reaching women-led peace struggles emanating from the African continent, where gender activists have long highlighted the increased effects of conflicts and wars on women and children and called for the advancement of women as an integral part of peacebuilding and security (Badri and Tripp 2017; Hendricks 2017). Such a mobilization of feminist civil society paved the way for United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR) on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) (Hendricks 2017; Olonisakin, Hendricks and Okech 2015), which for the first time explores the links between the right of women have been recognized, gender inequality and promoting sustainable peace and security at the headquarters of international policymaking.
After first outlining Resolution 1325 and the WPS agenda, I examine this normative political framework in relation to the lessons learned from feminist peace advocates and critical commentators from Africa and beyond. What is being said about the Agenda two decades after it was conceived? Has it brought the international struggle for peace closer to the women it was supposed to serve – or, paradoxically, alienated them even further?
After nearly twenty years of implementation, it is clear that in more than one instance the WPS agenda is at risk of being used to advance its reverse goals, to give women a role in militaristic processes rather than questioning their origins. As the rumination below will demonstrate, such examples contain invaluable lessons for the further implementation of Resolution 1325 and efforts to make women, peace and security a mandate to be reckoned with in practice.
Women, peace and security as a normative frame
Resolution 1325 is based on two fundamental statements: that social justice and women’s rights “are not achievable in a militaristic world” (Vellacott 1993, 23) and that peace “is inextricably linked to the advancement of women” (Kirby and Shepherd 2016b, 251 ). . The latter declaration comes from the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and outlines the issues to be developed later in the WPS agenda. The document underlines the need to mainstream a gender perspective in all international peace and security-related work, and also draws heavily on the agendas identified in the Namibia Action Plan and the Windhoek Declaration. These platforms for action were created at the beginning of the same year through a workshop led by the Lessons Learned Unit of the United Nations Ministry for Peacekeeping Operations and carried out by the Namibian government. They focused on the inclusion of women and gender-specific frameworks in peacekeeping operations, a topic of particular importance for African societies (Hudson 2017, 4).
Since the reinvention of peacekeeping and humanitarian interventions at the end of the Cold War, an overwhelming majority of peacekeeping operations – and conflicts – have taken place on the African continent. Current missions include the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Darfur, South Sudan and Mali. In addition, they were largely formed by African troops (Campbell 2018). Coupled with the structural legacy of colonial rule, accelerated economic development and turbulent nation-state construction projects, large numbers of people across the continent continue to face everyday forms of insecurity, violence and volatility associated with economic hardship and political violence, and a lack of state institutions and Accountability; This is in addition to situations of active and often protracted armed conflict. The use of sexual violence as a weapon in conflicts in places such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo), Uganda and South Sudan is another well-reported topic that gave impetus to the creation of a UN resolution that specifically addresses the gender-specific nature of deals with war and violence. Since the WPS was and is deeply rooted in African experiences, it is not surprising that its design and implementation have a unique impact on the continent. Another representative of this is the number of National Action Plans (NAPs), which represent the main strategy for the implementation and implementation of WPS and were developed among African countries and make up 41% of the total number of NAPs from the global South (Hudson 2017, 2). .
Resolution 1325, adopted by the Council in October 2000, contains four key pillars around which the wider WPS agenda revolves: participation of women in decision-making, peace processes, conflict management and resolution; Protecting women from sexual and gender-based violence and protecting women’s rights during and outside of conflict; Inclusion of a gender perspective in all conflict prevention work; and special relief and recovery for women with an emphasis on survivors of sexual violence during and after conflict (Hudson 2017, 4). A number of normative assumptions underline these pillars, to which numerous feminist critics have reacted (see Ní Aoláin 2016; Kirby and Shepherd 2016a).
Two issues in particular received the most attention. First, going through the agenda is a tendency to have an essential view of gender. Without further explanation, gender is used interchangeably with women, which brings a complex arrangement of gender-specific relationships into connection with the fixed subject position of women (Otto 2006, 141) and thus the composite category “women and children”. (Hudson 2017, 4). Women, in turn, are seen as a “homogeneous group whose interests are essentially peaceful and socially beneficial ”(Shepherd 2008, 162) and who have innate“ problem-solving abilities ”(Kirby and Shepherd 2016a, 375). In contrast, men – and not the dynamics and structures of Masculinist Ideals – are inherently militaristic, undiplomatic and prone to conflict.
Within this cyclical logic, it is expected that a mere increase in the number of women in peace negotiations, peacekeeping and decision-making positions will lead to sustainable peace. However, as has been repeatedly stated, “focusing only on participatory goals without considering the specific dynamics of gender-specific power” (Kirby and Shepherd 2016a, 376) could even have negative effects. The 2015 report on the successes and challenges of resolution 1325 and the WPS agenda, which was drawn up by the former UN Under-Secretary of State Radhika Coomaraswamy and colleagues, confirms this narrowness in the implementation of the resolution to date. Coomarawsamy (et al. 2015, 40) concludes that “current programs by the international community tend to … [stop at bringing] a female body at the table. “Similarly, Hudson (2017, 18), when questioning the process of implementing NAPs in Nigeria, Liberia, Uganda and Kenya regarding the inclusion of women in the military and as peacekeeping personnel, finds that the same” liberal feminist “Tropics of equal inclusion are being recycled without further elaboration. As such,” participation is raised to be an end in itself “(Hudson 2017, 19). Hendricks (2015, 367) results from this:” The separation of the discourse and the implementation of UN resolution 1325 -Security Council from the broader feminist science and activism related to gender, peace and security that spawned them. “
Challenges of African Contexts
The spread of peace operations in Africa over the past 30 years makes it necessary to critically examine the normative assumptions that the WPS underline. Before we examine the implications of these assumptions on the African peace processes, however, we shall delve a little bit into the key lessons that feminist concepts of peace and security have contributed to international frameworks such as UN Security Council Resolution 1325. The basis, for example, is the Beijing Platform for Action Understanding that all work for peace and security, from local to global, must be tackled root causes behind conflict. Patriarchy is one such fundamental source of insecurity, including its various expressions, from “militaristic masculinity” (see Langa and Eagle 2008; Ratele 2012) to the acceptance and normalization of the use of military and armed forces as conflict prevention mechanisms, the clearly gender-specific dynamics of the endemic / structural poverty. For feminist peace activists, the ultimate answer to the question of how the problem of sustainable peace should be addressed is that such a structural focus permeates all forms of peacebuilding. Understanding the perpetuation of armed conflict and other forms of violence and insecurity that contribute to the destabilization and impediment of peace as a result of a combination of structural and systematic factors broadens the framework within which peace and conflict, prevention, management and reconstruction reside Thought.
Coomaraswamy (2015, 194) comes to the conclusion that after fifteen years of attempted implementation of the WPS agenda, international resources are still unevenly distributed in order to prioritize the quality of “peace operations” while and after armed conflict. “This shows a clear loss of vital feminist insights into how sustainable peace can be made possible. What is lost is the realization that it is about women, peace and security prevent War, not about making war safer for women ”(Coomaraswamy et al. 2015, 191). As such an emphasis on prevention becomes increasingly marginalized in international political circles that determine resource allocation and structure operations, the importance of peace and security and its protection will be further regulated by the immediate interests of market dynamics and militaristic approaches. In short, for patriarchal reasons. “Over the years, international actors have increasingly shifted their attention and resources to militarized security approaches, the settlement of disputes and the urgent and ad hoc protection of civilians in conflict,” states Coomaraswamy (2015, 194), noting: “This this is not the case with the “prevention” planned 15 years ago in the first draft of the WPS.
The need to address root causes and the structural conditions that allow conflict and insecurity to continue are particularly evident across the African continent, partly due to the spread of precariousness, armed conflict and active peacekeeping missions. This is particularly important in the face of African conflicts that are still faced with international discourses that they reject as a result of endogenous characteristics. As Nduwimana (2008, 22) states, “there were widespread, barely disguised stereotypes of Africans as a people whose identity destroys them.” Instead of recognizing uncertainty in the region as a result of socially Conflicts, official discourse (with clear links to earlier colonial mentalities), represents violence on the continent in the sense of “clichés like“ tribal war ”,“ ethnic conflict ”,“ religious wars ”. Such terms serve to fragment the full understanding of the causes or dynamics of conflict, while “[contributing] to a perception in which political divisions are turned into innate, visceral, and atavistic hatred. “Ultimately, this means that“ the conflict analysis in relation to Africa was therefore reduced to the consequences and manifestations of conflicts rather than to their causes ”(Nduwimana 2008, 22) – in complete contradiction to the measures demanded by the voices of feminist activists that will be the initial WPS rhetoric.
In this discursive climate, the ultimate goal of the WPS agenda of preventing conflict through a thorough understanding of the structural and other circumstances that cause it is lost. The persistent lack of incentive to question reductionist portrayals of an innate African propensity for violence and thus to search for causes of conflict coincides with the parallel tendency within international strategies to implement and maintain peace dePrioritize prevention policy. All of this serves to reaffirm the need to return to the feminist imperative of placing prevention alongside management and retroactive reconstruction at the heart of the implementation of Resolution 1325 on the continent.
As a restriction, however, it should be noted that some, such as Coomaraswamy et. al. (2015) argue that this emphasis on attacking underlying structures was once visible in the political language of the resolution. Other critics warn that “the gender-specific nature of norms, culture and security practices is seldom scrutinized: UN Security Council Resolution 1325 was never intended to engage in debate” (Olonisakin, Hendricks and Okech 2015, 386) . If the latter concern is true, there might be reason to begin rethinking the WPS discourse, capitalizing it, before consulting its successes and failures in this area.
Women, peace, security and Anti-terrorism
Although in today’s world few scenarios of conflict and precariousness are completely separate – where a long history of global connections has spawned structural “marketed and militaristic” and, more broadly, patriarchal relationships around the world – visions of peace, security concepts, and ideas of emancipation ever take place Critically different forms according to time and context. This assumption requires a justification of the normative framework of the WPS agenda under context-specific circumstances. An example of such a circumstance, which is central to many situations on the African continent, is the tension between the use of national plans of action as the main medium for the implementation of resolution 1325 and the fact that in many African societies it is the state rather than protection offering is a central source of fear and uncertainty in and of itself (Hendricks 2011). A number of commentators have highlighted the state centrism of the WPS agenda, noting that the emphasis on the NAP has led to the marginalization of civil society and grassroots involvement in the work of implementing the WPS agenda, adding too much responsibility to the state Institutions and so on has been centralized, distancing the effort from the non-state actors that originally made the resolution possible (see Kirby and Shepherd 2016b). Realizing how diverse experiences of security and citizens’ relationships with the state are from society to society, those working with the implementation and monitoring of the agenda should be careful to include non-governmental avenues for WPS action. This would allow the goals of the agenda to meet the needs of the communities at the grassroots, rather than forcing the communities to meet the needs of the agenda.
The world in which the resolution was first passed looks very different than it does today. As pointed out in the UN Women (2015, 13) study, which pinpointed gaps and challenges after 15 years of implementing 1325, “the content of what we mean by” peace “and” security “is evolving.” This gives reason to consistently update the conceptual relevance of the resolution in accordance with current experience. Feminist scholars and activists from across the African continent play a central role in taking stock of these circumstances. A key example of such changes are the current challenges arising from the increasing violent extremism and terrorism, predicaments with a clearly gender-specific character and specific gender-specific consequences. The issue was addressed in the most recent WPS Resolution 2242 (2015), which builds on the recommendations made by Coomaraswamy and colleagues in the 2015 report on the decision to anchor the WPS in larger agendas to combat terrorism and violent extremism.
Although the opinions gathered when the 2015 report was drafted emphasized the need for the United Nations to recognize and respond to the way in which the globalization of counter-terrorism activities in the name of the war on terror has equally contributed to increasing states of uncertainty (in part due to This warning was not taken into account in subsequent resolution (2242) as it further normalized the militarization processes and possibly made the world a safer place, although terrorism and violent extremism are critical sources of insecurity and harm to women and men across the African continent and The inclusion of such situations on the WPS agenda is justified, this broadening of the scope of the agenda also presents a number of obstacles. As Ní Aoláin has shown below, resolution 2242 could have the opposite effect: a Instead of reinforcing the 2015 demands made by women around the world to use the WPS as a means to combat increasing global militarism.
Examination of the normative assumptions of the WPS in which gender is essential – with reference to how “the language of 2242 [essentialize] Women as evil suppliers of extremist violence or as virtuous saviors of sons, husbands and communities ”(Ní Aoláin 2016, 282) – and too much emphasis is placed on the sheer weight numerically Ní Aoláin points out the potential dangers of expanding the already somewhat vague situations to which the agenda applies. Just as the inclusion of women in peace negotiations does not guarantee their participation in or the possibility of redesigning overarching masculinist structures that primarily make societies more prone to conflict, “the extension of the WPS to women in the fight against terrorism does not mean that women are be included in the definition of what constitutes terrorism and which counter-terrorism strategies correspond to human rights and equality ”(Ní Aoláin 2016, 276). If the combination of WPS with the fight against extremism has given women access to male-dominated security institutions without, however, leaving enough space for their deconstruction of the masculinist and militarist mentalities and strategies that have dominated most of the frameworks for counter-terrorism in the post- 11 September shape, if the agenda is on the agenda will again miss its transformative potential. If a state takes part in the world of counterterrorism today, it means to receive the sovereign right to use force and to declare states of emergency that legitimize a variety of securitization and militarization measures.
In many cases, these processes serve to reduce rather than improve the general security of the population, as is the case in Uganda (Branch 2007; Fisher and Anderson 2015; OHCHR 2007) or Nigeria (Elden 2014; Oyewole 2013). The inclusion of the WPS agenda in this broader structure therefore carries the risk that “the WPS agenda may be used negatively for the pursuit of broader military and ideological goals” (Ní Aoláin 2016, 278). What once again becomes clear from the example of Resolution 2242 and the warning from Ní Aoláin, is the need to reposition the signs of critical feminist approaches to peace and security at the forefront of all WPS-related work: structural change and comprehensive conflict prevention. While various UN mandates that are central to international counter-terrorism efforts recognize the need for gender-specific action, Ní Aoláin (2016, 291) reminds us that “invoking women is not in itself a success”.
feminist criticism and the African union
Hendricks (2017) confirms the loss of a deeper transformation potential in various areas of WPS implementation on the African continent and notes that the work of the African Union (AU) with the agenda has suffered greatly from the limitations of the liberal-feminist emphasis on inclusion of women in peace and security institutions and processes without thinking deeply about what their participation might mean. “A number of insights can be gained here, which refer, for example, to the different experiences of African women with militarized masculinity as one of the“ backbones ”of society and the resulting loss of a clear breakout from the insecurity of conflict situations and the“ post ”conflict (Langa and Eagle 2008; Ratele 2012). As Sheila Meintjies, Anu Pillay and Meredeth Turshen (2002) found in the publication of a volume on women’s work with gender equality and cohesion in the community during and after conflicts from cases such as Eritrea, Namibia and Nigeria: There are no “consequences”. in direct contradiction to the circumstances of conflict and war that women speak of. This is a fundamental finding that WPS strategies need to respond to.
Without such a feminist analysis of the importance of security and peace, conflict and post-conflict in regional frameworks in which resolution 1325 is used, it cannot be guaranteed that, for example, women will be accepted into positions in the security sector or at the negotiating table and militarized orders after conflicts ”(Hendricks 2017, 73). This dilemma underscores the argument of Olonisakin, Hendricks and Okech (2015) that there must be a convergence between three pillars for UN Security Council Resolution 1325 to ever be used as an instrument for long-term social change in relation to gender equality and the Functioning peace becomes influence: feminist security analysis, civil society activism and political decision-making.
This discrepancy between stated intentions and actual results, where a lack of convergence between these pillars is particularly evident, is evident in the attempts of the African Union to implement the WPS agenda. This is particularly true with regard to dominant approaches in peace negotiations and peace operations. Hendricks (2017; 2015) notes that while there are political frameworks that advocate the inclusion of women in peace processes, dominant approaches to peace, such as at the negotiating tables, remain insensitive to frequently updated feminist insights into the nature of the present Conflicts and the continuities between conflict dynamics and everyday norms. Lack is a sincere eye for sustained peace efforts that employ tactics that go beyond the prevalent “cowboy” approaches to mediation and focus on stern men who bring about ceasefire agreements (Hendricks 2015, 370). In this respect, the increase in the participation of women, which results from the reference to Resolution 1325 of the UN Security Council in the documents on peace and security policy of the AU, only serves to legitimize the maintenance of deeply flawed versions of peace. This signals the continued reluctance to raise feminist contributions to long-term peace and security as well as civil society knowledge in the context of policy-making, which further hinders concrete social change.
A recent initiative to be considered is FemWise-Africa, which was endorsed by the AU Peace and Security Council in 2017. The network aims to empower women in conflict prevention and mediation across the continent, including by promoting peace processes for women’s participation and leadership while providing a platform for strategic advocacy and capacity building to mobilize Mediators and peace activists at regional, national and local level. It will be interesting to see if FemWise has managed to break new ground in the convergence of the three pillars of influence by Olonisakin, Hendricks and Okech (2015).
The feminist representation of peace that originated in the African continent is offered by Coomaraswamy et al. (2015) identified a critical substance for the 1325 column of preventionwhere the transformation of the underlying socio-cultural and politico-economic structures and dynamics is recognized as necessary ways to achieve sustainable forms of peace and security. The feminist imperative that, in order to promote real peace, the focus must be on the upward movement of systematic gender-specific norms that legitimize the everyday submission of women and the normalization of armed violence by state and non-state actors. Simply increasing the participation of women in peace processes or including a misleading gender lens in conflict resolution that confirms rather than questioning dominant male / female stereotypes is not enough. Without bridging the three pillars of influence of Olonisakin, Hendricks and Okech (2015) – feminist security analysis, civil society activism and political decision-making – the liberal-feminist promotion of non-problematic forms of representation, participation and universalization will have little impact on long-term experiences with insecurity.
Ní Aoláin (2016) confirms this by showing how attempts are being made to respond to the changing nature of peace and security in year 21st The anchoring of the WPS in global counter-terrorism efforts has further exacerbated the agenda’s complicity with militarism. Hendricks (2017; 2015) underlines the lack of a critical feminist rethinking of the spaces in which peace processes take place on the continent and shows how this failure has spread to peace and security policy initiatives of the AU. Feminist surveys of the causes and types of conflict and “post” conflict on the continent signal the need to anchor both the language and practice of the WPS agenda lived Experiences of hardship and uncertainty, in which an uncritical recycling of liberal-feminist tropes does not correspond to the complete transformation goals that the resolution is supposed to achieve.
Without keeping an uncompromising eye on the goal of uprooting the relational and material patterns that enable the normalization of militarism and hegemonic masculinity within the everyday social fabric of many African societies (Hendricks 2011, 17; Mama 1998, Lewis 2006) the WPS agenda bound forever chasing its own story. The question of how to prevent the agenda from becoming a spectator rather than a challenger to patriarchy is therefore more topical than ever.
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Geschrieben an: SOAS University of London
Geschrieben für: Dr. Awino Okech
Datum geschrieben: April 2020
Weiterführende Literatur zu E-International Relations