Articles & Publications
Subverting Patriarchal Narratives using Transitional Justice: A South African View
April 13, 2023
Women are often understood to be particularly vulnerable during conflicts, perceived as the non-combatant, civilian collateral damage that comes with war. This is because rape and other forms of sexual violence targeting women (SGBV) feature heavily in war strategy, with evidence to suggest that soldiers have been encouraged to adopt SGBV by their commanding officers in the Russian army in Ukraine, in the Syrian Armed Forces, and in the Mai-Mai militia in the DRC.
The ELSIE Initiative
April 10, 2023
Launched by Canada in 2017, the ELSIE Initiative aims to increase participation of women in peace operations. The Initiative seeks not only to reach gender parity in uniformed roles, but to move beyond a sole focus on numbers, to one focused on ensuring that women have the opportunity to participate in impactful and wide-reaching roles across the security and peacekeeping sectors.
Review of Latest Research in Women, Peace & Security. First Quarter 2023, January - March
April 5, 2023
Security Women reviews the latest quarter of research and new publications related to women in the security sector. First Quarter 2023.
CEDAW applied to the Women Peace and Security Agenda
March 26, 2023
Entering into force in 1981, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) establishes an international bill of rights for women, while also promoting a continued effort to advance equality for women around the world. The rights contained within the convention focus on securing equality and non-discrimination for women across social, political, economic, and cultural spheres. Despite its separation from the Women, Peace and Security Agenda (WPS), CEDAW has the potential to work in conjunction with WPS to affirm the importance of women’s rights in conflict and their participation in peacekeeping and security.
Women in Peace and Security: A Sri Lankan Perspective
February 23, 2023
The common narrative concerning women and security is that women are a vulnerable group who often require protection. But in truth a different story unfolds: the story of how women were forced to become strong, independent breadwinners for their families
Law Defending Women’s Participation
February 21, 2023
The laws of a state have often been constructed to exclude women from participation in the running of society, denying their right to vote, their education and ability to serve their country. However, as has recently been demonstrated in the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, the law and legal process can also be utilised to defend women’s rights and stand as a bulwark against those denying women the opportunity to participate in security forces on equal footing with men.
Review of Latest Research in Women, Peace & Security. Fourth Quarter 2022, October-December
February 14, 2023
Security Women reviews the latest quarter of research and new publications related to women in the security sector. Final Quarter 2022.
Women Peace and Security and Conflict-related Sexual Violence
February 11, 2023
With the creation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda in 2000, sexual violence was, and has since, repeatedly been identified as a threat to international peace and security, impeding the participation of women in essential peacekeeping, the security sector and decision-making roles.
Review of Latest Research in Women, Peace & Security. Third Quarter 2022, July-September
October 11, 2022
Security Women reviews the latest quarter of research and new publications related to women in the security sector. Third Quarter, July-September 2022.
Boots, Berets and… Bras?
September 25, 2022
Women in the armed forces need better support. Literally.
Review of New Research in Women, Peace & Security. Second Quarter 2022, April-June.
August 5, 2022
Security Women reviews the latest quarter of research and new publications related to women in the security sector. Second Quarter, April-June 2022.
Yelling at Snowflakes
June 1, 2022
Professor Janet McIntosh was the key speaker in the NYU Spring 2022 colloquium where she talked about her current project on “Language Anxieties and Necropolitical Acculturation in the US Military”
10 Reasons To Celebrate Women Peacekeepers – World Peacekeeping Day 2022
June 1, 2022
For World Peacekeeping Day 2022, SecurityWomen celebrates 10 key reasons why women are such valuable assets to UN peacekeeping missions around the world.
2022 needs to be the year when UK police rebuild trust with the public
March 14, 2022
2021 was a watershed year for UK police services in particular the London Met. British policing needs regain the trust of women whose experiences of sexual and domestic abuse have been dismissed or belittled. The way in which key initiatives are implemented in 2022 will be critical for restoring the public’s trust in the police.
Prioritizing power over people: the sexual violence epidemic in the US military
February 6, 2022
This article examines the policy reforms and shortcomings within the National Defense Authorization Act of 2022.
The US Needs a Revised Strategy on Women, Peace and Security post Trump
December 9, 2021
Tracing a Women, Peace and Security (WPS) strategy over the last three United States (US) administrations reveals a complicated web of priorities, dispersed responsibilities and inconclusive outcomes.
A Look at Norway’s Approach to Gender-Neutral Conscription
October 22, 2021
In 2015, Norway became the first NATO member and the first European country to introduce compulsory military service for both men and women. Since then, the percentage of women in the Norwegian armed forces has been steadily rising. In 2020, 33% of people who completed the initial compulsory military service were women. However, only a small percentage goes on to seek a career within the armed forces. Contemporary academic literature points to possible reasons for this, central among these are statistics of sexual harassment and bullying within the forces. This article will take a look at the Norwegian forces’ approach to compulsory military service.
Confronting Sexual Harassment and Abuse within SANDF
October 11, 2021
Ministerial Report Addresses Sexual Harassment and Abuse across South Africa's National Defence Force.
Report of the UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries
October 6, 2021
This is the published report of the UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries as a means of violating Human Rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self determination
Sexual Harassment in the UK Armed Forces
September 4, 2021
This article analyses the findings from recent parliamentary and governmental reports investigating the prevalence of sexual harassment in the UK Armed Forces.
UN Peacekeepers Conference
June 24, 2021
On 27 May 2021 RUSI, UNA-UK and the UNA Westminster Branch held the annual International Day of the UN Peacekeepers Conference: Enhancing the UK Contribution to Peacekeeping.
Putting Women at the Centre for Meaningful Change
June 17, 2021
A report by the WPS Action Group, part of the UK CSW Alliance, covering the following topics: Women in Peace Talks, Women in Peacekeeping, Women's Leadership and the Arms Trade
The Gendered Security of the Refugee Journey
June 3, 2021
On 12th May 2021, Dr Juliet Colman gave a public lecture as part of the Sanctuary University series at the University of East Anglia, UK.
Women in Parliament and Women in Policing: A Comparative Analysis
February 21, 2021
Can we learn anything from how women's representation in politics is growing and compare to the increase in women's participation in policing around the world?
Women in Law Enforcement in the ASEAN Region
October 17, 2020
In the ASEAN region – consisting of Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Timor-Leste, Indonesia,Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – female policing is comparatively low in contrast to the remaining world states.
Vulnerability requires sensitivity and more police women: A personal testimony
October 16, 2020
Rotherham became the epicentre of a child sexual abuse scandal in 2014. A key element to the national outrage was the lack of police protection for the victims, many of whose statements were ignored at police stations.
The Role of Women in Terrorism
September 17, 2020
The role of women in terrorism has often been overlooked and neglected. This has grown out of the belief that women in terrorism play a back-bench and supportive role in comparison to men.
Lack of Diversity in the US National Guard
August 12, 2020
The United States National Guard, with its federal-state dual mandate, plays a unique role within the United States Military...
Challenging the Silos: Synergies between the Sustainable Development Goals and the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda
May 29, 2020
Can Women Make a Difference?
May 19, 2020
In this article, contrasts are made on considerations of gender in the 5-year plans of South Africa's Department of Defence (DOD) and the South African Police Service (SAPS)
‘Be a Force for All’ Recruitment Campaign: the questions we should be asking….
April 8, 2020
Law enforcement in the United Kingdom is organised separately in each of the legal systems of the United Kingdom: England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Most law enforcement is carried out by police officers serving in regional police services (known as territorial police forces) within one of those jurisdictions. These regional services are complemented by UK-wide agencies, such as the National Crime Agency and the national specialist units of certain territorial police forces, such as the Specialist Operations directorate of the Metropolitan Police.
Empathetic Leadership – a Female Super Power
February 25, 2020
As we enter a new year and decade, let us celebrate women by recognizing a special skill that many women have received informal training in, yet do not receive enough credit for. I am referring to empathy, and it is nothing short of a super power that can transform relationships, teams and organizations.
United States Strategy on Women Peace and Security Underestimates Women's Agency
November 12, 2019
The recent United States Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security is a promising first step in implementing the world’s first domestic legislation on the global Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda. Because the Strategy does not go far enough in recognizing women’s agency and participation in security services, we recommend that the departments tasked with implementation of the Strategy pay close attention to: • Recognizing existing women’s advocacy and participation in security and peacebuilding; • Analyzing differences in women’s experiences of conflict and intersecting identities;• Avoiding a narrative that focuses only on women’s victimization; and • Supporting women who are already participating in security services.
'Women and Gender Perspectives in the Military' Book Launch at Georgetown University
November 12, 2019
Dr. Robert Egnell, Dr. Mayesha Alam, and Amb. Melanne Verveer discuss Gender Perspectives and Militarized Masculinities. On 8 November 2019, the Georgetown Institute of Women, Peace, and Security (GIWPS) celebrated the release of the new book ‘Women and Gender Perspectives in the Military’ with a talk by the book’s editors, Dr. Robert Egnell and Dr. Mayesha Alam, moderated by GIWPS Director Ambassador Melanne Verveer.
Exclusive Interview with UNSCR 1325 at NATO HQ Celebrating her 19th Birthday
October 28, 2019
Possibly you have one living with you? A 19-year-old, behaving like an adolescent but expecting to be treated as an adult. Maybe you can remember being 19? Something of a grey area - the excitement of your 18th forgotten and the focus now on turning 20 which slightly mutes the pleasure of turning 19. And so it is, I suspect, for United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325). This foundation Resolution who made the headlines by linking the disproportionate impact of conflict on women and girls and their absence from peace-talks as a security concern, is 19 years old on 30 Oct 2019. As always with the birth of a new-born there was excitement and clamour when 1325 was adopted. One can only imagine the scene in the Security Council that day; the cheering would have been deafening, maybe even some tears of joy in the public area – members of UNIFEM (the forerunner to UN Women), NGOs and Civil Society, who had worked tirelessly after the 1995 World Conference on Women hosted in Beijing, had finally got their Resolution. Possibly there was a different atmosphere in the Delegate’s area - bemused looks, scratching of bald heads, fixing of ties, raised eyebrows, general harrumphs and possible mutterings about what the Security Council had just brought into the world.
South African Exemplar
April 5, 2019
April 4, 2019: Major Seitebatso Pearl Block from the South African National Defence Force received the accolade of UN female Peacekeeper of the Year in 2017. She is interviewed by SecurityWomen.
The Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights is calling for submissions to a report on Gender and Private Military and Security Companies: deadline 28th February 2019
February 6, 2019
The background to this is that the Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the rights of peoples to self-determination is mandated by the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC/33/4) to monitor mercenaries, mercenary related activities, and the activities of private military and security companies (PMSCs).
UK Armed Forces Recruitment Challenge
February 1, 2019
The UK Armed Forces is in the midst of a recruitment crisis – they are experiencing the biggest staffing shortfall in a decade. A National Audit Office report (April 2018) found that there is a staffing deficit of 5.7% (8,200 people), and with recruitment running below target the situation is not likely to resolve itself without immediate action.
Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations: Baseline Study
November 5, 2018
November 5, 2018: The Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) recently reported the results of a study commissioned by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) on female police and military peacekeepers. An abstract of the study follows: The proportion of female police and military peacekeepers remains well below UN targets. Research suggests that the main reason behind the small numbers seems to be a variety of challenges and barriers to uniformed women deploying to PKOs. This baseline study compiles and analyses research published to date on the topic.
India's Women Police Fighting Sexual Harrassment
October 23, 2018
October 23, 2018: India has a gruesome record on sex crimes, with nearly 40,000 rapes reported every year. But the real figure is thought to be much higher, with victims wary of how their complaints will be dealt with. All-female police units are shaking up the male-dominated force in conservative northwest India, hitting the streets to combat sex crimes and a pervasive culture of silence around rape.
U.S. Army's Largest Command Gets Its First Female Commander
October 23, 2018
October 23, 2018: The U.S. Army’s largest command has a new leader — and she’s making history. Lt. Gen. Laura J. Richardson is the first female Commanding General of the U.S. Army Forces Command.
“Women, Peace and Security Conference 2018” Conclusion
October 4, 2018
October 4, 2018: On March 1st, 2018, the 3rd annual “Women, Peace and Security Conference” took place at the Estonian Ministry of Defence. The main topic of the conference introduced and reviewed the UN Security Council Resolution 1325, its impact on women in conflict, the important role women play in resolving conflicts, peace building, as well as the overall work of women peacekeepers in a global and national security framework.
U.S. Army Must Revoke Policies Detrimental to Women
September 3, 2018
September 3, 2018: In a message to members of the Service Women's Action Network (SWAN), CEO Lydia C. Watts sets forth current policies creating obstacles to equality for women in the U.S. Armed Services.
The Afghan Policewomen Taking on the Taliban
September 3, 2018
March 17, 2014: The face of the Afghan National Police (ANP) is changing. More and more women are being recruited to take on the fight against insurgents when NATO forces withdraw in December this year. Their brief is to do the jobs that men can't – in the segregated, strictly religious world of Afghanistan, women can be searched only by women. The Taliban has exploited this in a string of attacks in which men have dressed as women to conceal weapons or to gain entry.
$1.7 Trillion Global Spending on Military in 2017: Highest since End of Cold War
June 8, 2018
June 8, 2018: According to the latest report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), in total, countries around the world spent $ 1.739 billion on arms in 2017. Although there was a marginal increase of 1.1 percent rise in real terms on 2016, the total global spending in 2017 is the highest since the end of the cold war.
The Private Security Monitor
March 1, 2018
The University of Denver, in collaboration with the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) has a research project which monitors private security across the world.
The Future of Warfighter Conference, November 2017, London
February 21, 2018
The Future of Warfighter Conference was held by RUSI, Royal United Services Institute on 23 November 2017. The event took place at the Institute`s WhiteHall building. The conference brought together 11 professionals to share their experiences and to debate the future developments of the British Military. This report aims to provide a brief background of speeches and more importantly, to identify the discourse in relation to gender and women`s inclusion in military recruitment.
Cyber-security as a career for girls
September 15, 2017
Lucy Owen, A-level student from Stroud High School, Gloucestershire, UK, talks about Cyber-Security as a career. She is present at the 61st Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women 2017 (CSW) in New York
Mari Skåre, former NATO Secretary General’s Special representative for Women, Peace and Security
September 11, 2017
Mari Skåre, answers questions on NATO’s implementation of UNSCR 1325 in the Alliance and its missions.
From College to Cabinet: Women in US National Security
June 28, 2017
Women in US National SecurityThis report appeared recently on the CNAS (Center for a New American Security) website, written by Katherine Kidder, Amy Schafer, Phillip Carter and Andrew Swick:
June 28, 2017
It has been a long journey for women to reach the top of the police service [in the UK], writes Jacqui Smith in Progress
The fine line between patronizing and promoting women in defence and security
June 28, 2017
By Virginia Comolli 19 August 2015
The gendered dimensions of war
June 28, 2017
It has been commented upon many times how remarkably gender segregated the sociological issue of war is.
Women on the Front Line by Vix Anderton
June 28, 2017
n December 2014, the Ministry of Defence published a review into women in close-combat roles, where individuals on the ground are required to close with and kill the enemy.
Police brutality? Put more women on patrol
June 28, 2017
In the US, growing fear of and frustration with police might be lessened if the ranks of female officers were increased.
Women in the Military: Lessons on Leading and Women’s Expanded Role in Combat
June 28, 2017
Women in the Military: Lessons on Leading and Women’s expanded Role in Combat by Mikaela Romero, WAND Intern Washington, DC
Latest Newsview all
India to train ASEAN women in United Nations Peacekeeping operations
India will conduct two initiatives for women personnel from South East Asia, first reported by The Hindu
Ghanaian peacekeeper named UN Military Gender Advocate of the Year
Captain Cecilia Erzuah named UN Military Gender Advocate of 2023 after improving community engagement and spreading awareness of GBV, first reported by UN News