Review of Latest Research in Women, Peace & Security. Fourth Quarter 2022, October-December

February 14, 2023


1. Haciyakupoglu, Gulizar & Wong, Yasmine (2022) Gender and Security in Digital Space: Navigating Access, Harassment, and Disinformation, Routledge

A global look at the vast array of threats posed by the digital age to gender equality. In this new volume, academic and industry leaders assess cyber security through a gendered lens and discuss the challenges of harassment and hate speech, the problem of dis- and misinformation online and the wider difficulties of access inequality.

2. Dorussen, Han (editor) Handbook on Peacekeeping and International Relations, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, Cheltenham.

A number of chapters in this edited volume address the gender-specific aspects of peacekeeping operations in the modern age. Most notably, Louise Olsen examines the relationship between peacekeeping operations and women’s security. Meanwhile Sabrina Karim and Kyle Beardsley address the problem of sexual and gender-based violence in peacekeeping contexts and Jessica Di Salvatore analyses the problems of post-war violence.


1. Georgetown Women, Peace and Security Index
The third edition of the global Women Peace and Security Index (WPS Index) draws on recognized data sources to measure women’s inclusion, justice, and security in 170 countries. Trends in this latest WPS Index show that the global advance of women’s status has slowed and disparities have widened across countries in 2021-2022.

2. Norwegian Armed Forces MOWIP Report (2022) DCAF
The report identifies a range of issues which have hindered diverse gender representation in the Norwegian peacekeeping force since women were first deployed in the 1980s. Factors which continue to hinder women’s inclusion range from social barriers and expectations of gender roles to institutional problems such as deployment criteria and lack of career prospects. Recommendations include a call to change working culture and provide better training and clearer information on selection for deployment.

3. Veronika Hornyák & Petros Petrikkos (2022) Women between War and Peace in Cyprus: e security sector as the missing link. Policy Brief, PRIO Centre
This report from PRIO addresses the inclusion of young female peace advocates in Cyprus and the range of problems to wider implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in the Cypriot context. The report reveals limited communication and a lack of meaningful dialogue between communities and the UN mission on the island (UNFICYP when it comes to the role of women in defence. While gender representation and participation is better in informal spaces, including in online forums, official representation is lacking.

4. Spoerri, Marlene (2022) Advancing Women’s Leadership in Conflict Resolution. ConnexUs
This policy brief draws on diplomatic experiences of the author to analyse how female delegates, negotiations, politicians and civil society actors use their networks to break down barriers to inclusion and affect policy decision-making.

5. Neumann, Hannah & Shevchu, Sofiia (2022) the #shecurity index
This third edition of shecurity’s measure of women’s participation in the security sector offers a systematic analysis of the state of gender-sensitive foreign policy and defence in 2021. The report finds that women continue to be underrepresented among ambassadors, police and military service personnel, and that where women are present, they are typically confined to junior and support roles. Once again, the authors lament the overall lack of data on gender in the security sector which hampers detailed analysis in a number of areas.


1. Wright, Katharine A.M. (2022) Gendered silences in Western responses to the Russia–Ukraine war. in Place Branding and Public Diplomacy

In this reflective piece, Katharine Wright looks back on her own work on WPS in military contexts and asks why the Western response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has lacked a prominent gender perspective. She extends this analysis to examine gendered silences in wider literature and calls for more feminist perspectives in the public voices of NATO and its member states.

2. Stanko, E.A., Crew, S. (2022) From Project Bluestone to Operation Soteria Bluestone: An Academic-Police Collaboration. in International Criminology .

This police paper summarises how the UK Home Office’s promise to increase the number of rape cases making it to court developed into the successful project Operation Soteria Bluestone. Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police, Sarah Crew, and the project’s academic lead, Elizabeth Stanko, share their experiences of the pilot project and how it has already been successfully expanded across the nation’s police forces.

3. Elizaveta Gaufman (2022) Damsels in distress: Fragile masculinity in digital war. in Media, War & Conflict

Through the case of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Gaufman examines how securitisation - political rhetoric used to justify military action through the creation of a discursive enemy - can also weaponise gender. Whether emphasising the military masculinity of Putin’s ‘strong’ Russia to positioning Ukraine as “a loose woman in need of saving by its older brother”, the conflict has been characterised by a highly gendered discourse from the beginning and continues to be justified in Russia through similar gendered narratives.

4. Shirley Graham (2022) The Irish defence forces and the silencing of a feminist researcher. Critical Military Studies.

Shirley Graham uses this article to reflect on the challenges she faced as a female - and notably, feminist - researcher undertaking fieldwork with the Irish Defence forces in the late 2000s. After encountering resistance at every stage of the research process, including the Irish military’s attempts to publicly discredit her published outputs, Graham reflects on the myriad ways in which security institutions often silence and exclude feminist researchers to the detriment of future developments in women, peace and security.

5. Lakika, Dostin and Palmary, Ingrid (2022) "How Can You Call Her a Woman? Male Soldiers’ Views on Women in the DRC Armed Forces," in Peace and Conflict Studies. Vol. 29: Issue 1.

This paper makes use of interviews with former combatants from the Democratic Republic of Congo to examine how established gender norms are both challenged and reinforced by experiences of serving alongside female soldiers in combat zones. The authors also consider combatants’ experiences of post-conflict restructuring and demilitarisation on these attitudes towards military and civilian gender roles.

6. Alexis Henshaw (2022) “Women, Men, Boys, and Girls”: Analyzing the Implementation of Women, Peace, and Security in the United States, in Foreign Policy Analysis, Volume 18, Issue 4.

Hanshaw’s analysis of the WPS Agenda in the United States of America assesses the limitations of its implementation in a hostile domestic context. Efforts to integrate the agenda in the US have often resulted in skewing of the original intentions to fit in with wider, more established security issues such as the War on Terror and familiar gender equality issues such as sexual harassment.

7. Mehrl, Marius & Dworschak, Christoph (2022). Female rebels and United Nations peacekeeping deployments. Cooperation and Conflict, 57(4), 457–477

In this more unusual research paper, Mehrl and Dworschak turn the gender lens on the combatants that peacekeeping forces encounter. The authors use their findings to argue that the shock factor of seeing female rebels leads public audiences to consider such conflicts to be more severe, in turn leading to a higher likelihood of peacekeeper deployment.


1. Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative

Security Women was pleased to attend the UK government’s conference in honour of the 10th anniversary of PSVI. Delegates from across the globe came together in London and online to discuss issues ranging from sexual and gender-based violence in humanitarian work to military engagement and peacekeeping.

2. IPI Event on Masculinities in Peace and Security

Available here.

3. IPI Event on Elsie Initiative

Available here.

Overview compiled by Alice MacLeod.

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