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The Impact of Armed Conflict on Women and Girls


'1325 is highly significant because it is the first time the Security Council has ... constructs this community' as the harbinger of global peace from which all ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Impact of Armed Conflict on Women and Girls

The Impact of Armed Conflict on Women and Girls
  • A Juxtapositional Reading of the UN
    Secretary-Generals Reports on Women, Peace and

UNSCR 1325
  • 1325 is highly significant because it is the
    first time the Security Council has devoted an
    entire session to debating womens experiences in
    conflict and post-conflict situations (Cohn,
    Kinsella and Gibbings 2004 130, emphasis in

Aims of Thesis
  • To illustrate the ways in which discourses of
    international-ised security and gender-ed
    violence are in contact in UNSCR 1325.
  • To demonstrate that the discursive construction
    of these concepts mandated the failure of UNSCR

Aims of Thesis
  • To argue that international-ised security must be
    reconceptualised in conjunction with gender-ed
    violence as to separate these concepts is to
    construct an analytical framework that is both
    partial and highly problematical.
  • To establish the ways in which UNSCR 1325 was
    constructed through, and represents, particular
    conceptualisations of gender-ed violence and
    international-ised security, and furthermore both
    could have and should have been constructed

Analytical Strategies
  • Discourse-Theoretical Analysis
  • Three phases
  • Analysing rhetorical schemata
  • Analysing predication, subject-positioning and
    nodal points
  • Juxtapositional analysis

(No Transcript)
Reading the Secretary-Generals Reports
  • Establishing a monological reading (Ashley
    1988 229)
  • Identifying the actions mandated in the reports
    that serve as the explanatory factors for the
    failure of UNSCR 1325

What actions do the Reports mandate?
  • 1. Prioritising gender perspectives at the level
    of formulation and implementation of conflict and
    post-conflict management
  • 2. Acknowledge the responsibilities of parties to
    armed conflict to cease all violations of the
    human rights of women and girls, including sexual
    and gender-based violence (UNSC 2004 87).

  • 3. Mainstream gender perspectives into all
    peacekeeping operations
  • 4. Encourage grass-roots participation in
    conflict and post-conflict management
  • 5. Prioritise the physical safety of women and
    girls and provide adequate resources for the
    prevention of gender-based violence

Problematising the Reports and UNSCR 1325
  • Establishing a dialogical reading (Ashley 1988
  • The Secretary-Generals Reports of 2002 and 2004
    suggest that there are objectively identifiable
    issues of political will, action and
    accountability that have contributed to the
    failure of UNSCR 1325. However, the concepts
    around which the Resolution is organised, the
    meanings (re)produced within the document and the
    tensions and inconsistencies within it have also
    contributed to, indeed determined, its failure.

  • Textual priority is given to the predication of
    women as always different from, and positioned
    as inferior to, men Women do not enjoy equal
    status with men in any society (UNSC 2000 5).
  • During conflict, women and girls are vulnerable
    to all forms of violence (UNSC 2002 7) women
    and girls have specific protection needs
    (ibid. 48).
  • Women lack they suffer from lack of land … lack
    of access to, or control over, resources
  • The 2002 Report acknowledges that males above
    the age of 18 … fit the international definition
    of soldiers (UNSC 2002 62)
  • Women are represented as victims of armed
    conflict (UNSC 2004 112) but women can also be
    actors in early warning, reconciliation,
    peace-building or post-conflict resolution

  • The assertion that during conflict women and
    girls are vulnerable to all forms of violence, in
    particular sexual violence and exploitation
    (UNSC 2002 7) in 2002 lead to the treatment of
    sexual and gender-based violence as a critical
    issue in 2004 (UNSC 2004 4).
  • Violence is predicated as a strategic and
    tactical weapon (UNSC 2002 8) that is used
    against not by women and girls (ibid. UNSC 2004
  • Articulating women victims of violence (UNSC
    2004 86) as the focus of policy aimed at
    preventing such violence and protecting women
    and girls (ibid. 76) again predicates women
    victims as the problem
  • Men also need assistance in overcoming their
    (natural?) violent tendencies there is a need to
    develop programmes on the prevention of domestic
    violence, targeting … especially male combatants
    (UNSC 2002 65)

The International
  • Both Reports comment on the responsibilities of
    the international community (UNSC 2004 121
    UNSC 2002 3). The international is repeatedly
    articulated as a community, moreover, a
    community of Member States, and States … have
    the primary responsibility for the protection of
    women and children (UNSC 2004 77).
  • Armed conflict affects civilian women and girls
    (UNSC 2002 7) in their households and
    communities (ibid. 9)
  • The international community has
    responsibilities … to provide effective
    responses (ibid. 3) and presumably, to respond
    to the recommendations for action (ibid. 4)
    contained in the Report. Local sources of
    information on the impact of armed conflict are
    to be identified and utilized

  • Both Reports open with a statement by the
    Secretary-General concerning their institutional
  • The Secretary-General, on behalf of the Security
    Council, acknowledges the unique nature of UNSCR
    1325 and the ways in which the Resolution speaks
    to issues of women and peace and security
  • There is a discursive link between the
    participation of women, the incorporation of
    gender perspectives and the protection of
    civilians (UNSC 2004 8), suggesting that
    security can only be achieved with the full and
    equal participation of women and men (UNSC 2002
  • The Reports appeal to the international
    community to act as a provider of security,
    which constructs this community as the
    harbinger of global peace from which all
    individuals can benefit.

Concluding thoughts and observations
  • The 2004 Report notes that in the four years
    since the adoption of resolution 1325 (2000),
    there has been a positive shift in international
    understanding of the impact of armed conflict on
    women and girls … Member States, United Nations
    entities and civil society actors have made
    significant strides in implementing the
    resolution (UNSC 2004 118).
  • The 2004 Report assures its readers that in
    the first six months of 2004, a trend of improved
    reporting was noted, with 23.5 per cent of
    reports having multiple reference to gender
    issues (UNSC 2004 112).
  • So thats OK then…