February 3, 2022


By Dr. Saira Yamin[*]

The paper was presented by the author at a conference titled “1325 Women, Peace and Security Agenda: Ensuring Human Security, Promoting Sustainable Peace and Preventing Conflicts” October 28-30, 2020. The event was organized by the Moldova Ministry of Defense in partnership with UN Women.

“If women are expected to do the same work as men, we must teach them the same things.” Plato. The Republic.

Keywords: Education, critical mass, diversity, gender inclusion, leadership, National Action Plans, participation, peace processes, security sector, UNSCR 1325, Women, Peace and Security.



 This paper brings the importance of women’s meaningful participation in building peace and security into sharp focus.   Acknowledging global trends in security sectors where gender inclusion is steadily advancing, it calls for increased and dedicated efforts to build women’s capacities. Integrating education agendas in National Action Plans aligned with UNSCR 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace, and Security offers a way forward.   Ideally, capacity-building efforts would focus on the following objectives: (i) Building a critical mass of women across a broad range of security sector institutions, (ii) positioning women as leaders and decision-makers in all spheres of national security alongside men, and (iii) diversifying women’s organizational roles and responsibilities.

Introduction: UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security

In October 2000, the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) sounded a clarion call for women’s increased participation in conflict resolution and prevention, peace processes, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding.[2] Looking beyond the traditional lens of women’s victimhood in conflict, crisis, and war, this landmark resolution broadened the understanding of women’s experience by acknowledging their contributions to international peace and security. UNSCR1325 and nine related Security Council Resolutions (Figure 1) reflect an ever-deepening commitment of the Security Council, UN agencies, member states, and civil society organizations to ensure women’s meaningful representation in national, regional, and international institutions. It is a transformative vision seeking women’s integration at all levels and in all phases of strategic planning and operations to generate outcomes advancing state and human security. While efforts to increase women’s participation in peace and security are underway, the emergent reconstruction of their roles challenges the historically masculinized parameters of peace and security functions. Rightly or wrongly, therefore, the UNSCR 1325 WPS framework is sometimes perceived as a radical concept.   Yet, it is a rational, reasonable, and realistic paradigm and not entirely novel.

At the most fundamental level, the WPS vision builds on several key characteristics of good governance. Traditionally, as primary caregivers of families, when women are politically empowered, they are able to hold governments accountable for the efficient provision of public services to communities, including for themselves, men, children, the elderly, and the infirm.[3] Their participation in decision-making processes is key to mitigating societal and structural inequities, promoting gender justice, and building social resilience.   Gender equality in good governance helps build the credibility and legitimacy of state institutions at the national and international levels, yielding additional benefits for everyone. Evidence suggests that women’s contributions to the workforce result in increased productivity and efficiency.[4] Their inclusion, in and of itself, helps to expand and diversify social capital and resource availability. As mothers and nurturers, when women are empowered economically, they are more inclined to invest in the quality of lives of their families.[5]  A study by Harvard Business Review establishes that countries promoting women’s equitable access to education and credit, and workforce participation, including in leadership positions, see significant increases in GDP growth contributing to overall development.[6]

Women bring diverse perspectives, skills, and resources to the table, both as policy formulators and foot soldiers. Their increased participation in peace, security, and conflict resolution processes is one of four foundational pillars of UNSCR 1325 and arguably the most important one.[7] Three other pillars underscore states’ obligations to women and girls: protection from sexual and gender-based violence; conflict and crisis prevention strategies and mechanisms; and access to disaster relief and recovery. Participation is fundamentally the anchoring pillar and enabler of the other three, providing policies and measures to deter violence, mitigate and alleviate the effects of humanitarian disasters, and effectively respond to the specific needs of girls and women. Increased and meaningful participation of women in policy formulation and implementation plans is fundamental for fulfilling the UNSCR 1325 agenda.[8]  Meaningful participation is also integral to incorporating a gender perspective in decision-making and crisis-response. While increasing women’s representation in security sector institutions is imperative, targeted efforts to build their capacities in diverse roles are critical and necessary. To be sure, gender diversity is the sine qua non for good governance, but optimal outcomes will depend on significantly greater opportunities for professional development.

Figure 1: UNSCR 1325 Plus

UNSCR 1325 Plus, outlined in Figure 1 above, refers to a package of ten related WPS Resolutions. It represents the Security Council’s formalized commitment to making it an internationally legally binding framework. Of note, 98 countries have developed associated National Action Plans (NAPs). [9]  The list grows every year. At the time of this writing, however, only 35 member states (36%) have allocated a budget for NAP implementation.[10] The perception that the agenda is “cost-free” continues to be a formidable challenge to women’s increased and meaningful participation in security sector institutions.[11]  Often, women’s professional development needs tend to be overlooked in predominantly male organizational cultures where gender equality policies are lacking. It may also be due to the low value ascribed to women’s work, low occupational status, or perceived scarcity of resources. Consequently, such environments do not harness the full benefits of gender inclusion.   Successful application of the 1325 framework rests on investments in the education and training of both women and men, civilians and military. The objective is twofold: (i) Advancing awareness and establishing UNSCR 1325’s relevance to organizational and national contexts, and (ii) building professional capacities at the strategic and operational levels to achieve sustainable and measurable results. Bringing women’s professional development requirements into sharp focus, this paper explores three associated objectives: (i) build a critical mass of women across security sector institutions, (ii) position them as leaders and decision-makers, and (iii) diversify their roles across the full spectrum of security sector institutions. It identifies security sector trends where gender inclusion is pursued through targeted efforts to advance durable peace and security.

Conflicts, Crises and Instability: The Imperative for a Gendered Perspective

To underscore the urgency of women’s participation in peace and security efforts, consider the Vienna Peace Process on Syria in October 2015. Except for one female delegate, this high-level meeting of nineteen foreign ministers was all male. Images of the peace table went viral on the internet to highlight women’s stark underrepresentation in international decision-making.[12] Women bring alternate perspectives, skills, and resources to the peace table, opportunities that are lost in their absence or token representation. Regrettably, this august gathering was not an exception. A study found that in major peace processes between 1992 and 2019, only six percent women were signatories, 6 percent mediators, and 13 percent negotiators.[13] On average, for every ten peace processes, only three involve women.[14] Evidence suggests that when women participate, there is a “20 percent increase in the probability of a peace agreement lasting at least two years. This percentage continues to increase over time, with a 35 percent increase in the probability of a peace agreement lasting fifteen years”[15]  Women broaden societal participation and widen community ownership in peace and security processes, making them significantly more sustainable. Nonetheless, the gender imbalance in problem-solving strategies affecting both male and female stakeholders has remained the norm at the turn of the 21st century.

Gender is a critical facet of vulnerability in fragile contexts. Women’s exclusion from decision-making processes, therefore, lends itself to blind spots and suboptimal solutions. Data from 21 international peace agreements in 2020 show that women’s and girls’ concerns were referenced in only six of them, about 28 percent of the sample.[16]   Exclusionary trends persist despite evidence that women have unique needs and are sometimes disproportionately impacted in conflicts and crises. Their experience is often shaped by socially constructed gender norms, socio-economic inequities, displacement, disruption of livelihoods, broken or inequitable access to public services and resources, and increased gender-based violence. Because women represent about half a nation’s population and are family caregivers in most societies, their vulnerability erodes social resiliency, the ability to recover from shocks, an attribute closely related to state stability and security.

Consider the implications of women’s vulnerability during disasters. Evidence suggests that 61% of maternal deaths worldwide occur in fragile contexts.[17] Maternal mortality adversely impacts childhood development processes and is associated with enduring political instability.[18]  In some situations, fathers too may have been separated or lost in the crisis, increasing children’s risk of exploitation and abuse. A study of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh fleeing from the ethnic cleansing campaign in Myanmar found that one in two children were orphaned, and more than 6,000 were unaccompanied a year after the crisis unfolded.[19] UNICEF reports that refugee, migrant, and displaced children are especially vulnerable to forced child labor and represent almost one-third of all human trafficking victims worldwide.[20]

Violent conflicts often present different risks to women and girls and disproportionately increase their suffering. This is particularly evident in the use of mass rape as a weapon of war to humiliate, terrorize and degrade the enemy. Rape was first recognized as a crime against humanity in the aftermath of World War II and then again in the Bosnian war (1992-1995), when more than 20,000 women were raped compared to an estimated 3,000 men.[21] In recent history, Rohingya women have been subjected to mass rape by the Burmese military in the majority of assaults against vulnerable communities.[22]  Mass rape was also reported in the three-month-long Rwandan genocide (1994), where between 100,000 to 250,000 women were raped.[23] Many other instances of the strategic use of rape in warfare can be found in history and active conflict hotspots.[24] Mass rape is often carried out with impunity. Several resolutions in the 1325 package address the systematic use of rape in wartime, yet lack of accountability remains fertile ground for sexual violence.

Women and girls’ death tolls during natural hydrological disasters such as floods, tsunamis, and cyclones attest to their much higher levels of insecurity.[25] The Indian Ocean Tsunami (2004), with four times more women than men killed in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India, is a case in point.[26] Women’s higher mortality rate is often attributed to gendered immobility through cultural norms constraining coping skills such as swimming or climbing trees. Additionally, there were context-specific factors, such as the tsunami hitting at a time when women were home and men were out on errands in Aceh, Indonesia.[27] Media coverage in the aftermath of the disaster suggests that the impacts on women survivors were also more severe, including forced marriage and rape.[28] [29] Overcrowding, inadequate lighting, and the lack of privacy in evacuation shelters increased their risk of sexual violence.[30]  Survivors were subjected to verbal and sexual harassment and strip searches in camps.[31] Single women and widows were marginalized during tsunami relief due to aid policies neglecting to recognize them as heads of households.[32]   During the past half a century or so, climate change and extreme weather events have caused a surge in natural disasters resulting in the destruction of infrastructure, disruption of livelihoods, conflict over resources, and displacement. These trends will likely continue, multiplying the security risks to women and the communities they nurture.

Transcending Vulnerability: Women’s Participation in Building Peace and Security

Looking beyond the lens of vulnerability, integrating a gender perspective in decision-making is an opportunity for innovative, efficient, and durable solutions to complex security challenges. Consider, for instance, women’s nuanced skills in engaging insurgents and armed groups in negotiations, a process that is complex, divisive, and long-drawn-out.   On the one hand, accessing rebel groups and getting them to the table is risky. On the other, rallying public support for reconciling with non-state actors generates social and political discontent. More inclined to rely on negotiation and soft skills and less on aggressive posturing, women are often perceived as less threatening and more trustworthy. History is replete with examples of women as safe conduits for initiating informal dialogues and in efforts to maintain communication. In Liberia, a grassroots women’s movement led to the termination of a bloody civil war that lasted from 1989 to 2003.[33]  In the Philippines, women have been on the frontlines of negotiations to quell a protracted armed insurgency in the southern Mindanao province. Although they were not included in talks until about 15 years after they began, women played a central role in negotiating peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the largest of several secessionist insurgent groups.[34]  Equally importantly, they galvanized public support for the process through extensive consultations with civil society.[35]  Dr. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, a university professor, and then President Corazon Aquino’s Chief Negotiator, led the effort to draft the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro in 2014. She was a strong advocate of gender inclusion and is the first-ever woman signatory to a major peace accord with a rebel group. Of note, women comprised 22 percent of negotiating delegates and 27 percent of signatories to the peace agreement.[36]  To widen societal ownership, women’s groups in the aggrieved community representing Muslim and indigenous communities, and descendants of Christian settlers, were also involved in the peace process.[37]

Gender inclusion was also pursued as a vital element of the national strategy in Colombia’s peace negotiations (2012-2016) with FARC, a lethal terrorist group.[38]  Over 260,000 people are believed to have been killed and seven million displaced in the armed conflict.[39] [40]  Starting with only one woman negotiator in a team of 20, close to the finalization of the peace agreement, women’s representation had increased to 20 percent.[41]  The effort led to the dismantlement, demobilization, and disarmament of the militant outfit.   During this time, civil society women were flown to Havana, Cuba, to talk about peace, reconciliation, and social reintegration with ex-combatants, 43 percent of whom were also women.[42] Colombians have remained divided over the peace accord rejecting a national referendum by a narrow margin.[43] Instead of holding a second referendum, the Colombian Congress ultimately approved the peace deal. Nevertheless, because women wield influence over their families and communities, they were able to help shape public opinion, bringing much greater credibility to the process.[44]  Under the banner of “One Million Women for Peace,” they proved themselves an important peace constituency.[45]

Experience shows that women are highly invested in ending conflicts, advocating for, and helping to sustain peace agreements, especially when they participate as a critical mass.   As primary caregivers of families, they tend to be more attuned to community needs such as access to health and education and food security. Thereby they broaden the understanding of what it takes to build lasting peace and security.[46]  Their participation in elite peace processes enables them to remain involved in government affairs and ensure that their communities’ rights are upheld in post-conflict environments.[47] Their close ties with civil society help generate more resources for the sustainable long-term implementation of peace processes.[48]  For all these reasons, women’s visible inclusion, active participation, and leadership in official and non-official dialogues with non-state actors is critical. Their participation in governance must also be sustained in post-conflict contexts, in decision-making roles on behalf of governments, and as civil society representatives.


Building a Critical Mass: Workforce and Leadership Development

An increasing body of literature suggests that adding more women to a team leads to more intelligent decision-making.[49] Arguably, increased participation of women in peace and security processes is the building block that must be considered in a strategic renewal of security sector institutions. The next step is to build women’s capacities, ensure their active participation in decision-making, and to empower them as leaders. These measures are prerequisites for systemic transformation at the institutional and national levels and are central to the WPS framework. Related efforts are underway in various combatant commands of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The U.S. Strategic Command is building the capacities of its workforce through education to enhance diversity and improve critical thinking in decision-making.[50]  The objective is to build a “base of eminently qualified personnel across all mission sets” to operationalize the principles of Women, Peace, and Security.[51] U.S. Southern and Transportation Commands have, for the first time, appointed women in top leadership roles.[52]  Until and unless a nation produces more women leaders, such that they represent a critical mass and provide opportunities to influence security outcomes in more meaningful ways, not merely as service providers but as decision-makers and strategic thinkers, the goals of gender equality will remain elusive.

It must be stressed that building a critical mass of women in security sector institutions is not akin to the just-add-women-and-stir approach.[53]   On the contrary, it demands proactive efforts to recruit, develop, retain, and promote talent. An organization committed to gender equality must systematically and periodically assess whether women are equipped with the tools, resources, skills, and equitable decision-making opportunities to optimize their impacts.   As an example of good practice, the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force (TTDF) has recruited an unprecedented number of women and increased their opportunities for professional military education in the world’s best institutions.[54]  Policies have been developed to promote an inclusive culture within the organization focusing on improved recruitment, compensation, career management, family support, and climate assessments.[55]  The TTDF also provides women opportunities to command battalions, aircraft, and vessels.[56]

A critical mass of women is loosely defined as 20-30 percent representation in institutions and programs.[57]  Resonating with this view, the Foreign Policy magazine suggests that 25 percent women could dramatically reshape organizational culture.[58]  While these numbers are not proportionate to women’s actual strength, roughly about 50 percent of a nation’s population,  they help establish a minimum benchmark in planning for incremental organizational and cultural change. An incremental approach to women’s inclusion is modeled in the executive education programs of the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (DKI APCSS), one of six Regional Centers of the U.S. DoD building the strategic capacities of international civilian and military professionals. DKI APCSS has been at the forefront of U.S. WPS goals since the unveiling of the U.S.’s first NAP (2011, updated in 2016) and has been dubbed a success story.[59]  It builds the capacities of course participants through whole-of-government and whole-of-society solutions for good security sector governance to advance WPS.  More specifically, the program has accomplished the following: (i) steadily increased the number of female course participants to 25 percent in the initial phases, and more recently to about 33 percent, ii) integrated WPS in core and elective curricula, (iii) fostered male WPS championship in regional security sectors, (iv) expanded the scope of WPS offerings from in-residence courses to regional dialogues and workshops, (v) mentored the development and implementation of WPS projects regionally and in the U.S., and (vi) produced related research. The overarching objective has not been merely to increase the number of women in its programs but to create an enabling environment leading to enhanced productivity and efficiency of regional security sectors through gender-inclusive education and training. DKI APCSS recognizes that men need to be equally involved in the process and to that end, their understanding and capacities must also be developed.

One could present the counterargument that women’s increased recruitment in an organization would, in and of itself, help integrate a gender perspective. Women are more likely to receive peer support when voicing shared perspectives. They may also speak up more often without succumbing to the need to fit in with the mainstream or entertaining fears of being dismissed. Despite these likely gains, increasing women’s strength through numbers alone is never enough. Unless women lead, their perspectives are less likely to be translated into policy. Rising to the top has been recognized as a much more complex and slower process for women and they must be empowered.[60]  A study by Mckinsey & Company reports that women’s underrepresentation in leadership positions is a global issue.[61]  The absence of female role models also serves as a disincentive. True gender equality would advance women’s proportionate visibility in senior positions while also reaping the benefits of innovations in strategic thinking.

Security Sector Trends: Diversification of Women’s Roles

Women serve in many peacebuilding and security functions. They are highly efficient and much-needed nurses, doctors, police, lawyers, judges, administrators, negotiators, mediators, and diplomats. They excel in support roles in combat zones as drivers, technicians, and mechanics. They deploy on the frontlines as soldiers and pilots, as fighter squadrons and battleships commanders, in disarmament missions, and as gatherers of intelligence. They face injury,  risk captivity and losing lives. The UN seeks to further expand their functions across a broader spectrum of security threats through the application of UNSCR 2242. The Resolution is nested within the 1325 framework and recognizes that women are at risk across many traditional and non-traditional security dimensions, and their perspectives should inform solutions. It draws attention to the dangers of climate change and global health pandemics, the threats experienced and presented by refugees and internally displaced communities, and the dangers of extremism and terrorism. To support these efforts, the Resolution calls for increased funding for WPS. Engaging with women representatives of civil society is deemed particularly important as they provide a critical link between governments and communities. As primary stakeholders in security, women civil society groups stand amongst the foremost advocates of the 1325 agenda.[62]

It is worth noting that Resolution 2242 stresses the need for women’s leadership at all levels of decision-making and implementation plans. Unless women are included in policy formulation and the provision of public services, peace will remain elusive in many conflict-afflicted environments.   Considering Afghanistan, for example, a senior official of the International Development Law Organization emphasized that without women in the justice sector, “the fairness of judicial outcomes for women and their access to justice are compromised.”[63] To be sure, transitional justice and gender legislation reform are more efficient and fair when gender-inclusive. By the same logic, gender inclusion in Afghanistan’s justice system will be necessary for countering terrorism and preventing violent extremism. Elsewhere, in Southeast Asia, an increased police focus on crime prevention and community engagement relies on the increased recruitment of women and mixed-gender teams. Experience suggests that policewomen are less likely to use excessive force and are more effective in de-escalating tensions.[64]

The UN experience in conflict zones and refugee camps demonstrates that female officers facilitate access to justice and crime prevention as survivors of gender-based sexual violence are more likely to turn to them.[65] Women on the ground are increasingly considered an operational necessity.[66]  Their inclusion in peacekeeping operations improves access to local communities through relationships and trust-building.[67]  In Observer Missions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Peruvian female officers helped provide better protection to women and children vulnerable to abuse and discrimination.[68]  Female Engagement Teams (FETs) provided training to improve women and girls’ nutrition, health and hygiene, self-esteem, and confidence.[69] In turn, community engagement provided information on armed groups, multiplying the FETs’ effectiveness.[70] They are considered vital for the safety of communities and mission credibility. In recent years, UN policy has consistently emphasized that the recruitment of women is an operational imperative, arguing that they “perform the same roles, to the same standards and under the same difficult conditions as their male counterparts.”[71] The organization has been working to increase women’s participation both horizontally and vertically to help restore peace and security in conflict zones.[72]

With the military’s evolving functions, women are increasingly recruited in the defense sector including in humanitarian assistance and disaster response. Their effectiveness in these roles in the U.S. National Guard has been crucial.[73] Because women broaden outreach to vulnerable populations, they become indispensable in increasing community access to relief and recovery. Whole-of-government approaches, the civilianization of security sector institutions, and innovations in technology are opening new opportunities for women. In Trinidad and Tobago, targeted recruitment is pursued in almost every defense specialization, including in “operations, logistics, human resources, legal, information and communication technologies, public affairs, intelligence, engineering, administration, project management, youth development, finance and force planning.”[74] In recent years, Japanese self-defense forces, including ground, maritime, and air units falling short of their recruitment goals, have increasingly opened up most roles for women. The Defense Ministry allocates money for everything from gender awareness programs to the establishment of daycare centers to strengthen gender integration.[75] The only restrictions on women mostly remain in the Ground Self-Defense Force in certain hazardous roles.[76]  These efforts may be replicated to help diversify the female workforce and optimize their contributions to national security.

Barriers to Women’s Increased and Meaningful Participation

Transformative change, the kind envisioned by UNSCR 1325, will take time and dedication. Although 98 WPS NAPs have been produced, implementation has been encumbered by limited resources and financing. Gendered stereotypes are deeply embedded in societal attitudes and are often difficult to overcome. Elsewhere, the absence of national mandates to promote WPS goals and low policy prioritization at the regional level attest to weak political will and commitment to agreed-upon international norms. In some instances, national security policies still retain the traditional state-centric blueprint where women are considered irrelevant or assumed not to have expertise. Barring some exceptions in roles, security sector institutions tend to be predominantly male in many states.   In some states, despite gender integration in the workforce, a lack of systematic research and documentation has led to a limited understanding and recognition of their impact. Data gaps undermine gender mainstreaming processes as they do not account for gendered needs and family-friendly policies. As a result, organizations are slow to diversify women’s roles and provide equitable leadership opportunities. Women’s participation in peace and security has increased over the years, but they are still vastly underrepresented in policy planning and implementation.


Planning for an Education Agenda to Enable Women’s Meaningful Participation

Women are architects of society. Their increased participation in security sectors opens up a much larger talent pool, untapped reservoirs of knowledge, resources, and skills. Twenty-one years since the passage of UNSCR 1325, UN member states must consider more efficient pathways ahead. The importance of integrating broad-based educational plans in WPS NAPs could not be overstated in this regard. The WPS framework offers many opportunities to incorporate education as an integral element of its global campaign. The resolutions’ obligations extend from the international to the national levels and are binding on all member states. The role of men as allies and advocates is of the essence. Their understanding and capacities must equally be developed as stipulated in UNSCRs 2106 and 2242.[77] [78]  Importantly, UNSCR 2242 calls for increased funding and investments in global education would be imperative.

Beyond the 1325 agenda, several UN resolutions recognize women as agents of peace and security. Resolution 2538 (2020) speaks of bolstering their roles, both uniformed and civilian, at all peacekeeping levels. Stakeholders could leverage this as an opportunity to educate women. It may also be worth recalling the recommendations of the UN’s four World Conferences on Women. They helped establish concrete measures for women’s empowerment through education.[79]  It is important to stress the relevance of the Fourth World Conference (1995) whose main outcome, the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action is considered a key global policy framework even today. This landmark document makes several action recommendations to advance women’s education and training including: (i) eradicating illiteracy, (ii) improving access to vocational training, science, and technology, and continuing education, (iii) allocating sufficient resources/monitoring evaluation of educational reform, and (iv) promoting lifelong education and training for girls and women.[80] WPS NAPs should build upon these international agreements. Similarly, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a pertinent policy framework. While gender equality is one of its seventeen goals, most SDGs are not attainable without a gendered approach.[81] These documents are global commitments of member states and address the roots of gender inequality in many developing and fragile contexts. They must be highlighted to build a comprehensive education agenda as a national priority and call for stronger political will at the regional level.

Enabling meaningful participation of women through comprehensive educational plans at the national and regional levels would help build a diverse workforce comprising a critical mass of women who speak not only for themselves but also for the whole community from a different perspective. Today’s global security environment is characterized by changing patterns of conflict and new types of threats requiring out-of-the-box solutions. Gender inclusion as a strategic principle ensures innovative policy formulation and outcomes on the ground as it draws the experience and perspectives of the entire population, enabling and empowering all stakeholders including women and men.

[*] Dr. Saira Yamin is a professor at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (DKI APCSS) in Honolulu, USA. The views expressed in this article are the author’s alone, and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the DKI APCSS or the United States Government.

[2] United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Gender. [On-line]: (accessed on 10.4.2021)

[3] NGO Working Group on Women, Peace, and Security, “Liberia.”  [On-line]: (accessed on 11.1.2021)

[4] Saira Yamin, “The Future is Female: Positioning Women as Drivers of Economic Growth.” March 12, 2021. [On-line]: (accessed on 10.04.2021)

[5] Derek Thompson, “Women are More Responsible with Money, Studies Show.” January 31, 2011.[On-line]: (accessed on 11.1.2021)

[6] Harvard Business Review, “Women and the Economic of Equality.” April 2013. . [On-line]: (accessed on 10.13.2021)

[7] United Nations Security Council, Resolution 1325. p.1.

[8] Saira Yamin, UNSCR 1325 On Women and Peace and Security: Assessment and Recommendations. Keynote Interview with Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury. Honolulu, Hawaii. Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, 2021. p.5.  [On-line]: (accessed on 2.16.2021)

[9] Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, WPS National Level Implementation, PeaceWomen, 2020. [On-line]: (accessed on 9.29.2021)

[10] Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, 1325 National Action Plan, PeaceWomen. [On-line]: (accessed on 10.04.2021)

[11] Anwarul K. Chowdhury, Keynote Address at the International Symposium on Gender, Peace, and Security. Kyoto, Japan. The Ritsumeikan University, 2012. p.7.

[12] Hillary B. Stauffer, Gender: At the Negotiating Table. Geographical, 2016. [On-line]: ( (accessed on 2.1.2021)

[13] Jamille Bigio, Rachel Vogelstein, Alexandra Bro, and Anne Connell, Women’s Participation in Peace Processes. Council for Foreign Relations, 2020. [On-line]: (accessed on 2.7.2021)

[14] Ibid.

[15]  Laurel Stone, “Quantitative Analysis of Women’s Participation in Peace Processes,” Annex II in Reimagining Peace Peacemaking: Women’s Roles in Peace Processes. 2015. p.34 [On-line]: (accessed on 1.13.2022)

[16] Laura Wise, “Peace agreements with a gender perspective are still an exception, not the rule.” London School of Economics, 2021. [On-line]: (accessed on 10.4.2021)

[17] Arthur Erken, “Maternal Deaths and Humanitarian Crises,” 2017. The Lancet. [On-line]:

[18] Muhammad Jawad et al. “Implications of armed conflict for maternal child health: A regression analysis of data from 181 countries for 2009-2019.”28 September 2021.  PLOS Medicine. [On-line]: (accessed on 11.1.2021)

[19] Save the Children UK, “Alarming Number of Rohingya Refugee Children Orphaned by Brutal Violence, New Save the Children Study Finds,” August 2018. [On-line]: (accessed on 11.22.2021)

[20] UNICEF, “Children make up almost one-third of all human trafficking victims worldwide,” 27 July 2018. [On-line]: (accessed on 11.4.2021)

[21] Balkan Diskurs, “Dealing with the Legacy of Wartime Sexual Violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” 2021. Global Voices. [On-line]: (accessed on 10.17.2021)

[22] Michael Hernandez, “UN Says Myanmar Uses Sexual Violence as Weapon of War,” 2019. Anadalou Agency. [On-line]: (accessed on 10.17.2021)

[23] UN Outreach Program on the Rwanda Genocide, “Sexual Violence a Tool of War,” 2014. [On-line]: (accessed on 10.17.2021)

[24] Joanna Bourke, “Rape as a Weapon of War,” June 2014. The Lancet. [On-line]: on 11.22.2021)

[25] WHO, “Gender and Health in Disasters,” Gender and Health. July 2002. [On-line]: (accessed on 11.1.2021)

[26] Rhona MacDonald, “How Women were Affected by the Tsunami: A Perspective from Oxfam.” Plos Medicine. June 28, 2005. [On-line]: (accessed on 11.1.2021)

[27] Ibid.

[28] Irish Times, “Women the main victims of tsunami disaster,” March 2005. [On-line]: (accessed on 11.26.2021)

[29] NBC News, “Tsunami ‘a crushing blow to women,’” March 2005. [On-line]: (accessed on 11.26.2021)

[30] UNOCHA, “Tsunami Response: Human Rights Assessment,” Relief Web, 2005. [On-line]: (accessed on 10.17.2021)

[31] Michael Casey, “Charity Reports Rising Abuse of Female Tsunami Survivors.” The Washington Post. 27 March, 2005. [On-line]:  (accessed on 11.3.2021)

[32] Ibid.

[33] Dewi Masitoh, “The Success of Women’s Participation in Resolving Conflicts in Liberia,” Journal of Governance. Colume 5, Issue 1, June 2020. [On-line]: (accessed on 11.4.2021)

[34] Conciliation Resources, Women’s Meaningful Participation in Peace: Lessons from the Mindanao, 2017. [On-line]: (accessed on 2.15.2021)

[35] Mary O’Reilley, “Why Women? Inclusive Security and Peaceful Societies,” Inclusive Security, October 2015.  [On-line]: (accessed on 11.26.2021)

[36]Council for Foreign Relations, “The Philippines: Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro,” Women’s Participation in Peace Processes. On-line]: (accessed on 11.1.2021)

[37] Conciliation Resources, Operatlionalising Women’s “Meaningful Participation in the Bangsamoro: Political Participation, Security and Transitional Justice, September 2015. [On-line]: (accessed on 11.26.2021)

[38] Virginia M. Bouvier, Gender and the Role of Women in Colombia’s Peace Process. UN Women, 2016. [On-line]: (accessed on 1.15.2021)

[39] Jamille Bigio, Rachel Vogelstein, Alexandra Bro, and Guest Blogger for Women Around the World, Women’s Participation in Peace Processes: Colombia.  Council for Foreign Relations, 2017. [On-line]: (accessed on 11.3.2021)

[40] Aljazeera, “More than 27,000 displaced in Colombia violence this year.” 26 April, 2021. [On-line]: (accessed on 11.3.2021)

[41] Jamille Bigio, Rachel Vogelstein, Alexandra Bro, and Guest Blogger for Women Around the World, Women’s Participation in Peace Processes: Colombia.

[42] Ibid.

[43] International Crisis Group “In the Shadow of ‘No’: Peace After Colombia’s Plebiscite,” January 2017. [On-line]: (accessed on 11.22.2021)

[44] Jamille Bigio, Rachel Vogelstein, Alexandra Bro, and Guest Blogger for Women Around the World, Women’s Participation in Peace Processes: Colombia.  Council for Foreign Relations, 2017. [On-line]: (accessed on 11.3.2021)

[45] Women’s UN Report Network “Colombia – “One Million Women For Peace” Demand Greater Role in Peace Process & Post-Conflict,” June 2016. [On-line]: (accessed on 11.22.2021)

[46] Marie O’Reilly, Andrea Ó Súilleabháin, and Thania Paffenholz, Reimagining Peacemaking: Women’s Roles in Peace Processes. International Peace Institute, 2015, [On-line]: (accessed on 2.1.2021)

[47] Jacqui True and Yolanda Riveros-Morales, Towards Inclusive Peace: Analysing Gender-Sensitive Peace Agreements 2000–2016. International Political Science Review 40, no. 1 (January 1, 2019): 23–40, [On-line]: (accessed on 1.15.2021)

[48] Jana Krause, Werner Krause, and Piia Bränfors, Women’s Participation in Peace Negotiations and the Durability of Peace.  In: International Interaction. 44, no. 6 (November 2, 2018): 985–1016, [On-line]: (accessed on 1.15.2021)

[49] Anita Woolley and Thomas W. Malone, Defend Your Research: What Makes a Team Smarter? More Women. Harvard Business Review, 2011. [On-line]: (accessed on 10.10.2021)

[50] Jim Garamone, ‘DOD Officials Give Report on Women, Peace and Security Compliance,’ Air Force International Affairs. March 29, 2021. (accessed on 10.12.2021)

[51] Ibid.

[52] Amanda Miller, “Richardson Takes over SOUTHCOM, Only the 3rd Woman to Lead a Combatant Command,” October 2021. [On-line]: (accessed on 11.29.2021)

[52] Ibid.

[53] Katelyn Jones, “’Just Add Women and Stir’ – A Perfect Recipe for Dashed Hopes and Disappointments.” The Hill (January 24, 2019). [On-line]: (accessed on 10.12.2021)

[54] William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, Twenty Years Twenty Stories: Women, Peace, and Security in the Western Hemisphere. 2020, p. 246

[55] Ibid. p. 245.

[56] Ibid. p. 246
[57] Jay Newton-Small, What Happens When Women Reach a Critical Mass of Influence. 2017. Time [On-line]: (accessed on 1.1.2021)
[58] Suzanne Nossel, The Women on Top Theory, 2016. Foreign Policy. [On-line]: (accessed on 2.15.2021)

[59] Joan Johnson-Freese, “Women, Peace and Security: Moving Implementation Forward,” War on the Rocks. 23 July 2021. [On-line]: (accessed on 11.04.2021)

[60] International Women’s Day, “Breaking down barriers for women in leadership,” 8 March 2021. [On-line]: (accessed on 11.4.2021)

[61] Jonathan WoetzelAnu MadgavkarKevin SneaderOliver TonbyDiaan-Yi LinJohn LydonSha ShaMekala KrishnanKweilin Ellingrud, and Michael Gubieski, The Power of Parity: Advancing Women’s Equality in Asia-Pacific, McKinsey & Company, 2018. [On-line]: (accessed on 2.5.2021)

[62] Saira Yamin, UNSCR 1325 On Women and Peace and Security: Assessment and Recommendations. Keynote Interview with Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury. Honolulu, Hawaii. Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, 2021. p.5.  [On-line]: (accessed on 2.16.2021)

[63] Womennewsnetwork, Afghan Women Need Inclusion in Justice Sector Jobs, Says New IDLO Report. 2014. [On-line]: (accessed 2.11.2021)

[64] UNODC, Women in Law Enforcement in the ASEAN Region. 2020, p.75. [On-line]: (accessed 2.18.2021)

[65] UN News, Feature: UN Peacekeeping – on the front lines to end violence against women. 2013. [On-line]: (accessed 12.4.2020)

[66] Renata Giannini, Mariana Lima, and Pérola Pereira, Brazil and the UN Security Council Resolution 1325: Progress and Challenges of the Implementation Process. Inclusive Security, 2016. [On-line]: (accessed 12.13.20)

[67] William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies. p. 267.

[68] William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies. p.221-222.

[69] William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies. p.236.

[70] William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies. p.237-238.

[71] UN Peacekeeping, Women in Peacekeeping: A Key to Peace. [On-line]: (accessed 2.14.2021)

[72] United Nations, “Empowering women in peace operations remains top priority, says UN peacekeeping chief,”  UN News. 25 March, 2021. [On-line]: (accessed 11.4.2021)

[73] Frank Grass “Female Citizen Soldiers and Airmen: Key Contributors to Worldwide Peace and Security,” Prism Vol. 6 No. 1. March 2016. [On-line]: (accessed 11.26.21)

[74] William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies. p. 246.

[75] Emiko Jozuka and Yoko Wakatsuki, “Answering the Call: The Women on the Front Lines of Japan’s Defense,” Action News Now, January 2019. [On-line]: (accessed 11.26.2021)

[76] Ibid.

[77] United Nations Security Council, Resolution 2106. June 24, 2013. [On-line]: (accessed

on 2.16.2021)

[78] United Nations Security Council, Resolution 2106. June 24, 2013. [On-line]: (accessed on 2.16.2021)

[79] UN Women, “World Conferences on Women,” [On-line]: (accessed on 11.4.2021)

[80] United Nations, Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. The Fourth World Conference on Women, 1995. [On-line]: (accessed on 2.16.2021). Of note, the Beijing Declaration was unanimously adopted by 189 member states.

[81] United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs,, Sustainable Development: The 17 Goals, 2015. [On-line]: (accessed on 11.29.2021)

The views expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of DKI APCSS, the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the U.S. Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.
February 2022

Published: February 3, 2022

Volume: 23 - 2022

Author: Saira Yamin

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