There’s a growing amount of fascinating new research in the field of women, peace, and security. Here are some highlights from the last few months:
By Evelyn Thornton and Tobie Whitman in Integrated Peacebuilding: Innovative Approaches to Transforming Conflict
Summary: A comprehensive (yet accessible and easy-to-read) chapter that provides an overview of the gender and peacebuilding field. Highlights major theories, key skills, critical policy instruments, current debates, and key challenges in the field.
Why It’s Significant: Recommended reading for anyone looking to ground themselves in the theories, history, and current context of the women, peace, and security field. Readers will come away understanding arguments both for and against different related theories, as well as where “inclusive security” fits into the broader women, peace, and security paradigm.
By Victor Asal et al. in Journal of Peace Research 2013 50: 305. (Subscription required)
Summary: Explores how a political organization’s gender ideology influences its choice of mobilization tactics, whether non-violent protest, violence, or both. Are organizations that explicitly commit to women’s inclusion more likely to utilize peaceful or contentious approaches to political change?
Why It’s Significant: The data reveals that “organizations with gender-inclusive ideology were much more likely to adopt a protest-only approach (19.5%) and much less likely to adopt a violence-only approach (-19.3%).” This study pairs nicely with other recent research showing that better treatment of women is strongly correlated with lower levels of intra- and inter-state violence.
By John Gerzema and Michael D’Antonio
Summary: Groundbreaking new book that challenges traditional ideas of gender and leadership. Drawing from interviews at innovative organizations and Fortune 500 boardrooms, the authors reveal how traits normally associated with women—nurturing, cooperation, communication, sharing—are becoming more highly valued around the world.
Why It’s Significant: Among the 64,000 people surveyed in 13 countries, two-thirds felt the world would be a better place if men thought more like women. The results held across gender, age, culture, income, or nation.
By the Alliance for Peacebuilding
Summary: Semi-annual online magazine aimed at readers who are not yet deeply familiar with the peacebuilding field but are interested in its stories and impact. Highlights the “people, communities, and organizations that are transforming the face of peace and security around the world.”
Why It’s Significant: Provides an accessible overview of recent themes and developments in peace policy and practice. Featuring stellar contributions from Women Waging Peace Network members Leymah Gbowee and Rafif Jouejati. A section on “Peacebuilding – By the Numbers” offers a graphic snapshot of the field for visual learners.
By the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders
Summary: Compiles outcomes of civil society monitoring of UNSCR 1325 implementation in Afghanistan, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Fiji, Liberia, Nepal, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, and Uganda. A practical resource for policymakers, with an overview of specific achievements and challenges.
Why It’s Significant: Each brief contains a concise conflict summary; analysis of the impact of conflict on women in that country; relevant gender laws and policies that have been adopted there; a progress report on the implementation of UNSCR 1325; challenges faced; and policy recommendations with areas for improvement. It’s a comprehensive go-to-guide about women, peace, and security in the aforementioned countries.
Sarah Chatellier is research special projects assistant at The Institute for Inclusive Security.