Charting a New Course: Women, Peace and Security, and the Maritime Domain

Authored by: Sahana Dharmapuri, Pamela Tansey, Lexie Van Buskirk

Categories: Human Rights, National Action Plans, The Field of Women, Peace and Security, Violent Conflict
Sub-Categories: Climate and Environment, Countering Violent Extremism, Economic Participation, Human Development, Peacemaking, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), UN Resolutions, Violent Extremism
Region: No Region
Year: 2020
Citation: Dharmapuri, Sahana et al. "Charting a New Course: Women, Peace and Security, and the Maritime Domain." Our Secure Future. August 2020.

Access the Resource:

Executive Summary

Since 2000, more than 80 countries have adopted Women, Peace and Security National Action Plans and other policies to robustly implement the WPS agenda. In 2017, the US Congress adopted the Women, Peace, and Security Act to incorporate the principle of gender equality into US foreign policy. The two main objectives of the WPS agenda are to 1) increase the representation of women in decision-making positions, and 2) to apply a gender perspective to matters of international peace and security.

Women are increasingly represented in higher positions internationally both in government institutions and in civil society. Similarly, women have been active in every aspect of the private sector, including in the maritime space. However, more needs to be done to increase women’s participation in the maritime sector, from coastal welfare to the Blue Economy in order to reap the benefits of the WPS agenda. In addition, actors in the maritime domain rarely incorporate a gender perspective into their work because maritime issues have traditionally been considered gender neutral. And yet, two decades of experience on the ground and research show that when applied, the WPS agenda increases the effectiveness of programs, policies, and individual actors–male and female.

As the global agenda on Women, Peace and Security is increasingly implemented, the benefits of using a gender perspective and the transformational role of women as actors in a variety of issues is becoming more obvious. But the participation of women, and the use of a gender perspective in the maritime space remains relatively unexamined. This paper aims to address that gap, and provides a baseline examination of the intersection between the WPS agenda and the wider context of maritime security.