“[It’s] Like a Rubber Band.” Assessing UNSCR 1325 as a Gender Mainstreaming Process

Authored by: Amy Barrow

Categories: Peace Support Operations
Sub-Categories: Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR), National Security Forces and Armed Groups, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV)
Region: No Region
Year: 2009
Citation: Barrow, Amy. "'[It’s] Like a Rubber Band.’ Assessing UNSCR 1325 as a Gender Mainstreaming Process." International Journal of Law in Context 5, no. 1 (2009): 51-68.

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Executive Summary

The principal aim of gender mainstreaming is to achieve gender equality by implementing gender as a central component at all levels within the UN system. Previous work has focused on gender mainstreaming as an abstract concept, whereas this paper empirically examines efforts to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) and by doing so evaluates the process of mainstreaming. This paper suggests that gender mainstreaming has limited potential to achieve gender empowerment and equality. A lack of benchmarks and targets within UNSCR 1325 undermines the Security Council’s commitment to women’s experiences of armed conflict. Gender mainstreaming has largely not been implemented at a macro-level (within the UN), although at a micro-level, civil society organisations have made some attempts to use UNSCR 1325 to achieve gender empowerment. Ultimately, however, UNSCR 1325 is not radical enough to be used as a transformative gender mainstreaming tool.