The Women, Peace and Security Agenda and Australian Leadership in the World

From Rhetoric to Commitment?

Authored by: Laura J. Shepherd and Jacqui True

Categories: The Field of Women, Peace and Security
Sub-Categories: Democratization and Political Participation, National Action Plans
Country: Australia
Region: East Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2014
Citation: Shepherd, Laura J. and Jacqui True. "The Women, Peace and Security Agenda and Australian Leadership in the World: From Rhetoric to Commitment?" Australian Journal of International Affairs 68, no. 3 (2014): 257-84.

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Executive Summary

What is the ‘Women, Peace and Security agenda’ and why is it relevant now for Australia? During 2013–14, Australia is a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and, with a growing foreign military, peacebuilding and aid presence around the world, the country must play a role in preventing conflict, in protecting women and girls from violence before, during and after conflict, and in encouraging the participation of women in these peace and security decisions in order to create the structural, gender-equal conditions for lasting peace. This article highlights the promises made by Australia during the campaign for the Security Council seat. It evaluates the credibility of the campaign commitments by assessing Australia’s foreign policies and overseas aid spending on women and peacebuilding in Asia and the Pacific; exploring the avenues for government-funded research on women, peace and security issues to influence government policies and programs; and taking stock of the government’s record of engaging with civil society in developing and carrying out its National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. The article suggests concrete actions that would allow Australia to fulfill its promises and progress its international leadership on the major pillars of the Women, Peace and Security agenda.