“Women, Men, Boys, and Girls”: Analyzing the Implementation of Women, Peace, and Security in the United States

Authored by: Alexis Henshaw

Categories: Human Rights, The Field of Women, Peace and Security
Sub-Categories: Countering Violent Extremism, human rights, International Agreements
Region: No Region
Year: 2022
Citation: Henshaw, Alexis. "'Women, Men, Boys, and Girls': Analyzing the Implementation of Women, Peace, and Security in the United States." Foreign Policy Analysis 18, no. 4 (October 2022).

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More than 20 years after the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000), the United States is still in the process of institutionalizing its strategy on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS). While the Women, Peace, and Security Act (2017) established a legal mandate by which federal agencies are obligated to demonstrate efforts to mainstream gender in foreign policy, timely implementation has been hindered by confusion and disagreement over the aims of WPS. Drawing on elite interviews with 35 stakeholders working on WPS implementation across relevant institutions, I argue that implementation efforts in the United States have resulted in understandings of WPS that parse the agenda as an extension of familiar issues like the War on Terror, debates over reproductive rights, and issues of sexual harassment and equal opportunity. I demonstrate how feminist security studies and cognitive approaches to foreign policy analysis explain these outcomes.