Missed, and Open, Opportunities
 Feminist and gendered critiques of the early
development of RtoP
 Engendering RtoP and including women, 2005-present
 Areas for improvement
 Synergy between WPS and RtoP
 The path ahead: recommendations
RtoP Contributions
 Move from state-centric to
human-centric approach to
security—question absolute
sovereignty over ‘the domestic
 Focus on prevention and postconflict peacebuilding, rather
than only military response
 Builds on human rights
framework, and reflects
aspirations for human security
and expectations for
international engagement
Missed Opportunities in 2001
How does this speak to the women of the world?
Can they also see themselves in this agreement?
 No mention of WPS/1325
 Women viewed as victims in need of protection
 Almost every mention of women in reference to rape
 Implicitly reduced the link between gender and atrocities to
an issue of mass rape (and only as a component of ethnic
cleansing, not as an atrocity act in itself)
ICISS 2001
2005 World Summit
Clearly laid out 4 crimes, 3 of which are
defined in the Rome Statute, with
provisions for women-specific acts of
Included the prevention of these crimes,
and their incitement rather than viewing
atrocities as a military response-problem
Reinforced the idea that ‘the international’
is a ‘community’—of populations, and of
states who have individual and mutual
No explicit reference to women, 1325 or
its core themes: participation, prevention,
protection, relief and recovery
Gender Sensitive?
Gender Blind?
UNSC: Women and Mass Atrocities
 Emphasis on rape as
constitutive act of genocide,
war crime and crime against
humanity recognizes the
horrific scale of sexual
violence against women in
conflict, BUT can overlook:
 Women as agents,
citizens/constituents or
decision-makers (as did 1325)
 The many other forms of
GBV/VAW and their causes,
escalatory paths and
prevention strategies
VAW and Mass Atrocities
Women-Specific Widespread or systematic attacks
 Sexual violence: rape, sexual slavery, enforced
prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization
 Persecution on the basis of gender in relation to acts
under the jurisdiction of the Court (e.g. torture,
enslavement, deportation, severe violations of IL)
 ‘‘Persecution’ means the intentional and severe
deprivation of fundamental rights contrary to international
law by reason of the identity of the group or collectivity.’
RtoP and Women’s Security:
Buttressing Norm, Complementary Commitment
 Take early action through diplomatic and other non-violent
means when states fail to protect [women!]
 Investigate why it has been so difficult to stem widespread or
systematic sexual violence in some cases
 Include women’s views and women leaders in peace and
security initiatives (including response to manifest failures to
 End impunity for violence against women,
 Train civilian and military personnel on the causes and
pathways of severe insecurity for women, and on strategies
for protection
2009 SG Report
RtoP: Contributing to WPS
Protecting and Advancing Women (and women’s rights)
as core components of state and international responsibility
 the role of women in preventing and resolving conflicts,
 the mainstreaming of gender perspectives into peace operations,
 the measures needed to protect women in conflict effectively, and
 the equitable representation of women in peace and conflict
Leveraging RtoP
 Early Warning
 Gender-sensitive indicators: broaden collective knowledge on
how the targeting of women for specific acts of violence
contributes to wider instability and insecurity
 Prevention
 Capacity building specifically for women and women’s
participation in political life = core component of the
responsibility to prevent
 Security Council Response
 Mass violence against women is a threat to international peace
and security, and the UNSC has a responsibility to take timely
and decisive action
 SG working group on gender and RtoP
The Path Ahead
1. Raise awareness and Build Community: Women
constituencies in support of WPS and RtoP
2. Leverage RtoP in WPS commitments: how is RtoP
relevant/useful to your work?
-As advocacy tool for state responsibility and international
-To remind leaders at the national, regional, and international
levels that people are the heart of governance and the
constituents of policy
-Specific policy areas: Protection, Justice (ICC), SALW control,
3. Involve women in RtoP development—to shape the
agenda, add gender sensitivity, make it relevant to
and reflective of the lived experience of women.
Lessons from the field
 What causes widespread violence against women?
 How does this relate to broader insecurity and
 What resources and assistance are needed to halt
 What preventive action should be taken?
 How to provide direct protection from ongoing atrocities
without undercutting up/down-stream structural
protection efforts (promotion, participation and
advancement of women)?
 Is there a peace/justice tension?
 How to galvanize political will and resources without
perpetuating the image of women as victims?

R2P-WPS - International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect