"Mainstreaming Gender" in International Peace and Security: The Case of East Timor

Title"Mainstreaming Gender" in International Peace and Security: The Case of East Timor
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsCharlesworth, Hilary, and Mary Wood
JournalYale Journal of International Law

In October 2000, the United Nations Security Council held an historic "open meeting" on women, peace, and security. The Secretary-General spoke of the need for better protection of women and girls in situations of armed conflict and for more women to be involved in peace and security decisions and activities. Many member states supported these views. The statements made at the open meeting and the formal Resolution adopted by the Security Council indicate an impressive consciousness of the often disregarded effect of conflict on women. They contribute to a growing body of U.N.-sponsored statements and declarations that link the attainment of peace and security with the achievement of equality between women and men and advocate the need for a "gender perspective" to permeate all peace missions. 
The Security Council's open session suggests that the United Nations is grappling seriously with a feminist vocabulary and analysis of conflict. What effect will this effort have in practice? The case of East Timor indicates that the U.N. policy of mainstreaming gender into its peace and security operations is being implemented in a rather superficial and inadequate manner.

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