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Amidst an Ambition-Reality Gap: The UN’s Women, Peace and Security Agenda


Since 2000, the United Nations’ Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda has addressed the causes and consequences of sexual violence towards women in conflict scenarios. After two decades of effort, an ambition-reality gap persists. Uneven commitments from UN member states, ongoing instances of conflict-related sexual violence around the globe and the lack of a critical mass of female participants in peace negotiations, security policy and politics in general, suggest that WPS has had limited effects. Despite its under-achievements, WPS objectives remain relevant, especially considering the amplifying effects that the Covid-19 pandemic and its fallout have had for gender inequality and conflict.
Keywords: WPS; UNSCR 1325; conflict-related sexual violence; gender