New research on Gender, Peace, and Security and the Implementation of UNSCR 1325


16 September 2013

The journal International Interactions has just published a special issue titled "A Systematic Understanding of Gender, Peace, and Security—Implementing UNSCR 1325", edited by Louise Olsson (Folke Bernadotte Academy) and Theodora-Ismene Gizelis (Unversity of Essex), and with contributions from PRIO-affiliated researchers.

The special issue offers a sobering assessment of progress in the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace, and Security in terms of participation and protection of women; as well as insights and empirical data that helps advance our understanding of this topic through systematic research.

Of the contributions from PRIO researchers, one article by Henrik Urdal and Primus Che Chi, "War and Gender Inequalities in Health: The Impact of Armed Conflict on Fertility and Maternal Mortality" addresses how armed conflict might lead to excess mortality among women, focusing in particular on problems associated with reproductive health. This focus responds to the UN Security Council Resolution 1325, in which Article 16 specifically calls for the “Secretary-General to carry out a study on the impact of armed conflict on women and girls.” Based on an empirical analysis global time-series cross-national study from 1970 through 2005, the authors report three main findings: First, armed conflicts are associated with higher overall fertility in low-income countries only. Second, maternal mortality rates are elevated, albeit moderately, in conflict countries. Third, conflicts in neighboring countries are associated with lower maternal mortality, possibly indicating that health interventions among refugee and host populations are relatively successful.

Another contribution by PRIO researchers is an article by Ragnhild Nordås and Siri Aas Rustad, "Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by Peacekeepers: Understanding Variation". In this article, the authors present anew dataset on sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers in the period 1999–2010, covering the 36 international peacekeeping missions by the UN, NATO, ECOWAS, and the African Union. The systematic analysis of this data indicates that SEA was more frequently reported in situations with lower levels of battle-related deaths, in larger operations, in more recent operations, the less developed the country hosting the mission, and in operations where the conflict involved high levels of sexual violence. The article also highlight how research on his topic is in its infancy, and how more systematic data collection is needed to increase our understanding of the causes, and potential remedies, for this key problem for the implementation of Resolution 1325.