Sex is defined by biological differences between men and women. Gender refers to the roles, personality traits and behaviors that society ascribes to men and women, as well as the different power relations between them. Gender mainstreaming recognizes the role of gender integration in all aspects of peace and security, as well as the understanding of differences that policies and programs might have on men and women.

There is a presumption that women do not use violence as a means of exercising their political will, because most traditional notions of femininity emphasize motherhood, peacefulness, and stability. Like the repressive power relations between men and women in Islamic State society, the norms that dominated Western culture throughout the early 20th century mirror those affecting women under the IS regime in many ways.In Northern Ireland, these norms shaped women’s identities prior to, during, and after the conflict; analysis of female fighters in Northern Ireland provides a parallel context for understanding women participating in other violent non-state armed groups like IS. This paper seeks to understand which factors make women vulnerable or averse to radicalization, and asks: do these factors differ from those that drive men into violent extremist groups? Understanding similarities and differences between men and women with regard to radicalization will enable policymakers to develop policies that effectively prevent and disrupt violent extremism

Despite the resolution’s widespread praise and recognition and the development of guidelines and indicators, on-the-ground implementation of UNSCR 1325 has been uneven, and has had varying degrees of effectiveness. This has resulted in a lack of women in senior leadership positions, failure to take gender-specific needs into account, and a loss of legitimacy for the United Nations. The full implementation of UNSCR 1325 would promote the inclusion of women and a gender perspective in peacekeeping missions.

Marine Corps Study Analysis

In January 2013, then Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta lifted the Direct Ground Combat Definition and Assignment Rule, frequently referred to as the “Combat Exclusion Policy”, thereby opening all closed combat positions to women. He gave the Services and Special Operations Command three years to implement the new directive.

On September 10, 2015, the Marine Corps released a four-page summary of its findings from its yearlong Marine Corps Force Integration Plan study, a study that examined women’s potential service in ground combat units. This four-page, unsigned, undated, summary was provided to Congressional Staffers and select members of the press.

January 2013 directives by DoD Secretary Panetta/JCS Chairman Dempsey rescinded the 1994 ban on  women serving in direct ground combat. Under the directives, gender neutral occupational standards  must be validated and in place by September 2015. Integration of women is to occur as expeditiously as  possible but not later than January 1, 2016. If any Service wishes to request that any MOS or unit  remain closed, that request must be personally approved by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and then  by the Secretary of Defense, and be “narrowly tailored and based on a rigorous analysis of factual data  regarding the knowledge, skills and abilities needed for the position.” Under DoD guidance, any  exceptions are to be requested by the end of September 2015.

Women make important contributions to the attainment of peace, but they remain grossly underrepresented in official peacemaking processes. This study and policy brief demonstrate how women from civil society in the Philippines, Northern Ireland, Guatemala, and Kenya accessed and shaped peace processes in their countries. It illustrates that women from civil society have greatest impact on peace agreements— making them more comprehensive and durable—if they are involved in official roles during the peace process.

On 12-14 July 2015, Women in International Security (WIIS) conducted a three-day data-gathering workshop with over twenty women from the U.S. Special Operations Command’s Cultural Support Team (CST) program—the all-female teams that deployed with U.S. Special Operations Forces in Afghanistan from 2010 until 2014. Approximately 200 women participated in this program over 5 years. In addition to the workshop, we surveyed over 25 CST members from various years and several men whose teams the CSTs supported. Following is a report of the initial findings from the workshop.

By January 1, 2016, all positions in the U.S. military, including frontline combat roles, will become open to women—that is, unless the services seek exceptions before October 1. Whether they do will drastically shape the future of the U.S. military.

Under the 1994 Direct Ground Combat Definition and Assignment Rule, women in the US military were excluded from assignments in which the primary mission was to engage in direct ground combat, and were permitted to be excluded from other assignments in certain circumstances. That policy was rescinded on January 24, 2013, by then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, and the Services were directed to open closed positions and units to women not later than January 1, 2016.

WIIS launched the 1325 Scorecard at NATO HQ on October 29, 2015. The 1325 Scorecard is a tool to evaluate how well the principles of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) are implemented within the armed forces of NATO Allies. It also provides NATO and NATO member and partner states indications of how to improve implementation. Finally, it helps to further standardization and interoperability amongst NATO Allies.

Under the 1994 Direct Ground Combat Definition and Assignment Rule, women in the US military were prohibited from being assigned to jobs (military occupational specialties), positions and units whose primary mission was to engage in direct ground combat. That policy was rescinded on January 24, 2013, by then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey and the Services were directed to open closed occupations, positions and units to women no later than January 1, 2016.

The crash of Malaysian Airlines flight 17 (hereafter, MH17) on July 17, 2014 was pivotal to the ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine. The Boeing 777 aircraft, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over Snizhne, Ukraine killing all on board. Investigation into the disaster is ongoing, but allegedly has been hampered by various actors. These include, but are not limited to; the pro-Russian separatists active in the area, the Ukrainian military, and Russian President Vladimir Putin

Uganda has had a history of civil conflict since its independence from the United Kingdom in 1962 – triggered by political instability and a series of military coups between groups of different ethnic and ideological composition that resulted in a series of dictatorships. In 1966, just four years after independence, the central government attacked the Buganda Kingdom, which had dominated during British rule, forced the King to flee, abolished traditional kingdoms and declared Uganda a republic.

With the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 in 2000, the Security Council for the first time not only recognized the disproportionate impact of conflict on women, it also mandated that the UN and all member states increase women’s participation in all peace processes, establish enforceable protections and ensure justice for women. Along with its companion Resolutions 1820, 1888, 1889, 1960, 2106 and 2122, which further clarify its requirements, UNSCR 1325 provides a strong framework and mandate for advancing gender equality and empowering and protecting women.

With the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 in 2000, the Security Council for the first time not only recognized the disproportionate impact of conflict on women, it also mandated that the UN and all member states increase women’s participation in all peace processes, establish enforceable protections and ensure justice for women. Along with its companion Resolutions 1820, 1888, 1889, 1960, 2106 and 2122, which further clarify its requirements, UNSCR 1325 provides a strong framework and mandate for advancing gender equality and empowering and protecting women.

The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence, co-hosted in London this week by British Foreign Secretary William Hague and actress and United Nations envoy Angelina Jolie, will draw on research by young scholars who have documented the causes, responses and potential solutions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, El Salvador and elsewhere.

Status of 1325

This report, Women in Peace and Security Careers: U.S. Congressional Staffs, is intended to raise awareness among the policy community about how women are faring on Capitol Hill and what needs to be done to support more women in leadership positions in the legislative policy environment. This is the third WIIS study in the Women In Peace and Security Careers series. Since 2008, WIIS has documented the status of women in leadership positions and women’s perspectives on career advancement in United Nations Peace Operations and in the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government. These studies are based on qualitative data gathered from individual interviews and focus groups. The series highlights gaps in women’s representation and the voices and experiences of women who are navigating paths to advancement. The series also offers recommendations for peace and security institutions to better support women’s participation.

“At the 60th Munich Security Conference in 2024, what will be the most important security challenge on the agenda, and why?”, we asked the applicants for our 2014 “MSC Junior Ambassadors” program. In the third essay published, Leyla Mutiu argues that “[a] security provision void will emerge over the course of the next decade, which will require the full attention of all the decision-makers participating in the 60th Munich Security Conference.”

Published in “Towards Mutual Security: Fifty Years of Munich Security Conference”
The Munich Security Conference, founded as “Wehrkundetagung” in 1963, has evolved into the leading independent forum for security policy. Traditionally seen as a kind of transatlantic family meeting for debating NATO strategy during the Cold War, the conference has increasingly broadened its agenda and today attracts participants from across the globe. Each year, dozens of heads of state and government, ministers, and experts from different fields of security policy gather in Munich for an open exchange of ideas and policies on the most pressing international security issues – ranging from regional conflicts, international peace operations and nuclear disarmament to cyber security and environmental challenges. On the occasion of the conference’s 50th anniversary in 2014, a number of prominent participants, including former and current foreign and defense ministers, reflect on the conference’s history and significance, some of the major issues debated, and on key security challenges facing the international community.

The war on al-Qaeda and its affiliates appears to be endless but every war must end. Winding down the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq has been difficult, but both were embedded in what was then called the ‘war on terrorism.’ What does ‘success’ in that war mean? With the death of bin Laden and the increase in drone operations, how far is the US from achieving it? Can this war end? The article analyzes the ongoing US response to the 9/11 attacks in historical context, revealing four patterns common to all prolonged wars: means become ends, tactics become strategy, boundaries are blurred, and the search for a perfect peace replaces reality. It concludes by laying out an effective strategy for ending the war.

Although modern-day armed conflict is horrific for women, recent conflict and postconflict periods have provided women with new platforms and opportunities to bring about change. The roles of women alter and expand during conflict as they participate in the struggles and take on more economic responsibilities and duties as heads of households. The trauma of the conflict experience also provides an opportunity for women to come together with a common agenda. In some contexts, these changes have led women to become activists, advocating for peace and long-term transformation in their societies

The tragic events of September 11, 2001, demonstrated that the United States needs greater integration across the Intelligence Community, including improved information sharing to predict and respond to evolving threats. The new threat environment we face is dynamic and consists of states, non-states, traditional and non-traditional sources. Its players, their motivations and the methods they use emerge and evolve rapidly.

Back in the 1990s, Ivica Dacic, known as ‘Little Slobo’, was the spokesman who justified strongman Slobodan Milosevic’s conquests of neighbouring non-Serbs in the Balkan wars. Aleksandar Vucic, as the information minister of Yugoslav President Milosevic, was the hatchet man for the media who defended the vast ethnic cleansing by paramilitary police of more than 60% of the 90%-majority Albanians living in the Serbian province of Kosovo. Tomislav Nikolic was the deputy leader of the Serbian Radical Party that berated Milosevic for being too soft and not seizing much more contiguous territory for a Greater Serbia; the party’s founder, Vojislav Seselj, would shortly report to The Hague for trial on war-crimes charges.

Much has been written about terrorist groups who make use of the world’s undergoverned spaces, but very little has examined the dynamics of these areas themselves. These spaces host a wide range of inhabitants and movements, which exhibit myriad behaviors both ordinary and threatening. By focusing on terrorists alone, scholars have overlooked the power-brokering strategies and coexistence methods that occur in undergoverned spaces.

The US has long faced criticism about being a ‘fair weather friend’ to foreign states only as it suits current policy interests. Such inconsistent engagement results in opportunity costs that are both fiscally draining and damaging to US social and political capital. US defense, development, and diplomatic establishments can more easily realize progress and encourage positive forward movement with African states by initiating and maintaining more consistent collaboration with foreign nation representatives.

Members of the Combat Integration Initiative (CII) and experts on integration efforts and policies in the United States (US) and abroad met on June 28, 2013 to discuss the four conditions that CII believes are critical to the successful integration of women into all combat specialities: 1) establishing specific, consistent, and validated physical standards; (2) integrating gender perspectives in the leadership of combat specialties; (3) understanding the role of critical mass and mentors; and (4) clearly communicating policy changes and ensuring consistency and follow-through.

The Combat Integration Initiative (CII) is a working group composed of veterans, service members, lawyers, scholars, and members of civil society who are committed to the full integration of women across all branches and occupational specialties of the Armed Services.

When one thinks of diplomatic engagement with North Korea – officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) – what comes to mind are countless official and unofficial dialogues and negotiations regarding its nuclear capabilities peppered with various incentives, typically in the form of food, fertilizer, and energy assistance.

UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325), adopted on October 31, 2000, recognized that women were not only inordinately affected by war, but were also an important resource for peace-building and post conflict reconstruction.

Recently, studies have focused on women’s leadership in some sectors, including academia, the media, and corporations. These studies have highlighted gaps in representation and proposed recommendations for improving women’s opportunities. But a missing component of research seems to be on women’s presence in a particular area of utmost importance—the national security and foreign policy arena. This is the first study to examine women in leadership within the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government in international security.

Since the historic adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000), the recognition of the important and beneficial role that women play in building sustainable peace has steadily increased. Civil society arguments for women’s inclusion in the formal processes of peacemaking and peacebuilding are bolstered by growing evidence of women’s impact on the ground in unstable and conflict-affected countries. Numerous policymakers and practitioners within the UN and other multilateral organizations are publicly acknowledging the value of women in leadership roles. Yet the lack of women in senior positions in the UN, particularly in peacekeeping missions, reflects the reality that significant cultural and institutional impediments remain to women’s entry and advancement within the UN.

Occasional Paper Series: WIIS published several papers in 1997 on the topic: ‘Politics, Foreign Policy, and Civil-Military Relations in a Post-Cold War World.’ These papers were edited by Gale A. Mattox and Linda Racioppi. Included among the papers were “Six Russian Views on Politics, Foreign Policy, and Civil-Military Relations in a Post-Cold War World” by Linda Racioppi, “The Politics of Conflict Resolution in Contemporary Russia” by Tatiana A. Shakleina, and a paper written in Russian by Linda Racioppi.