The re-translation of UNSCR1325 on ‘Women, Peace and Security’ through conflict in Liberia and DRC – possibilities, challenges and my naiveté

UNSCR 1325 stands for the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 that was unanimously adopted in 2000 by the Security Council. The resolution requests all states, UN agencies and NGOs to consider incorporating female demands and needs into policy in peacebuilding due to their vulnerability during times of conflict and war. In addition, coping with the gender-blinded orientation of the policy was one of the triggers of the inception of the resolution. In fact, under-representation of females in the peace process have been criticised by many scholars so often even though the former, like men, worked as soldiers.

For example, in the Liberian conflict from 1989 to 2003, about 30,000 females were affiliated with all the fighting forces. In other words, they had carried a double burden, working as soldiers and facing sexual violence.

However, I argue that such an analysis risks providing a misleading reality of war on the issue of violence, especially sexual violence.

According to the report that was conducted in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo by Johnson et al (2010), it was pointed out that males are also vulnerable regarding sexual violence. Moreover, male victims tend to remain silent and feel much more difficulties than females to publicise their own experience due to socially-constructed ‘manliness’.

The aforementioned SCR1325 aims to focus upon female active engagement in the state-building process due to their invisibility. There is, however, a fear that too much focus on women may cause denial of male vulnerability; therefore, it may be possible to suggest that during implementation of SCR1325 and, retranslation of the resolution, sensitivity to male vulnerability is a crucial issue that should not be ignored.

References

Security Council, S/RES/1325. (2000)Women and peace and security.
Amnesty International. (2009) “Lessons from Liberia: Reintegration women in post conflict Liberia.”
Johnson K, S. J. R. B. and et al. (2010) Association of sexual violence and human rights violations with physical and mental health in territories of the eastern democratic republic of the Congo. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 304 (5), pp.553-62.
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