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Book Chapter

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The Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda emanates from the ground-breaking Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) which centres upon bringing women’s experiences of armed conflict into decision and policymaking in the exercise of the Council’s primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. The chapter asks whether, despite its location within the Security Council, WPS can be understood as an international human rights agenda as envisaged by women activists who lobbied for the adoption of Resolution 1325. It traces the antecedents of WPS through women’s peace and human rights activism throughout the twentieth century. It examines the texts of the first two WPS resolutions, 1325 (2000) and 1820 (2008) in some detail to determine the extent to which they can be understood as human rights instruments and contrasts the Security Council resolutions with General Recommendation No. 30 adopted by the CEDAW Committee, an overtly human rights approach to the same subject matter. It concludes that mobilization today around the WPS agenda is not so much about advancement of women’s rights as retaining the headway made in Resolution 1325.


This material was originally published in Legal Mobilization for Human Rights edited by Gráinne de Búrca and has been reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press. For permission to reuse this material, please visit