The UNSC Resolution 1325 and Sudan: Solving the ‘silent security dilemma’?
e Journal of International Relations
and Sudan: Solving
0 The Journal of International Relations, Peace and Development Studies A publication by Arcadia University and the American Graduate School in Paris
the ‘silent security
THE UNSC RESOLUTION 1325 AND SUDAN:
SOLVING THE ‘SILENT SECURITY DILEMMA’?
Aurora Eck Nilsen
ABSTRACT: The overall aim of the paper is to investigate the implementation and consequences of
the UNSC Resolution 1325 in the case of post-war Sudan from 2005-2011. By applying a theoretical
framework comprised by critical security studies (the Copenhagen School) and feminist
poststructuralist contributions, the goal is to examine if the UNSC Resolution 1325 (and selected
follow-up resolutions) has been a solution to the so-called ‘gendered silence.’ The underlying
assumption is that the exclusion of women from the peace negotiation table, and in post-conflict
public life, compromises the chances for lasting peace and stability. Historically, women have been
silenced and, no matter their role during conflict, they have been deemphasized and pushed in the
domestic sphere of post-conflict. The “groundbreaking” UNSC Resolution 1325 is seen by many as a
call for change and presents the opportunity to give agency to women in post-conflict settings.
However, the question remains if this is the reality on the ground, and if issues of gendered security
have been accepted in post-conflict policies. The paper concludes on the resolution being an attempt
of securitization, which has not been accepted by the relevant audience in Sudan. Therefore, it has not
solved the ‘silent security dilemma’ and rather ‘subsuming security’ has occurred.
KEY WORDS: Critical Security Studies, Feminism, Gender Politics, United Nations (UN),
PostConflict Reconstruction, Sudan.
When the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, named ‘Women, Peace
and Security’ (WPS), was accepted unanimously in October 2000, it was celebrated as a milestone
agreement, which finally underlined the importance of women before, during and after conflict. It
brought a recognition of the link between inclusive policy making and sustainable lasting peace, and
highlighted the fact that there has been a historical omission of women from these processes. With the
recent 15th year anniversary, it seems appropriate to assess the impact of 1325, and the eight
subsequent resolutions. In order to understand its influence, it is relevant to question the way in which
the resolutions discursively construct the key concepts of gender and security, how these discourses
interact, and how they are influential in post-conflict policy creation. The resolutions legitimize that
gender affects issues of security, but its definition of gender, security and gendered security, is
arguably both conflicting and diffuse.
In order to gain a gendered understanding of security, Lene Hansen (2000) offers two key
concepts describing what she sees missing from the prevalent school of Critical Security Studies, here
in particular the Copenhagen School. The ‘silent security dilemma’ refers to a situation, where voicing
one’s insecurity is dangerous or not possible as it might raise or aggravate the threat that is causing
insecurity in the first place
. It critically refers to the key conceptualization of the
Copenhagen School seeing security as a ‘speech act’, in which any security issue is discursively
constructed. With her concept, Hansen captures a scenario where ‘speaking up’ might not be possible,
or where speaking might aggravate the threat in question. Her other concept – ‘subsuming security’ –
refers to how gendered security issues are often being placed at the bottom of the totem pole, as what
is seen as “harder” and more important issues takes priority. In this paper, it is assumed that the goal
of 1325 and its subsequent resolutions is to solve the silent security dilemma, and accordingly, ensure
that gendered security issues are not subsumed, further demonstrated in the following quote:
“Resolution 1325 is a watershed political framework that makes women – and a
gendered perspective – relevant to negotiating peace agreements, planning refugee
camps and peacekeeping operations and reconstructing war-torn societies. It makes the
pursuit of gender equality relevant to every single Council action, ranging from mine
clearance to elections to security sector reform” (emphasis added)
(Rehn and Sirleaf
Since the signing of the Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005 and the
following United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), we have seen a post-conflict reconstruction
process take place in Sudan. Although not free from conflict, reconstructive security policies have
been enacted to maintain peace in parts of the country. This paper will investigate if the goals of the
resolutions have been considered in the rebuilding of Sudan, and if the post-conflict policies have been
influenced by the concepts of gender and gendered security constructed by UNSCR 1325+1. The paper
will investigate the following question: How have the UNSC Resolution 1325+ been influential on
post-conflict reconstruction policies resulting from the peacekeeping mission (UNMIS) in Sudan? The
first section examines the key concepts of gender and security through a literature review. The article
then presents and investigates the dominating discourses of 1325+ and gives a structured account on
the inherent logic of the resolutions. Based on the dominant discourses from the second section, the
paper further addresses these discursive constructs within the post-conflict reconstruction mission in
Sudan, and specifically UNMIS.
THE INTERRELATION BETWEEN GENDER AND SECURITY
The key concepts creating the foundation for this paper are gender and security, specifically in
the context of post-conflict reconstruction. This corresponds with the agenda of the resolutions;
Women, Peace and Security. Accordingly, the goal is to investigate how these key concepts interact
discursively within the selected UNSC Resolutions and how these discourses manifest themselves in
the policies, reports and speeches resulting from UNMIS. In order to conceptualize and operationalize
these, literature on the topic matter must be consulted.
The Field of Gender
A significant debate that appears within International Relations (IR) is concerned with the
importance of gender, whether it should be an analytical category or rather the starting point for
analysis. In line hereof, Carli Carpenter argues: “If we accept that feminism is inherently critique but
that gender per se is simply an analytical category, then scholarship on gender may - indeed must - be
undertaken not only by feminists interested in "generating demands for change", but also by
"conventional" scholars who wish to understand the world as it is” (2002: 165). For feminist
scholarship, gender is not seen as “simply an analytical category,” but rather as the starting point for
analysis, precisely “to understand the world as it is.” As stated by Laura Sjoberg “feminist looking at
global politics share a normative and empirical concern that the international system is
genderhierarchical” (2010: 3). Accordingly, although several views on gender and its impact occurs (also
within the feminist traditions of IR), it is commonly agreed that gender matters and should be a part of
the research agenda – from which is has been excluded until the last few decades. In line hereof,
Cynthia Enloe has stated that “the personal is global; the global is gendered” (2000: xi). This indicates
that if we fail to look at how personal power relations influence IR, as well as the other way around,
1 The four resolutions on ‘Women, Peace and Security’ selected for this paper will be referred to as 1325+. These are UNSCR 1325 (2000), UNSCR
1889 (2009), UNSCR 2122 (2013), and UNSCR 2242 (2015).
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we also fail to capture the important dynamics that holds explanatory power. Accurately - gender
influences the way these relations are structured. If gender is sidelined as merely an analytical
category, we fail to capture the root of issues that are core to IR: “There is a need for continuous
theorizing and testing of assumptions related to masculinity and femininity and how it relates to
international relational power structures” (Ibid: 18). Therefore, it is necessary to further theorize how
masculinity and femininity are perceived. This brings us to define the term gender: “As one learns to
look at this world through feminist eyes, one learns to ask whether anything that passes for inevitable,
inherent, ‘traditional’ or biological has in fact been made” (Ibid: 3). Here, Enloe points out the
distinction between sex and gender, questioning if there is anything that is ‘naturally’ male or
‘naturally’ female. The commonly accepted distinction is that sex is referring to the biological given,
while gender refers to the culturally constructed
(Goldstein 2001: 2)
. Most feminist scholars agree
upon the distinction between the two terms; much of the discussion is based on what (if anything) is
given by our biology, and what is given by the cultural surroundings. As stated by Simone de
Beauvoir, “one is not born a woman, but rather becomes one”. Put in a different manner by Sjoberg:
“Gender is not the equivalent of membership in biological sex classes. Instead, gender is a system of
symbolic meaning that creates social hierarchies based on perceived associations with masculine and
feminine characteristics” (2010: 3). This all mounts to idea that gender is not something that we are
born with, rather it is based on constructed categories entailing certain expectations of the individuals
unwittingly placed in each category. As put by Christine Sylvester: “Men and women are the stories
that have been told about ‘men’ and ‘women’” (1994: 4). These constructed ‘typical roles’ of men and
women especially, become apparent in the face of war, when traditional stereotypes of gender seem to
rule the name of the game; men are the aggressors and women are the victims (Lorentzen & Turpin
1998: 3). Consequently, men are equal to war and women are equal to peace
(Cohn 2008: 203)
Many scholars hold the traditional view that sex equals gender, including Francis Fukuyama:
“The problem with the feminist view is that it sees these attitudes toward violence, power, and status
as wholly the products of a patriarchal culture, whereas in fact it appears they are rooted in biology”
(1998: 27). There is little support for this notion in the feminist literature, in which the critique of
much policy is that women (and men) are often defined based on their biology and that women tend to
become objects of maternity (Puechguirba 2010). Often we see ‘women and children’ placed in the
same category: “It follows therefore that women are defined according to their biology, as objects of
maternity, not as social subjects with rights of their own” (Ibid: 176). Goldstein focuses on how war
shapes gender and how gender shapes war as a symbiotic relationship consequently, also taking away
from the inherent assumption that men are “doomed to cause war” (2001: 1). On the same matter
Jennifer Turpin discusses essentialism versus difference, questioning if women are more prone to
peace. She concludes in line with Goldstein that neither men nor women necessarily have any inherent
peace or war qualities (1998: 13). It is therefore, underlined that this is a constructed notion, yet the
notion, that women and men are conditioned in these stereotypes, is highly explored. Consequently,
these gendered conditioned relations could be explanatory for the causes of war: “This relationship is
dialectical: militarism relies on patriarchal patterns, and patriarchy relies on militarization” (Lorentzen
& Turpin 1998: 15). Put in a different way by Tickner: “When we reveal social practices that support
war and that are variable across societies, we find that war is a cultural construction that depends on
myths of protection; it is not inevitable, as realists suggest”
(Tickner 2001: 51)
This constructivist gender approach has been critiqued from a poststructuralist point of view.
Key feminist scholars have investigated the merger between feminism and post-structuralism. Judith
Butler, as a poststructuralist scholar explains: “Indeed, my point was not to ‘apply’ poststructuralism
to feminism, but to subject those theories to a specifically feminist reformulation” (1999: xi). As such,
Laura Shepherd identifies as a feminist post-structralist (2008: 3). Butler’s argument goes as follows:
“If gender is the cultural meanings that the sexed body assumes, then a gender cannot be said to follow
from a sex in any one way” (1999: 10). She goes on to explain: “It would make no sense, then, to
define gender as the cultural interpretation of sex,if sex itself is a gendered category. Gender ought not
to be conceived merely as the cultural inscription of meaning on a pregiven sex (a juridical
conception); gender must also designate the very apparatus of production whereby the sexes
themselves are established. As a result, ender is not to culture as sex is to nature; gender is also the
discursive/cultural means by which “sexed nature” or “a natural sex” is produced and established as
“prediscursive,” prior to culture, a politically neutral surface on which culture acts” (Ibid: 11). Butler
defends why this idea of gender as being culturally constructed does not allow for the understanding
of gender creation beyond the binary gender dichotomy. Butler alerts us to the necessesity of opening
up our understanding, not only towards how gender is constructed, but also to the categories of sex.
She also points to the exclusive nature of speaking of “women” as one category: “For the most part,
feminist theory has assumed that there is some existing identity, understood through the category of
women, who not only initiates feminist interests and goals within discourse, but constitutes the subject
for whom political representation is pursued” (Ibid: 3). Speaking of ‘women’ might imply one group,
where many scholars has pointed out that this is not an identical group of individuals: “Women are not
a homogeneous group who all has the same needs. By putting all women in the same basket of
vulnerable individuals, one asserts that they are all victims, civilians and mothers with children,
irrespective of their individual background, situation and capacity”
(Puechguirbal 2010: 178)
also brings forth the point of culture and cultural difference. This cultural relativism is pointed out by
Ann Tickner and is especially, apparent in third world feminism, who critiques the Western relativism
in relation to gender, asserting that western gender stereotypes are not universal (2001: 19).
The field of Security
This brings us to the field of security, where heavy debates on the relevance of gender within
the field are recurring. The study of security is a cornerstone of IR and lies close to the heart of realist
theories. However, recent developments in the field have opened up security studies to include several
ontological and epistemological approaches. Pratt and
denote that we have
seen an overall shift in the way to view security and the need for taking a human dimension of security
into consideration has been emphasized. They also attribute this to Tickner and her call for rethinking
security from a feminist perspective already in the early 1990s (2001: 48). A debate identified in the
literature is ‘hard’ versus ‘soft’ security; as what often happens is that so-called ‘women’s security
issues’ are pushed out of the high politics, and not considered as hard security: “‘Gender-sensitive’
policy is easily sidelined, as a result of the widely evidenced belief that ‘issues regarding women,
gender and human rights are “soft” or marginal issues’ (Mazurana 2005: 40) that can safely be put a
back burner while the ‘hard’ issues of political organization and reconstruction are dealt with”
(Shepherd 2008: 8)
. Critical Security Studies was introduced as an attempt to widen the theoretical
field of security to go beyond the traditional understanding of ‘hard’ security and expand from the
military sector. As a part of this reform, the Copenhagen School has introduced several new ‘sectors’
of security, including aspects of the environmental and economic fields. In line hereof, Barry Buzan,
Jaap de Wilde and Ole Waever introduced the concept of ‘securitization’ to explain how securitizing
actors perform securitization through speech acts by declaring a referent object existentially
threatened. The ability to perform a successful securitization relies on getting a sufficient acceptance
of the threat in question from the relevant audience (1998: 25). Hence, it is through discourse that
security is defined and actors successfully manifest their position and capacity. This opens up to a
more fluid conceptualization of security, as nothing is “naturally” a security issue; it lies in the process
of framing and acceptance.
Through her research Megan MacKenzie states, that the Copenhagen School, and Critical
Security Studies in general, has not systematically included gender as a category of analysis, which
has also been echoed by Eric
. MacKenzie notes, that men and masculinities are
securitized in post-conflict situations, while women are de-securitized and in effect, de-emphasized in
post-conflict policy making
. Consequently, security threats that typically concern
women do not make the cut for securitization in patriarchal societies, as women and gender issues
largely remains in the domestic sphere, rather than in the political, international or security sphere. She
asserts that feminist scholars in particular can contribute tremendously by continuing to discover ways
to intercept security discourses and disrupt characterizations of the female victim (ibid). This idea is
supported by Sjoberg who states: “This lack of communication between the field of Security Studies
and feminist scholars exists despite the growing influence of feminist thought and practice in the
policy world” (2010: 1). The lack of communication is surprising seeing the compatibility: “(…) most
feminist scholarship on security is compatible with the critical side of this debate”
(Tickner 2001: 48)
argues, that the Copenhagen School has close to no mention of gender, and is
adding new concepts to their framework – or rather points out the two main problems – that is
‘security as silence’ and ‘subsuming security’. The epistemological reliance on speech act theory
presupposes the existence of a situation in which speech is possible
security’ arises because gendered security problems often involve an intimate inter-linkage between
the subject’s gendered identity and the other aspects of the subject’s identity, for example national and
religious. ‘Security as silence’ occurs when insecurity cannot be voiced; when raising something as a
security problem is impossible or might even aggravate the threat being faced (Ibid). Similarly, this is
addresses when using the term of ‘the gendered silences’ in the
context of UNSC 1325.
As acknowledged by the Copenhagen School, security is about collective survival, yet this
brings forth the question; who defines collective? Their analysis fails to capture the exclusive nature of
security issues by not including the aspect of gender: “Putting the analytical category of gender under
critical security allows for a theory of gender that questions the reproduction of difference rather than
assuming difference and progressing from there”
(Shepherd 2008: 50)
. Accordingly, Tickner states
that “feminist seek to understand how the security of individuals and groups is compromised by
violence, both physical and structural, at all levels” (2001: 48), which leads us to address the concept
of post-conflict. When post-conflict is used as a term in the literature, it is often defined as the absence
of physical violence or war. Johan Galtung separates between direct, cultural and structural violence
(2009). He believes that cultural and structural violence cause direct violence, and that direct violence
reinforces structural and cultural violence. The notion of what post-conflict means is changing, along
with the change of the understanding of the nature of war and peace: “What seems new, and rather
paradoxical, is that the making of war is increasingly associated with peace”
(Kronsell and Svedberg
. This also means that building a nation is now also a part of the war itself. As an example
from the ‘Counterinsurgency’ strategy given by the US Army from 2006, the role of the soldier is
redefined: “Soldiers and Marines are expected to be nation builders as well as warriors” (Petraeus &
Amos 2006: foreword). In the study of post-conflict this result also comes to include states that are
still in conflict. If we are interested in nation-building, we must understand peacekeeping missions or
even missions of war.
Discourse theory and methods
The commonality of much of the displayed works has been the emphasis on language, placed
in the reflectivist paradigm of IR (Hansen 2006: 3). This paper takes on the belief that language is the
central concept through which one can understand the production of meaning, hence the research lines
with a poststructuralist approach: “To poststructuralism, language is ontologically significant: it is
only through the construction of language that ‘things’ – objects, subjects, states, living beings, and
material structures – are given meaning endowed with a particular identity” (Ibid: 18). The
poststructuralist point of view will be coupled with feminist theory, as the goal is to investigate the
production of gendered discourses through UN policy related to post-conflict reconstruction. It is also
significant to take inspiration from Critical Security Studies as it points us in the direction of how
‘objects’ are ‘securitized,’ as the interest here lies within gendered processes of securitization. In order
to develop a feminist critique of the UNSC Resolutions 1325+ and its impact on the UNMIS
peacekeeping mission in Sudan, it is essential to apply the right tools in order to understand how
gendered identities are constructed through official discourse, and how security issues come to include
or exclude these gendered identities. The methodological framework is based on the key theorists;
Butler, Hansen, Waever and Shepherd. These four all meet in the study of poststructuralist discourse
analysis (especially as summarized by Torfing 1999) based on the works of Michel Foucault, Jacques
Derrida, and Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe
(Butler 1999; Hansen 2006: xvi; Shepherd 2008: 19;
Waever 2009: 164)
. This paper seeks to be a part of this “poststructuralist methodological turn.” Too
often, it is stated that poststructuralism does not belong in IR or that it cannot stand alone as a coherent
framework. As an attempt to fire back, this paper adopts a poststructuralist feminist ontology,
epistemology and methodology. Hansen’s framework seeks to understand the interrelation between
identity and foreign policy. Taking inspiration from her framework, this paper translates foreign policy
into UN policy and resolutions, and identity into gendered identity: “To theorize foreign policy as
discourse is to argue that identity and policy are constituted through a process of narrative adjustment,
that they stand, in social science terminology, in a constitutive, rather than casual, relationship”
(Hansen 2006: xvi). Hence, it is crucial to see identities (gendered identities) and policy (UN
Resolutions) in a mutual constitutive interplay that shapes one another. Accordingly, the objective of
this paper is to understand the dominating discourses of gender through the UNSC Resolutions: “If
discursive practices both manifest and construct discourse through (re)presentation and (re)production,
then practices of (re)presentation and (re)production are the sites at which it is possible to locate power
in a given discursive terrain”
(Shepherd 2008: 24)
Applying Waever’s use of the synchronic and diachronic step (2005, 2009), it gives a structural
framework for the analysis in this paper. While the aim of the first step is to understand the inner logic
of particular discourses of 1325+, the aim of the second step is to analyze the political processes of
UNMIS in further detail with the basis of the discourses found in 1325+. Further, Waever explains:
“The first establishes a model by fitting material from different contexts, actors, and years into a
‘structure’; the second moves through time with differentiated actors and sees how the structure
shapes action and how the structure is in turn reproduced and modified” (Waever 2005: 39-40). This
framework is mainly used in its essence to set up a conceptual structure, and then investigate policy
processes over time based on this very structure. The central (anti-)methodological tool is
deconstruction as denoted by Derrida.
THE PREVAILING DISCOURSES OF 1325+
The second part of this paper seeks to map out the dominating discourses of the four selected
UNSC Resolutions. The four resolutions were chosen out of the nine as they have the closest link to
post-conflict reconstruction. To fully understand the contents of the resolutions it is important to
acknowledge the contextual background of the WPS agenda. When 1325 was accepted in October
2000, it was done based on years of work, prominently by civil society and NGOs. This points to a
unique feature of UNSCR 1325 besides the fact that it was the first wholly female-centric resolution
passed by the Security Council: that one can see a clear impact of grassroots activity, a bottom-up
approach, on the passing of the resolution in the highest political organ of the UN. The process,
though not a part of the discourse analysis itself, is important to glance at, as it is the backdrop for the
creation of 1325 and all subsequent resolutions related to the WPS agenda.
One could also argue that the resolutions have been in process since female peace activism has
existed. However, it can generally be agreed upon that: “It was at Beijing in 1995 that the immediate
antecedents of Resolution 1325 were codified” (ibid. 251). The landmark agreement named the
Beijing Declaration and Plan of Action, has been a benchmark on the global gender agenda. It codified
the importance of gender equality. This created a momentum for activism to push for a resolution to
be passed by the Security Council to acknowledge similar notions. Much of the work leading up to the
passing of UNSCR 1325 in 2000 was done by feminist advocates and NGOs, lobbying individual
Council members and drafting proposals for the resolution (Otto 2010). In order for this effort to be
coordinated a working group was created the same year named the NGO Working Group on Women,
Peace and Security, which still exists to lobby further resolutions. However, when the resolution
finally passed it had been seen and edited by many eyes. Cohn allegedly said that 1325 was in every
way a compromised document. This is also, in part, because the document was eventually presented to
and passed by the most patriarchal institution in the UN system: “The draft was then further divested
of feminist ideas when it was subjected to the diplomatic negotiations that take place in the corridors
of the UN, and the ‘politics over gin and cigars’ in its executive bars and dining rooms” (Otto 2010:
108). Though UNSCR 1325 might have been a compromised document, but it is still important to
acknowledge the achievements of getting 1325 accepted. Otto (2010) argues that there are three main
accomplishments that must be recognized. First, the language of 1325 attempt to move the
understanding of women from objects to subjects. Second, the momentum that was created with the
acceptance of 1325 led to several other institutional activities within the UN, such as the creation of
UN Women. And third, the acceptance of 1325 affirmed women’s networks and movements around
the world (Otto 2010). These achievements are remarkable and partly what led to the UNSCR 1325
being named “historic” and “outstanding.” Over time that has passed since, there is agreement in
feminist literature that the WPS discourses have not lived up to the transformative promises, and that
in certain ways they have: “undermined the feminist intent behind its adoption” (Cook 2016: 354-5).
This perceived disconnect between the promises created by 1325+ and the delivery and results of
1325+ is precisely what I wish to investigate.
When analyzing the documents, the four key texts were read by paying serious attention to the
‘critical concepts’ of gender, security, and post-conflict
. As the goal is to see how
gendered identities are formed, the concepts are interesting only if they reveal the formation of
identities related to gender. First, a descriptive or as referred to by Derrida – a traditional – reading
was conducted. Then, a second – discourse theoretical - reading focused on looking for and outlining
the texts’ key assumptions, to describe what the text presents as normal, natural, apparent or primary,
asking where the text establishes oppositions and firm distinctions between two categories and what
the effects of this might be, to find the tensions and contradictions within the text, and to describe how
and where the text does not conform to its stated or accepted meaning
(Griffin 2013: 214)
. This has
been made with the focus on displaying how gendered identities are produced and reproduced in
1325+. The result of the second reading is the three prevailing discourses presented in the table below.
The next section will outline the three prevailing discourses with a focus on where the texts’ argument
relies on assumptions that might undermine it, describing how the binaries and hierarchies might be
mutually reinforcing or co-dependent and break down under scrutiny, and to outline how the texts’
idea of normal, might not be
(Griffin 2013: 214)
Women as Weak
The first prevailing discourse that is identified, is one portraying women as fragile, in line with
a victimization narrative, focusing on their needs and protection. The discourse is here named
“Women as Weak” and the features and mechanisms structuring it will be presented below.
One feature of the discourse is demonstrated by the use of ‘women’ in the text, which is often
placed together with ‘girls’. By repeatedly equating adult women with children (girls), and speaking of
the needs of “women and girls” as though they are the same, one is also equating the agency of
women with that of children: “The special needs of women and girls during repatriation and
resettlement and for rehabilitation, reintegration and post-conflict reconstruction” (UNSC 2000: 3).
The resolutions often chose to reduce women to the weak and vulnerable population, that are receivers
of violence, not perpetrators of violence: “Calls upon all those involved in the planning for
disarmament, demobilization and reintegration to take into account particular needs of women and
girls associated with armed forces and armed groups and their children (…) “(UNSC 2009: 4). As an
example, we see that “women and girls” again are together, and they merely seen as ‘associated’ with
armed forces, hence not allowing them to be placed in the category of the armed forces.
The discourse constructs the victimization of women, by establishing a notion of (all) women
being in need of protection, and being disempowered unless someone – the ‘we’ - step in and help
‘them.’ The resolution speaks of empowerment, though in the manner of increasing it: “underlining
that funding for women’s early recovery needs is vital to increase women’s empowerment, which can
contribute to effective post-conflict peacebuilding (…)” (UNSC 2009: 2). Here we see that the
empowerment is spoken of in the same phrase for women as for girls, equating their ‘potential agency’
in the same sentence: “Reaffirming that women’s and girls’ empowerment and gender equality are
critical to efforts to maintain international peace and security” (UNSC 2013: 1). This means that often
when women’s “power” or “agency” is emphasized in the resolution, it is under the premise of how
there is a need to protect women in order to obtain it; “emphasizing that persisting barriers to full
implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) will only be dismantled through dedicated commitment to
women’s empowerment, participation, and human rights” (ibid). As well it is emphasized that it does
currently not exist. It is crucially also constructing a protection narrative: “Recognizing that an
understanding of the impact of armed conflict on women and girls, effective institutional arrangements
to guarantee their protection and full participation in the peace process can significantly contribute to
the maintenance and promotion of international peace and security” (UNSC 2000: 2).
There is an overwhelming focus on the sexual violence, and other types of gender specific
violence in the resolution: “Calls on all parties to armed conflict to take special measures to protect
women and girls from gender-based violence” (UNSC 2000: 3). Here we also see that women and
girls are seen as the targets of gender-based violence, meaning that gender in this sentence is equal to
the female gender. It is interesting that in later resolutions it is emphasized; “that women in situations
of armed conflict and post-conflict situations continue to be often considered as victims and not as
actors” (UNSC 2009: 2). As well, it is underlined; “the need to focus not only on protection of women
but also on their empowerment in peacebuilding” (ibid). While in the same resolution it is
emphasized: “Requests the Secretary-General to ensure that all country reports to the Security Council
provide information on the impact of situations of armed conflict on women and girls, their particular
needs in post-conflict situations and obstacles to attaining those needs” (ibid: 3).
As argued by Otto there is a tendency, starting with 1325, to focus the strongest wording in the
resolution on how women suffer during conflict: “The specificity of measures to protect women, when
compared to the generality of measures to promote women’s participation, is striking” (Otto 2010:
116). As concluded by Sam Cook (2016), the concern here is that the concept of gender therefore
remains depoliticized and the WPS agenda has therefore been: “reduced such that women continue to
be portrayed primarily as victims” (Cook 2016: 355). Meaning that the emphasis on women’s skills is
secondary, as the idea of women is first as victims, then as potential actors. The next discourse will
further examine what these “skills” are seen as in the resolutions.
Women as Peaceful
The second detected discourse presents women as having certain qualities and skills that are
often seen as being of a peaceful, motherly nature. This discourse is here named ‘Women as Peaceful,’
and its structuring features will be outlined below.
The language in the resolutions is mainly centered on the word “women.” Interestingly, when
“civilian” is used it seems to refer to the same thing: “Calls upon all parties to armed conflict to
respect fully international law applicable to the rights and protection of women and girls, especially as
civilians” (UNSC 2000: 3). One of the first paragraphs of 1325 reads: “Expressing concern that
civilians, particularly women and children, account for the vast majority of those adversely affected by
armed conflict (…) and increasingly are targeted by combatants and armed elements (…)” (ibid: 1).
Here we see how the “women” are constructed as the civilians targeted by “combatants” which is then
the ‘other’ – and therefore becomes “men.”
One major link that the resolutions attempt to make is the link between inclusion of women,
and sustainable peace: “effective institutional arrangements to guarantee their protection and full
participation in the peace process can significantly contribute to the maintenance and promotion of
international peace and security” (ibid: 2). Several things point to the fact the resolutions consider
women as peaceful, and that the skills women can bring to the table are ‘peaceful’. The latest example
being the Secretary General report from 2015: “More must be done to sensitize all parties to
understand that the participation of women is essential for furthering sustainable peace, thereby
prompting greater demand for these skills” (UNSC 2015b: 13). The belief in peaceful qualities is
demonstrated, as the term “these skills” implies skills that naturally belong to (all) women. The
general theme of this discourse is building a binary view on gender that is based on a close link to
biology, entailing that there are inherent needs and skills that intrinsic to being a woman (and therefore
to being a man). This binary essentialist view has consequences as, this also excludes all women (and
men) that do not ‘fit’ this category.
This also underlines part of the construction of women in the ‘Women as weak’ discourse, as
in this example, where we are pointed towards a biological understanding of gender (with gendered
assumptions in mind) denoting that women are motherly and peaceful, while men are prone to war and
aggression. As demonstrated here, women are seen as mothers and civilians, and hence mostly
excluded as aggressors: “Reaffirms its readiness, whenever measures are adopted under Article 41 of
the Charter of the United Nations, to give consideration to their potential impact on the civilian
population, bearing in mind the special needs of women and girls, in order to consider appropriate
humanitarian exemptions” (UNSC 2000: 3). This is similar to Carpenter’s research that found that in
Security Council documents on the protection of civilians from 1999 to 2003, ‘women and children’
was used 163 times, in comparison ‘women as combatants’ (6 times) and ‘men as vulnerable’ (1 time):
“If women can be assumed to be civilians, and are innocent and vulnerable, it is they in particular
(along with children, the elderly and the disabled) who must be protected” (Carpenter 2006: 31). Often
we see the use of “their children” equating women to mothers. This is similar to the “women and
children” critique that has been made by feminist scholars. If women are seen mainly as mothers
associated with children, it takes away from women’s diversity and links all women to biology
(Puechguirbal 2010: 175-176)
Though the resolutions emphasize female centric skills, these skills are still in light of
biological capabilities. As well, their potential skills and contribution seems to be seen in light of a
need to be protected. This is in line with Shepherd’s observations as she; “identify constructions of
gender that assume it largely synonymous with biological sex and, further, reproduce logics of identity
that characterized women as fragile, passive and in need of protection” (Shepherd 2011: 506). As
well, she implies that the resolutions create “constructions of security that locate the responsibility for
providing that protection firmly in the hands of elite political actors in the international system, despite
the Resolution” (ibid). This notion of a constructed outside actor will be further explored in the next
Women as the Out-Group
This discourse titled “Women as the Out-Group” is underlined by the language of the
resolution, speaking of women as a ‘plus one’ attribute, not as an integral part of the system. This
means that though the resolutions focus on the inclusion of women, it is still in a manner that speaks
of women as an addition to a consisting system, rather than speaking of reforming a system. The
structural features of this discourse will be demonstrated below.
The discourse further underlines women as one group, with all similar attributes, and that we
need to add this group to pre-existing structures. However, it is underlined that this should happen
“where appropriate”, hence emphasizing that gender is not a cross-cutting theme that fits
‘everywhere’: “Expresses its willingness to incorporate a gender perspective into peacekeeping
operations, and urges the Secretary-General to ensure that, where appropriate, field operations include
a gender component” (UNSC 2000: 2). It also speaks about women needing help to have meaningful
agency, or a third party intervention in order to function within the current system: “through ensuring
women and women’s groups can participate meaningfully and are supported to be leaders in
humanitarian action” (UNSCR 2242: 7). Women cannot lead unless they are supported and a third
party needs to ensure that women can participate meaningfully. The inclusion of women and the
gender aspect is also only to be done when appropriate: “Expresses its willingness to incorporate a
gender perspective into peacekeeping operations, and urges the Secretary-General to ensure that,
where appropriate, field operations include a gender component” (UNSC 2000: 2). This speaks to the
fact that there are more important issues that might suppress the gender perspective.
Representation is underlined as being of key importance, but what and how that will ‘solve’
anything is unclear: “encourages those supporting peace processes to facilitate women’s meaningful
inclusion in negotiating parties’ delegations to peace talks” (UNSC 2015: 3). Here, it is also pointed
out that “someone” needs to facilitate “meaningful inclusion” of women, taking away women’s
agency as something she cannot do on her own, and speaking little of what meaningful inclusion is:
“Providing support and training to mediators and technical teams on the impact of women’s
participation and strategies for women’s effective inclusion” (ibid). Here, it is assumed that women’s
participation will automatically have an impact. This speaks to two things: women are spoken of as
one category, and by “effectively” including women, an impact will occur.
The connection of women represented is linked to gender being put on the agenda. This is
supported by how one measures and talks about the impact of the resolutions. An example taken from
the 2015 Secretary-General report: “In 2014, the UN led or co-led 12 formal peace mediation
processes. All United Nations mediation support teams (100 per cent) included at least one woman,
the same percentage as in recent years and up from 86 per cent in 2011” (UNSC 2015b: 12). The
quantitative focus can be very misleading, here saying that 100 per cent of peace processes included
women, where that means minimum one woman present. By claiming gender inclusivity without
including any quality of the women involved can be misused, which is again pointing towards a male
perspective. Another example: “in this regard the importance of sustained consultation and dialogue
between women and national and international decision makers” (UNSC 2013: 2).
The language in itself is presented as a masculine language. Several times the word “their” is
used in the resolutions, making the writing from a male perspective. If we operate under the
assumption that gender is binary, as the resolution does, and “their” is women, it is portrayed as
though that help must come from the other - the man. “Reaffirming the important role of women in the
prevention and resolution of conflicts and in peace-building, and stressing the importance of their
equal participation and full evolvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and
security, and the need to increase their role in decision-making with regard to conflict prevention and
resolutions” (UNSC 2000: 2). Here, we see the use of ‘their’, which emphasizes women as the
outgroup also in the language of the resolutions: “opportunities for women to exercise leadership;
resources provided to address their needs and which will help them exercise their rights” (UNSC
2013: 1). Again, we see the use of “their needs” that must be met for (all) women to exercise “their
rights.” This also creates a narrative of “us” versus “them” within the resolutions, pointing to men as
the “us” and women as the “them.”
I conclude on three discourses: women as weak, women as peaceful and women as the
outgroup. It is demonstrated that the four selected texts are built on certain assumptions, and that these are
displaying the construction of gendered identities. These constructions might be problematic
considering the reproductions created based on these resolutions. I conclude in line with Shepherd
(2011) who also identifies three possible centers in discourses of gender, peace and security “women
as victims; women as superheroines; women as representative of (some/most/all) other women. Of
course, all of these – and none of them – are ‘true’” (Shepherd 2011: 516). The essentialist view on
gender, meaning equating gender with sex, brings forth the question; is it justifiable to essentialize
women in order to get them into leading positions? In other words, is it acceptable to argue for certain
gender specific qualities if it promotes the rights of an oppressed minority? I seek answers to these
questions in line with Kirby and Shepherd (2016): “There is an increasing acceptance that the
male/female binary is insufficient for mapping out the variety of vulnerabilities that flow from
sexuality, ethnic identity and socio-economic class (among other factors) and that are expressed in part
through gender identity” (Kirby and Shepherd 2016a: 252). They argue that the acceptance of the
WPS agenda should be viewed as a turning point for gender issues arriving in the highest political
forum, but “with consequences to be debated” (ibid). It is precisely these consequences that are to be
discussed in the second part of the analysis.
THE CASE OF SUDAN
This section will focus on the implementation of 1325+ in the case of Sudan. Sudan has
experienced civil war since 1955, which arguably ended in 2005 with the signing of the
Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). This meant the employment of UNMIS in 2005, whose
overall mandate was to monitor and support implementation of the CPA; provide support to the
African Union Mission in the Sudan (AMIS); and to ensure disarmament, demobilization and
reintegration (DDR) and the voluntary return and reintegration of refugees
(Security Council 2008)
Immediately, one could argue that these are actions, which should be guided by the 1325+, as it is
expected to guide all peacekeeping mission and post-conflict mission since its conception. By
detecting the prevailing discourses in the post-conflict policy documents of Sudan, it will not only be
understood if the resolutions have been influential, but also how. The goal is also to add to an area
where there is little literature on the topic, as stated by Gihan Eltahir-Eltom: “(…) the dearth of
literature on  particularly as it relates to Sudan” (2010: 138). The research is centered on three
Hypothesis I: UNSCR 1325 + is contributing to furthering the silent security dilemma in Sudan.
The first hypothesis relates to the ‘Women as Weak’ discourse. This connection is made, as
by emphasizing the victimhood of women (and other groups) their voice is delegitimized as an equal
participant and actor. It is therefore expected that gendered security issues will not be a part of the
political agenda as women are expected to be silenced. By detecting the language of this prevailing
discourse in the selected UNMIS related documents, the assumption will be tested below.
In UNSC Resolution 1590, we can distinguish similar language as in the 1325+ framework:
“To assist in the establishment of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme as
called for in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, with particular attention to the special needs of
women and child combatants” (UNSC 2005: 4). We can recognize the ‘women and children’
language, and the emphasis on ‘special needs.’ Further it is explained in the resolution: “To contribute
towards international efforts to protect and promote human rights in Sudan, as well as to coordinate
international efforts towards the protection of civilians with particular attention to vulnerable groups
including internally displaced persons, returning refugees, and women and children (…)” (ibid).
Rather than being placed as a separate group women are again placed together with children, where it
is underlined that this is a vulnerable group. Besides one mention of women as to be included in
peacebuilding efforts, the three remaining mentions in UNSCR 1590 of women are related to sexual
violence. The year after, with UNSC Resolution 1706, no mention emphasizes women’s agency,
rather the focus is still related to victimhood and protection: “To ensure an adequate human rights and
gender presence, capacity and expertise within UNMIS to carry out human rights promotion, civilian
protection and monitoring activities that include particular attention to the needs of women and
children” (UNSC 2006: 5). The ‘Women as Weak’ language is here recognized. As a result, it is
demonstrated here how women are not considered as the target of the policy, but rather in association
with men: “To assist with development and implementation of a comprehensive and sustainable
programme for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants and women and
children associated with combatants, as called for in the Darfur Peace Agreement” (ibid: 4). Here,
security policy, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR), is not targeting women, but
only including women in connection with men. This association hence assumes that women standing
alone would not be included in the policy. It also assumes that women are not former combatants. The
men/women dichotomy, were the construction of men as “strong” and women as “weak” is
When looking to the CPA we are pointed to the same things. One of the few women present
during the negotiations, Dr. Anne Itto, stated her frustration of the exclusion of women from the
process (Ellerby 2013: 436). As a result: “These negotiations resulted in a peace agreement that hardly
acknowledges women's security concerns or priorities for peacebuilding, reinforcing women's
invisibility as stakeholders in war and peace” (ibid). Reality shows that there was not even a notable
presence of women during the negotiation leading up to the CPA. The peacebuilding process arguably
became a double-edged sword for Sudanese women. By being stereotyped as victims, Sudanese
women were labeled as vulnerable and thus, not seen as having the agency to be present at the table.
At the same time, Sudanese women did not receive the security from what were supposed to make
them vulnerable in the first place, as women’s security issues were not included on the agenda. As this
report demonstrates, women are still suffering from physical violence, and are in a state of insecurity.
And furthermore, the government has encouraged the “silence,” by pressuring women not to speak up
about their “insecurity”: “Moreover, the setting of separate police counters for reporting sexual
violence while a welcome step is very unlikely to be successful in the case of Sudan, in light of
evidence that the GoS exerted pressure on women not to report their attacks” (Aroussi, 2011: 580).
This can be related to the fact that gendered security has not been a part of the reconstruction process,
starting with the CPA. What should have set the president for the reconstruction process, seemingly
did not consider gendered security issues: “In Sudan, for instance, no provisions on accountability for
war crimes, GBV, or sexual violence, were included in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement” (Ekiyor
& Wanyeki 2008). It is highly problematic that issues such as sexual violence were not considered in
the agreement, as it proves that a security issue typically pertaining to women’s security was not
prioritized: “Because women during the CPA did not have the time or encouragement to create an
agenda or support from either delegation, a clear women’s peace agenda never really emerged and the
CPA remains woefully unrepresentative of (en)gendered security” (Ellerby 2013: 454).
The “silent security dilemma” as pointed to by
, has not been solved. The 1325+
arguably influenced the process to a small degree where we see the discourse of “Women as Weak” is
apparent. The consequence of this is “gendered silence” (Ellerby 2013: 454). In a case where 1325+
should have been used to legitimize the need for women’s voices and inclusion in the peace building
process, the contrary has taken place. Vulnerability was emphasized, rather than empowerment. This
has lead to the gendered silence being a reality in the public discourse of post-war Sudan, and hence
hypothesis I has been proven. Discourse from 1325+ was detected, and contributed to exlusion of
women from the reconstruction process in Sudan.
Hypothesis II: UNSCR 1325 + enables subsuming security to take place in Sudan.
The second hypothesis relates to the “Women as Peaceful” discourse. It is based on the
assumption that by labeling women as peaceful, they are not perceived as an actor in the realm of
security policy. Hence, by essentializing (all) women, they are removed from public discourse, and
placed in a domestic realm. In this sense, women are ‘essentialized out of leadership,’ and gendered
security issues are subsumed by other identity features, such as ethnicity and religion. Gender
becomes a non-public feature, and hence, not a target for policy and rather the focus is on other
Due to a historical ban on women’s organizations nationally, the Sudanese civil society on
gender issues has been forced to operate regionally and internationally. One could expect that these
organizations would make use of 1325+. However, Ellerby notes that Sudanese women activists have
not actively used the WPS agenda to claim rights
. Osman’s (2009b) research highlights
the existence of organized female peacebuilding work, that remains outside the public sphere:
“Sudanese women's civil society organizations have played a significant role, at the grass roots level,
to resolve conflicts and to bring in peace However, they have been marginalized in formal peace
talk/negotiations” (Osman 2009b: 8). What is intersting to note about the civil society organizations
that have a gender focus, is that they tend to transpires political barriers: “(…) political actors (my
most neutral term) in Sudan, especially women, have moved away from self-identifying as members
of a particular political party (…) Instead, in recent decades women, in particular, have begun to refer
to themselves as “activists” (Nashiteen or nashit, sing.) (…)” (Hale 2014: 1). This point to the fact that
for women in civil society, the work tend to transpire traditional identity features, such as political
affiliation. A feature of the Sudanese civil society is that it is rich on women’s organizations. Hale’s
research backs this up, as she argues that women have been “forced” to center their activism in the
civil society/NGO sphere, due to the exclusion from the political realm (Hale 2015). We are pointed to
the fact that there is a large civil society that encompasses women’s issues, where these issues are not
being embraced by the public discourse. In fact it attempts to actively exclude these groups: “the
government is highly suspicious of them ‘NGOs’, sees them as a potential threat, and tries to keep
them under tight control” (ibid). Hale also notes that one can see a drop in the organizations that focus
on gender, especially since 2012.
We also have evidence of these female centric NGOs, cooperating across ethnic lines, which
eventually has meant national lines, between the North and the South. These groups are subsuming
features of division and joining in common challenges as women (NDI 2016). As one of the women
said: “As women, we are one people (…) We have common things that affect us together” (ibid). This
is however not legitimized in the public discourse. Subsuming security has taken place in the public
discourse as the issues pertaining to gendered security are not seen as a part of the political agenda.
Further it has been proven that gender is a common feature that brings together women from both the
North and the South as cooperation has taken place. This could point to the direction that the gendered
issues are strongly felt on the ground, but not taken into consideration in the public discourse, and that
gender is subsumed by ethnicity, religion and nationality. While 1325+ might have influenced and
legitimized the existence of a female centric civil society, hypothesis II is argued here to be confirmed.
Hypothesis III: UNSCR 1325 + has not been accepted as a securitization in Sudan.
The third hypothesis is related to the discourse of ‘Women as the Out-Group.’ If women are
not considered at the core of policy, security issues related to them is assumed to not be securitized,
nor are women expected included in the issues that are in fact securitized. Following the UNMIS
attempt of securitization will be demonstrated, then how the securitization has been manifested in
A unique feature of the UNMIS mission was the establishment of a Gender Unit, with the
ambition of being the larges Gender Unit belonging to a peacekeeping mission. The unit was
established on the basis of UNSCR 1590, with UNSCR 1325 as its flagship. The main goal was to
develop and implement a plan of action that would guide the process of mainstreaming in all the work
of UNMIS. The operation of the Gender Unit was the largest of its kind at that time, as it established
nine offices around the country. Though these goals does not necessarily point at an attempt of
securitizing gender issue, it is an attempt of politicizing gender, ensure issues of gender mainstreaming
a place on the political agenda. These goals seemed ambitious, and as argued by Eltahir-Eltom, after
interviewing both local activist from civil society and the staff of the Gender Unit and UNMIS: “(…)
the reality is different, as the basic elements required to turn this vision into a plan of action are
missing.” (Eltahir-Eltom 2011). As well she goes on to say: “In addition, the translation of UNSCR
1325 has not been adequate to enable local comprehension.” This has led to: “The extensive awareness
that was cited as an underlying goal of the Gender Unit was yet to be achieved (…) (Eltahir-Eltom
2011). The Gender Unit did not succeed in politicizing gender. The question is why. When tracing this
question back to the discourses, the ‘plus one’ feature of the “Women as the Out-Group” discourse is
clear. While the Gender Unit highlights gender mainstreaming, this does not seem to have happened.
Progress has been made in Sudan in terms of gender, but the indicators are usually quantitative. This is
gender balancing rather than gender mainstreaming. Gender balancing focuses on increasing the
number of women in certain roles to reach parity (Kirby and Shepherd 2016b: 376). In Sudan the
indicators still focus on balance. While progress is documented in Sudan during the time period, little
speaks to the fact of women’s rights being included in the general public discourse. This underlines
the discourse as women are not a part of reforming a system, rather an ‘add on’ in “appropriate”
settings to reach quantitative goals. Focusing on quantitative indicators speaks little of the quality or
lived experiences of women.
Gender issues not being securitized nor politicized is also demonstrated by the fact that there is
no national strategy for implementing 1325+ in Sudan: “Nine years after the signing of the
Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended Africa’s longest running civil war, no national strategy
exists in Sudan to implement Resolution 1325, because “there is no political will” to do so”
(Tønnessen 2014: 1). 1325 has not been incorporated in a strategy on the national level, nor made part
of public political discourse. There is a lack of political will to deal with gender issues. As stated by
: “the masculinist language of UN peacekeeping documents has been translated
into operational practice that perpetuates a vision of gender roles that reinforces inequalities and
prevents progress on gender mainstreaming”
On the spectrum, we can argue that 1325+ have not been accepted as a securitization in Sudan,
and nor has it been politicized. In their theoretical framework, Buzan et al. introduce a theoretical
spectrum where one is able to place issues on a range from non-politicized to securitized. The term
non-politicized is used when the state does not deal with the issue in question and it is not in any other
way made a matter of public debate and decision. The category of politicized describes the process of
an issue being a part of public policy therefore, requiring government decision and resource
allocations or some other form of communal governance. Securitization is when an issue is no longer
debated as a political question, but dealt with at an accelerated pace and in ways that may violate
normal, legal and social rules (1998: 23). I argue that the 1325+ framework is a discursive attempt to
declare women and their role in conflict and post-conflict as existentially threatened. The lack of
gender inclusion is discursively argued as a threat to the collective as it challenges the chances of
overall stability, peace and security of a society. Therefore, the resolution dictates that emergency
measures should be taken in order to ensure the survival of this collective. However, as noted by
Buzan et al. arguing something as a security issue does not mean it will be securitized. It needs to
achieve sufficient effect in order for the audience to accept extraordinary measures to be taken in order
to secure the threatened object (1998: 25). The relevant audience has not accepted gendered security as
an issue. Gender is rather viewed a ‘plus one’ to be on the side of politics, rather than to be
incorporated in the political agenda. It is outside the decision making power and it has not been made
necessary to reform the structure. Though UNMIS added a gender unit, this unit struggled with being
effective, and their stated goals did not manifest itself in the public discourse. While 1325+ arguably
was influential seen in the symbolic creation of the Gender Unit, hypothesis III is confirmed.
By examining the research question specifically, I sought to answer more broadly if the selected
UNSC Resolutions had an influence on the ground, and here in the specific case of Sudan. While my
ontology entails that there is no such thing as a generalizable result, and that the case is context
dependent, I wish to demonstrate how the discourses produced and reproduced by the UNSCR 1325 +
influence post-conflict reconstruction and how this influence is manifested. The research aimed at
investigating, first, the discourses at the international level, then second, to see how these influence at
the national level.
It can be concluded that the 1325+ hold a specific view on gender. This especially comes
forward in the resolutions’ binary view on gender in which the constructed qualities are attached to the
categories of ‘man’ and ‘woman.’ By promoting essentialist-gendered discourses, it can be argued that
1325+ are contributing to these structural gendered roles in Sudan. Three main reasons hereof become
clear; first, the resolution was not implemented from the beginning of the creation of CPA; second,
women’s security issues are non-politicized in the case of Sudan; and third, there is a political and
legal exclusion of women’s grassroots activity. As a result, the ‘silent security dilemma’ remains the
reality of Sudanese women and ‘subsuming security’ seems to be forcefully experienced on the
ground. Gender should be a crosscutting political issue but has rather become an excluded theme. The
silent security dilemma as described by Hansen, and also mentioned by other scholars as the ‘gendered
silence’, is not solved by the resolutions as one would expect them to be; the reason being that women
are still portrayed as weak, peaceful and as the out-group.
Aurora Eck Nilsen has a Dual MA Degree in International Peace and Conflict
Resolution/International Relations and Diplomacy from Arcadia Univerity/American Graduate School
in Paris. Her research is focused on gender and security policy, and the application of poststructural
theory and method to the field of international relations. She has worked at the United Nations
Population Fund (UNFPA) with political advocacy on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
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