'Where Are the Women?' A Gender Perspective on the EU as an International Mediator

Toni Haastrup

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) has called for the greater inclusion of women in practices such as peace negotiations or mediation in acknowledgement of the gendered nature of international security. The European Union (EU), like other international actors has committed to fulfilling the promises of this resolution. However, I suggest that the EU's current security architecture which supports mediation conversely silences opportunities for gender inclusivity. Like other actors, the EU disproportionately focuses on 'protection' over inclusion and participation when engaging with issues around women, peace and security. On the ground, this plays out as the EU having gender advisers in most of its CSDP missions, but having only ever appointed two female EUSRs whose duties might include mediation. So, while we see some well- intentioned and successful policy actions, this location of women as passive victims in the settlement of conflicts and international security is counterproductive. In this paper then, I argue that the dominant narrative that locates women as victims hinders other commitments to increase women's participation in peace processes. This re-entrenches the gendered dynamics of insecurity and peace. This paper presents an overview of how the EU sees mediation and gender inclusivity in its foreign policy practices. Using a feminist institutionalist approach in its attempt to assess the EU's nascent capabilities, the paper attempts to show the ways in which formal and informal practices of change can further lead to unintended gendered consequences.





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