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Penn Law Research marks the 20th Anniversary of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda and the UN Security Council Resolution 1325

January 03, 2020

This past fall, the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School hosted the UN’s former Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy, author of the UN’s 2015 Global Study on the Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, to co- teach a course on the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda. Along with the Law School’s Associate Dean of International Affairs, Dr. Rangita de Silva de Alwis, Coomaraswamy led discussions on the Agenda’s four pillars – participation, protection, justice, and prevention – with a small group of Law School students.

These discussions culminated in “1325,” a volume of student-written essays that engage critically with the Women, Peace, and Security agenda and Resolution 1325, which marks its 20th anniversary this year.

The Foreword is by Crawford Jamieson, a Thouron Scholar through the graduate exchange program between the United Kingdom and the University of Pennsylvania. “With its goal of furthering British-American understanding,” the Thouron Award provides funding for postgraduate study abroad for students on both sides of the pond. British scholars may study at one of the University of Pennsylvania’s graduate schools while American scholars can pursue graduate study at any UK university.

In the Foreword of “1325,” Jamieson highlights the “unique place in the international legal order,” noting that ‘[n]o UN Security Council resolution other than 1325 is known by its number alone, no other collection of UN Security Council resolutions have formed the basis for an ‘agenda,’ and no other international public policy movement can be conjured up with just three characters: ‘WPS.’”

In the volume’s opening essay, Jamieson “assess[es] the cogency of the postcolonial critique of the WPF agenda.” 

Next, Cassandra Dula explores both intersectional and postcolonial critiques, Kunal Kanodia addresses the challenges faced by the WPS agenda, offering potential solutions, and Eduarda Lague discusses arguments for and against expanding the focus of the WPS agenda. Aseem Chipalkatti argues that the WPS agenda has failed to effectively prevent the continuum of violence, Fumnanya I. Ekhator maintains that the agenda must shift to encompass women’s stories and not only examine statistics, and Betha Igbinosun writes about how the WPS agenda has addressed sexual violence against women.

Two detailed case studies examine the application of the WPS agenda in specific locations: Farah Chalisa focuses on Pakistan and Bridget Golob on Ethiopia.