A Women, Peace and Security Approach to Prevention and Countering Terrorism?

By Marina Kumskova, WILPF’s Women, Peace and Security Programme Associate

Opening of High-level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies of Member States (Photo: UN Photo/Mark Garten)

In 2000, WILPF was part of the feminist movement leadership that successfully pushed for the recognition that women were relevant to international peace and security through the creation of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda. As part of our work to transform gendered norms, WILPF monitored the first ever United Nations High-level Conference on Counterterrorism held 28-29 June 2018 in order to identify how to address militarised challenges and strengthen strategic action for prevention, justice and peace.

While Member States focused predominantly on the role of development as the key milestone of prevention and continued to support militarised approaches to counterterrorism, civil society representatives were at the forefront of demanding inclusion of women and a gender perspective in the discussion. Indeed, a holistic WPS Agenda requires an approach to addressing terrorism demands that focuses on prevention and does not legitimise and promote perpetual crises. Non-violence and justice for women’s human rights must be the first priority strategy.

Read WILPF’s Reflections from the first ever United Nations High-level Conference on Counterterrorism here>>