Gender Justice in EU Crisis Management Missions

Melanie Hoewer, University College Dublin

Heidi Riley, University College Dublin

GLOBUS Research Paper 17/2020


This paper examines competing understanding of gender justice between CSDP civil and military staff and representatives of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). Using the three GLOBUS concepts of justice as an analytical framework the paper shows that there is a sharp contrast between CSDP staff discourse on gender justice and the implementation the Women Peace and Security (WPS) agenda, and discourse from CSOs. It finds that approaches to gender justice in CSDP missions have been largely dominated by a justice as impartiality approach, located in the language of universal human rights but when we look at the actual the implementation of the WPS agenda in the field (or lack thereof), an approach rooted in the state-centric model of justice as non-domination emerges. In contrast, CSOs tend to advocate for the inclusion of a more context specific approach, one that takes account of intersectionality and complexity, more aligned with justice as mutual recognition. This disconnect in understandings of gender justice is problematic because in order for missions to be successful, or to have any transformative power, there is a need for a level of engagement between mission staff and CSOs. This is in order to take a context specific approach to gender justice in CDPD missions and to avoid the curtailing of certain women’s voices. The paper uses qualitative data from interviews with civilian and personnel from within military field missions and representatives of a variety of CSOs from both the global North and South.

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Tags: Cooperation and conflict, Gender
Published May 27, 2020 12:58 PM - Last modified May 27, 2020 12:58 PM