Queering women, peace and security

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This resource is relevant for humanitarian practitioners engaged in the WPS space, as well as those involved in peace-building and early recovery from protracted crises. By critiquing the WPS agenda through a queer lens, this article provides recommendations for the ways in which a queering of the security agenda offers a more inclusive future.

This academic article takes a critical lens to the ways in which the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) architecture perpetuates the exclusion and marginalisation of the LGBTQ community. The article opens with a review of the WPS agenda and the ways in which LGBTQ people are excluded–for instance, the importance of recognising the gendered violence LGBTQ people face as part of gendered power relations.

The article then considers the security problems faced by LGBTQ people and the ways the WPS architecture ignores these issues through its heteronormative assumptions. The challenges of determining who is in need of protection by using a heteronormative assessment is discussed. Gender-based insecurity is then discussed, as are the gender limitations in the WPS architecture.

The linkages between the WPS architecture and Security Council resolutions and INGO monitoring and policy documents is then considered. Cisprivilege within WPS is then discussed, pointing to the lack of LGBTQ individuals involved within the WPS development process. The paper continues to consider sexual and gender-based violence against LGBTQ people before moving into a discussion on the implementation of WPS and how it could be improved.

The institutional barriers to queer inclusion are discussed, including definitions and assumptions around SGBV. A theoretical framework beyond heteronormativity is then considered, drawing upon international relations theory as well as existing UNSC documents and resolutions. A section on unique vulnerabilities of LGBTQ people and on transnational considerations of homophobic and transphobic violence follows.

The conclusion offers final recommendations for queer inclusion, citing the ‘powerful vehicle’ of the WPS architecture, noting that queering WPS would offer a more intersectional approach to WPS, drawing attention to LGBTQ individuals and highlighting the ways that masculine and feminine assumptions influence the security council.

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Cisprivilege is apparent in the WPS architecture, probably owing in part to a lack of participation by LGBTQ individuals in its creation. Examples of cisprivilege include the fact that cisgender women are not denied access to medical attention, bathrooms or domestic violence shelters on the basis of their bodies and identities. Without an awareness of the limitations faced by those who do not enjoy cisprivilege, these concerns are overlooked; and this is most often evident in assumptions built into a binary understanding of gender.

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This academic article takes a critical lens to the ways in which the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) architecture perpetuates the exclusion and marginalisation of the LGBTQ community. The article opens with a review of the WPS agenda and the ways in which LGBTQ people are excluded–for instance, the importance of recognising the gendered violence LGBTQ people face as part of gendered power relations.

The article then considers the security problems faced by LGBTQ people and the ways the WPS architecture ignores these issues through its heteronormative assumptions. The challenges of determining who is in need of protection by using a heteronormative assessment is discussed. Gender-based insecurity is then discussed, as are the gender limitations in the WPS architecture.

The linkages between the WPS architecture and Security Council resolutions and INGO monitoring and policy documents is then considered. Cisprivilege within WPS is then discussed, pointing to the lack of LGBTQ individuals involved within the WPS development process. The paper continues to consider sexual and gender-based violence against LGBTQ people before moving into a discussion on the implementation of WPS and how it could be improved.

The institutional barriers to queer inclusion are discussed, including definitions and assumptions around SGBV. A theoretical framework beyond heteronormativity is then considered, drawing upon international relations theory as well as existing UNSC documents and resolutions. A section on unique vulnerabilities of LGBTQ people and on transnational considerations of homophobic and transphobic violence follows.

The conclusion offers final recommendations for queer inclusion, citing the ‘powerful vehicle’ of the WPS architecture, noting that queering WPS would offer a more intersectional approach to WPS, drawing attention to LGBTQ individuals and highlighting the ways that masculine and feminine assumptions influence the security council.