Gender Evaluation Methodology for UN 1325
Running Head: GENDER EVALUATION METHODOLOGY FOR UN 1325
Weaving the Threads of Peace:
Creating a Gender Evaluation Methodology for Women’s Participation in Peacemaking*
Jocelyn Clare R. Hermoso, PhD, MSW
San Francisco State University
School of Social Work
1600 Holloway Avenue, HSS 217
San Francisco, CA 94132
United States of America
Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom (WILPF)
*Author’s note: This article is a modified version of a paper presented at the Joint World Congress of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), the International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW), and the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW), Hong Kong, June 2010.
The United Nations Resolution 1325 was enacted to reaffirm the importance of bringing in a gender perspective to peacemaking by seeking to increase women’s participation in official peacemaking efforts, supporting women’s initiatives to create a culture of peace, and by underscoring women’s unique contributions to peacemaking. The extent to which the resolution has been implemented varies across different parts of world. The enactment of 1325 notwithstanding, women continue to make up a small percentage of professional positions in most official peacekeeping and peacemaking bodies in various parts of the world. Drawing on the themes of a grounded theory study of women in conflict-affected areas and on current literature in gender and peacemaking, this paper seeks to build a set of criteria for a gender evaluation methodology (GEM) for evaluating UN 1325. The tool seeks to gauge the level of women’s involvement in both official peacemaking processes and in alternative peacemaking initiatives, the degree to which political space has been broadened by UN 1325, and the degree to which peace constituencies have been created and strengthened as a result of this resolution. This paper is part of a larger study developing grounded theory on women’s participation in peacemaking. A gender evaluation methodology also serves as a way to explore how global policy as UN 1325 can be implemented in the local context of conflict-affected areas, how it can be evaluated in terms of its goals and objectives, and how accountability can be exacted from multi-stakeholders. Implications of global social policy advocacy on social development agenda-building will be explored.
The United Nations Resolution 1325 was enacted in 2000 recognizing the importance of bringing in a gender perspective to peacemaking by seeking to increase women’s participation in official peacemaking efforts, supporting women’s initiatives to create a culture of peace, and by underscoring women’s unique contributions to peacemaking. The resolution is premised on the notion that a gender perspective is essential to any peacemaking initiative. A balance of masculine and feminine attributes offers a more holistic approach to conflict as it views social injustices, such as poverty, oppression, social exclusion, and environmental degradation, as the root causes of on-going violence in the world today. A gender perspective to peacemaking promotes what Norwegian peace scholar Johan Galtung (1969) referred to as positive peace (the elimination of social injustice) and negative peace (the cessation of hostilities). It also addresses the minimal participation, and at times total exclusion, of women in peace processes by calling for the broadening of political space for women’s involvement in official peacemaking efforts.
Since the resolution’s inception, various initiatives from all over the world have been undertaken to bring its spirit and letter to life. On-line portals were developed to track and profile the numerous peacemaking efforts of women all over the world. Watchdog organizations pursuing women’s involvement in peacemaking have been monitoring the extent to which UN 1325 has been implemented. Reports thus far show that the incorporation of a gender perspective in peacemaking processes and the protection of human rights of women and girls have been implemented at varying levels in different countries. While some areas have systems in place that facilitate Resolution 1325’s implementation, other gains in terms of increased participation of women in peacemaking have been largely symbolic. As a result, women continue to be at the margins of official peacemaking processes, from the initial phase of decommissioning to the later phases of post-conflict reconstruction. Women still make up a small percentage of professional positions in most official peacekeeping and peacemaking bodies in various parts of the world (Anderlini, 2007).
The tenth year anniversary of UN 1325’S enactment is certainly a milestone in the campaign to promote women peacemakers and bring in a gender perspective to peacemaking. An evaluation of the resolution is thus clearly in order. This paper seeks to offer a framework for developing instruments for evaluating UN 1325. Drawing on the themes of a grounded theory study of women in conflict-affected areas, which the author is presently undertaking, and on current literature in gender and peacemaking, and literature review of social policy analysis, this paper hopes to build a set of criteria for developing a policy evaluation instrument and methodology. The instrument will gauge the level of women’s involvement in both official peacemaking processes and in alternative peacemaking initiatives, the degree to which political space has been broadened by UN 1325, and the extent to which peace constituencies have been created and strengthened as a result of this resolution.
The following literature review will survey relevant and state-of-the-art discourse that informs a gender evaluation methodology for evaluating UN 1325’s implementation in the last ten years. Particular focus will be made on the following sub-themes: gender perspective to peacemaking, the capability approach, a gender evaluation methodology, and a social policy analysis model.
Gender Perspective to Peacemaking
The World Health Organization (1998) defines gender as that which “refers to characteristics of women and men that are socially constructed, in contrast to those that are biologically determined”. Masculinity and femininity are gender nomenclatures created by society while male and female are sex categorizations which are biologically defined. Masculine or feminine principles and values are usually defined by one’s cultural ethos. Cultural norms would assign certain masculine principles to men and women based on the gender role expectations in a particular society.
Gender theorists would argue, however, that both principles are found in both men and women (Chew, 1998). Examples of masculine attributes would be dominance, competition, and assertiveness and feminine principles would be nurturance, harmony, compromise, and cooperation. A healthy balance between both principles is necessary for the proper functioning of individuals and society.
Using these premises to analyze the tenets of UN Resolution 1325, it can be surmised that both masculine and feminine principles are essential for the attainment of genuine and lasting peace. The outbreak and perpetuation of violence and conflict in the world today is due to the ascendancy of masculine principles. Domination and competition are likely to engender conditions for violence. Feminine attributes such as cooperation and compromise are traits that are predisposed to fostering peace. Chew (1998) holds however that the pre-eminence of feminine principles may likewise leave the world in disarray, albeit of a different kind. The plausibility of true and lasting peace can only be cultivated in a context where there is a juxtaposition of both masculine and feminine principles.
The existence of various gender dimensions in conflict situations necessitates the inclusion of gender in peacemaking (Pankhurst, 2004).Both principles are thus essential in conflict prevention and reconstruction. The Beijing World Conference on Women (1995) recognized the importance of gender as a relevant dimension of peacemaking and articulated it in its Platform for Action:
“…While entire communities suffer the consequences of armed conflict and terrorism, women and girls are particularly affected because of their status in society as well as their sex..”
Both women and men also have a fundamental stake in peace. Much of the atrocities taking place in the world today are functions of the dominance of masculine principles prevailing in most societies. Just as a healthy balance of masculine and feminine principles are necessary for the proper functioning of society, so must there be a balance between men and women’s participation in formal peace negotiations and in the entire post-conflict reconstruction process. Masculine principles of competition, dominance, and aggression can be balanced by feminine principles of cooperation, nurturance, and compromise in order to achieve successful peacemaking.
The capabilities approach (CA) is a rights-based framework for analyzing social policy. Carpenter (2009) summarizes the works of Amartya Sen (1999) and Martha Nussbaum (2000) on a capabilities paradigm that explores the delivery of procedural and substantive social justice. The CA in particular addresses the question of what constitutes human progress and how does one balance the claims of freedom and social justice when defining what progress is. Sen’s (1999) paradigm of capabilities focused on his conceptualization of human development as freedom. Capabilities refer to the abilities and possibilities that would allow humans to flourish and achieve personhood. Nussbaum’s (as quoted in Carpenter, 2009) CA framework includes a list of “central human capabilities” (p.358) as detailed below:
Life – normal life expectancy
Bodily health – good health including reproductive health
Bodily integrity – free movement, protection from violence, including sexual assault
Senses, imagination, & thought – a range of issues including creativity, artistic and political expression, & enjoyment of pleasure
Emotions – emotional development and attachment, to love and be loved
Practical reason – to develop a conception of good, and make life plans
Affiliation – to be able to live for and in relation with others, to develop empathy, pursue justice and friendship
Other species – relations with the natural world and animals
Play – to laugh and play and relax
Control over one’s environment – this includes political participation, material control over resources, and employment rights
Gender Evaluation Methodology
Gender evaluation methodology (GEM) has its origins in the information and communication technology (ICT) discourse. GEM was developed as a tool to evaluate the extent to which ICT incorporate a gender perspective in terms of the content of ICT as well as access (Association of Progressive Communications, 2005). The instrument serves as a lens by which to recognize analyze the gender issues inherent in the use and content of ICT. In addition, GEM enables users to also identify areas of women’s empowerment in the evaluation process.
Policy Evaluation Framework
The literature on policy analysis and evaluation shows that most published works focused more heavily on gauging the efficiency of a social policy or program in terms of the extent that their goals and objectives have been met. Elements of a policy analysis framework would include the nature of decision-making (Gil, 1992; Gilbert, Specht, & Terrell, 1998), the cost of implementing the policy (Chambers, 2004; Gilbert, Specht, & Terrell, 1998), the values underpinning social policy (Gil; 1992; Iatridis, 2009; Gilbert, Specht, & Terrell, 1998; Prigmore & Atherton, 1986), and alternative approaches to solving the social problem (Gilbert, Specht, & Terrell, 1998; Iatridis, 2009). While these are clearly important criteria for determining policy gains, the different elements in the policy process provide other criteria for evaluating the success of a social policy or program.
Miller & Razon-Abad (1994) developed a framework for evaluating the success of a social policy or program and the dimensions of policy gains. They cite three dimensions of a policy gain: policy gain, civil society gain, and democracy gain. The policy gain refers to the successes achieved in terms of having the goals and objectives and forms of benefits and services of the policy. What particular element of a social policy and program has been realized? The civil society gain would involve the successes achieved in terms of how advocacy efforts for the social policy or program strengthened the constituency behind the social policy. Did advocacy efforts strengthen the coalition pushing for policy implementation as well as the individual member organizations of the coalition? To what extent did advocating for the social policy fortify civil society organizations, grassroots institutions, and other non-state actors in the policy process? The democracy gains refer to the extent to which policy advocacy efforts aided in broadening democratic space and political legitimacy of the constituency behind the social policy or program. Did advocating for a social policy or program broaden the space for political participation?
Conceptualizing gender perspective and peace
Gender perspective is defined in this paper as an approach to peace-building that recognizes that gender dimensions abound in conflict situations, that a balance of masculine and feminine principles in peacemaking aid in fostering true and lasting peace, that gender equality and women’s empowerment are prerequisites to peace, and that gender parity needs to be established in all levels of official peacemaking processes.
Peace is defined in this study as both positive and negative peace. It is based on social justice and respect for human rights. As positive peace, it seeks to address structural injustices that are the root causes of conflict in the world. True and lasting peace is both process and outcome.
Gender Evaluation Methodology (GEM) – Policy Evaluation of UN 1325
To effectively evaluate UN 1325’s implementation in the last decade, it would be beneficial to develop a tool that adopts the principles of GEM, the capabilities approach, as well as Miller & Abad’s policy analysis framework. The emphasis given by GEM on the gender component and gender analysis of evaluation research would aid in ascertaining how UN1325 brought to surface gender disparities, sexual division of labor, and other issues facing women and men. The capabilities approach to policy analysis, particularly Nussbaum’s (1999) list of central human capabilities, also informs a policy analysis model that would examine how UN 1325 protects and promotes such capabilities for women in conflict. Finally, Miller & Abad’s (1994) framework for policy analysis allows proponents of UN 1325 to gauge other elements of policy success such as civil society strengthening and democracy, which are also key dimensions of the resolution’s principles.
This proposed policy analysis framework for UN 1325 also draws themes from this researcher’s grounded theory study on gender and peacemaking. The theoretical constructs culled from the data include women’s conceptualization of peace, efforts to engender both positive and negative peace, localizing international laws affecting women in conflict, building and strengthening institutions, and fostering inner peace as part of peacemaking. These theoretical constructs along with the policy evaluation frameworks mentioned above together lay the foundation for an appropriate instrument to evaluate the extent to which UN 1325 achieved its goals and objectives.
This instrument will include three sections, each one corresponding to the dimensions of policy gains of Miller & Razon-Abad (1994): 1) Policy gain - Women’s meaningful involvement in peacemaking; 2) Civil society gain – Building & strengthening of peace constituencies; 3) Democracy gains – broadening of democratic space for women. The outline below details the components of each section and examples of evaluative research questions to ask.
Women’s involvement in peace building
Protection of women in conflict (Were women and girls protected from all forms of violence? Did women and girls participate more meaningfully in protection programs? Were specific protection needs of women and girls addressed?)
Addressing immediate needs of women in conflict (Were the immediate needs of women and girls in conflict addressed?)
Recognition of women’s roles and initiatives in peace-building (Were women’s peace-building efforts recognized and protected?)
Significant participation of women in official peace panels in terms of quantity and quality (Quantitative indicators of women’s participation [i.e. What were the percentages of women members of peace panels?]; Qualitative indicators of women’s participation [i.e. What contributions did women representatives have and what roles did they play in such peace panels?]).
Bringing in a gender perspective to peacemaking – balance of masculine and feminine principles to peacemaking (
Anti-poverty programs for women (Were poverty programs for women implemented?)
Programs addressing violence against women (Were women and girls protected from all forms of violence?)
Civil society gains – building and strengthening of peace constituencies
Formation and training of women leaders of civil society organizations (Quantitative and qualitative indicators of significant leadership of women in civil society organization)
Strengthening of civil society organizations involved in peacemaking (Quantitative indicators of civil society strengthening [i.e. number of coalitions and/or organizations]; Qualitative indicators [i.e. structures of accountability and decision-making )
Inter-faith partnerships and collaboration (What was the extent and quality of inter-faith collaborations and partnerships in conflict-affected areas?)
Dialogues between women and men (To what extent were on-going dialogues between men and women conducted?)
Advocacy for UN 1325 as an organizing tool (Were new grassroots organizations established as a result of advocacy for UN 1325?)
Increased consciousness about women in conflict-affected areas and women’s peacemaking initiatives (What was the extent of popular education about UN 1325?)
Broadening of political space
Opportunities for women to participate in local governance (Quantitative and qualitative indicators of women’s participation in local governance)
More positive images portrayed in media of women in conflict-affected areas (What is the extent to which mainstream and independent media present positive images of women and women’s peacemaking initiatives?)
Electoral reform (What initiatives have been pursued to reform the electoral system at the local and national levels?)
Building and strengthening institutions of democracy (What initiatives have been done to build and strengthen democratic institutions?)
Localization of UN 1325 (What initiatives have been undertaken to localize UN 1325?)
This paper sought to present a theoretical framework for evaluating UN 1325 based on a gender evaluation methodology. Apart from ascertaining the extent to which the resolution’s principles and provisions were realized, this paper also underscores the need to evaluate other dimensions of the policy process. In so doing, proponents of UN 1325 can also identify other symbolic gains beyond that of bringing in a gender perspective and increasing women’s participation in peacemaking. As the framework shows, achieving the goals and objectives of UN 1325 is contingent on strengthening peace constituencies and on reforming and strengthening democratic institutions. After ten years of UN 1325’s implementation, it would be a worthwhile endeavor to know what other gains were accomplished.
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