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Mapping Gender and the Responsibility to Protect: Seeking Intersections, Finding Parallels

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image of Global Responsibility to Protect

Over the past decade, the international community has acknowledged that traditional notions of conflict and protection must be re-visited if true human security is to be realized. Consistent with this recognition, both the responsibility to protect and the women, peace, and security agenda challenge the status quo and offer new perspectives from which to approach responses to conflict. Unfortunately, the former was developed without consideration of the latter, and a tremendous opportunity to benefit from years of experience and expertise was thus missed. This article demonstrates that while recent discourse surrounding the responsibility to protect suggests some increased awareness that conflict affects men and women differently, there remains a significant disconnect between the development of this framework and the ever-growing body of work on the gendered nature of peace and security issues. Our identification of this ongoing chasm is accompanied by two simple observations: first, that this renders the responsibility to protect inconsistent with other international commitments and priorities; and second, that incorporation of the links between gender and conflict will improve the ability of the responsibility to protect to afford true protection.


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