Campaigning for ‘women, peace and security’: Transnational advocacy networks at the United Nations security council

Ian Somerville, Sahla Aroussi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Women’s organizations have had significant success over the past decade campaigning at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). A series of important UNSC Resolutions on women, peace and security have been passed in the last twelve years, the most important of which is Resolution 1325, adopted in October 2000 to address three key issues: the protection of women from sexual violence in armed conflict; women’s participation in peace negotiations; and gender consideration in peacemaking, peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction (Shepherd 2008; Anderlini 2007). This chapter examines the public relations and lobbying strategies used by a transnational advocacy network made up of women’s and human rights NGOs to push the issue of women’s rights to the top of the UNSC’s agenda and achieve transformational change which has had an impact at several important levels, including consciousness building, policy development and legal accountability. We argue that the approach of the women’s movement in this campaign provides a model for other groups in how to use communication strategies to push for change in the area of justice and human rights. Our chapter engages with the key issues of this book by focusing on how a coalition of women’s organizations successfully gave women a voice at one of the most powerful – and traditionally masculinized – spaces in global politics. Using innovative communicative strategies, the women’s NGOs transformed the discourse surrounding gender issues in conflict situations by successfully reframing ‘women’s human rights’ as ‘peace and security’ issues, and in doing so successfully pressed for the adoption of new norms at the UNSC.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGender and Public Relations
Subtitle of host publicationCritical Perspectives on Voice, Image and Identity
EditorsChristine Daymon, Kristin Demetrious
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9780203436011
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


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