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The Power of Mixed Messages: Women, Peace, and Security Language in National Action Plans from Africa

Heidi Hudson ()

Africa Spectrum, 2017, vol. 52, issue 3, 3-29

Abstract: Against the backdrop of global and continental women, peace, and security discourses, this contribution analyses the gender and women-focused language of national action plans from four African countries (Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, and Uganda), which were drafted with a view to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. I argue that national action plans have the potential to transcend the soft-consensus language of Security Council resolutions because they create new spaces for feminist engagement with policy and practice. The analysis reveals three discursive themes – namely, the making of “womenandchildren,” women civilising war, and making women responsible for preventing gender-based violence. The themes relate to the construction of, respectively, gender(ed) identities, security, and violence. To varying degrees, the plans reflect a combination of predominantly liberal-feminist language interspersed with some examples of critical insight. I conclude that the ambiguous nature of the messages sent out by these plans serves as a reminder that discourses are fragmented and therefore offer an opening for nuanced contextual analyses and implementation.

Keywords: peace and conflict research; women; women’s politics; action programmes/action plans; UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000-10-31) (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017-12
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