chapter  5
24 Pages

The United Nations Development Fund for Women: working its way into the security sector

As the previous chapter maintains, just engaging in the security discourse with traditional security actors such as the UN Security Council does not necessarily guarantee a genuine commitment to women by the international community in conflict and post-conflict situations. Contrasting the case of children with women in terms of SC action illustrates the importance of institutional structures and legal frameworks in establishing and maintaining momentum for these marginalized groups. The impact, however, of securitizing women’s rights-or humanizing security-cannot be limited to an analysis of SC activity or lack thereof. Given the intimate relationship between the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) network and Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1325 in particular, it is critical to take a closer look at historical progression of this organization committed to women’s empowerment in global development. Tracing this organization’s history provides important insight into “other ways” that women’s issues and gender equality concerns can benefit from the security discourse, by working their way into traditional security arenas at least to broaden, if not transform, the ways those arenas define and enact international security policy.1