Gender, Peace and Security

Please note: This page refers to a course that has already taken place.

21 - 23 Nov 2016

PRIO, Hausmanns gate 3, Oslo

Inger Skjelsbæk (PRIO/UiO) and Torunn L. Tryggestad (PRIO)

Equals 5 ECTS (with approved essay) according to standards of University of Oslo

Covadonga Morales Bertrand (

Inger Skjelsbæk (UiO/PRIO), Torunn L. Tryggestad (PRIO), and guest lecturers (see course schedule).

​​​​​​​​​​​The starting point of this course is the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (2000). This resolution represents a major breakthrough for women's rights in the peace and security arena. The ground-breaking aspect of the resolution is its systematic insistence on the interconnect­edness between gender and peace and security concerns. The resolution asks for changes in three distinctly different ways. First, it asks member states to increase the representation and active participation of women at all decision-making levels in national, regional and international institutions and mechanisms for conflict prevention, conflict management, conflict resolution and peacebuilding. Second, it emphasizes that a gender perspective should be adopted in the planning and implementation of peace operations and peace negotiations. These should include gender-sensitive training of personnel to enable them to better understand and appreciate local women's peace initiatives, needs and interests in mission areas. This could also mean that the roles for women as peacekeepers would/will need to be expanded. Third, it calls for increased attention being given to the protection of women from gender-based violence in situations of armed conflict, and initiatives to put an end to impunity for such crimes.

Course Description:

This research course will focus on research linked to the agenda of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, including the following themes:
  • Theories of peace and conflict; what changes with a gendered perspective?
  • Gender in foreign policy; what does a feminist foreign policy look like?
  • Normative changes; what is the normative impact of the efforts in the United Nations linked to the 1325 agenda?
  • Peace mediation; what are the benefits of gender inclusive international conflict mediation?  
  • Transitional Justice; what are the core elements of transitional justice for men and women?
  • Political violence; what is the status of knowledge about sexual violence in war?
  • Post conflict; what does conflict mean for maternal health issues?

Our overall aim is to show how, as well as critically assess the way in which gender, peace and security is interconnected in normative and empirical ways. The research presented and discussed will be cross-disciplinary and based on different methodological approaches. 


Monday 21 November

09:00 – 09:45          1. Welcome and Introduction - including presentation of participants ​​​​​(Inger Skjelsbæk & Torunn L. Tryggestad) 

09:45 – 10:45          2. Gender in Peace and Conflict Studies ​​(Annica Kronsell, Professor, Dept. of ​​Political Science, Lund University) Chair: Inger Skjelsbæk 

10:45 – 11:00          Coffee/tea break

11:00 – 12:00          3. Feminist Foreign Policy in Practice ​​(Louise Olsson, Department of Political Scinece, University in Uppsala/Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA)

​​​12:00 –​ 13:00         Lunch

13:00 – 15:00          5. Discussion of core themes from the day ​​(Annica Kronsell, Louise Olsson, Inger Skjelsbæk and Torunn Tryggestad)

Tuesday 22 November

09:15 – 10:00          6. UN SCR 1325 and the Normative Framework on Women, Peace and Security (Torunn Tryggestad, Senior Researcher,                                PRIO)

10:15 – 11:00          7. Gender and Mediation: The Colombian Peace Process (Hilde Salvesen, Senior Advisor, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

11:15 – 12:00          8. Discussion with Tryggestad and Salvesen (Moderated by Inger Skjelsbæk)

12:00 -13:00          Lunch

13:15 – 14:00          9. Post Conflict Transitional Justice and Gender: The Case of Colombia (Kristin Bergtora Sandvik, Senior Researcher, PRIO and David Rodrigues Goyes, PhD Candidate, Faculty of Law, University of Oslo.

14:15 – 15:00          10. Maternal Health and Conflict (Henrik Urdal, Research Professor, PRIO)

15:15 – 16:00          11. Discussion with Urdal, Sandvik and Rodrigues Goyes  (Moderated by Torunn L. Tryggestad)


Wednesday 23 November

09:15 – 10:00          12. The political psychology of war rape (Inger Skjelsbæk,  Research Professor, PRIO)

10:15 – 11:00          13. Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict (Ragnhild Nordås, Senior                        Researcher, PRIO)

11:15 – 12:00          14. Discussion with Skjelsbæk and Nordås (Moderated by Torunn L. Tryggestad)

12:00 – 13:00         Lunch

13:00 – 15:00          15. Ideas for course essay and research (all participants)

15:15 – 16.00          16. Concluding discussion (Skjelsbæk and Tryggestad)


Deadline of applications: 21 September 2016. Now 17 October!


​​​In order to obtain 5 ECTS for the course, participants must get an overview of the readings, participate actively in the lectures and submit a paper of 5000 words. 

An essay proposal should be submitted by 15 December 2016 to The proposal should consist of a research question, an abstract/outline of about 200 words, and a paragraph on how the question relates to the course literature. 

The final paper should be submitted by 1 March 2017 to


The deadline for applications is 21 September 2016 (now 17 October). Please fill in the electronic application form. PhD candidates should specify the topic of their project under 'Research interests'. PhD candidates get priority, but others with graduate studies from a relevant discipline may also apply. Please note that given the popularity of this course there are only few places left.

There is no participation fee, but the cost of transportation and accommodation must be covered by the participants. A limited number of stipends to cover basic accommodation at neighbouring Anker Hotel are available for PhD students who​​ do not have funding for such course participation through their universities or otherwise. If relevant, check the 'stipend' box in the application scheme.

If needed in order to make the necessary travel arrangements, PhD candidates who apply long before the deadline may request an early evaluation of their application in an e-mail to Kristoffer Lidén (, with a cc. to Covadonga M. Bertrand ( Please mark the e-mail [Gender, Peace and Security - early evaluation].

Course Literature:

Course literature by lecture:

2: Gender in Peace and Conflict Studies (Annica Kronsell)

Required reading:

  • Hutchings, Kimberley (2008), '1988 and 1998: Contrast and Continuity in Feminist International Relations', Millennium – Journal of International Studies, Vol. 37, No. 1, pp. 97-105.
  • Shepherd, Laura J (2009), 'Gender, Violence and Global Politics: Contemporary Debates in Feminist Security Studies', Political Studies Review, Vol. 7, pp. 208-219.
  • True, Jacqui (2008), 'Reflexivity in Practice: Power and Ethics in Feminist Research on International Relations', International Studies Review, 10, pp. 693-707.

3: Feminist Foreign Policy in Practice (Louise Olsson)

Required reading:

 Suggested reading:

  • Forsberg, Erika, and Louise Olsson, "Gender inequality and internal conflict" in Oxford Research Encyclopedias of Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.
  • Bjarnegård, Elin and Erik Melander et al."Gender, peace and armed conflict", in SIPRI Yearbook 2015: Armaments, Disarmament and International Security. Stockholm: SIPRI, 2015.
  • The course participants should also read the National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security of their respective home country (if applicable). An overview of NAPs can be found here:

6. UN SCR 1325 and the Normative Framework on Women, Peace and Security (Torunn L. Tryggestad)

Required reading:

  • Kirby, Paul and Laura Shepherd (2016), 'The Futures Past of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda', International Affairs, Vol. 92, No. 2, pp. 373-392.
  • Hudson, Natalie Florea (2010), Gender, Human Security and the United Nations. Security languages as a political framework for women, chapter 2 (Women's activism in the context of the security debate. Theoretical underpinnings), Routledge Critical Security Studies, pp. 22-43.
  • Tryggestad, Torunn L. (2009), 'Trick or Treat? The UN and Implementation of SecurityCouncil Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security', Global Governance, Vol. 15, pp. 539-557.

Recommended reading:

  • Anderlini, Sanam Naraghi (2007), Women building peace: What they do, why it matters, Boulder London: Lynne Rienner Publishers.
  • Conciliation Resources (2013), 'Women building peace', ACCORD Insight – an international review of peace initiatives, London: Conciliation Resources.
  • Olonisakin, Funmi, Karen Barnes and Eka Ikpe (eds)(2011), Women, Peace and Security. Translating policy into practice, Routledge Contemporary Security Studies (particularly chapters 2 and 15).

7. Gender and Mediation – the Colombian Peace Process (Hilde Salvesen)

Required reading: tba

Recommended reading: tba

9. Post-Conflict Transitional Justice and Gender: The Case of Colombia (Kristin Bergtora Sandvik and David Rodriguez Goyes)

Required reading:

  • Lemaitre, Julieta and Kristin Bergtora Sandvik. "Beyond sexual violence in transitional justice: Political insecurity as a gendered harm." Feminist legal studies 22.3 (2014): 243-261.
  • Theidon, Kimberly. "Reconstructing masculinities: The disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of former combatants in Colombia." Human Rights Quarterly 31.1 (2009): 1-34.
  • Generally on the agreement:

Recommended reading:

  • Lemaitre, Julieta, and Kristin Bergtora Sandvik. "Shifting frames, vanishing resources, and dangerous political opportunities: legal mobilization among displaced women in Colombia." Law & Society Review 49.1 (2015): 5-38.

​10. Maternal Health and Conflict (Henrik Urdal)

Required reading:

  • Gates, Scott, Håvard Hegre, Håvard Mokleiv Nygård, and Håvard Strand (2012)  Development Consequences of Armed Conflict. World Development 40(9): 1713–1722.
  • Plümper, Thomas, and Eric Neumayer (2006) The Unequal Burden of War: The Effect of Armed Conflict on the Gender Gap in Life Expectancy. International Organization 60: 723–754.
  • Urdal, Henrik and Primus Che Chi (2013). War and gender inequalities in health: The impact of armed conflict on fertility and maternal mortality. International Interactions 39(4): 489–510.

Recommended reading:

  • Bundervoet, T., P. Verwimp, and R. Akresh (2009) Health and Civil War in Rural Burundi. Journal of Human Resources 44(2): 536–563.
  • O'Hare Bernadette A. M. and David P. Southall (2007) First Do No Harm: The Impact of Recent Armed Conflict on Maternal and Child Health in Sub-Saharan Africa. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 100: 564-570.

12. The political psychology of war rape (Inger Skjelsbæk)

Required reading:

Recommended reading:

  • Skjelsbæk, Inger (2012) The Political Psychology of War-Rape: Studies from Bosnia and Herzegovina London: Routledge
  • Baas, Maria Ericsson & Maria Stern (2013) Sexual Violence as a Weapon of War? Perceptions, Prescriptions, Problems in the Congo and Beyond London: Zed Books
  • Zarkov, Dubravka, (2007) The Body of War: Media, Ethnicity, and Gender in the Break-up of Yugoslavia Duke University Press

13: Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict (Ragnhild Nordås)

Required reading:

  • Cohen, Dara Kay. (2013) "Explaining Rape During Civil War: Cross-National Evidence (1980-2009),"American Political Science Review 107(3): 461-477 (August 2013).
  • Wood, Elisabeth Jean. "Conflict-related sexual violence and the policy implications of recent research." International Review of the Red Cross96.894 (2014): 457-478.

Recommended reading:

  • Cohen, Dara Kay; Amelia Hoover Green, and Elisabeth Jean Wood (2013). "Wartime Sexual Violence: Misconceptions, Implications, and Ways Forward"
  • Cohen, Dara Kay, and Ragnhild Nordås. "Sexual violence in armed conflict Introducing the SVAC dataset, 1989–2009." Journal of Peace Research 51.3 (2014): 418-428.
  • Cohen, Dara Kay, and Ragnhild Nordås. "Do States Delegate Shameful Violence to Militias? Patterns of Sexual Violence in Recent Armed Conflicts." Journal of Conflict Resolution 59.5 (2015): 877-898.