Women in peace and security

The international community is working to promote the role of women in peace and security, and to prevent violence against women. But how can these commitments be transformed into real gains for women?


Gender issues are enjoying a renaissance within the international development community - reflected in the growing momentum to better support gender work in post-conflict and transition settings. This provides real opportunities to strengthen women’s political participation and advance gender equality.

The United Nations Security Council has passed resolutions calling on all sides to ensure the participation of women in all aspects of ending conflict and building peace. But there are still challenges for gender advocates to turn these commitments into real gains for women.

ODI’s research and evaluation work on gender-responsive policy and programming finds a number of recurring problems facing international actors, including their own bureaucratic constraints and conflicting priorities, engaging with informal political practices and discriminatory social norms - as well as the challenges of operating in rapidly changing situations.

Despite these challenges, we also identify examples of effective ways of working, through strategic engagement with local actors and political reform processes which contribute to enhancing women’s voice and gender equality goals.

Opinion series

Read ODI’s opinion series on women's empowerment in fragile and conflict-affected countries.

Our research

Read all ODI’s recent publications on what happens to women in conflict-affected and transition-settings.


Listen to our interviews with experts on women’s participation in peace and security.