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Women, Peace and Security in Military Operations

Civilians are disproportionately impacted by contemporary armed conflict, with women, children, and other vulnerable groups among the most affected. Effective military operations occur against the backdrop of two major shifts in international thinking on security: Human Security and the Women, Peace and Security agenda (WPS). These innovations have radically transformed the field of contemporary security studies and continue to evolve and be debated in both academic and policy circles. However, militaries have been slow to adopt these ideas and adapt their behaviours to account for the importance of protecting civilians, gender mainstreaming, women’s participation, responsibilities on children in conflict, and preventing egregious crimes, such as modern slavery and human trafficking. This book is a conversation between academics and civilian and military practitioners to better understand the contemporary challenges and obligations militaries have towards realising the WPS agenda. Drawing on expertise from military, academia, and civil society it offers insights and recommendations on how militaries can effectively integrate the WPS agenda into their operations.


Foreword by Major General ZR Stenning OBE, Commandant Royal Military Academy Sandhurst


'Recent history reminds us relentlessly that women, children and other vulnerable groups are often disproportionally affected by conflict and a lack of security. We must never lose sight of this harrowing truth, in our military planning and in our conduct and leadership in the battlespace. That is as true for air and space operators as it is for land forces, which is why this publication provides such an important reference for us all.'


Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston KCB CBE ADC, Chief of the Air Staff


'In an increasingly unpredictable world, in which civilian populations are too often impacted by conflict, it is hugely important that we focus on Women, Peace and Security. This focus enables Defence and the Royal Air Force to fully understand the context and challenges of conducting operations, so that our obligations can be better integrated at every stage of military planning and in the conduct of operations. As such, this publication provides an excellent and interesting contribution to international thinking, helping to improve our understanding of Security from diverse perspectives.'


Air Vice-Marshal Suraya Marshall CBE MA LLB RAF, Air Officer Commanding Number 2 Group, Royal Air Force


‘This book serves as a reminder of how far we have come, but also how much work is still to be done.’


Baroness Hodgson of Abinger CBE


'The Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Major General Z.R. Stenning, OBE, in the foreword to Women, Peace and Securityin Military Operations, writes, this book “should be required reading for security professionals.” When I was the sole female military student in my war college class (2010-2011), I would have appreciated a book like this as required reading.'

Retired US Air Force Colonel Cornelia Weiss review in PRISM


270 pages  I   Size: 234 x 156mm  

Publication date: 27th February 2023

ISBN: 978 1912440 436

Women, Peace and Security in Military Operations

  • Foreword by Commandant Sandhurst, Major General Zac Stenning

    Preface written by Dr Max Thompson and Dr Andree-Anne Melancon

    Women, Peace and Security: What Happened in Afghanistan isn’t staying in Afghanistan

    Sanam Naraghi Anderlini

    Chapter 1: Gender Mainstreaming in Peace Operations

    Dr An Jacobs and Dr Katerina Krulisova

    Chapter 2: US Military Government, Civil Affairs, and WPS: Expanding Participation through Partnership

    Dr Spencer B. Meredith III

    Chapter 3: Women, Peace and Security: UN Peacekeeping and the British Army

    Major Steven Maguire

    Chapter 4: Hearts, Minds, Women, and Peace: US Militarized Human Security and Its Discontents

    Major Kelly Atkinson

    Chapter 5: How Women Combatants Affect Wartime Rape: Distinct Effects in State and Rebel Forces

    Changwook Ju

    Chapter 6: Enhancing Operational Effectiveness: Through an Analysis of the Women, Peace, and Security Environment in Djibouti

    Dr Whitney Grespin

    Chapter 7: Making Sense of Armed Conflict: Gender Inequality and Climate Change in Military Operations

    Colonel (ret.) Jody M. Prescott and Dr Robin Lovell

    Chapter 8: Bringing Women, Peace and Security Online: Applications in the Cyber Domain

    Dr Alexis Henshaw

    Chapter 9: Educating Security: The Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Professional Military Education and Training

    Max Thompson and Andree-Anne Melancon

    Epilogue by Fiona Hodgson, The Baroness Hodgson of Abinger CBE

    Appendix 1: National Gender Inequality Overlay Criteria Intervals

    Appendix 2: Ex Complex Terrain

    Annex: JSP985 - Human Security in Defence

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