After its implementation 16 years ago, the UN security resolution 1325 highlighted gender
perspectives in peace processes and made women’s problems and interests more visible.
Nevertheless, critics argues that the Resolution is based on essentialist assumptions, women are
not empowered as actors and a clear prioritisation of women’s interests is still absent in peace
processes. This research is interested in whether the UN leadership is responsible, or partly
responsible for the failure to implement 1325. It explores the discourse used by one of the main
spokespersons within the organisation, namely the Secretary General. The UN Secretary General
submits reports concerning the implementation of 1325 to the Security Council every year, where
gaps and challenges as well as measures that should be addressed are reported. By using
discourse theory provided by Chantal Mouffe and Ernesto Laclau the discourse in the reports
have been deconstructed into nodal points and chains of equivalences. The findings have been
analysed with an abductive approach through the lens of feminist perspectives on security to
understand how gender, peace and security are portrayed dichotomously.
What can be concluded from this research is that there are traces of gender stereotyping
in the reports, where notions of hierarchies within dichotomies are visible. Gender seem to be
equal to women and girls and women and girls are interpellated into conflicting identities, as
either subjects or objects. When women are portrayed as objects, as victims, which is
dominating the reports, they are so within the dichotomy of security. When women are
described as subjects, as active actors it is in relation to peace and peacebuilding. Yet, to be
able to participate in peace processes together with men, women need more education and
special training. However, the Secretary General cannot be blamed entirely for this, since he
simply describes a gender stereotyped reality that is shaping the discourse on women, peace
2016. , 41 p.