How do we queer the Women, Peace and Security agenda?



My research area is queering security studies. To ground this research in day-to-day practices, I consider how the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda can better include LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and queer) voices in gender, peace and security initiatives. My work bridges academic, activist and policy approaches to include a gender perspective in peace and security responses in conflict-relation environments.  A central component of my research methodology is centering feminist and queer civil society actors already doing this work.

My forthcoming book Queering, Women, Peace and Security (2022) reflects on how WPS practitioners understand supporting lesbian, bisexual and transgender women as a part of WPS work, and also looks to LGBTQ organizations to help define next steps for how to best collaborate across often siloed networks.

I have had the opportunity to present this work at numerous academic conferences including the International Studies Association, the International Feminist Journal of Politics, and the British International Studies Association. I have also been invited to consult and offer feedback on policy initiatives for UNDP, the UK National Action Plan, the Center for Feminist Foreign Policy and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Below are a selection of articles, podcasts, blog posts, interviews and policy briefs that exemplify the work I have done on this topic since 2012. 

'Queering Women, Peace & Security in Colombia' 

Critical Studies on Security, 2017


This piece considers the importance of the inclusion of LGBT organizations in the Colombia peace accords and what this means for the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in future WPS initiatives. It was published as a part of the Interventions section about queer/ing in/securities. Read here. 


'Queering Women, Peace & Security'

International Affairs, 2016

Feminist security studies and emerging queer theory in international relations provide a framework to incorporate a gender perspective in WPS work that moves beyond a narrow, binary understanding of gender to begin to capture violence targeted at the LGBTQ population, particularly in efforts to address SGBV in conflict-related environments. The article explores how a queer security analysis reveals the part heteronormativity and cisprivilege play in sustaining the current gap in analysis of gendered violence. Read here. 

Blog: The Future of LGBTQ Human Rights in the Women, Peace and Security Agenda IPI Global Observatory, July 2019


Blog: Did sexual orientation and gender identity play a role in the rejection of the Colombian peace deal?, LSE WPS Blog, December 2016


Blog: The missing group of victims in conflict-related violence, Women Under Siege, Dec 2014

Podcast: Re-imaging Peace & Security from the Perspective of Queer & Trans communities, Opinion Peace Podcast, August 2020


Podcast: Queering through Collaboration: Connecting LGBTQ and WPS Networks, Transitional Justice Institute at Ulster Uni. in Belfast, UK, Feb. 2020


Panel Recording: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity as Part of the WPS Project, LSE WPS Centre panel w/  Nour Abu-Assab, Henri Myrttinen & chaired by Marsha Henri, May 2019

Interview: Charlotte Bunch is Important, Autostraddle 2012

5 Key Recommendations

Include LGBTQ people in developing, implementing, and monitoring WPS projects


Expand indicators to include sexual orientation and gender identity


Define women and gender as two distinct terms


Collect data about LGBTQ individuals in conflict


Engage with UN independent monitor for LGBT violence and discrimination




Related work by others:

Report: The Women Peace and Security Agenda and its Implications for LGBTIQ People, Outright Action International (2020)

Report: Ashe, F. (2018). Reimaging Inclusive Security in Peace Processes: LGB&T Perspectives (PSRP Report). Global Justice Academy, University of Edinburgh.

Article: Pascha Bueno-Hansen, The Emerging LGBTI Rights Challenge to Transitional Justice in Latin America, International Journal of Transitional Justice, Volume 12, Issue 1, March 2018, Pages 126–145.

Report: Orders of prejudice: Systematic crimes committed against LGBT people in the Colombian armed conflict (Colombia Diversa, 2020)

Book Chapter: WPS and LGBTI Rights  by
Lisa Davis and Jessica Stern, The Oxford Handbook of WPS (2019)

Report:  Engaging men and boys in the Women, Peace and Security agenda: Beyond the ‘good men’ industry by David Duriesmith (2017)

Report: Assessing Gender Perspectives in Peace Processes with Application to the Cases of Colombia and Mindanao by josé alvarado cóbar, emma bjertén-günther and yeonju jung* (2018)

Article: Katherine Fobear & Erin Baines (2020) Pushing the conversation forward: the intersections of sexuality and gender identity in transitional justiceThe International Journal of Human Rights, 24:4, 307 312, 

Book: Homophobic Violence in Armed Conflict and Political Transition by Serrano-Amaya, José Fernando (2018)