How do we queer the Women, Peace and Security agenda?
5 Key Recommendations
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. My forthcoming book Queering, Women, Peace and Security (2023) reflects on how WPS practitioners understand supporting lesbian, bisexual and transgender women as a part of WPS work, and also looks to LGBTQ activists/organizations in Colombia and Northern Ireland to help define next steps for how to best collaborate across often siloed networks.
This year (April 2022-April 2023) I will be lead researcher on the British Academy Innovation Fellowship project 'Queering Women, Peace and Security (WPS): Improving Engagement with Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LBTQ) women in WPS Programming' . The proposed project includes a range of activities across academia, policy and practice developed in partnership with Christian Aid (CA), working with CA UK as well as CA Colombia. The application of this research will provide insights on the ongoing challenges of how best to include, learn from and prioritize the experiences of LBTQ women to queer WPS in practice. This project will also engage with and support ongoing work to queer WPS through the implementation of UN SCR 1325 by the leading Colombian LGBTIQ+ organization Colombia Diversa.
A central component of my research methodology is centering feminist and queer civil society actors already doing this work though it is not necessarily viewed as part of 'peace and security' work. In 2022 I have had the opportunity to consult with both Outright Action International and the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy (CFFP) on separate projects aiming to to do just that.
Over the past eight years 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. In recent years 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).
Select articles, blog posts, interviews and policy briefs:
Policy brief: Minimizing protection gaps for LGBTQ people living on conflict
Policy brief in response to calls for inputs by IE SOGI for 2021 Gender Theory report. Read policy brief.
Article: '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 article 'Queering Women, Peace and Security in Colombia'.
Article, '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 article 'Queering Women, Peace and Security.
Forthcoming: resources for instructors teaching Queering Women, Peace and Security. Please contact me if interested!
Newsarticle: In countries as different as Colombia and Lebanon, LGBTQ advocates are helping lead protests and build peace, Washington Post, July 2021
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
Interview: Charlotte Bunch is Important, Autostraddle 2012
For more podcasts, webinars and lectures visit my media page.
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 byLisa 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)
Article: Katherine Fobear & Erin Baines (2020) Pushing the conversation forward: the intersections of sexuality and gender identity in transitional justice, The International Journal of Human Rights, 24:4, 307 312,
Book: Homophobic Violence in Armed Conflict and Political Transition by Serrano-Amaya, José Fernando (2018)
Read the full LSE WPS Policy Brief: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity as a part of the WPS Project