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Women, peace and security: Addressing the gaps and strengthening implementation

By Lisa Sharland, Jacqueline Westermann, Ms Gai Brodtmann MP, Sofia Patel, Chris Crewther, Deanne Gibbon, Susan Hutchinson, Katrina Lee-Koo, Anu Mundkur, Matthew Nash, Marise Payne, Linda Reynolds, Laura J Shepard, Jacqui True

This is the second year that ASPI has run a series on The Strategist to coincide with International Women’s Day examining Australia’s approach to women, peace and security (WPS). This Strategic Insights paper compiles the articles in that series across four themes: Defence’s approach to WPS, the role of parliament and civil society, lessons from abroad, and evolving approaches to WPS. Drawing on the analyses of contributors from a variety of backgrounds including government, politics, defence, academia, and civil society, the series demonstrates that issues related to women’s participation and leadership, and the inclusion of different gender perspectives, are integral to Australia’s national security.

As ASPI’s Lisa Sharland and Jacqueline Westermann write in the introduction to the paper,  WPS is ‘an important topic that’s frequently overlooked at the expense of what are often deemed ‘more pressing’ security issues by the media and security commentators’. With the Australian Government tasked to draw up a new National Action Plan on WPS in 2019, the paper provides important reflections on the progress that has been made, the remaining gaps and how Australia’s implementation on WPS could be strengthened.