Young women in peace and security: At the intersection of the YPS and WPS agendas

Around the world, young women are leading efforts within their communities to prevent the outbreak of violent conflict, recover from crises, and build peaceful, tolerant communities, yet most peace and security interventions targeting “youth” prioritize young men, leaving young women out. Narratives around young people in peace and security follow, and reinforce, gender stereotypes about young men and young women—young men are more often seen as “risk-factors”, prone to turning to violence, vulnerable to being recruited by armed groups, criminal gangs, and violent extremists. Young women are often seen simply as passive victims, without agency to participate in conflicts or post-conflict peace processes.

This paper addresses the gaps in both the “women, peace, and security” (WPS) and the “youth, peace, and security” (YPS) agendas when it comes to visibility, inclusion and participation of young women in all aspects of preventing and recovering from conflict and building peace, and offers concrete recommendations to governments, UN agencies, and civil society partners about how to ensure that young women’s voices and experiences are heard, and that young women themselves have opportunities to meaningfully contribute to building and sustaining peace.

This paper is UN Women’s contribution to the “Progress study on youth, peace and security” mandated by UN Security Council resolution 2250 (2015).

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Bibliographic information

Subject area(s): Adolescents; Mediation and conflict resolution; Peace and security; Peace processes; Peacebuilding; Post-conflict recovery; Youth

Resource type: Research papers

UN Women office involved in publication: UN Women Headquarters

Publication year: 2018

Number of pages: 37

Publishing entities: United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women)